What is Triple Filter Test by Socrates

In ancient Greece (469-399 BC), Socrates was highly valued for his wisdom.
One day a friend came up to him very excited and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?"

"Wait a moment," replied Socrates, "before you go any further, do a little test. It's the triple filter test."
"Triple filter test?" asked his friend.

"Yes, right. Before you start talking, let's take this test to filter what you want to say.
The first filter is called truth. Have you made sure what you are trying to tell me is true? "

"No," said the man. "I only heard it."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't know whether what is being told is true. Now, let's apply the second filter, it's supposed to filter out whether what is being told is a good thing. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes a good thing?"

"No, rather the opposite ..."

"So," said Socrates, "you want to tell me something bad about Diogenes that you don't even know if it is true?"

The man shrugged, slowly embarrassing him. Socrates said, "But there is a third filter, it is to find out whether what you are telling is something useful. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes useful to me?"

"No not true."

Socrates said, "Well what you are telling me is not good, true, nor is it useful. Why are you telling me or anyone else?"

The man was confused and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was considered a wise man and a great philosopher.

Remember this story whenever you are about to start spreading rumors.



German version
In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded 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," Socrates replied, "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."
'Triple filter? "Asked the acquaintance.

"That's right," Socrates continued, "Before you talk to me about Diogenes let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say. 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."

"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 Diogenes something good?"

"No, on the contrary ..."

"So," 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 shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes 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 or anyone at all?"
The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.
Keep this in mind the next time you are about to listen to or repeat a rumor or spread gossip.




What else I have to say:

If all people wanted to keep these wise words, it would be very quiet on earth.
Sincerely, Marion

back