Why did Plato share his teachings using a third person?

platoAs I am reading about the Euthyphro dilemma, whether pious is loved by gods because it is pious or is it pious because it is loved by gods, I keep wondering as why Plato, a great philosopher with great authority, felt the need to introduce his ideas through the mouth of Socrates (his made up character), on every debate he wrote and every philosophical issue he raised? Could it be that people believe you more if you tell them that a third party said so and so. Or could it be that people don’t like to be told, they like to disobey?

I have noticed it quite often, which is unfortunate and sad, that humans truly are gullible. Once you put yourself in position of the messenger, they will listen to you and believe that you are telling the truth. Hence religion thrives on this ground. So, what is it with people that prefer to believe in some invisible experts, or that someone called Socrates argued this and that, but if you come forward and tell them, this is what I think, (even if you are Plato himself) people will brush you off?

I see lots of deep issues here: First, people will listen to you more if you put yourself in messenger’s positions because humans love gossiping. This is their main entertainment in life; gossips.

Second: I think that the reason people do not believe in anything you tell them in person; they would rather believe in a bunch of experts that may not even be real, is not that people don’t like to be told, in contrary, humans very much love that. I think we are being way too optimistic when we say that the Socratic approach may work in psychological counselling and therapies. People love to be told rather than to be challenged into thinking. They just don’t want you to tell them what to do, while you are standing in front of them, looking just like them. Anyone else, left to their imagination, is good enough to be right.

The third issue therefore is raised here: If people prefer to believe that someone else had said something smart, but not you, could it be that it is in human genes to believe in higher authorities? Could it be that as you face these people, you look just like them, (you have no horns or wings) then they feel that you are in no better position than them to tell them what to do? If you are no better than them because you do not look different, then this tells us that humans are also superficial. Humans pretty much become slaves of the outside looks.

This logic  raises another issue: Are humans all suffering from low self-esteem? If humans think that the messenger have no values just because the messenger looks like them (even if this messenger were to be Plato himself), but another person who is not even present is more credible than the messenger, then this tells us that humans do not value themselves and they feel that their opinions do not count. Once they feel this humiliation in themselves, they will start fighting this uncomfortable feeling. The best way to do this and add some values to themselves is to start arguing against the messenger’s opinion (the person who looks like them) by granting themselves the right to be right. And, this will make them feel good.

So, if you ever wondered why people argue so much and they only listen to what Simon says then pretty much this proves to us that Darwin was right; humans originate from monkeys. (Monkey see, monkey do).

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