Let yourself be convinced

Plato, in one of his "Dialogues", raises an interesting discussion between Socrates and Callicles about the force of reason. Callicles rejects conventional morality and defends another based on The law of the strongest. He assures that this law is the one that reigns in nature, and the one that really comes from it.

Doing wrong, "says Callicles," can be shameful from the point of view of social conventions, but these conventions come from a gregarious moral, established by the weak to defend themselves from the strong. The weak, who are the majority, come together to model and enslave the best and strongest of men and proclaim as just the most convenient actions for them.


Throughout the dialogue, Calicles is running out of arguments before the objections that they make to him, but he does not stop defending his ideas cynically. He says that the strong know well that, if necessary, they can commit an injustice with others, because that is the justice of the fort. At a given moment he begins to give the reason to Socrates, but immediately he disdains and assures that he is not interested in continuing to speak, because he is not willing to be persuaded for the reasons of anyone, but he would resort to force to impose his.

And it continues with affirmations and statements that today, two thousand five hundred years later, remind us of many phrases that were collected almost verbatim by Nietzsche, and then put into practice by Nazism and other doctrines based on their nihilistic thesis.


I think that the most tragic in the story of Callicles is not his intolerant and violent ideas, but the worst is his total lack of receptivity to any argument: that is what shields his terrible mistake and prevents him from leaving it.

And that is, unfortunately, the attitude with which we sometimes shield our defects and our inconsistencies in small details of daily life. Perhaps, when we see that our reasons do not have enough weight, instead of analyzing them again, or look for others that reinforce or improve them, or seek advice from anyone who can help us understand or explain them better, we tend to close in band before the reasons of others.

To be convinced by the reasons of others is many times - not always, it seems obvious to say it - a sample of intelligence and rectitude. Our intelligence manifests not only when we argue, but also when we accept and understand the arguments of others.


That is why education has so much to do with making us receptive to the reasoning of others. The reasonable thing is to accept that our reason has to be enriched with the reason of others, with the consideration and acceptance of other points of view, other purposes, other objectives, other evaluations.

To really develop our intellectual capacity we must develop our capacity to listen. We must aspire to be persuaded by arguments, not just persuade others with our arguments. Therefore, if we have very clear reasons, but we tend to see the reasons of others very unclear, perhaps it is because we have long limited our ability to learn.


Much of the blame for this phenomenon is perhaps that accept that one has been persuaded For the reasons of another is usually frowned upon.


As if changing your mind meant little use of reason. The world is full of people who take pride in thinking the same thing they thought twenty or thirty years ago, and in some cases that may be a manifestation of good sense and faithfulness to one's own principles, but in many others it probably proves that neither now nor then They have thought too much. They seem invulnerable to any argument, and that is not something that should be presumed.

Video: It seems good, but do not let yourself be convinced of anything! https://twitter.com/tabertica/statu


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