In Plato’s Gorgias, Callicles assets that the best way to live life and to achieve the good is through pleasure and the fulfilling of one’s every desire. He asserted that for one to hold back the fulfillment of any desire is to deny happiness.

Callicles equates the good with pleasure from the beginning of his conversation with Socrates. Socrates plays into this weak assertion that Callicles has, getting him to admit that he thinks pleasure and the good are synonymous. Socrates then brings up that there are different types of pleasure and that not all of them contribute to the good. He points to the example of a male prostitute, a person who fulfills his desires constantly and participates in a rather base form of pleasure that does not contribute to the good. He says that to live a life of always trying to fulfill desires is like a leaky jar; one must keep filling up the jar and can never stop.

I think Socrates does a great job of making others admit the faults in their own arguments. The way he uses rhetoric is amazing. While I think Callicles is a rather relatable figure and comes from a good place, I think Socrates makes a great point that a life of constant itching and scratching is not a full life. I agree with Socrates that fulfilling every desire does not necessarily contribute to the good and that not all pleasures are equal.

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