I am about to begin working on my 3rd Greek essay and thought I'd share some thoughts with you lot. I know some of you are philosophers and may appreciate my ramblings - to those of you who are not, you can always play along =p
"No man can know the better and be able to do it, but do the worst"
So basically, we can't do the wrong thing on purpose if we're capable of doing the right thing. I've been thinking about this for a few days now, trying to work out what my thoughts on it actually are. I have yet to actually do the reading, because I only just finished my Theaetetus essay this morning, where I concluded knowledge is not perception and that they are two very different things. I didn't quite work out what knowledge was, just that it was something special and a certain shape - it doesn't fit through the perception shaped holes in my understanding box. I realise that is probably a really confused analogy, but it helped me work it all out.
Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent. What do you think, can people err knowingly?
I think (today) that it's all a very subjective subject. I might think that your actions are wrong but you may not agree, which would mean I guess that you're not erring knowingly. But are you erring at all? Let us think about an example so we can try to get our heads around it: smoking.
People smoke even though they know it is bad for them. They know they will lose years off their lives and that their insides are being destroyed. But they do it anyway.
This makes me think it has to be something to do with instant gratification vs long term gratification. In the moment they feel better for it which seems worth the worse later on. It's a value scale - what's more important to me? What is it I want more, to live freely or live longer? Maybe.
I think we like our instant gratification, us humans. We respond to instinct to feed animal desires. Hunger for example - we get hungry, we eat. But sometimes we go on diets, do delay instant gratification for that long term goal of being skinny. So how does it all weigh up?
This is just an informal idea soup. I will read Plato and a bit of Aristotle and come up with my essay and let you know what conclusion I came to on the matter. Let me know what you think in general about whether or not we are weak willed. Do we do things even when we don't want to do them? What does that even mean?