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Intelligence as a Moral Value

Started by liveyoungdiefast, March 26, 2009, 12:52:13 AM

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liveyoungdiefast

I think one of the main problems with society is that blatant stupidity is a best treated like no big deal, or at worst treated like something to aspire to, people who insist life is more simple and enjoyable when you are completely ignorant of any complex thought, social issues, etc., when no one wants to read a book anymore.

 Now first of all I have no issues with the mentally handicapped. Everyone has a right to experience life, even if their biology limits what they can experience. I am talking about perfectly capable people who want to treat ignorance like a virtue. (I have an example which I will get to below). I think people generally are inclined to maintain a balance between all experiences of life - I read, I write, but I also skate and swim and I am interested in computers and programs, that's me for a brief example; some people though are more drawn directly to one field, a few intellectuals who barely walk out the front door and a lot more people with a diverse background in socialization and vocational specialties who don't care or don't know who is running for office or have never studied philosophy beyond knowing the word itself. People do their own thing, experience conscious existence in their own way.

 What is really wrong though is when these worlds collide, when people who have never cared to inform themselves want a voice on the stage of leadership. Society is complex and the institutions that arose at the dawn of civilization truly have gone out of our control. We need only the absolutely most competent people managing it. So it really disturbs me to see someone like Joe the Plumber as he is now known, go up there and be given a microphone to the nation by our media, when he clearly knows less about politics than I did in 8th grade. It bothered me to see McCain and Obama both debating who better represents Joe the Plumber. Why should he be the symbol of politically involved America? He is the symbol of politically asleep America. This is my point, that the conservative media treated him like a hero, even a lot of liberals thought he was good entertainment - he should have been told to step away from his soap box, he never cared to educate himself so he doesn't get a soap box. Worse probably is Sarah Palin who really scared me throughout election season. And people saying "She's one of the folks", or "Don't you want someone who is just like the average American?". Fuck no! The people in power have a massive military, they have a cornerstone of the world economy, they have a lot of our constitution, the top few have nuclear codes. Why, why would I want an average person anywhere near that?

 I'm not some rich IVY league 'elitist'. I'm a middle class young community college student who has experienced being dirt poor and puts an extremely high moral value and being informed enough to make positive contributions. I'm sick of hearing 'elitism' from all the people who hold those who want to speak with proper English with complete contempt. The contempt should belong to idiots who thought they had the right to raise their voice before even understanding what they wanted to say. And intelligence should be a part of morality and ethics.

curiosityandthecat

Interesting you should mention this. During the election (I think I posted a reference to this here somewhere, too) there was a study done about Republicans and Democrats. I needn't elaborate on the religious tendencies of those groups, I'm sure. Turned out that Republicans want to elect someone they feel on par with, mentally. They feel intimidated by people in power that are obviously more educated and intelligent than them. Likewise, Democrats tended to want to elect someone that was demonstrably more educated and intelligent than them, as they understand that it takes a special person to be that sort of leader. Ironically, it's the religious folk that try to monopolize morality, while the more secular, liberal folk take a more live-and-let-live approach. The point here being that importance is placed on intelligence moreso by people with secular, liberal tendencies rather than the opposite.

It's all about "us and them."
-Curio

Sophus

Good post. I agree. If people really want to do the world a favor they should just stop and think.
‎"Christian doesn't necessarily just mean good. It just means better." - John Oliver

Lilbeth

Joe the Plumber and Palin scared me, too......I am so glad Obama got the win......I just hope Palin does not resurface later......I cannot stand her.....
Joe the Plumber was a jerk....wasn't even a good example of what he was supposed to be an example of......Curio is right, and I agree with what he said here.

Hitsumei

I have a friend who lives in Florida who told me that she voted for Palin for less than intellectual reasons. It blew my mind. Made me think that I should have been maybe discussing more than literature with her, but only for awhile, and then I decided that maybe it would be best if I never mentioned anything other literature to her again.
"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition." ~Timothy Leary
"Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution." ~Bertrand Russell
"[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their

Will

It's usually enough to simply pity ignorance, but you're right that willful ignorance is something that may need to be dealt with in certain circumstances.

Bush needed dealing with and we (here in the US) were found lacking in either the will or ability to do so. I blame myself for not doing enough and I won't make that mistake again. When we get another Bush, I will ensure that he or she is impeached and brought to justice in a legal court as a sign that we, the collective people, will not idly suffer leadership of such poor quality.
I want bad people to look forward to and celebrate the day I die, because if they don't, I'm not living up to my potential.

Tom62

Good post. I often wonder why people don't use their brains. Wasn't it H.l. Mencken who said "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good."?
The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

karadan

Very good post. I agree with all your points Liveyoungdiefast.

I sometimes feel it is a shame that willfully stupid people have as much of a vote as someone who went to university and actively learnt about their surroundings before jumping to a conclusion. It certainly is very important to sample as much of what life has to offer as possible. I personally find pessimistic people rather repugnant. People who say no before they have even tried something simply piss me off. I just don't get why some people do all they can to say no or to get out of something even before they have tried it. For instance, i told a work colleague Battlestar Galactica was amazing and i recommended she see it. I even offered to lend her the pilot dvd. The conversation went a bit like this:

"BSG is absolutely amazing!"
"I don't want to see it. I have no interest in space ships.."
"Don't judge a book by its cover - it isn't really about space ships. It covers a huge spectrum of issues and current affairs. It just happens to be set in space."
"Naa. I remember the 80's version. It was really cheesy. I don't want to see it."
"it is nothing like the 80's version but whatever. It is your loss.."

About 8 months later i overheard my colleague say she saw a really cool programme last night with crazy shiny robots with really deep characters... I simply facepalmed and moved on.

I guess people who cannot be bothered to broaden their horizons by learning about as much around them as possible will eventually pass on their ignorance to their offspring as they become evermore entrenched in their own little worlds. Unfortunately this seems to happen in most countries. Eventually, entire communities of people share a common ignorance. It would take a great deal of effort for anyone to escape this. As Curio said in another post, it is about proximity.
A lot of the staunch Palin supporters seemed to be this type of idiot.
QuoteI find it mistifying that in this age of information, some people still deny the scientific history of our existence.

AceWilliams

I signed up to this forum just to answer this post as this has been a central theme within my circle of friends for several weeks now. My position is that people have several reasons for not using their "intelligence" (which is a subjective topic to begin with) such as: fear, thinking that they are already intelligent, and life circumstances that might not call for intelligence to be overvalued (not saying that raising children requires no brain power), and of course the religious. I have come into contact with several christians who believe that their faith in god is in intelligent. I'm not an advocate for stupidity but if you sit back and really analyze one of these individuals you will find that they're human just like you and I. Wow, feels good to get that off my chest, I guess now I will contribute to this site instead of sitting on the sidelines  :pop:

Lilbeth

Quote from: "AceWilliams"I signed up to this forum just to answer this post as this has been a central theme within my circle of friends for several weeks now. My position is that people have several reasons for not using their "intelligence" (which is a subjective topic to begin with) such as: fear, thinking that they are already intelligent, and life circumstances that might not call for intelligence to be overvalued (not saying that raising children requires no brain power), and of course the religious. I have come into contact with several christians who believe that their faith in god is in intelligent. I'm not an advocate for stupidity but if you sit back and really analyze one of these individuals you will find that they're human just like you and I. Wow, feels good to get that off my chest, I guess now I will contribute to this site instead of sitting on the sidelines  :pop:
Ummm....just curious....exactly what are you getting off of your chest? I don't make judegment calls on intelligence and stupidity....I don't really care if someone is intelligent, dumb, informed or not....I DO care when they elect stupid and jerk to run my country, though...I think that is the feeling that most posted here......I do have compassion for everyone's feelings, though....and I am sure most of us do here.....

AceWilliams

Then maybe I miss-spoke. But even you comment about elected officals rubs me furry. When the founding fathers set up our system did they say anything about WHO could vote? Or is it an issue of alot more people are voting now then back then? But that's getting off track, what I was getting off my chest is that it seemed like "ignorant people" are getting a bad rap. I'm from a mind frame of live and let live in a very extreme fashion. Do stupid people who vote for elected offcials really effect you and how. But I see your point about compassion for your fellow man.

Hitsumei

Quote from: "AceWilliams"I signed up to this forum just to answer this post as this has been a central theme within my circle of friends for several weeks now. My position is that people have several reasons for not using their "intelligence" (which is a subjective topic to begin with) such as: fear, thinking that they are already intelligent, and life circumstances that might not call for intelligence to be overvalued (not saying that raising children requires no brain power), and of course the religious. I have come into contact with several christians who believe that their faith in god is in intelligent. I'm not an advocate for stupidity but if you sit back and really analyze one of these individuals you will find that they're human just like you and I. Wow, feels good to get that off my chest, I guess now I will contribute to this site instead of sitting on the sidelines  :pop:


I agree with you, someone isn't unintelligent because they don't make very smart political decisions...or even vote for Palin (and by this I of course mean vote conservative because of Palin) because they find her attractive -- despite her church's "pray the gay away" campaign... I think it simply shows a complete lack of interest in politics, or whatever other subjects they know nothing about. My friend in Florida may have shocked the hell out of me with that, but I still think that she is very smart, and very informed when it comes to English literature.
"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition." ~Timothy Leary
"Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution." ~Bertrand Russell
"[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their

AceWilliams

^^^ Exactly my point with the religious lot... Bottom line: Intelligence is more of a want than a obligated privilage

Lilbeth

8 years of Bush was more than I could handle very well...i never voted for him. I have a right to be angry here.....8 years of Palin almost at the helm did scare me.....If you like Bush and Palin, then of course this conversation is mute......but  I had had enough.....

AceWilliams

Quote from: "Lilbeth"8 years of Bush was more than I could handle very well...i never voted for him. I have a right to be angry here.....8 years of Palin almost at the helm did scare me.....If you like Bush and Palin, then of course this conversation is mute......but  I had had enough.....


This might show my inexperience but this past year was my first time voting and I easily voted for Obama. And while I never liked Bush, he never really did anything that trickled down my way in terms of affect (although Mccain/Palin would have rubbed me furry). I go back to when Bush got RE-elected. That was more of a sign of utter stupidity than someone voting for Mccain (the election was to desisive to get upset over a few chuckleheads.