Socrates' Triple Filter Test

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Socrates' Triple Filter Test

Postby Sabina » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:35 pm

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything 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 friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and 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 and ..." "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 friend something good?" "No, on the contrary ..."

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend 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 at all?"

This is why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem. It also explains why he never found out his best friend was screwing his wife.
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Re: Socrates' Triple Filter Test

Postby mirjana » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:43 pm

Sabina,thank you for this wonderful and educational post. It should be one of the lessons in every school and we would live in a much better world!

Lately I have had an opportunity to see one of Ryan's paintings with a title Judgement:
Judgement-1600-635x476.jpg
Judgment, by Ryan Nore
Judgement-1600-635x476.jpg (27.61 KiB) Viewed 8642 times
http://ryan.nore.at/2011/10/judgement/

It awakened similar feelings like the text you posted.
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Re: Socrates' Triple Filter Test

Postby Jade » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:56 pm

We would all do well to remember this story. Not only for our personal benefit and development, but also to apply it whenever opportunity knocks.

That is an excellent painting! A very fitting visual contribution Mirjana, thank you.
Image
    "A Jade stone is useless before it is processed;
    a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated."

    Chinese proverb
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