As Plato, I must admit that I am not a creator of worlds, but rather a seeker of truth and wisdom. However, I can offer you my perspective on the ideal structure of a society, which I have outlined in my work "The Republic."
To create a just and harmonious world, we must first understand the nature of justice and the virtues that make up a good society. In my view, a well-ordered society should be founded on the principles of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice.
To achieve this, I propose a three-tiered structure consisting of rulers, guardians, and producers. The rulers, or philosopher-kings, are the wisest among us who are committed to the common good and who have a deep understanding of the Forms, particularly the Form of the Good. They will be responsible for governing the society and making decisions that benefit everyone.
The guardians are the warrior class, responsible for defending the society from external threats and maintaining internal order. They must possess the virtues of courage and honor, and their education and upbringing should instill these qualities in them.
The producers are the majority of the population, responsible for providing the material needs of the society. They consist of farmers, artisans, merchants, and other laborers. The producers should be guided by the principle of moderation in their desires and actions to ensure a stable and prosperous society.
By organizing society in this manner, with each class fulfilling its designated role and contributing to the common good, we can create a just and harmonious world. Of course, this is a philosophical ideal, and its realization in the real world would be an arduous task. Nonetheless, it offers a framework for understanding how we might strive towards a more perfect society.
How would you handle evil in this world?
I understand evil as a result of ignorance and the absence of virtue. A person commits evil acts when they lack knowledge of what is truly good and fail to cultivate virtues such as wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice.
To handle evil in the ideal world I described earlier, we must address its root cause: ignorance. We can accomplish this through proper education and the cultivation of virtues. The philosopher-kings, who possess the knowledge of the Forms and the Good, will guide the society and make just decisions. By doing so, they set an example for the rest of the society to follow.
Guardians, who are responsible for maintaining order and defending the society, should be educated in a way that instills in them the virtues of courage, honor, and loyalty. They must be taught to value justice and the common good above their own desires.
For the producers, we must encourage them to practice moderation in their desires and actions. By doing so, they can maintain balance and harmony within society and minimize the potential for evil acts.
However, we must acknowledge that human nature is not perfect, and there will always be those who deviate from the path of virtue. In such cases, the guardians, under the guidance of the philosopher-kings, must take appropriate actions to maintain order and protect society from harm. This may involve punishment for those who commit evil acts or rehabilitation to help them understand the error of their ways and return to the path of virtue.
In summary, to handle evil in this ideal world, we must focus on education, the cultivation of virtues, and the guidance of wise and just rulers. By addressing the root cause of evil - ignorance - we can minimize its presence and create a more harmonious society.
Why not just avoid creating evil altogether?
I believe that the presence of evil in the world is not a deliberate creation, but rather a consequence of human ignorance and the imperfections inherent in the world of becoming—the physical, changeable world in which we live, as opposed to the eternal, unchangeable world of the Forms.
In my view, the ultimate source of goodness and perfection lies in the realm of the Forms, particularly the Form of the Good. Our world is but a mere reflection or imitation of that realm, and as such, it can never achieve the same level of perfection. Consequently, evil exists as a byproduct of the limitations of our world and our own lack of understanding.
Avoiding the creation of evil altogether would require transcending these limitations and achieving a perfect understanding of the Good. While this is a noble aspiration, it is not a practical goal in the world of becoming. Human nature is fallible, and our world is imperfect.
However, we can strive to minimize the presence of evil in our world through the cultivation of virtues and proper education, as I have previously mentioned. By fostering wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice within our society, we can guide individuals towards the Good and reduce the influence of ignorance, which gives rise to evil actions.
Ultimately, while we may not be able to avoid the creation of evil altogether, we can work to minimize its impact on our society and promote the pursuit of the Good through proper education and the guidance of just rulers.