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|In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.
One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, "Do you know
what I just heard about a friend of yours?"
|"Wait a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anyting, I'd like you to
pass your information through three gateways. The first gateway 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 ..."
"Very well," said Socrates, "let's go to the second gateway, which is
Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me something good?"
|"No, on the contrary ..."
"All right," Socrates continued, "there's a third gateway and that's the
gateway of Usefulness. Will the story be useful to me?"
|"Well, no, not really ..."
|"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about someone -
you have no way of knowing if it's true, but you do know that it's not useful.
|"My friend, your story won't pass through even one of the gateways.
Better to leave it unsaid."
|"We all know what happens to a rumor that develops life on the worldwide web. It
circles the earth endlessly, infecting every new believer it encounters. What hasn't
changed in this new way of communicating is the way people read something and
forward it or post it to their Facebook page without checking to see if it's true.
|"I suppose I offend my friends when they forward these kind of things. I respond
that it isn't true and they should return it to the sender. Maybe the internet can
run in reverse and we can unravel some of the damage that's been done.
|"The Bible says that the truth will set us free. Our obligation is to make sure
that what we're passing on is, indeed, true." -- Rev. Joseph McKeever