Why did you want to tell me? … Socrates

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In ancient Greece Socrates had a great reputation for wisdom. One day someone came to meet the great philosopher, and said:

– Do you know what I just heard about your friend?

A moment, – answered Socrates – before you tell me, I would like to give you a test, that of the three sieves.

– The three sieves?

Yes, -continued Socrates- before telling anything about the others, it is good to take the time to filter what is meant. I call it the test of the three sieves. The first sieve is the truth. Have you checked if what you are going to tell me is true?

– No, I just heard it.

– Very well. So you do not know if it’s true. We continue with the second sieve, that of goodness. What do you want to tell me about my friend, is it a good thing?

– Oh no! Conversely.

– Then, -asked Socrates- you want to tell me bad things about him and you’re not even sure they’re true. Maybe you can still pass the third sieve test, the utility test. Is it useful for me to know what you are going to tell me about this friend?

– Not seriously.

– So, “Socrates concluded,” what you were going to tell me is neither true nor good nor useful; …

Why did you want to tell me? …

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates

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