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Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#1  Postby Nicolas » February 23rd, 2017, 6:58 pm

I would like to investigate the relationship between intelligence and morality.

Are intelligent people more prone to act moral?
Are the unintelligent who play by norm, custom and the rules less intelligent or less moral?
Does one has to be educated and well informed to act moral?
Is morality a faculty of the brain, or a faculty of something else?
What is the relationship between morality and decision making?
Or is there no relationship between both terms/concepts at all?

A bulk of blunt and bold questions indeed.

What are your moral or intelligent thoughts about this relationship?
Are moral thoughts different from intelligent thoughts?

-- Updated February 28th, 2017, 8:11 pm to add the following --

Since the viewers of my topic dint respond, I feel philosophically and intellectually obliged to add to my instigated topic; to give - at least and for the moment - temporal answers. Hopefully to trigger a fruitful response.

1. Intelligent people are not prone to act moral; morality is about acts and not about coping with information.
2. Playing by the norm of the group can be very unethical. Some groups can inform you to act immoral and provide you with good intelligence, which is used and acted out in a bad fashion.
3. No, the uneducated and bad informed can act moral. Usually they have the moral high-ground because they act on principle and not on knowledge. (principles are not known but subconsciously-known)
4: Morality is not a faculty of the brain. It is factual but not a faculty of anything outside of itself. Morality is not a material thing: but a lived experience.
5: Every decision is moral in nature. Not deciding is immoral. Negating that decisions do exist is amoral.
6: There is a relation, and it is called ACT.

conclusion: (F)ACT
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#2  Postby Lark_Truth » March 9th, 2017, 11:28 am

I would think that intelligent people do act moral because they know that they are smarter than to get themselves chained down by immorality and see that it is bad. Those who don't look at immorality as something bad or evil is because they have not been taught right from wrong, so they try and figure out what the good life is for themselves and have a really bad life. Virtue is hard, but the intelligent person knows that the hard life is the more worthwhile, not to mention healthier. Immorality is very damaging to the body and mind, and it would take an unintelligent person to not see that immorality is not good for one.
Truth is Power. Reason is Wisdom. Intelligence is Experience. Hope is Bright!
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#3  Postby Fooloso4 » March 9th, 2017, 12:44 pm

Nicolas:

Are intelligent people more prone to act moral?


There are several factors to be considered. 1) Is morality a matter of adherence to social norms or of deliberation to determine what is right? 2) Upbringing and circumstances play an important role. Intelligence can be directed toward various ends. 3) Is intelligence defined as the ability to calculate how best to achieve some end or does it include such things as social and emotional intelligence? 4) We should distinguish between public acts and private workings, that is, between what one appears to be doing and what one is doing behind the scenes. A subversive act can be most effective if it has the appearance of supporting the status quo. Whether a subversive act is moral or immoral depends in large part on where one stands with regard to the morality of the status quo.
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#4  Postby Nick_A » March 9th, 2017, 4:33 pm

Nicolas wrote:I would like to investigate the relationship between intelligence and morality.

Are intelligent people more prone to act moral?
Are the unintelligent who play by norm, custom and the rules less intelligent or less moral?
Does one has to be educated and well informed to act moral?
Is morality a faculty of the brain, or a faculty of something else?
What is the relationship between morality and decision making?
Or is there no relationship between both terms/concepts at all?

A bulk of blunt and bold questions indeed.

What are your moral or intelligent thoughts about this relationship?
Are moral thoughts different from intelligent thoughts?

-- Updated February 28th, 2017, 8:11 pm to add the following --

Since the viewers of my topic dint respond, I feel philosophically and intellectually obliged to add to my instigated topic; to give - at least and for the moment - temporal answers. Hopefully to trigger a fruitful response.

1. Intelligent people are not prone to act moral; morality is about acts and not about coping with information.
2. Playing by the norm of the group can be very unethical. Some groups can inform you to act immoral and provide you with good intelligence, which is used and acted out in a bad fashion.
3. No, the uneducated and bad informed can act moral. Usually they have the moral high-ground because they act on principle and not on knowledge. (principles are not known but subconsciously-known)
4: Morality is not a faculty of the brain. It is factual but not a faculty of anything outside of itself. Morality is not a material thing: but a lived experience.
5: Every decision is moral in nature. Not deciding is immoral. Negating that decisions do exist is amoral.
6: There is a relation, and it is called ACT.

conclusion: (F)ACT


Hi Nicolas. Nice name. :)

To set up as a standard of public morality a notion which can neither be defined nor conceived is to open the door to every kind of tyranny.- Simone Weil

As I understand it morality is the result of the fallen human condition which has atrophied our natural capacity to experience objective conscience. The more this ability atrophied the more it was replaced with man made morality. The fact that it is subjective in nature assures it will have mixed results. I don't see how the loss of our collective ability to experience objective conscience could be considered intelligent.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#5  Postby Nicolas » March 10th, 2017, 10:10 pm

1. Intelligent people are not prone to act moral; morality is about acts and not about coping with information.
( Intelligent people are obliged to cope with information for moral aims.)
2. Playing by the norm of the group can be very unethical. Some groups can inform you to act immoral and provide you with good intelligence, which is used and acted out in a bad fashion.
( the moral aim is to move the group to a fashion beyond itself.)
3. No, the uneducated and bad informed can act moral. Usually they have the moral high-ground because they act on principle and not on knowledge. (principles are not known but subconsciously-known)
( Yes, the uneducated can act moral, even if they don't know they are acting morally. One doesn't have to know anything about one's behavior. Moral behavior comes natural. The naturally moral person doesn't want to be moral high-ground , he just is the moral high ground.
4: Morality is not a faculty of the brain. It is factual but not a faculty of anything outside of itself. Morality is not a material thing: but a lived experience.
Experience has nothing to do with behavior. If one behaves, one has learned to act without the necessity of a new experience.
5: Every decision is moral in nature. Not deciding is immoral. Negating that decisions do exist is amoral.
All decisions are immoral. Do not decide, just be yourself.
6: There is a relation, and it is called ACT. All action is a break from relationships. An honest action nullifies existing relationships. Otherwise it is not a decision at all.
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#6  Postby Wilson » March 11th, 2017, 1:43 am

Morality has nothing to do with intelligence. Plenty of evil stupid people, plenty of evil smart people. There probably is a slight correlation one way or the other but it doesn't really matter. Morality results from a combination of empathy and one's tendency to follow rules (legal, personal, or religious) and neither is a matter of intelligence.
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#7  Postby Lark_Truth » March 11th, 2017, 12:14 pm

When one is playing a game, is it smart to follow the rules? Yes, otherwise you cannot have fun playing the game.
Morality is the same way, it is good to follow and it is a smart idea to be a moral person so that you can have the best life available to you. It may be difficult, but it would be worthwhile.
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#8  Postby Fooloso4 » March 11th, 2017, 12:31 pm

Lark_Truth:

When one is playing a game, is it smart to follow the rules? Yes, otherwise you cannot have fun playing the game.


Some play to win and if they do not win it is no fun. Cheating is an effective way of winning if one is good at it and does not get caught.

Morality is the same way, it is good to follow and it is a smart idea to be a moral person so that you can have the best life available to you. It may be difficult, but it would be worthwhile.


Suppose one has a reputation for being morally unimpeachable, but like the good cheater gets away with doing whatever is to his own advantage. He is thus able to obtain all that he believes is best in life.
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#9  Postby Lark_Truth » March 11th, 2017, 5:52 pm

Yes, but cheating doesn't deliver the same thrill as playing by the rules does. If you know for certain that you're going to win any way the game goes, then it looses meaning. Morally intelligent people play by the rules because the uncertainty of victory is what makes them feel alive. While immoral people act immorally to try and feel the same thrill, immorality basically enslaves a person so that they can't think of choosing anything else, and their ability to chose is weakened considerably. A smart and intelligent person avoids immorality so that they do not become slaves to their own desires and instead have a greater scope of life and happiness.
Immoral people are dragged down into the mud while moral people are able to fly!
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#10  Postby Fooloso4 » March 11th, 2017, 7:54 pm

Lark_Truth:

Yes, but cheating doesn't deliver the same thrill as playing by the rules does.


But the con can be the game and rather than playing by set rules you need to figure them out as things unfold. It can be far less predictable and far more complex and challenging.

Morally intelligent people play by the rules because the uncertainty of victory is what makes them feel alive. While immoral people act immorally to try and feel the same thrill, immorality basically enslaves a person so that they can't think of choosing anything else, and their ability to chose is weakened considerably.


Are you talking about the rules of games or moral rules? If the latter, what is the victory that you are uncertain of that comes from playing by the rules and why does that make you feel alive? What if one thinks a moral rule is wrong? Is one enslaved by following that rule or breaking it?

A smart and intelligent person avoids immorality so that they do not become slaves to their own desires and instead have a greater scope of life and happiness.


There are many who follow the rules and are still slaves to their own desires. It may be that if they ignored those rules they would be happier. Consider, for example, the rule that a priest must take a vow of chastity.
Immoral people are dragged down into the mud while moral people are able to fly!


Are people who follow a moral code they believe is immoral moral or immoral?
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#11  Postby Belindi » March 12th, 2017, 7:38 am

Lark_Truth wrote:

I would think that intelligent people do act moral because they know that they are smarter than to get themselves chained down by immorality and see that it is bad.


(Please see also Lark_Truth #6 for the same spirit of self-seeking).
Besides the ability to calculate, intelligence includes human kindness without which intelligence cannot be totally intelligent.

Ability to calculate + human kindness= intelligence.

There are degrees of intelligence, or as we say, intelligence is a continuum. Intelligence , not excluding human kindness, can also be taught and learned. intelligence is not a calculation about how to benefit one's self but rather is about understanding others. Intelligence is not passively avoiding sins but is actively seeing truth and goodness.

Arrogantly claiming that any one religion or sect owns the whole truth about goodness and truth is unintelligent.
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#12  Postby Nick_A » March 12th, 2017, 3:31 pm

Belindi

There are degrees of intelligence, or as we say, intelligence is a continuum. Intelligence , not excluding human kindness, can also be taught and learned. intelligence is not a calculation about how to benefit one's self but rather is about understanding others. Intelligence is not passively avoiding sins but is actively seeing truth and goodness.

Arrogantly claiming that any one religion or sect owns the whole truth about goodness and truth is unintelligent.

That is why we cannot be considered intelligent and regardless of popular opinion, are not becoming more intelligent. When Nietzsche and Simone agree, I prefer to be open minded rather than argue for the sake of righteous indignation. The advantage of Christianity and the other great teachings initiating with a conscious source is that they admit and begin with the reality of the human condition.

The will to power describes what Nietzsche may have believed to be the main driving force in humans – achievement, ambition, and the striving to reach the highest possible position in life.

Simone Weil wrote: “War is the supreme form of prestige.”


Once we admit that humanity as a whole doesn’t want fairness, truth, or goodness it invites a reasonable foundation for developing “understanding” the human condition and why our main driving force is the will to power and its ultimate expression is war. There is no desire for fairness, truth, or goodness. Humanity is driven by the need for prestige.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#13  Postby Fooloso4 » March 12th, 2017, 5:25 pm

Nick_A:

The will to power describes what Nietzsche may have believed to be the main driving force in humans – achievement, ambition, and the striving to reach the highest possible position in life.


The will to power is the will of all natural things.

And life confided the secret to me: behold, it said, I am that which must always overcome itself.” Thus Spoke Zarathustra


Humanity’s self-overcoming is not simply a war of man against man, it is a war with oneself, a struggle of self-overcoming. We must ask toward what and away from what our will is directed. Prestige is anathema to self-overcoming, it is to find self-satisfaction in the common, the ordinary, the praise and value of the status quo. To ascend to new heights is to leave behind what brings prestige, it invites the scorn of those who wish everyone be ordinary, for everyone to be the same.

What Nietzsche saw as the historical advantage of Christianity has become a disadvantage due to its own success, the success of its overcoming that must now be overcome. It made its weakness its strength and brought humanity to new heights through its will to escape this world by transcendence of it. But now its strength has become its weakness. It is no longer necessary to escape this world or ourselves. Nietzsche’s revaluation of values is a transcendence of, that is to say, beyond good and evil.
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#14  Postby Belindi » March 12th, 2017, 6:37 pm

Fooloso4 quoted Nietzsche:

And life confided the secret to me: behold, it said, I am that which must always overcome itself.” Thus Spoke Zarathustra


Is Nietzsche saying that morality and intelligence, or learning to live life, is interminable process, i.e. not achievable finality?

I wonder if I understand what you, and Nick, are each saying about the will to power.

As I understand, Nick equates the urge to power with the urge to rule others, but you Fooloso4 equate power with the striving of each living thing to stay alive. Please comment.
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Re: Morality and Intelligence

Post Number:#15  Postby Nick_A » March 12th, 2017, 8:28 pm

Perhaps Nietzsche and Simone are both right. The will to power is to become master of oneself in the pure sense. The will to power doesn’t require dominance over others but rather becoming master of oneself. However once a person becomes master of oneself, is that the end of human evolution? I created a thread on this a long time ago.

http://www.onlinephilosophyclub.com/for ... f=4&t=1916

What is the evolutionary potential for an individual? Jesus was capable of the highest form of conscious evolution which was why he could consciously experience the Crucifixion and the purity of his experience could lead to the Resurrection.

However, there was a choice. Is it better to serve in heaven or rule in hell? Naturally for the Atheist or secularist that is earthbound, the priority is the earth. But Jesus was not an Atheist.


Matthew 4:

8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."

10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'[d]"

11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

So Jesus chose to serve the Father rather than be served by Man. Naturally for the Atheist or secularist, this goes over like a lead balloon. Our goal in the world is "prestige" and the ability to exert power for our own benefit. It appears ludicrous that one capable of doing so would intentionally avoid it.


Nietzsche apparently felt that the Overman was king of the world. Such a person is not bothered by fears and inabilities that stifle the normal person. The Overman is the ultimate human machine that can manipulate the world to serve its purposes. But it requires shedding all sorts of illusory fears that enable a person find satisfaction in mediocrity:

http://www.pitt.edu/~wbcurry/nietzsche/nuber.html

Notice that the Overman is "the meaning of the Earth." It is its highest evolution


"What is the greatest experience you can have? It is the hour of the great contempt. The hour when your happiness, too, arouses your disgust, and even your reason and your virtue.

The hour when you say, 'What matters my happiness? It is poverty and filth and wretched contentment. But my happiness ought to justify existence itself."

So mediocre, "wretched contentment" humanity for the Overman is an abomination. The most highly developed ego with the ability to gratify it would be a normal attribute for the Overman. So he creates the new ego.

But say, my brothers, what can the child do that even the lion could not do? Why must the preying lion still become a child? The child is innocence and forgetting, a new beginning, a game, a self-propelled wheel, a first movement, a sacred "Yes." For the game of creation, my brothers, a sacred "Yes" is needed: the spirit now wills his own will, and he who had been lost to the world now conquers the world.


But is the Overman the highest form of Man or just the beginning of a higher possibility that can come through sacrificing itself or what the Devil was willing to provide Jesus? So where Nietzsche seeks to develop the will to power, Christianity seeks the sacrifice of the attachments to earthly power for the sake of the higher good.

Simone Weil had such deep experiential understanding that her writings on such profound subjects would sometimes become high art. The following IMO is such an example. Here she allows us to rise above the domain of the Overman that serves it to experience the mechanics of its existence and its trivial nature as compared to human potential:


“The sea is not less beautiful to our eye because we know that sometimes ships sink in it. On the contrary, it is more beautiful still. If the sea modified the movement of its waves to spare a boat, it would be a being possessing discernment and choice, and not this fluid that is perfectly obedient to all external pressures. It is this perfect obedience that is its beauty.”

“All the horrors that are produced in this world are like the folds imprinted on the waves by gravity. This is why they contain beauty. Sometimes a poem, like the Iliad, renders this beauty.”

“Man can never escape obedience to God. A creature cannot not obey. The only choice offered to man as an intelligent and free creature, is to desire obedience or not to desire it. If he does not desire it, he perpetually obeys nevertheless, as a thing subject to mechanical necessity. If he does desire obedience, he remains subject to mechanical necessity, but a new necessity is added on, a necessity constituted by the laws that are proper to supernatural things. Certain actions become impossible for him, while others happen through him, sometimes despite him.”

Excerpt from: Thoughts without order concerning the love of God, in an essay entitled L'amour de Dieu et le malheur (The Love of God and affliction). Simone Weil


Startling! From this perspective the Overman is nothing but the best working machine in blind reaction to the results of the interactions of God's laws. Simone touches on consciousness or this latent possibility we have that allows us to serve a higher more conscious purpose rather than that of the usual collective man that functions on the level Plato described as the "Great Beast." Functioning at the level of the Great Beast we become caught up in and defend all sorts of perceived "right and wrong" which from the higher perspective is neither one but simply what happens. Christianity through the Holy Spirit can experientially reveal this higher perspective psychologically and allow man to become in touch with the level of being where man can achieve what he was created for.

It was the intent of the Christ to go through this process of change, the Resurrection, to create the path that leads to the Way. The opening of the path invites the help of the Holy Spirit for direction.

Man can then serve mechanically and unconsciously the necessity that all organic life serves but has the possibility through re-birth to serve a different quality of necessity the Overman described by Nietzsche is oblivious of and unconcerned with from its limited mechanical earthbound perspective.

Do I want to serve in heaven or be content to strive to rule in my portion of hell? Can I sacrifice it? Could the rich man sacrifice his wealth to follow Jesus? I guess it's what separates the men from the boys.

So Belinedi The need to become oneself F4 refers to and survival of the collective fittest are related. The trouble is that Man gradually loses the purpose of consciousness and degrades the concept of will to power into taking advantage. It is alien to the secular progressive world which proclaims that the ends justify the means. I agree with process theology which holds that the truth is revealed in the process as opposed to the ends.

The will to power gradually degenerates into prestige (imagined self importance) with the help of pride and vanity which with the help of imagination, support ignorance and image
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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