Following the Experts

On Tuesday, during our class’ discussion of Plato’s Crito, ideas came up concerning how to know when something is just or not and why or why not Socrates should go with Crito and leave. Socrates reponds to Crito’s plan by saying that one should not care about the opinions of the masses. The two then get on a discussion of when you seek advice generally the best person to consult on a matter would be an expert rather than the ideas of the masses. Our class brought up a point regarding whether or not the world actually has experts on anything. I would like to argue that in many cases it is true that we do not have experts. A good example is sports talk shows. The public is led to believe that these men know exactly what is right about their particular sport. The issue here is that many of these panels have an array of men who have been either players, coaches, or, occasionally neither. A good example is James Brown from NFL on CBS. The fact that this man is a broadcaster with no actual football experience and that he is trying to argue with the others from actual footballs “fields” is ridiculous. Yet for some reason people believe he is a football expert from doing exactly what they do: watching football.  Just one example from sports although the same goes for other sports especially sports such as fishing, bowling, and poker. It’s hard to believe that there can be experts about activities that most of the average population enjoys.  Another way to dispel this idea of the experts is the ever-changing opinions on censorship. It is amazing to see that back in the 1950’s and 1960’s the supposed experts on censorship claimed that when Elvis Presley gyrated his hips or when The Doors sang inappropriate lyrics on the Ed Sullivan Show. In this modern era these seem like child’s play to today’s supposed experts.  These experts now believe some of the explicit lyrics and music videos made by hip hop artists are inappropriate and even these ideas will probably change as T.V. gets racier and racier. This debate about the existence of experts would be an interesting topic to discuss with Socrates and see if he would see eye to eye.

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