The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #2614620
Posted By: Amos
19-Apr-09 - 05:25 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Is it possible, Socrates asked, for a good mind to promote an evil idea?

I cannot say it is, replied Rapaire. For a good mind would by its nature reject an evil idea.

But, replied Socrates, is it not possible for a mind to be misled as to the nature of an idea? And if it were misled, would it not then be reasonable to allow that a good mind could promote an evil idea?

Well, said Rapaire after some thought, it seems to me that a mind that is so misled by an evil idea into accepting it as a good one is either not a mind at all, or not good.

Ah, brilliantly riposted,m good Rapaire, answered Socrates. But when you say such a mind as that of which we speak is either not a mind or not good, do you mean that it is not practically good in the sense of being efficient, effective and skillful? Or do you mean that it is not inherently virtuous and of the right ethical oritentation?

Socrates, replied Rapaire, I hope you will forgive me, but I have a fencing appointment and can not spend the time I would like to in tussling with these deep issues with you, much as I enjoy the practice. I would say, in brief, that either failure in goodness--the goodness of skill or the goodness of virtue--could account for the same phenomenon, and in fact it is possible that it is a failure in skill that makes good minds go bad. And now, Socrates, I must say farewell, for the fellows at the Fencing Club will be looking for me, and wondering if I have abandoned them. And that would definitely not be good.

SO Socrates bid Rapaire farewell, and sat in the declining Athenian sunlight of a Spring afternoon, bathed in the perfume of olives and the Mediterranean sea-air, and pondered on the great wisdom that Rapaire had provided him.