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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Socrates' Guidelines on Gossip

imageKeep this in mind the next time you repeat ir spread gossip.
In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BCE), Socrates was known 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, Before you tell me, I'd like you to pass the Triple Filter Test."

'Triple filter?" asked the acquaintance.

"That's right," Socrates confirmed. The first is truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"Well, no," said the man. "Actually I just heard about it."

"All right," said Socrates, Let's try the second filter, the filter of goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?"
"No, to the contrary..."

"Well then," 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 was embarrassed. as Socrates went on, "The third filter, test if what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?"


"No, not really."

"So It all boils down to this," concluded Socrates. "If what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me?"

The man was bewildered and ashamed.

This is just an example of why Socrates was held in such high esteem.


It also explains why he never found out that Diogenes was banging his wife.