Sunday, 4 February 2018

Intelligence, Knowledge, Wisdom

It is such a common thing to hear, that education makes you smarter, I've probably said it myself. But what it does is to confuse three entirely separate things. They are:


The truth is that you will never be smarter than you are now, not if your an adult. If you are a child or a teenager then you might become smarter. Because intelligence is the mental power that your brain produces. To put it another way, you can never be more intelligent than your brain allows. Your intelligence is primarily biological with some environmental factors. If your parents were intelligent then you probably will also be intelligent. Whenever environmental factors are brought into a discussion on intelligence, it is to show how your brain can be made better. But most of those things are only temporary. Environmental factors that can be permanent are things such as neglect or malnutrition, things that destroy your brains ability to achieve it's potential. But if intelligence cannot be taught why should we go to school at all?

Because what we learn in school is knowledge and the more intelligent a person is the better they are at learning. When I say knowledge I also include skills, because skills are learnt, they are a form of knowledge. Knowledge lets us know about the world beyond ourselves and of course knowledge can be learnt outside of school as well as inside school. Without knowledge in all of it's forms we cannot operate in the world. But knowledge is not intelligence, knowing things does not make you intelligent but it does demonstrate that you have intelligence.

The third area is wisdom, wisdom is about knowing when and why to do things, another way to put it is good judgement. In many ways you could argue that wisdom is about understanding consequences. What will happen if this or that option is carried out, or not carried out. In other words what are the consequences? 

When schools and governments tell us that education can make us more intelligent, it shows that they lack wisdom.

When Liberals say that something that they support will not have consequences, it shows that they lack wisdom.

When Liberals understand that there will be consequences and they lie about it, it also shows that they lack wisdom.

Intelligence and knowledge are good things to possesses, but not enough. Without wisdom, the understanding that nothing is free, that all things have consequences, then it is all headed for disaster. Liberals of all persuasions believe that any method is acceptable in pursuit of their aims. To lie, cheat, misrepresent, to no platform, but how can it all work when they deny that any of this has consequences?

Because everything has consequences.

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