The Socrates Triple Filter Test


In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said,
“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.

That’s why I call it the  triple  filter test.”
“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?”

Lets use this triple filter each time you hear loose talk about any of your near & dear friends.

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