was most assuredly not one of these, as evidenced by the "heretofore unrecovered Platonic Dialogue
: Socrates, my good man
, what is it you have there in your hand
? Do you not shame the Oracle of Delphi
and the gods, proving them false
in their declaration that you are the wisest man
in all of Athens
: Greetings Crito
. I wonder that you ask in such earnest what I hold in my hand when by the natural light
it is clearly a can of Schlitz
. As for your second question, what concern can it be to the gods whether I imbibe this beer
: My apologies
, Socrates. Allow me to explain
myself. I had in mind your teaching on the subject of virtue
. Do you not recall it? No man
, you have said, can knowingly choose to do wrong
. He who truly has knowledge of what is right
and wrong must always select the right, for the right is, by definition, the better path
. Do you not here defy your philosophy with your present choice? Is it not clear by the natural
light of reason
that among beers, Schlitz must certainly represent the lesser path? The worse course of action
? What say you, Socrates?
: My dear
Crito, what you say is very convincing
. But let me respond to your questions by asking one of my own. Do we consider the whole
to be merely a certain number of its parts
, or rather all of its parts?
: Certainly the whole must contain all of its part, Socrates
: Then, Crito, we may say, for example, that the state
is not only its buildings
or only its citizens
or only its laws
. As a whole, it is all of these?
, that much we can say.
: Would it be right, then, to say that a man love
s the state who loves only its buildings, or only its citizens, or only its laws?
, Socrates. Such a man loves only certain of its parts.
: So, Crito, to love something truly is to love it as a whole
, not merely certain of its parts
: I must admit this is true
: Well, Crito
, what would we say of a man who professed to love numbers
, but in reality
loved only certain numbers, and not the whole of them?
: I do not see your meaning, Socrates.
: Then let me state it thus: When we speak
of numbers, do we speak of only some numbers, or of all numbers
: Why all numbers, Socrates.
: And when we speak in general of men
, do we speak of all men or only certain of them?
: Unless we say otherwise
, we must be speaking of them all.
: Then to speak truly
numbers, we must love the whole of them. And to speak truly of loving men, we must love the whole of them. Is that not correct
, I see now that it must be.
: And what, then, Crito
, of the true lover of beers
? Does he love only some beers
, or does he love
the whole of them?
: By our previous reasoning, Socrates, I should think he must love them all.
: And does the man
who loves a thing
seek to increase its presence
so far as he is able? Or does he rather seek
it and decrease its presence?
: Most certainly one does not avoid, but seeks out that which he loves.
: Then Crito, it seems that the true lover of beers, so far as he is able, wishes to increase the presence of that which he loves, seeking the most of it that his drachma
: Yes, Socrates
. It is so
: Then is not Schlitz
, being the least costly of beers, and therefore the most amply acquired, also the only right and proper selection for the true lover of beers?
: I suppose that must be so, Socrates. Perhaps I was wrong
to suggest that the Oracle
was in error. Or perhaps it is true what they say, that you are a scoundrel
who seeks only to make the worse
beer appear the better. I can hardly say I know anymore, Socrates.
: Good Crito, lend me your trust
in this matter
. I can tell you, in Athens
they serve drinks far worse than Schlitz
(written by Matt Burke, UMass Amherst)... this is not copyrighted so leave it alone.