Plato hypothesizes that to do injustice is good by nature while to suffer injustice is evil by nature. Doing injustice is “good” because we are able to gain something good for ourselves when we commit such an act. If left unchecked, everyone would commit acts of injustice in order to further their own personal gain. But, doing so would cause mass chaos and work against the social utility of the group. To best understand why this would be a problem, one can imagine that lying on a job application is an injustice that leads to a good outcome. Being hired as a result of the lie would be considered a good outcome; therefore showing how injustice is good in nature. But if everyone lies on job applications, nobody will be able to do their jobs. Surgeons would not know how to operate, firefighters would be unable to put out fires, and so on. Society as a whole would not be able to function. This proves that while one may benefit personally, injustice suffered is not sustainable and is evil in nature.
In some instances, society seems to believe injustice is actually productive to society. We agree as a society that murder is wrong, and committing such an act is doing an injustice; however, society believes that murder is acceptable through the use of the death penalty. Examples such as this make me question if injustice and social utility can coexist. If they can coexist, then what does this mean for Plato’s versions of injustice and justice? The death penalty is arguably good for society by doling out justice and ridding the society of the danger posed by that person, so in this case, injustice and society could coexist. I think my main issue with this train of thought is that it is very unclear what the line between justice and injustice might be. Based on one’s own biases and beliefs, nearly anything can be counted as just or unjust.