by: Kalim Ahmad
What a relationship between the two was, Socrates was the teacher of Plato, both of them were towering philosophers of Greek Civilization. Socrates thought that people act moral because they are sociable and well cultured by birth, but Plato strongly opposed this social doctrine. Plato stressed that laws and rules play the pivotal role in the acts and deeds of human beings. In order to support his viewpoint, Plato narrated the story of “Ring of Gyges”.
The Ring of Gyges is a story written by Plato in an attempt to force the reader to evaluate his or her own sense of morality. In this story, Gyges worked as a shepherd for the King of Lydia. An earthquake opened up the ground where Gyges’ flock was feeding. Inside this opening lay a bronze horse with doors. Inside these doors was a dead body with a golden ring. Gyges pulled the ring from the dead and climbed from the hole. He later joined his fellow shepherds to make a regular report to the king about his sheep. As he sat and toyed with his ring. Gyges noticed that when he turned the setting around on his finger he became invisible to all. He then became a messenger from the shepherds to the court. Gyges took his pleasure and seduced the queen. He later conspired with queen and killed the king, taking control of Lydia.
This may affirm to be proof that even a shepherd is good, not willingly, but of necessity. Sir Mujahid is our honourable Professor of English. He is a dazzling personality and is as important for English Department as nucleus for a living cell and Sunday for a week. Also, he is a wanderlust and has visited USA, UK, UAE and Germany to quench his thirst for knowledge. His discourse is a torrent of new and fresh informations. Unlike common people, he never follows the raw and crude customs of society, rather, he is as ambitious as “Doctor Faustus” and as confidant as “Macbeth”, but despite all these dominant traits of his personality, I disagree with one aspect of his concept. He is too much inclined towards US Society. In one of his lecture he over-estimated American Society. He whole heartedly acknowledged their ways of life and paid homage to the philosophy and techniques they are performing to monitor the “Device of Life” properly.
Sir Mujahid is really a Mujahid (Holy Warrior) because he graphically illustrated his concept from photos drawn in White House. He went so far that he stated “An American shopkeeper would not sell an expired item, even if offered with a billion of dollors”. All this may be true but the Ring Of Gyges still bears the main theme of the stories of all socities.
Once, in California, light was cut for a single hour and the markets of California faced the largest number of thieves in its history, why? Because all the cameras were OFF. So are they acting moral because of an inborn characteristic? Ofcourse not, the real face of American Society is uglier than sin but the detergents of “Modern Technology” has wiped out the dirt from its face. No one in the world acts moral unless he is compelled by some cameras, rules, laws and regulations.
Unfortunately, here in Pakistan, law is like a duster to hide the dirt and wrong-doings of upper class people because they have acquired the Ring of Gyges in shape of wealth, power and government. On the other hand, a tragic fact is that US Government is dealing “power” as Gyges dealt his noble ring. US terrified the whole nations, painted the walls and streets of Kabul in red, violated the respect and dignity of women in Baghdad and so on but it is a wise saying that “A state established by war has to sustain itself by war”.
America came into existence when cruelties were let loose on the colonial people of America. The agonies inflicted by Columbus on the
poor lots of America eclipsed the barbarism of Chengiz Khan. Modern America acquired this policy from Columbus and after gaining the Ring of Gyges, implemented it in the rest of the world. The history pages of America are red with the blood of innocent nations. The day America would quit wars, America would no more be the main actor of the global stage.
May be I am wrong and according to the quote, “Doctors bury their mistakes, lawyers hang them while journalists print them on open
pages”, but I would like to leave the decision on you, my decision is pending, you have to decide whether Sir Mujahid and Socrates are right or Plato’s opinion is knocking at the heart.