Intelligence vs. Simple Mindedness?

3 years ago

Just an idea I’ve been pondering lately:
Is being intelligent /better/ than being unintelligent?
Being able to refine your thoughts and seeing bits of knowledge and ideas from different angles, I think intelligence helps this, but is being "dumb", (for lack of a better word), much less of a complicated existence? I know everyone here can be considered intelligent, and being intelligent helps you figure out the ultimate truths in this world, but can you still know the difference between right and wrong if you’re not smart? The two quotes I like to compare are "ignorance is bliss" and "knowledge is power"…
I used to look around at people who I can just tell aren’t very smart and think "god, wonder what runs through their mind?" but can the fact that they don’t have many backed-up thoughts mean it’s easier for them to find happiness or peace of mind? Is each group capable of this? In that case, does it matter if you’re smart or not? Both types of people are useful in different areas, i.e an intelligent person can do say, mathematics, (if they happen to be good at math) where as a stupid person could do something more physical (if they have the physique). So, why is one better than the other?
Hope I’m making sense. What do you think, friends?

February 2, 2012 at 12:36 am

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Profile photo of andresni andresni (@andresni) 3 years ago ago

or they just find simpler things to worry about. You have to go down to such a level where worry and future and ownership and such concepts disappear. Where that level is I dont know, but a dog seems happy to me.

But then again, maybe higher level equals higher potential for happines (enlightnment and such).

Better Socrates dissatisfied, than a pig satisfied..

Profile photo of ELI var namnet ELI var namnet (@manimal) 3 years ago ago

You don’t have to be dumb to be simple minded, you can be very intelligent and very simple minded.

Ignorance isn’t bliss, only a false bliss that is nothing like the real thing and always has lots of negative consequences.

Think of it like this: Would you rather know nothing or know everything?

Profile photo of Sasho Stoyanov Anonymous (@) 3 years ago ago

I’d have to agree with Manimal here. But there’s no better and worse. Everyone has different qualities. I suck at math for example, but I kick ass at improvising.
Labels suck
“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
and maybe the most quoted by the same dude

Profile photo of John OMallen John OMallen (@omallen) 3 years ago ago

Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English philosopher, mathematician and writer.

Profile photo of Casey Wagner Casey Wagner (@swags82) 3 years ago ago

@Danny That might be my new favorite quote.

@Mike I just read Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. I highly recomend it. Here’s a link:

You can either be trapped in the cave ignorant and perhaps happy, or you can gain true knowlege while having to “take their turn at the toils of State, when they are allowed to spend the greater part of their time with one another in the heavenly light”.

I think I just made an analogy out of an analogy.

Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years ago ago

Oooooh Danny, that’s awesome… And Casey, brilliant read heh, thank you

Profile photo of Ty Ty (@tymr) 3 years ago ago

A very interesting question, which I have thought about many times.

Another perspective on it, if you were able to use your intelligence to decipher the truer meaning of life, or the “ultimate truth”, or whatever you want to call it; and then had the opportunity to deliver this pure truth to people, to teach them as children, would it make a difference if a person was more or less intelligent? If the person is being exposed only to pure truth, is there any benefit to greater intelligence? Perhaps not.

I think, in the end, the question becomes too hypothetical. We don’t live in a world like that, we live in a world in which you must overcome your circumstance in order to leave an impact on people’s lives, and intelligence is a crucial tool in doing so. In a perfect world, helping others wouldn’t be so necessary or difficult, but in this world, intelligence is useful as a tool to create positive change in the world.

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