The three filters of Socrates an appeal to the truth

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"Truth is that which every man needs to live and which he can neither attain nor acquire from anyone." Every man must always extract it from his own heart, otherwise he is ruined. The truth is perhaps life itself. " Franz Kafka


"I see and can not speak fully, for I do not have a powerful language to account for all the wonders of the universe, only a tongue borrowed from the dust of the earth." Most often, frivolous, indomitable, voluble, absurd and reckless . " Caravan of the Soul


Respect for the truth tells us of an essential value for a dignified and constructive life. And a likely remedy for soul. The way we deal with truth directly interferes with what we are and how we act in society or with ourselves. But this, of course, also transits the path of the ideal since it is not so comfortable to bank it at all times. We are called to a choice between truth and lies practically all the time. And here too omissions and simulations of all genders enter. What causes us to question, speak, or promote truth in all situations?

Of course not! And why not? First because it is a form of defense. Second, because it can grant us some advantage, some benefit or too much effort. Indeed, we all have desires and fears. Which leads to behavior that is not always virtuous, adequate or mature. We do not want to lose someone we love, or else to hurt the other, to be inelegant, rude or inconvenient, and so on. They are examples of situations, which although they may be trivial and of little relevance, we relativize responses by hurting honesty.

Similarly, we can not bear to face our own inferior and negative feelings, such as hatred, envy, jealousy, greed, shame and so on. Not to mention that the truth is so unwelcome or received that it is a struggle to promote it alone. Still, we must be in pursuit of it, especially in the most important and serious matters. This protects us from great damage and offers us a path of greater peace. The price is always lower in the beginning.

On the other hand, we have the eccentricities of "language", to speak in a more elegant and less rustic way. We know and feel that she often goes beyond everything that is respectable, plausible and honest at various times. And this happens in all speeches, be they personal or social. Society itself forms agents for the purpose of masking or distorting reality, when they are not responsible for any kind of fallacy.

We live in a time when we notice the lack of commitment even with what is obvious. The distortions produced triumph in a scandalous way in a minimum of time. And not only that, until the cemetery where the word was buried, with the tombstone, "totally out of fashion", today is a public square where everything is announced with the weight of truth blatantly. And, not infrequently, those who deceive the community most are applauded on their feet. Therefore, the more conscious people or those who are guided by high principles have long lost hope of a consistent change in our culture. They understand some that it is a process that can take centuries.

Said, Rui Barbosa:


"From so much seeing the triumphs of triumph, so long as disgrace flourishes, so much as injustice grows." As soon as the powers are swarming in the hands of the wicked, man comes to discourage himself from virtue, to laugh at honor and be ashamed to be honest. "

This preoccupation with the truth and the "devil of the tongue", that is, the lightheartedness and evils provoked by it, are not new. Twenty-five hundred years ago, in ancient Greece, Socrates, a Greek philosopher who influenced all Western thought, addresses this issue through dialogue.

It is also a reference of wisdom in our culture. In his teaching, he developed a method of researching knowledge. He called this maieutic, "childbirth", the influence of the mother who was a midwife. The method consisted of successive questions, through an induced mental exercise, until the individual arrived at the ultimate truth.

Socrates had as his principle the knowledge of himself, using reflection to arrive at more definitive principles. And this should be the center of the moral, social and intellectual life of the human being. In any case, even before the search for any truth, the individual should analyze himself, recognizing his own ignorance.

"It is said that one day the great philosopher met an acquaintance who told him:
"Socrates, do you know what I have just heard about one of your friends?"
Wait a minute, said Socrates. Before you tell me anything, I want you to pass a little exam. I call it the triple filter test.
- Triple filter? Asked the other.
"Yes," continued Socrates. Before you tell me what you want about my friend, it's good to think a little and filter. The first filter is Truth. Are you completely sure what you're going to tell me is true?
- Well ... I just found out ...
"Then, not knowing if it's true, you still want to tell me?" Let's go to the second filter, which is that of Goodness.
"Is it good about my friend?"
"No, on the contrary.
"So," interrupted Socrates, "you want to tell me something bad about him that you do not know if it's true!" Let's see! You can still pass the test, because there is still the third filter, which is Utility.
"What will you tell me, will it be helpful to me?"
"I do not think so much."

"So, Socrates concluded, if what you wish to tell me may not be true, not be good and may not be useful, then why tell, why should I want to know?"


Socrates' dialogue reveals a way or strategy of how to deal with gossip, told me-and gossip, using such filters. The first filter, of truth, establishes the most primordial ballast, which points to what is legitimate and real.

The one of kindness, aims at helping the other, serving the principle of love. At least do not bring harm, injury and defamation to people for free and light. It also serves the principle of what is fair, thus not turning to partiality or one-sidedness with pre-play.

The one of utility, points to a practical sense of what can produce a positive value in our lives or in the other.

Thus, in the simple act of receiving or passing information, news, notions, concepts it would be important to stick to the three Socrates filters. This is still so necessary and modern that it becomes scandalous.

And it can go beyond, paradoxically, in the closest we are ourselves. In our internal dialogue, make the filters work for a higher quality of psychic and emotional life, driving away the "intrigue network" of bad, fanciful or false thoughts and feelings that can make our life a living hell.


Carlos França