Do we have to answer every lie?
We live in a world with millions of falsehoods and half-truths.
If Socrates lived today, he would remain hoarse. Or he would smash his fingers on a computer keyboard. Or, perhaps, he would give up seeing and hearing lies spread over a thousand screens and speakers to isolate himself with a group of friends eager to find some light during clouds of darkness.
For Socrates, as Plato presents, was not allowed to "be forgiving of the false or obscure the true" ("Teeteto" 151d).
So, in the face of so many cheap sophisms, manipulated quotes, items where gymnastics and magnesia mix, empty- statements of foundation, gratuitous lies and decontextualized phrases, Socrates would end up desperate if he tried to respond to every falsehood if I wanted to denounce the manipulations that come out of so many mouths or so many keyboards.
We do not know, of course, how Socrates would behave in the face of a situation as peculiar as ours. The question, then, is addressed to oneself: do we have to answer every lie? Should we denounce every manipulated photo, every message full of falsehoods on Mars or about a famous singer, every slander was thrown against one or the other?
We live in a world where freedom of expression is understood by some as a pretext to throw into the wind any lie perfectly calculated to deceive the unwary, or any occurrence disclosed from the recklessness of those who speak about what does not Know.
Besides, the phrase that the first victim of a war is the truth also applies to the world of finance, for the speeches of some politicians, for the writings of important writers, for the studies of representatives of science who speak of philosophy without having clear ideas on the subject...
We live in a world where millions of falsehoods, half-truths, lies backed by prestigious characters, and confusing claims that are not known exactly what they wish to express, coexist with few truths hidden in homes, books or Internet pages; truths that do not just shine because they are pronounced from discrete voices that are lost in the tide of darkness that surrounds us.
Again, the question: do we have to unmask every lie? The answer would not be easy for either Socrates or us. But what we can do is arouse in our minds and hearts a healthy critical spirit. Through it, we will be able to discover deceptions, expose errors, uneven patches of falsehood that rotate here and there, not give for real the first thing we read on a bright website or in a famous newspaper.
Then, on the positive side, we will open the eyes of the soul to the truth, come from wherever it comes from and let it be said by anyone who says it. Thus, the truth will not be obscured but will become more luminous; first in ourselves, and then in those who come by our side and hear thoughtful words, serene and seasoned with a mature and courageous love of truth and justice.