Socrates Test of three
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?”
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 banging his wife.
Why not apply this test of three in your life and see what difference it makes.
I look forward to your feedback!
– Testul celor trei?
– Da, a continuat Socrate. Inainte sa-mi vorbesti despre cunoscutul meu, sa testam ce ai de gand sa-mi spui. Primul test este cel adevarului. Esti absolut sigur ca ceea ce vrei sa-mi spui este adevarat?
– Nu, spuse omul. De fapt am auzit doar.
– In regula, zise Socrate. Asadar, in realitate, tu nu stii daca este adevarat sau nu. Acum, sa incercam testul al doilea, cel al binelui. Ceea ce vrei sa-mi spui despre cunoscutul meu, este ceva de bine?
– Nu, dimpotriva.. .
– Deci, a continuat Socrate, vrei sa-mi spui ceva rau despre el, cu toate ca nu esti sigur ca este adevarat?
Omul a dat din umeri, putin stanjenit si Socrate a continuat.
– Exista o a treia proba – filtrul utilitatii. Ceea ce vrei sa-mi spui despre el, imi este de folos?
– Nu, nu chiar…
– Ei bine, a conchis Socrate, daca ceea ce vrei sa-mi spui nu stii daca e adevarat, nici de bine, nici macar de folos, atunci, de ce sa-mi spui?
O duminica placuta !