This month’s Socrates Café question:

“Does our personal history control our view of right and wrong?”

Express ’em if you got ’em.

11 Responses to “June ‘09 Socrates Café”
  1. Russian Paul says:

    Hef! history is written in books you cannot even find! it is like the time that RussianPaul was in early year of schkool – level 01. ONE TIME i fizzed in my trousers when i was a tiny boy, and until many years later all kiddings would say that i poofed in there instead. But was really only fizz! this is a way to show that history is always from those who tell it not those who fixz.

  2. Todd Marrone says:


  3. Russian Paul says:

    heh! I commented again two times in a dsingle day! tweet me russianpaul at,russianpaul!

  4. Bruce says:

    Monday’s was a good discussion—for those who were not there, we actually settled this once and, for All. Come next time to be a part of the discussion, not just a part of our answer. We really don’t want to fix the world by ourselves.

    Looking forward to seeing team “FightingSocrates.” Best to all.

    BTW: Could it be, Sock ra Tease?

  5. brad rothman says:

    The question is: ‘Right and Wrong’: Not, Fact and Fiction. Or. True and False. It is an ethical question. Of course our own personal history molds the lens’ with which we view and hence judge. And of course our judgement is not final or binding if you will. So the question of ‘control’ would be yes. Not in a definitive sense personally or in the binding sense, socially. But in the psychological sense, as the question poses.

  6. Bruce says:

    “No. Our personal history does not control our view of right and wrong. Our “view,” it must be assumed from the form of the question is not static, but fluid–as we experience our lives, our “view” actually changes, leaving our history behind and our present forming our “view”. Seen this way, changes in our ideas or reactions, are not inconsistencies, but reactions to that changing “view;” the metaphor I imagine is looking through the windshield of a moving vehicle—what is before me, constantly changing—so the “… view” at the moment I confront the possibility of “right or wrong” is constantly changing my history; obliterating my history. So…our view of right and wrong is temporal, not historical.

    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French temporel, from Latin temporalis, from tempor-, tempus time
    Date: 14th century
    1 a: of or relating to time as opposed to eternity b: of or relating to earthly life c: lay or secular rather than clerical or sacred : civil
    2: of or relating to grammatical tense or a distinction of time
    3 a: of or relating to time as distinguished from space b: of or relating to the sequence of time or to a particular time

  7. Bruce says:

    … to a question you asked of me, which I found hard to answer and for which I did not think I had an answer—I found this thought, on a note, on my mirror. (I said I thought of the question often…)

    Art is…Making Puzzles for the Public.

  8. brad rothman says:

    …true art is a path…

  9. brad rothman says:

    ah, the changing view, as you point out, is phemonoloigcal, but right and wrong is this phemonolgogy put to the test. it’s life man.

  10. jerry says:

    Fellow philosophers,

    How can this question truly be addressed without a definition of “right and


    Socrates would have explored these terms.

    Policians often speak of “right and wrong” even as they violate what is “right”

    while denouncing “wrong” (and the masses follow).

    As Bruce states, our views are not static. They vary with nations, cultures,

    and eras. Long hair was once “wrong” for men and as was short hair for

    women. The Iranian people were “wrong” for

    opposing US Gov. oppression but are now “right” for protesting their own govern-

    ment. The propensity to make ourselves “right” and others “wrong” contributes

    preponderantly to a world that, in the 20th century, deliberately destroyed

    100,000,000 of its inhabitants (including women and children),

    not to mention additional forms of human destruction.

    This is what “right and wrong” ultimately leads to.

    I’d prefer “Does our personal history control our decisions, i.e., do we truly

    have free will?” Or, “Does the mentality of “right and wrong” serve us

    or make this a happier world”?

    Read Lao Tzu for more thereunto.

    I appreciate this forum, Todd, and Socrates Cafe.


  11. Russian Paul says:

    Yes and it is I who am sometimes right and other thimes I am not. I know this, how ever. You see, Iran is just like phisophy, is it not?!? I cannot RIG elections, but maybe you can? Do you see what I know, Jerry?

    You are correct that long hair is OK for men. Look at Gorky Park or at Areowsmith! That is OK.

    I do not know this word prepondertly, but 100.,100,100 is VERY big number. Did we kill ALL of these? Hef. I don’t like this at all. I think we all would say this is a wrong thing.

    So many in deeps we ALL know it is right and wrong and history in books or in words is not for making one way or not. I will read Lao Tuz for more and tell you what I think on Toddblog! Yes! I like this too Jerry!

    tweet me Russian Paul at!