Socrates’ The Test of 3

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One of my roller derby friends Azzy Starr(Sune Storm) and I chat like old tannies sitting on a porch. We focus on a wide selection of topics from flat-faced hounds, to exotic spices like saffron, to how toned our legs are becoming from skating. Along with all the arbitrary pointers, we also discuss philosophies to make us become better people. My buddy, Kyle, and I call it “character-building”.


Image sourced from here.

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 right,” 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 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 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, b ecause 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 tell it to me at all?”


All tannies skinner, but there’s a fine line between entertaining each other and spreading the word unnecessarily. Have a rad week!

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