Sunday, January 31, 2016

In Favor of Protagoras...

Protagoras once said “there are two sides to every question,” it is only by examining both sides of the coin that we discover the truth. Doxa is the driving force behind everything we do to gain a complete understanding of the world around us. In light of this, the truth as well as reality are dependent on those contributing and surrounding it. According to Protagoras it only takes one person to give voice to an argument but understanding comes from the collective opinions of those around us. Without the contributions of others opinions our perception of the world would be skewed and incomplete.
This happens in the world around us on a daily bases. For instance take an American who has never left the country, let alone their home state. Now factor in the American presence in the Middle East and that our media’s coverage of the events taking place overseas is the only opinion they know. Since they have only heard and seen the American version of the actions taking place their perception is skewed towards the American view of events. With this view they are not exposed to the voice of the civilians affected by this conflict or the impact on their society and culture. If one has not heard both sides to the story, then the reality of the situation has not been fully communicated or understood. This is the basis of Protagoras’ argument, without the use of rhetoric these opinions can not be communicated or the true reality of the world understood. The same is true for the argument that was presented in class of the three men born and raised in a cave. If one were to leave and explore the outside world and bring back their new perception of world it would be that man’s job to share the experience so that they would all have a complete understanding of the world. There can be no truth if only one side has been examined, it is for this reason that all opinions matter in the perception of mans’ reality. As Protagoras said “man is the measure of all things.”
Truth is relative to the world around us. It is for this reason in the case of Plato vs. Protagoras, I rule in favor of Protagoras as the only way to fully understand the world around us is to examine and question the opinions and views of those around us. Through this use of rhetoric our sense reality will be complete in every way man can measure it.

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