On gadflys - of which some of us PAD-CO folks have been accused of being.

Submitted by Anonymous on February 17, 2012 - 9:28am
 
From a friend, responding to me in an email:
 
"Yes, I would say you are a gadfly".

A gadfly is a person who upsets the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or just being an irritant. The term has been used to describe many politicians and social commentators.

The term "gadfly" (Ancient Greek: μύωψ, mýops) was used by Plato in the Apology to describeSocrates' relationship of ncomfortable goad to the Athenian political scene, which he compared to a slow and dimwitted horse.

During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates, according to Plato's writings, pointed out that dissent, like the gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high. "If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me," because his role was that of a gadfly, "to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth." This may have been one of the earliest descriptions of pragmatic ethics.

further, about Socrates:

But perhaps the most historically accurate of Socrates' offenses to the city was his position as a social and moral critic. Rather than upholding a status quo and accepting the development of what he perceived as immorality within his region, Socrates questioned the collective notion of "might makes right" that he felt was common in Greece during this period. Plato refers to Socrates as the "gadfly" of the state (as the gadfly stings the horse into action, so Socrates stung various Athenians), insofar as he irritated some people with considerations of justice and the pursuit of goodness. His attempts to improve the Athenians' sense of justice may have been the source of his execution.

Do all gadflys have to die in the execution of their efforts?

Denver C. Fox, Ed.D.
Moderaotr, PAD-CO (Parents of Adults with disabilities in Colorado) and IssuesPAD-CO

For more information about PAD-CO visit their site at http://www.ourwebs.info/IssuesFromPadco.htm

Denver Fox is a Guest Contributor for CCDC's Blog, Sound Off!

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