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From: Steve Harris <>
Newsgroups: alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,,soc.culture.usa,,
Subject: Re: Some truth about Neal Barnard
Date: 19 Oct 2005 20:16:46 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Mark Probert wrote:

> > Congratulations, that's the oldest 'joke' in the annals of human history.
> Sorry, but I do know much older ones than that. Did you hear the one
> where a Phoenician walked into a bar with a Minocean on his shoulders?


One day Socrates came upon a student who exclaimed: "Socrates, do you
know what I have just heard concerning one of your other students?"

"Before you speak," Socrates replied, "say first if you have made
absolutely sure that what you would tell me is true."

No, Socrates." the student said. "For I just now heard of it."

"Very well," said Socrates. "So you do not know if it is true or not.
Now that it has not passed the test of truth, let us apply the test of
goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something
which is good?"

"No, Socrates, on the contrary."

"So," Socrates continued, "you wish to tell me something bad about
him, but you are not not certain that it is true. There is a final test
left. Sometimes men may joke with one another. Is what you wish to tell
me about my student intended to be entertaining to me?"

"No, not really."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither
true nor good nor even entertaining, then why tell it to me at all?"

And so the student went away. And that illustrates why Socrates was a
great philosopher, and held in high regard by all.

And that is also why Socrates never found out that Plato was banging
his wife.

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