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warpig
06-22-2010, 09:58 PM
In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely
lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher
came upon an acquaintance, 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 Test of Three."

"Test of Three?"

"That's correct," Socrates continued.

"Before you talk to me about my student let's take a
moment to test what you're going to say. The first
test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what
you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man replied, "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 test,
the test 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 embarrassed.
Socrates continued, "You may still pass though because
there is a third test - 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 tellit to me at all?"

The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more.

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

It also explains why Socrates never found out that
Plato was banging his wife.