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Questions about intelligence and emotions

January 13, 2013

I was inspired by a Fringe episode to write this post.  In this episode, one character talks about how scientists (imaginary – this was a TV show, remember) gradually eliminated emotions from people to increase intelligence.  In the TV show, it is obvious that this has led to no good.

In real life, it seems that many of us are trying to increase intelligence – of ourselves and/or of others.  We never seem to question the “goodness” of this activity.  So, I am going to ask.  Why is being smarter better than being dumber? 

I do not know the answer to this question.  So I will ask myself, would being smarter than I am be better for me and/or for others?  I find that I have to ask another question.  Smarter in what?  Smarter in understanding what I read?  Yes, that would be better for me but only if I chose important things to read. 

How do I choose what is important to read?  I believe that I need more than intelligence to make this type of decision.  I need to know and live by my values to know what is important.  How do I know if I am living by my values? 

I would argue that emotions help me to understand if I am living by my values.  For example: asking myself “Does that “feel” right?”  Unexpected tears in my eyes may show me that something said by a friend is true for me.  Feeling angry may tell me that I need to act on this issue.

Let’s stop de-valuing people whose intelligence appears to be lower than average (or lower than ours).  Let’s see if we can connect emotionally with a wider variety of people.  I think all of our lives will be richer if we do so.  What do you think?

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