Allegory of the Cave

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ltown1. Show Ltown1's posts

    Allegory of the Cave

    I used to enjoy my college philosophy classes and I miss the dialogue.

    When posting here I'm often reminded of Plato's Republic. There are certain individuals in particular who post here, that remind me of the poor souls chained to the floor of the cave.  

    I welcome any all all dialogue.

    To those of you not familiar with the allegory, please read.  I have edited my own thoughts in red as to how it relates to Sarah84.

    Socrates begins by describing a scenario in which what people take to be real would in fact be an illusion. He asks Glaucon to imagine a cave inhabited by prisoners who have been chained and held immobile since childhood:(sarah84) not only are their arms and legs held in place, but their heads are also fixed, compelled to gaze at a wall in front of them. Behind the prisoners is an enormous fire, and between the fire and the prisoners is a raised walkway, along which people walk carrying things on their heads "including figures of men and animals made of wood, stone and other materials"(Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh etc.) The prisoners can only watch the shadows cast by the men, not knowing they are shadows. There are also echoes off the wall from the noise produced from the walkway.

    Socrates asks if it is not reasonable that the prisoners would take the shadows to be real things and the echoes to be real sounds, not just reflections of reality, since they are all they had ever seen or heard.  Wouldn't they praise as clever whoever could best guess which shadow would come next, as someone who understood the nature of the world?(this in particular is how Sarah84 views herself) And wouldn't the whole of their society depend on the shadows on the wall?( This would explain why Sarah84 so vehemently defends the honor of Palin)

    Socrates next introduces something new to this scenario. Suppose that a prisoner is freed and permitted to stand up. (This in my opinion is most people by the time they reach age 16) If someone were to show him the things that had cast the shadows, he would not recognize them for what they were and could not name them; he would believe the shadows on the wall to be more real than what he sees.

    Suppose further, Socrates says, that the man was compelled to look at the fire: wouldn't he be struck blind and try to turn his gaze back toward the shadows, as toward what he can see clearly and hold to be real? What if someone forcibly dragged such a man upward, out of the cave: wouldn't the man be angry at the one doing this to him? ( This analogy perfectly describes the difficutly with explaining to Sarah84 and the rest of the tea baggers why they're wrong and why they resist the truth) And if dragged all the way out into the sunlight, wouldn't he be distressed and unable to see "even one of the things now said to be true", viz. the shadows on the wall (516a)?( explains why fear mongering works so well in politics)

    After some time on the surface, however, Socrates suggests that the freed prisoner would acclimate. He would see more and more things around him, until he could look upon the Sun. He would understand that the Sun is the "source of the seasons and the years, and is the steward of all things in the visible place, and is in a certain way the cause of all those things he and his companions had been seeing"( Will Sarah84 ever see the sun?).

    Socrates next asks Glaucon to consider the condition of this man. Wouldn't he remember his first home, what passed for wisdom there, and his fellow prisoners, and consider himself happy and them pitiable? ( This is every non-tea bagger, most Americans by age 14). And wouldn't he disdain whatever honors, praises, and prizes were awarded there to the ones who guessed best which shadows followed which? (Sarah84 once again) Moreover, were he to return there, wouldn't he be rather bad at their game, no longer being accustomed to the darkness? "Wouldn't it be said of him that he went up and came back with his eyes corrupted, and that it's not even worth trying to go up? And if they were somehow able to get their hands on and kill the man who attempts to release and lead up, wouldn't they kill him?"( This last line in particular is relevant to our current political atmosphere. For somebody who recognizes politics for what they are.  This line explains the anger between us all the last part in particular is scary when you consider we now have people bringing guns to Obama's town hall meetings).

    I guess my final question is, how do we as a group work to destroy the misinformation, or the "shadows on the wall".  If we work to stop the mis-information we're practicing censorship and inhibiting free speech.  How do we counter the information when the people we are trying to reach are chained to the floor and will scratch and fight and resist any attempt to show them the light?  

    How do we help poor people like Sarah84?    I'm concerned for her.  I'm concerned for us all.

     


     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Mattyhorn. Show Mattyhorn's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    Great post, Ltown.

    I think it points to a certain lack of intellectual curiosity on the part of some people.  This is what irked me most about Mrs. Palin; I didn't think she was/is stupid, exactly, but that she seemed/s to be rather incurious and uninterested in other points of view, as if she knows everything already and that other perspectives are dismissed out-of-hand - like an obstinate teenager.

    I would also argue that this is a noticeable trend on both sides of the political see-saw, and when the media-at-large is so incapable of generating original thought and dialogue about issues, our whole discourse suffers a slow, interminable death at the hands of the uninformed.  Sad, really....
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from easydoesit2. Show easydoesit2's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates 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 filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?"  "No, not really..."
      "Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?" The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more.
      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 banging his wife.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from easydoesit2. Show easydoesit2's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    Sorry, guys, I just couldn't resist.  I apologize, and will leave you to a serious discussion.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from BobinVa. Show BobinVa's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    In Response to Allegory of the Cave:
    I welcome any all all dialogue. Posted by Ltown1


    Thanks for welcoming dialogue. Your post is similiar in logic to a Time magazine piece about why there are no good jokes about Barack Obama. The Obama worshipping,  in the tank, disgraceful excuse for journalism "Time magazine" says the reason is because Obama is "too smart". 

    It is circular logic, also known as "circle jerk". Liberals are right,  because liberals say they are right...liberals are smugly certain they are intellectually superior, because they say so.

    Liberals never act "selfishly" , their motives are pure......the fact that most liberals have a vested pecuniary interest in government largess is pure coincidence...
    So Socrates' logic,  shows conservatives are stupid?
    Perhaps Socrates had a government job, and it was in his interest to be favor of high taxes and government intervention.....
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from BobinVa. Show BobinVa's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    "Socrates suggests that the freed prisoner would acclimate. He would see more and more things around him, until he could look upon the Sun. He would understand that the Sun is the "source of the seasons and the years, and is the steward of all things in the visible place, and is in a certain way the cause of all those things he and his companions had been seeing"

    Liberals' brain-dead hero worship of "the Sun"
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ohhhhh-Bammy. Show Ohhhhh-Bammy's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    In Response to Re: Allegory of the Cave:
    "Socrates suggests that the freed prisoner would acclimate. He would see more and more things around him, until he could look upon the Sun . He would understand that the Sun is the "source of the seasons and the years, and is the steward of all things in the visible place, and is in a certain way the cause of all those things he and his companions had been seeing" Liberals' brain-dead hero worship of "the Sun"
    Posted by BobinVa


    I believe !! I am healed !! Hallelulia !!

    zzzzzzzzzzzzz
     
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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Reubenhop. Show Reubenhop's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    I love the Cave.  But keep in mind that Socrates and Plato were not big fans of democracy: they distrusted the masses for lacking the necessary intelligence to run the state.  After all, democracy killed Socrates and Plato was watching.  The shadows on the walls can come from multiple types of puppet masters.  Grim Fandango will be checking in shortly on the matter.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ltown1. Show Ltown1's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    In Response to Re: Allegory of the Cave:
    In Response to Allegory of the Cave : Thanks for welcoming dialogue. Your post is similiar in logic to a Time magazine piece about why there are no good jokes about Barack Obama. The Obama worshipping,  in the tank, disgraceful excuse for journalism "Time magazine" says the reason is because Obama is "too smart".  It is circular logic, also known as "circle jerk". Liberals are right,  because liberals say they are right...liberals are smugly certain they are intellectually superior, because they say so. Liberals never act "selfishly" , their motives are pure......the fact that most liberals have a vested pecuniary interest in government largess is pure coincidence... So Socrates' logic,  shows conservatives are stupid? Perhaps Socrates had a government job, and it was in his interest to be favor of high taxes and government intervention.....
    Posted by BobinVa


    If someone were to show him the things that had cast the shadows, he would not recognize them for what they were and could not name them; he would believe the shadows on the wall to be more real than what he sees.


    It's not about Obama.  It's about understanding the truth thats around you.  It's about seeing the forest through the trees if you will.  

    It's about not getting caught up in politics and filtering the mis-information.
     
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  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ltown1. Show Ltown1's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    In Response to Re: Allegory of the Cave:
    "If someone were to show him the things that had cast the shadows, he would not recognize them for what they were and could not name them; he would believe the shadows on the wall to be more real than what he sees." That explains why you support the concept of Obamacare. You accept his word as truth when he says you can keep your doctor and your plan if you like them. "It's not about Obama.  It's about understanding the truth thats around you.  It's about seeing the forest through the trees if you will.   It's about not getting caught up in politics and filtering the mis-information." This is when you actually read the bill instead of relying on the shadows thrown by Obama. Then you find out that you can't keep you plan or your doctor under all circumstances even if you like them. The same goes for rationing, death panels, higher costs and lack of universal coverage. Those are all truths about the bill for anyone that cares to read it and rather than take Obama's word you think for yourself.
    Posted by Newtster


    There isn't any bill yet.  It's all just talk and proposals right now.

    You're saying that health care reform is going to be the death of insurance, but there isn't any bill to read yet.  There are proposals, that's all.

    IF the final bill seems as though it's going to do the things you say, then I say go ahead and protest but how can you protest a bill that doesn't exist yet on the grounds that it contains bad things that it doesn't contain yet?

    You're just making noise. You're just drumming up fear in people so they will be against reform.  Reform we desperately need.  

    You're simply responding to the mis-information and propaganda being spread by the health industry lobby and special interest groups who are campaigning against reform because it will cut into their profits.  

    You don't realize it because you're a moron.  You're chained to the floor of the cave and you're watching the shadows on the wall and the shadows are saying that a public option is socialism and the shadows are saying that it's going to ruin your access to good doctors.  IT's ALL LIES.

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

           H.L. Menken



     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Mattyhorn. Show Mattyhorn's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    Factcheck.org has already debunked the vast majority of the lies swirling in the opposition's increasingly murky pool.

    Shadows on the wall of the cave, indeed....
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhatIsItNow. Show WhatIsItNow's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    In Response to Re: Allegory of the Cave:
    In Response to Allegory of the Cave : Thanks for welcoming dialogue. Your post is similiar in logic to a Time magazine piece about why there are no good jokes about Barack Obama. The Obama worshipping,  in the tank, disgraceful excuse for journalism "Time magazine" says the reason is because Obama is "too smart".  It is circular logic, also known as "circle jerk". Liberals are right,  because liberals say they are right...liberals are smugly certain they are intellectually superior, because they say so. Liberals never act "selfishly" , their motives are pure......the fact that most liberals have a vested pecuniary interest in government largess is pure coincidence... So Socrates' logic,  shows conservatives are stupid? Perhaps Socrates had a government job, and it was in his interest to be favor of high taxes and government intervention.....
    Posted by BobinVa


    Very good BobinVa.  Liberals are right because Liberals are right is circular logic, but I suppose liberals are bad because liberals are bad isn't? 
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from BobinVa. Show BobinVa's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    In Response to Re: Allegory of the Cave:
    Factcheck.org has already debunked the vast majority of the lies swirling in the opposition's increasingly murky pool. Shadows on the wall of the cave, indeed....
    Posted by Mattyhorn


    To its credit, Factcheck also highlighted the President's um, how to say it, lies swirling in his murky pool concerning abortion coverage.
    "Low- and moderate-income persons who would choose the "public plan" would qualify for federal subsidies to purchase it. Private plans that cover abortion also could be purchased with the help of federal subsidies. Therefore, we judge that the president goes too far when he calls the statements that government would be funding abortions "fabrications."
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from TarheelChief. Show TarheelChief's posts

    Re: Allegory of the Cave

    Whether you are in the Cave or Outside the Cave,the question remains:
    Are you better off now than your were 4 years ago?
    Socrates was a wonderful person and Alcibiades was one of his favorite students.Another student,Aristotle proposed an interesting concept:
    The Third Man argument.
    If truth were fixed,universal and intelligible like mathematics,then you could accept the precepts of Socrates. However, this truth exists in mathematics,not in nature,not in politics,and not in economics,and certainly not in computers.
    The joke was great,but evidently no wanted to sleep with Socrates wife.
     
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