To Tell or to Lie, a look at ancient philosophy

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeA-, November 1996

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For modern students, a training in rhetoric such as that offered by Gorgias is more preferable, rather than learning how to distinguish truth from falsehood. It is the art of forceful language, emphasizing figures of speech and focusing on devices for swaying and persuading an audience, that would be most beneficial for students lives today. Despite the fact that it is simply ornamented language to make a good facade, the rhetoric by Gorgias is necessary for the success of students, especially those who would like to 'sell' their ideas, products or beliefs to the people (the larger population).

In the world we live in, there are many ways of getting the things that we want. The way most people would like to believe that their accomplishments were achieved is through hard work and sweat. However, that is not how it works, because most people around the world lie to get things to go their way.

A perfect example of a group of people that use the rhetoric are politicians. Politicians will say and do anything to convince the citizens that they are right, and that they will do all they promise to do, if you vote for him or her. They try to convince us all the time, and often succeed, that they will make changes. Just think about the many times we've heard, 'If you vote for me, I will lower the taxes.'

Gorgias makes a very clear point regarding the power of the rhetoric. The following quote from Gorgias expresses the impact that rhetoric can have on those listening.

I mean the ability to convince by means of speech

a jury in a court of justice, members of the Council

in their Chamber, voters at a meeting of the Assembly,

and any other gathering of...