Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Wisdom of Socrates

I didn't write this, but I felt the wisdom was so important that I should repost it here, for you all to read and take to heart:


Keep this in mind the next time you are about to repeat a rumour or spread gossip.


In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?"

"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?" asked the acquaintance.

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

"No," the man said. "Actually I just heard about 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 Diogenes something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," Socrates continued, "You want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you're not certain it's true?"

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued: "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be 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 or anyone at all?"

The man was bewildered and ashamed.

This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why Socrates never found out that Diogenes was shagging his wife.

43 comments:

  1. Les, you're a nut! Hahahaha
    eden
    xoxox

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  2. That's why I love history! The "dirty" version! I'm greek and I know many gossips from that time! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. HA HA Sooo Funny ..Big Smile for you Les Your Friend Linda Gayle..Lindajojomom

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  4. Excellent. Reminds me of the four basic ethical principles for journalists: Is it true? Is it honest? Is it fair? Is it significant.

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    Replies
    1. you forgot the fifth... is it Shagadelic baby?

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  5. Awesome repost! Gotta love the logic of Socrates. Looking at a thought as an idea as a whole, before ever even entering a conversation, Socrates figured out how to filter out unnecessary information so more brain power is available at any given time. Showing others how and what you're doing isn't very discrete, though. People learn and usually use that knowledge or experience for one of two things: for the better or for the worse. At least the idea remains!

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  6. Heh, very clever. Although I am not quite certain that shagging his wife falls out of the 'Usefulness' category. Seems like pretty important info to me ;)

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  7. ha ha. Cush. Very, very useful.

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  8. I totally agree with this post! Excellent philosophy!

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  9. One to get you thinking though I am not sure if Socrates was wise to ignore the gossip after all!

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  10. Excellent food for thought! I must set aside some time to read your posts... Cheers!

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  11. yep, I've read this a very nice article I love it [from Wiliandi™ @InDoca "twitter"]

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  12. Funny. I hadn't heard that one before!

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  13. I Love that! Right arm, Soc it to em!

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  14. Very wise words from the great man. Great punch line from you. I wonder if Socrates would have felt it passed all three filters.

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  15. Fabulous. I studied ancient Greek at university, but I was too young to appreciate Socrates' wisdom.

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  16. Love it, Les,
    Socrates was the best. Thanks for sharing.
    Lyn

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  17. Lol, Lesism on the basic Socrates structure of gossipism.

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  18. Love a bit of Socrates... thanks for sharing :-)

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  19. I don't know how I would have managed through college without Philosophy. Love Socrates. Thanks for sharing.
    Do you know of any children's books that apply the Socratic Method?

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  20. But it would have passed the usefulness test, besides Socrates was married to Xantippe known as a very rough woman ;-)

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  21. Love, love, love! Thanks for sharing.

    With love,
    Amanda
    withlovecoach.com

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  22. For the lovely Anonymous, children's Socratic books. This goes to Amazon, but it's my shortlink.

    http://futd.us/12zw10k

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  23. That is great! It reminds me of the following two famous quotes:

    “By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.” Socrates

    “Marry or marry not, in any (either) case you’ll regret it” Socrates

    He must have known something was going on, or maybe it was ongoing.

    PS - Great blog

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  24. "If you can bear to hear the truth you have spoken twisted by Knaves to make a trap for fools"
    Loving the work Les - good, true & useful!

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  25. Socrates was executed for what he taught just like Jesus. He is most famous for "Know thyself." He was not talking about one's mind or body about their soul or spirit.

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  26. Good one..thx for sharing. Great words to hang.in a classroom...minus the shagging part.


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  27. Thank for sharing I love it. have a great week

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  28. lol... that was a serious cool cool joke ,,,, made my day though ,, will interview anyone who will be about to tell me anything ..

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  29. Did that experience change him into a confidant philosopher? He had a little smug chuckle...What if he listened instead of telling? Would we know who he was? Does that change what we should believe? Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see. By my mom.

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  30. :P Cute.
    I think something like that would probably pass the usefulness test, though.

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