|Plato's Thoughts On Morality
Remember that at one point in Socrates' life he was sentenced to death, and is in a prison awaiting his sentence of death. Also, his old friend Crito was telling him to escape and save himself. Socrates argues about moral standards, and tells that if a man was pursuing "physical fitness," he would listen to a "doctor or trainer," and ignore the advice of others. He puts his situation in the same light. He says that he should listen to the wise rather than the foolish. Socrates insists on act with principal rather than self-interest.
Socrates plainly states that, "What is dear to the gods is pious, what is not is impious." But, he responds with the statement that sometimes even the gods disagree; "the just and the unjust, the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the bad. Are these not the subjects of difference about which, when we are unable to come to a satisfactory decision, you and I and other men become hostile to each other whenever we do?" Therefore, he maintains, "what all gods hate is impious, and what they all love is pious, and what some gods love, and others hate is neither or both."
Plato tries to define justice in the Republic. Cephalus had a theory on justice which states "that justice or right is simply to speak the truth and to pay back any debt one may have contracted." Socrates puts down this theory with a counterexample. He says that if you borrowed some weapons from a friend of yours, and you told him you will return them when he asks for them back. One day he comes to you mad about something, and asks for his weapons; do you tell him the truth (according to Cephalus) or not return them because you know he is about to inflict harm to someone with the weapons. After this Socrates gives his own definition of justice. He says that justice means that the stronger looks after the weaker, and to look after the good of the many.