Desiree DeLuca-Johnson

The truth is out there, but not as a meme

BRATTLEBORO-The middle and high school students of Saint Michael School recently reenacted Raphael's painting The School of Athens as part of the school's Ancient Greece Night. Each student role-played a different philosopher, so there was a lively discussion about the value and pursuit of truth and the role of argument in creating a good citizenry.

While Socrates didn't mention using social media to sharpen the mind, a Skeptic did say something applicable to the local conversation about the war in Gaza. To paraphrase: Truth can't be found through argument because both sides can make equally valid and weighty claims.

If this statement is true, are we, the citizens of modern southern Vermont, having fruitful arguments about the war by using Letters to the Editor, protests, town Facebook pages, and yard signs?

Conversations with certain attributes - participants who desire to seek truth and are willing to quell the urge to be right - are indeed transformative. A good talk deepens understanding and reveals flaws in one's thinking, but it must be grounded in facts to achieve these results.

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