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Socrates, the philosopher who claimed the contradiction "I know that I know nothing," provided us with a method to help us question what we think we know and to demonstrate otherwise: the Socratic method. He believed that the unexamined life is not worth living and, thus, sought to examine it. The Socratic method is a rigorous examination process that helps you deeply ponder questions and foster debate among those with opposing and/or inconsistent viewpoints. It is often used to stimulate people to think critically about what they believe and why they believe it which, in theory, should lead to better ideas and a better understanding of what is truth.

Oftentimes, like sheep, we follow the herd. It's almost as if we give up the responsibility to think for ourselves. Perhaps that's partially the fault of democracy - a political system that Socrates was against. After all, one of the tenets of democracy is that the majority get to decide and the minority must follow. In fact, Socrates was put to death for not falling in line with the majority. He received the death penalty specifically because of his conviction to his ideas. But not everyone's ideas are equal and we can do damage when we follow opinions that are not well thought-out.

Using the Socratic method, you're less likely to be passive in your thinking and you're more able to substantiate your own beliefs. In other words, you are less likely to blindly follow the opinions of others. Additionally, by using the Socratic method, you'll gain the satisfaction of being able to demonstrate the logic of your thoughts. You don't need a philosophy or law degree to use the Socratic method, even though it is rarely used outside of universities.

How is it that we come up with our thoughts (and resulting decisions) on living life - outside of work or school - without thinking hard? Which of your beliefs or opinions can withstand the rigor of either of these methods? How does creativity play into these formal methods for developing grounded ideas? Would our ideas be better if they were constructed using the following method? How often do you question what others believe? How often do you question what you believe? Are your ideas worth standing up for?

Socratic Method Flowchart


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Mar 25, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=510

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We all admire beauty, but the mind ultimately must be stimulated for maximum arousal. Longevity in relationships cannot occur without a meeting of the minds. And that is what Braincrave is: a dating venue where minds meet. Learn about the thoughts of your potential match on deeper topics... topics that spawn your own insights around what you think, the choices you make, and the actions you take.

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Sep, 2017 update: Although Braincrave resulted in two confirmed marriages, the venture didn't meet financial targets. Rather than updating our outdated code base, we've removed all previous dating profiles and retained the articles that continue to generate interest. Moving to valME.io's platform supports dating profiles (which you are welcome to post) but won't allow typical date-matching functionality (e.g., location proximity, attribute similarity).

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