In provide or fulfill their pleasures and

In the Gorgias, Socrates and Callicles talk about whether
one should live a life of temperance or self-control. Temperance signifies a
certain quality of self-control and discipline. Therefore, it brings order to
the communicable appetite of desire or satisfaction. Some of the greatest
pleasures are found in the consumption of food and drink, as well as the
engagement of sexual pleasures.

            Callicles believes
that a brave man should allow his appetites to get as large as possible without
limitation, therefore saying, “the man who’ll live correctly ought to allow his
own appetites to get as large as possible, he ought to be competent to devote
himself to them by virtue of his bravery and intelligence, and to fill them
with whatever he may have an appetite for at the time” (Plato 64, 492a).
Callicles sees temperance or self-control as a sign of weakness, “they become
detractors of people like this because of the shame they feel, while they
conceal their own impotence” (64, 495a). Callicles states the “lack of
discipline is shameful”, therefore, men who are rulers lack the ability to
provide or fulfill their pleasures and their lack of courage leads them to
praise self-control.

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            During the
discussion of temperance, Socrates responds to Callicles’ opposition with the
metaphor of the leaky jar:

And fools he named uninitiated, suggesting that part of the souls
of fools where their appetites are located is their undisciplined part, one not
tightly closed, a leaking jar, as it were…They would carry water into the
leaking jar using another leaky thing, a sieve. That’s why by the sieve he
means the soul (as the man who talked with me claimed). And because they leak,
he likened the souls of fools to sieves; for their untrustworthiness and
forgetfulness makes them unable to retain anything. (66)

The leaky jar exemplifies that the soul with unrestrained desires
will always require or seek after more and more, therefore never being
fulfilled. Callicles remains unconvinced, therefore saying, “the man who has
filled himself up has no pleasure any more, and when he’s been filled up and
experiences neither joy nor pain, that’s living like a stone” (67). He believes
that temperance and self-control are undesirable when a man allows no more room
for more pleasure.

            Socrates and
Callicles produce interesting arguments; however, Socrates’ argument is more
plausible. The virtue of temperance is measured as being the mean of reason.
Temperance or self-control makes moderate use of desirable pleasures. One must
make use of his or her pleasures to the degree of reason.  According to Aristotle’s definition of
temperance, he relates it more to bodily pleasures such as eating, drinking,
and sexual pleasures (Aristotle 2011).

            The virtue of
temperance allows us to have a balanced and harmonious life. Without
temperance, one can be like the leaky jar; always seeking after more. For
example, a person who desires chocolate may want to eat it constantly; however,
temperance allows one to refrain from eating chocolate because it may endanger
their health. As with food, one may have a desire to drink alcohol during a
business lunch. However, temperance allows one to have a measure of reason and
create the right balance.

            If a person goes
off the notion of Callicles, a person may be a slave to his or her desire. For
example, alcohol may be a good thing, but an alcoholic may end up hating it
because it detaches him from reality and he becomes dependent on what was once
pleasurable. Sexual desires may be good as well. However, a person who becomes
a slave to their desires may not view it as pleasurable and through their
slavery, they have degraded themselves or have been degraded by others.
Temperance on the other hand, allows a person to achieve pleasure in
moderation.

            Socrates gives
Callicles another image, therefore describing that the man who is constantly
seeking pleasure is undisciplined and less happy:

Consider whether what you’re saying about each life, the life of
the self-controlled man and that of the undisciplined one, is like this:
Suppose there are two men, each of whom has many jars. The jars belonging to
one of them are sound and full, one with wine, another with honey, a third with
milk, and many others with lots of things. And suppose that the sources of each
of these things are scarce and difficult to come by, procurable only with much
toil and trouble. Now the one man, having filled up his jars, doesn’t pour
anything more into them and gives them no further thought. He can relax over
them. As for the other one, he too has resources that can be procured, though
with difficulty, but his containers are leaky and rotten. He’s forced to keep
on filling them, day and night, or else he suffers extreme pain. (67)

A person who lacks self-control reacts on impulses which may lead
to disaster. There are also vices to every pleasure or desire. Sexuality is
appropriate with fulfilling the desire of physical union between two loved
ones. However, lust is the vice which uses the other person for sexual
gratification. The constant desire or sexual gratification can lead to
fornication, pornography, and any other means of sexual activities.

            Having the virtue
of temperance does not show weakness. Temperance is a virtue one should strive to
maintain to have a balanced and happy life. Temperance allows a person to bring
clarity to his or her life and not to be a slave to his or her desires. As
Socrates stated, the life of the self-controlled man is like the jar which is
filled, therefore being satisfied and living a happier life.