Three Socratic Questions applied to US Politics

When approached with someone wanting to spread gossip in one of Plato’s dialogs, Socrates is supposed to have asked the following 3 questions: “Is it true; is it kind, is it necessary?” This has taken a much sharper focus for me in the current United States than perhaps it had before. This is much to my shame.

Much of my disgust with the current administration is because of things I have heard or seen for myself. So those do not fall under the aegis of those three questions. However, a part of it is because of things I have not seen for myself and require applying the three questions to the stories.

If it is well-sourced with video or photos, I tend to find the first question more easily answered. If it is true, but not kind, it may still be necessary in order to correct problems. If it is not true, and not kind, if it is satire I could find it necessary as well because it also illustrates truth by art — the same way that the comedies of Aristophanes were often neither true nor kind. Otherwise, if it isn’t true or kind, it isn’t necessary.

Of course, if it is not true and not satirical, it doesn’t matter if it is kind in politics. It doesn’t need to be there. Sadly, too often, it is.

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