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In ancient Greece Socrates (469 - 399 BC), was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly

and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students...?"

"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Test of Three."

"Test of Three?"

"That's correct," Socrates continued.

"Before you talk to me about my student let's take a moment to test what you're going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what

you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man replied, "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 test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me

about my student something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me

something bad about him even though you're not certain

it's true?"

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued, "You may still pass though because

there is a third test - the test of Throty. Is what you

want to tell me about my student likely to be a theory?"

"No, not really..."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell

me is neither True nor Good nor and is not a theory, then why tell it to me at all?"

The man felt ashamed, said no more and walked away.

This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher

and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why Socrates never found out that

Plato was sleeping with his wife.

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