Rant 2006-04-19: Wise Men Words

Notes before reading:
*For an explanation on how this rant is organized, please: read this.
*This [not a] rant is posted in a message board inside the hi5 network. You need to register and find the group in which this message board resides which is Phylosophy with comments beginning with "Share your philosophical ideas with others? This is the place to be!".
*The discussion started when a member called Kelly asked if someone knew what this next phrase meant:

"For words are wise mens counters, they do but reckon by them: but they are the money of fools, that value them by the authority of an aristotle, a cicero, or a thomas, or any other doctor whatsoever, if but a man."

Various others came in trying to explain it... here are some that I think explained it better:

"Wise men can express themselves through their own wise words; but the unwise cannot, they can only quote words from the wise. The mere fact that one quotes from a "wise man" proves that one a fool."

Kelly (yeah, she answered herself):
"Wise men use words to keep track and build wise thoughts, and fools use wise men's words to acheive their own foolish or devious ends. The last three words, "if but a man", throws me off totally."

"The implication in saying "if [but] a man" [...] perhaps the author is saying that we should not accept "wise words" on the basis that they were said by a "wise man" because that "wise man" is but a man for doing such a thing would make us fools. I think basically what he's saying is that we need to be critical of the words of "wise men" and not fall into the trap of being in awe of the emperor's new clothes. We need to use such words to think, not to marvel because ironically that is what wise men themselves would have done. Aristotle, given the chance would have been critical of cicero and vice versa because these men were critically minded which is what gave them their reputations as "wise men" in the first place. So i guess we need to be critical of this author too ;)"

-This was a friendly discussion, so it may not be treated as a a rant per se. But the topic was interesting nevertheless.
-"Threading" is how I called how a forum works: someone begins a discussion by starting a thread with an initial post, in which anyone can reply to about that topic. This unencourages another discussion to creep in the one being discussed in the thread (if you want to talk about something else, just start a new thread about that). The way that hi5 works is the "message board" way in which anyone can message everyone about anything, so a discussion is quite difficult to follow having many messages of different topics in the same page.

[Not a] Rant:
I was reading the "thread" (which I would think that this type of discussion could be followed much easier if hi5 would use that type of system for messaging: "threading") and I was about to post something very similar to what Mona posted.
Coincidentally, the conclusion at which I was about to get to was the very same reason for me responding until I've read every message of the discussion: no opinion is holy from being discussed or challenged, because of which every opinion is valid from it's birth and may only be brought to it's death or glory by discussion not by deaf ears nor by indulgent eyes. Thus, an opinion (or "wise words") can't be taken as a dogma just because of the person that spoke it; ironically (because of the reference to Aristotle) this is a rule of Greek logic: the truthfullness of a statement may only be judged by the logic of other statements (or discussion), not by it's precedence. E.g., if a drunk came to me and demanded that I should stay away from alcohol because it's bad for me, even though his statement is hypocritical, the fact still remains that alcohol is bad for me.

B.T.W. This was my first post in this group. Hi!

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