Intelligence vs Rationality

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.

Moderators: Blip, The_Metatron

Intelligence vs Rationality

#1  Postby CdeLosada » May 06, 2020 5:12 pm

We all know of people, or know them personally, who are obviously very intelligent (they would ace an IQ test, say) and who nonetheless hold irrational beliefs. I don’t think anyone, however smart, is immune to this, but it’s still puzzling. I list some examples below. I’ve listed them in rough order of plausibility (starting with the least plausible ones), according to how I think members of this forum might rank them. No doubt many of you will think that my inclusion of some items shows my own irrationality.

1. Creationism/invisible man in the sky
2. Reincarnation
3. Life after death/immortal souls
4. Paranormal stuff
5. Everything happens for a reason
6. Absurd conspiracy theories (Jews run the world, 9/11 was an inside job, the moon landing never happened, Bill Gates wants to depopulate the planet, etc.)
7. There are no innate psychological/behavioral sex differences. It’s all a social construct
8. The world has never been in worse shape
9. An emotion of wonder and awe if we touched, say, the piano where Beethoven composed his sonatas, as if somehow we could thereby sense the magical sparkle of Beethoven’s energy (OK, not a belief per se. More like an intuitive emotion, but still, not very rational… At any rate, I wouldn’t be totally immune to this one myself)
10. Free will (I’d personally put this one at the top)
11. “We have the power to defy the selfish genes of our birth and, if necessary, the selfish memes of our indoctrination. . . . We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators.” (Dawkins)
12. The fact that we choose to use birth control shows that we can defy the imperatives of our genes (Dawkins/Pinker)
13. Rejecting free will would make us all apathetic. Our moral/justice system would collapse

What items would you add? Which ones would you remove?

And how would you explain the fact that intelligence, as typically understood, doesn’t necessarily correspond to rationality?
User avatar
CdeLosada
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 56
Male

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Intelligence vs Rationality

#2  Postby Cito di Pense » May 06, 2020 5:36 pm

CdeLosada wrote:
And how would you explain the fact that intelligence, as typically understood, doesn’t necessarily correspond to rationality?


My first response is that rationality is just a set of rules for applying one's intelligence. If we want to make more out of rationality, it's going to depend on what conclusion we seek to obtain. If we are going to have lengthy arguments about what the rules are that we call "rationality", then there ain't no such thing. Your conclusions still depend on your axioms and on not leaving out steps in your argument. What's the objective of asking such a question, besides that it looks a little like socially-conscious philosophy, in other words, simple politicking?

CdeLosada wrote:We all know of people, or know them personally, who are obviously very intelligent (they would ace an IQ test, say) and who nonetheless hold irrational beliefs.


The easy answer is that they want to believe it. Why make it more complicated than it has to be? Blame their upbringing. I don't care. I suspect you're setting us up to reach the conclusion that our rationality is just relative to our objectives, which is why I said there aren't any rules where you may be concerned. I looked at the titles you've posted on your blog, and there's a lot of softness to it, based on the ostensible topics you've chosen, so, um, "socially-conscious" rationality. It's both popular and oddly limited in its power, given its evident popularity.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Fay Smask
Posts: 29233
Age: 23
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Intelligence vs Rationality

#3  Postby CdeLosada » May 06, 2020 9:33 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:What's the objective of asking such a question, besides that it looks a little like socially-conscious philosophy, in other words, simple politicking?

The objective is simply to know what people make of this discrepancy. No ulterior motive of any sort, as you seem to imply. I don’t know what “socially-conscious philosophy” is, and I’m certainly not “politicking”…

The reason I find the discrepancy puzzling and interesting is that rationality is clearly related to our cognitive abilities, it’s not some kind of “emotional intelligence”. So one would expect a higher correlation with intelligence.

Cito di Pense wrote:I looked at the titles you've posted on your blog, and there's a lot of softness to it, based on the ostensible topics you've chosen, so, um, "socially-conscious" rationality.

I find this comment even more puzzling than the limited correlation between intelligence and rationality. Would you care to elaborate?
User avatar
CdeLosada
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 56
Male

Print view this post

Re: Intelligence vs Rationality

#4  Postby Sendraks » May 06, 2020 9:43 pm

CdeLosada wrote:
I find this comment even more puzzling than the limited correlation between intelligence and rationality. Would you care to elaborate?


What's puzzling about people wanting to believe stuff?
"One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion." - Arthur C Clarke

"'Science doesn't know everything' - Well science knows it doesn't know everything, otherwise it'd stop" - Dara O'Brian
User avatar
Sendraks
 
Name: D-Money Jr
Posts: 15231
Age: 103
Male

Country: England
Print view this post


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest