Saturday, June 24, 2006

Today's Lesson

In ancient Greece, Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came across an acquaintence who ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"

"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple Filter?"

"That's right,"Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my student, let's take a moment to filter what you are going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutly sure that what you are about to tell be is true?"

"No," the man said. "Actually, I just heard it."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?"

"No- on the contrary..."

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, even though you're not certain it's true?"

The man shrugged, a little embarrased. Socrates continued. "You may still pass the third test though, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student useful to me?"

"No, not really..."

"Well, concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither True, nor Good, nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?"

The man was defeated and ashamed.

This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why he never found out that Plato was having an affair with his wife.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Plato was more likely to have an affair with his brother....