Friday, 4 July 2014

Socratic Dialogue

"People did not go to Socrates to learn anything - he always insisted that he had nothing to teach them - but to have a change of mind. Participants in a Socratic dialogue discovered how little they knew and that the meaning of even the simplest proposition eluded them. The shock of ignorance and confusion represented a conversion to the philosophic life, which could not begin until you realised that you knew nothing at all.

... the Socratic dialogue was never aggressive; rather it was conducted with courtesy, gentleness and consideration. If a dialogue aroused malice or spite, it would fail. There was no question of forcing your interlocutor to accept your point of view; instead, each offered his opinion as a gift to the others and allowed them to alter his own perception."

(The Case for God – Epilogue by Karen Armstrong)

This method of Socratic dialogue was invented nearly two and a half millennium ago. I wonder how many of our personal, social, cultural, religious and political conflicts could be resolved if we start to favor such kind of thinking again. World could become a much better place if we are able to rise above from our standpoint and give ourselves a chance to understand others point of view.

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