Socrates - “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser."


Active Member
The quote in the title is attributed to Socrates and it used by Anti-vaxers and other peddlers of disinformation. looked into the origin of the quote and was only able to trace it online to a post on the website from 2008. I went to that page and there is no information provided on where the poster (Or even who the poster was.) got it from (They could equally have made it up from the whole cloth.), the goodreads page has no means of commenting on the quote other than to 'like it'.

Here is the link to the page, which just contains the quote itself.

Here is the link to the article.

I'm wondering if this is a case like the Einstein quote ("It’s become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity.") that originated in the 1995 film Powder, something that was created for a film or other pop culture item. Searching this one online is tricky, but I'd love to find a pre-2008 source if one exists.


Senior Member.
but I'd love to find a pre-2008 source if one exists.
might have to try different variations. i'm seeing "when the debate is over, slander becomes the tool of the loser"

although im seeing nothing for that either prior 2008.

can socrates even really have quotes? Everything he allegedly said is sort of hearsay. (like Jesus i guess)

And if we're going by Plato... i'd be shocked if he could say anything so succinctly. :) i'm not seeing the word "debate" at all, in his Apology of Socrates


Senior Member.
here are some similar paraphrasing of Socrates trial (as told in Plato's 'Apology of Socrates)


Senior Member.
Some Professors weighing in on the quote


Senior Member.
The quote does not describe reality anyway.

Counterexamples from the 2016 US election would be pizzagate and "crooked Hillary": slander used while the debate was ongoing, by the winning side.
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