SOCRATES TEST OF TRUTH
Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you either
hear or are about to repeat a rumour. In ancient
"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before
you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple
"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my student 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 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 student something
"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 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 my student 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?"
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 shagging his wife
Last updated 20 May 2004