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cat got your tongue?

Got this from SocialApathy:


Reminds me very much of:
It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt

While this quote has been attributed to so many people including Abe Lincoln and Confucius, even a mysterious Silvan Engel, it probably has its roots in Proverbs 17:28:
"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."


Related would be the admonishment of
if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything!


Of course, the niat, or intention, behind saying "not nice" things needs to be taken into consideration. We've all received this email about Socrates' Triple Filter of Gossip, have we not?
In ancient Greece (469-399 BC) Socrates was well known for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who said excitedly, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”

“Wait a moment,” 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 student, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you are 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 and …”

“All right,” said Socrates” So you don’t really know if it is true or not. Now let us try the second filter, GOODNESS. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”

“No,” the man said, “on the contrary …”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you are not certain it is 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 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?”

This is why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem. It also explains why he never found out that Plato was sleeping with his wife.
[I contend that the information would indeed have been "useful" to Socrates, but what the heck, the joke needs its punchline eh?]

What's my point? None, really - not yet, anyway :-)

But let me take this opportunity to highlight my guest reviews at Kev's Fun With Dead Trees! Whoohooo! :-) Hope to be a regular contributor, now that I've finally gotten some momentum :-)

Comments

  1. Haha, I have never heard that little story before - how cute and true! Everyday I try not to be one to gossip - or if I can't help it - to only say nice things about the people that irritate me. It is difficult, but I feel better in the end! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. And I'm more than happy to have you aboard!

    ReplyDelete

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