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Old 05-18-2013, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,851,203 times
Reputation: 978

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paparappa View Post
Again, I never said that a religious person cannot possess skills.
However, a truly intelligent individual is someone who consistently relies on logic and rationality. Huge gaps in these, like religion, cannot be ignored.
There's a gaping logical flaw in that statement.

Were intelligence and theism directly connected, intelligence could only be an extremely recent development in humans, as our modern concept of atheism didn't really coalesce until the late Renaissance. Even then, outright atheism was a relatively rare phenomenon. The first writings that truly align with modern atheism are from 1674 (Mattias Knutzen).

The only conclusion that can be reached then is that, assuming your assertion is true, there were virtually no intelligent people in western civilization prior to 1674.

Essentially, you've managed conclude that many of the greatest thinkers in western history were unintelligent, including those who laid the foundation for modern scientific thought.

If you're going to champion reason and logic, and least put together a half assed logical argument.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:01 AM
 
292 posts, read 451,530 times
Reputation: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
There's a gaping logical flaw in that statement.

Were intelligence and theism directly connected, intelligence could only be an extremely recent development in humans, as our modern concept of atheism didn't really coalesce until the late Renaissance. Even then, outright atheism was a relatively rare phenomenon. The first writings that truly align with modern atheism are from 1674 (Mattias Knutzen).

The only conclusion that can be reached then is that, assuming your assertion is true, there were virtually no intelligent people in western civilization prior to 1674.

Essentially, you've managed conclude that many of the greatest thinkers in western history were unintelligent, including those who laid the foundation for modern scientific thought.

If you're going to champion reason and logic, and least put together a half assed logical argument.
First of all, we don't really know what people really believed back then.
Second, the people who lived back then did not have the scientific knowledge and information we have today.
Someone who doesn't know what cancer is today is can be considered significantly more ignorant than someone who didn't in 1421.
Third, for long periods of time, writing "blasphemous" things could get you killed.

Lastly, you are being overly lenient with the word intelligence. People like to throw that word around a lot, but for someone to be truly intelligent they have to be consistent in their using logic and reason under every single aspect of life. A gap in consistency means that something is up. Very very few people are truly intelligent.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Toronto
2,811 posts, read 3,614,660 times
Reputation: 3151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paparappa View Post
First of all, we don't really know what people really believed back then.
Second, the people who lived back then did not have the scientific knowledge and information we have today.
Someone who doesn't know what cancer is today is can be considered significantly more ignorant than someone who didn't in 1421.
Third, for long periods of time, writing "blasphemous" things could get you killed.

Lastly, you are being overly lenient with the word intelligence. People like to throw that word around a lot, but for someone to be truly intelligent they have to be consistent in their using logic and reason under every single aspect of life. A gap in consistency means that something is up. Very very few people are truly intelligent.
Who are you to judge any person's intelligence or to make any of these statements about the nature of "intelligence"? There is another important trait called wisdom, which is at least as important as intelligence, and I think most people would agree that a wise person does not pretend to know who and what is "intelligent". Like for example, a person equating logic and intelligence, thereby inferring that whoever is the most logical is also the most intelligent. People who tend to make such assured statements about something as complex and subjective as "intelligence" typically overestimate their own and underestimate everyone else's.

While the Oxford English Dictionary may have a nice simple definition for English speakers to refer to, the reality is that people have debated words like knowledge and intelligence for centuries. There is an entire branch of philosophy - epistemology - dedicated to it. But I'm sure you know that already.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,851,203 times
Reputation: 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paparappa View Post
First of all, we don't really know what people really believed back then.
Second, the people who lived back then did not have the scientific knowledge and information we have today.
Someone who doesn't know what cancer is today is can be considered significantly more ignorant than someone who didn't in 1421.
Third, for long periods of time, writing "blasphemous" things could get you killed.
Honestly, write a consistent, logical argument - please.

If we didn't know what people believed, how could we possibly know who was being killed for believing the wrong thing?

You can't claim that "we don't know what people believed" and "blasphemous things could get you killed". Either we do know what people believed and we do know that deviations were punishable by death or we do not know what people believed and therefore do not know what beliefs were punishable by death. Only point 1 or point 3 can be true, not both.

I would agree with the latter (and with your third point). Since we have copies of philosophical tracts, notes from ecumenical councils, inquisition records, literature and letters, and surviving songs, art and artifacts it should be clear we do know a great deal about what people thought.

Therefore, it's worth looking further into who was being persecuted for their beliefs. There is a fairly substantial record from the inquisition era as well as records of various crusades and ecumenical councils by which we can establish the sort of people who were teaching doctrines not approved of by religious and political leaders and how influential those people were. It's notable that are virtually no record of complete non-believers, during the several hundred years leading up to the 1674 atheist treatise. It's fair to say that despite vast evidence of heretical and blasphemous beliefs, there is essentially nothing suggesting atheism.

Even if we take that highly unlikely scenario to be true, it doesn't negate the main point that you've categorized some of the greatest minds to ever live as unintelligent.

Which brings us to your point number 2. The assertion that a highly intelligent person should not overlook evidence is, I think, a reasonable one. It would be reasonable then, to expect modern people to grasp modern scientific concepts, at least on a basic level.

What your point fails to do, in the context of defending your categorization of people, is to take into account the lack of evidence previously in existence. Was Newton unintelligent because he was a theist? What evidence, at the time, was available to sway his opinion?

Quote:
Lastly, you are being overly lenient with the word intelligence. People like to throw that word around a lot, but for someone to be truly intelligent they have to be consistent in their using logic and reason under every single aspect of life. A gap in consistency means that something is up. Very very few people are truly intelligent.
I'm using a definition of intelligence roughly equivalent to both the American Psychological Association's and the Journal of Intelligence's. More or less a general capacity to engage in reasoning, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, and to learn from experience.

Using that definition, someone defined as highly intelligent would show those traits significantly beyond the average person. However, you've seen fit to reclassify people ordinarily thought of as incredibly intelligent (by way of astounding problem solving and abstract thought capability) as unintelligent.

Also, your definition of intelligent fails to include yourself as you've been unable to consistently argue your point logically and reasonably. The simple logical failure between your first and third point is something that would be covered in a 100 level logic course. Since intelligent people must, apparently, remain logical in every aspect of their lives and you've committed logical fallacies in two subsequent posts, we can conclude (logically!) that by your definition, you're unintelligent.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
17,527 posts, read 13,271,193 times
Reputation: 10960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
Honestly, write a consistent, logical argument - please.

If we didn't know what people believed, how could we possibly know who was being killed for believing the wrong thing?

You can't claim that "we don't know what people believed" and "blasphemous things could get you killed". Either we do know what people believed and we do know that deviations were punishable by death or we do not know what people believed and therefore do not know what beliefs were punishable by death. Only point 1 or point 3 can be true, not both.

I would agree with the latter (and with your third point). Since we have copies of philosophical tracts, notes from ecumenical councils, inquisition records, literature and letters, and surviving songs, art and artifacts it should be clear we do know a great deal about what people thought.

Therefore, it's worth looking further into who was being persecuted for their beliefs. There is a fairly substantial record from the inquisition era as well as records of various crusades and ecumenical councils by which we can establish the sort of people who were teaching doctrines not approved of by religious and political leaders and how influential those people were. It's notable that are virtually no record of complete non-believers, during the several hundred years leading up to the 1674 atheist treatise. It's fair to say that despite vast evidence of heretical and blasphemous beliefs, there is essentially nothing suggesting atheism.

Even if we take that highly unlikely scenario to be true, it doesn't negate the main point that you've categorized some of the greatest minds to ever live as unintelligent.

Which brings us to your point number 2. The assertion that a highly intelligent person should not overlook evidence is, I think, a reasonable one. It would be reasonable then, to expect modern people to grasp modern scientific concepts, at least on a basic level.

What your point fails to do, in the context of defending your categorization of people, is to take into account the lack of evidence previously in existence. Was Newton unintelligent because he was a theist? What evidence, at the time, was available to sway his opinion?



I'm using a definition of intelligence roughly equivalent to both the American Psychological Association's and the Journal of Intelligence's. More or less a general capacity to engage in reasoning, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, and to learn from experience.

Using that definition, someone defined as highly intelligent would show those traits significantly beyond the average person. However, you've seen fit to reclassify people ordinarily thought of as incredibly intelligent (by way of astounding problem solving and abstract thought capability) as unintelligent.

Also, your definition of intelligent fails to include yourself as you've been unable to consistently argue your point logically and reasonably. The simple logical failure between your first and third point is something that would be covered in a 100 level logic course. Since intelligent people must, apparently, remain logical in every aspect of their lives and you've committed logical fallacies in two subsequent posts, we can conclude (logically!) that by your definition, you're unintelligent.
My favourite post so far
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Canada
6,758 posts, read 8,274,697 times
Reputation: 9428
^^mine too.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:49 PM
 
292 posts, read 451,530 times
Reputation: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
Honestly, write a consistent, logical argument - please.
Do stop mistaking your lack of understanding and poor reading skills for my not being logical.
Quote:
If we didn't know what people believed, how could we possibly know who was being killed for believing the wrong thing?

You can't claim that "we don't know what people believed" and "blasphemous things could get you killed". Either we do know what people believed and we do know that deviations were punishable by death or we do not know what people believed and therefore do not know what beliefs were punishable by death. Only point 1 or point 3 can be true, not both.
Actually, if you put your glasses on, you'll see I wrote we don't know what people REALLY believed. Maybe I should've bolded the word "really," as I expected such a reaction.
We know that the vast majority of the population was religious, but how do we know how many people were actually non religious, given the consequences that such a position would bring? Not everyone is willing to risk their life to express their opinion.
Quote:
I would agree with the latter (and with your third point). Since we have copies of philosophical tracts, notes from ecumenical councils, inquisition records, literature and letters, and surviving songs, art and artifacts it should be clear we do know a great deal about what people thought.
What most people thought, sure.
Quote:
Therefore, it's worth looking further into who was being persecuted for their beliefs. There is a fairly substantial record from the inquisition era as well as records of various crusades and ecumenical councils by which we can establish the sort of people who were teaching doctrines not approved of by religious and political leaders and how influential those people were. It's notable that are virtually no record of complete non-believers, during the several hundred years leading up to the 1674 atheist treatise. It's fair to say that despite vast evidence of heretical and blasphemous beliefs, there is essentially nothing suggesting atheism.
Just because there was nothing in writing that suggested explicit atheism does not mean there were no atheists, or people who at least had doubts in their faith.
In fact, non-religious views can be traced back to ancient Greek philosophers.
Quote:
What your point fails to do, in the context of defending your categorization of people, is to take into account the lack of evidence previously in existence. Was Newton unintelligent because he was a theist? What evidence, at the time, was available to sway his opinion?
One could certainly make the case that there the knowledge was not sufficient at the time.
On top of which, you have to consider that there was no internet or TV, hence the availability of information was certainly not as good as it is today.
So no, I would not say Newton was unintelligent, given the context in which he lived. Context is everything.

But for someone today, with the internet available, who knows what rain is, what thunders are, what gravity is, who understands the main idea behind the scientific method - that is, that explanations must rely on proof - to believe in God, is genuinely moronic.

Quote:
I'm using a definition of intelligence roughly equivalent to both the American Psychological Association's and the Journal of Intelligence's. More or less a general capacity to engage in reasoning, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, and to learn from experience.

Using that definition, someone defined as highly intelligent would show those traits significantly beyond the average person. However, you've seen fit to reclassify people ordinarily thought of as incredibly intelligent (by way of astounding problem solving and abstract thought capability) as unintelligent.
The APA's definition is fine. What you fail to understand is that someone who has a general capacity to engage in reasoning etc. is someone whose capacity is consistent and applies to all aspects of life. Someone who only applies intelligence to certain aspects of life but not others cannot be considered intelligent, because it indicates a problem in how that person thinks.
Someone who can drive will be able to drive regardless of the name of the highway he's driving on.

That is why great mathematicians, physicists, scientists etc. are usually intelligent. It's because when your job involves not accepting something as true unless you have evidence, you are likely to act this way towards all other aspects life as well.

But of course, there are always exceptions. For e.g., there might be scientists/chemists/physicists who come back from work, turn on the TV, watch a political program, and form opinions on various topics without actually doing any unbiased research on them. Or don't believe in evolution. Or believe in God.

Quote:
Also, your definition of intelligent fails to include yourself as you've been unable to consistently argue your point logically and reasonably. The simple logical failure between your first and third point is something that would be covered in a 100 level logic course. Since intelligent people must, apparently, remain logical in every aspect of their lives and you've committed logical fallacies in two subsequent posts, we can conclude (logically!) that by your definition, you're unintelligent.
Refer to my first reply.
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:54 AM
 
Location: Canada
6,758 posts, read 8,274,697 times
Reputation: 9428
Paparappa, is your weltanschauung, world view, based on Ayn Rand's philosophy?
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:44 AM
 
292 posts, read 451,530 times
Reputation: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Paparappa, is your weltanschauung, world view, based on Ayn Rand's philosophy?
My worldview is not based on any one philosophy or ideology, though I do agree with some aspects of objectivism.
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Toronto
2,811 posts, read 3,614,660 times
Reputation: 3151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paparappa View Post
My worldview is not based on any one philosophy or ideology, though I do agree with some aspects of objectivism.
Objectivism as in, "my objective is to use my all-powerful reasoning ability to make lots of money and be an alpha dawg because making lots of money and being an alpha dawg is the highest form of human achievement"? That kind of objectivism?

I've never really studied objectivism, from my cursory understanding of its basic tenets I find it to be a pretty repulsive way of thinking.

Last edited by TOkidd; 05-19-2013 at 08:02 AM..
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