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View Full Version : Self professed intellectual vs. Educated Intellectuals



Shangri-LIE
08-18-2012, 09:12 AM
There is a struggle amidst this commmunity, like most public forums on the internet, where the "I am smarter than you" attitude just disembouges itself all over the place like a regatta of sewer abortions screaming for attention.


The objective of this thread is to make a distinction between educated people and internet savants, e.g. those who cannot compete in a field of topics being discussed without needing to reference the web. Those who repeatedly edit their comments to accord with "Google facts" to alter an incorrect statement of fact that they had made but thought of afterwards might not be correct after all. And lastly the distinction between being intelligent and educated. The most important distinction to be made however is how we classify "intellectual". Think about that word for a few moments. I don't want you to cite the definition, nor do I want you to say that your picture is beside it in the dictionary.


Rules before engaging eachother in this topic; No personal attacks - If you disagree with someone, do not accuse them of being idiotic or a psuedo intellectual. Adhere to the topic and do not segway into pointing out how much more right you are than someone. If you happen to disagree with someone, explain why. No grammar Nazism as that is truly a lost cause in trying to enforce or even point out. Respect even in the face of total ignorance.Trolling will not be acknowledged, nor will personal attacks.


Do the words we use alone certify us as being truly intellectual? That postulate would imply that simply being literate, as everyone should be, should be a rewardable achievment. Is it the words that we use that give us an authority over one another? Or is it how we can communicate with each other on every level to illustrate a clear point what gives us an advantage? Does correcting people consistently without being critical of ourselves first give us any real merit or serve any purpose unless it is for the other persons benefit? If someone does not speak with exact amount of commanding diction as you do, does that in fact mean that they have no valid thoughts?


The difference between an educated person and a self professed intellectual is that an educated person does not always have to speak to know that they are intelligent or for others to recognize that. Educated people do not need to reaffirm to themselves or assure other people that they are indeed educated. It requires being humble. It also requires the compassion to be informative and to ensure that other people understand the correct way to go about achieving something that they want to or explaining something without needing to intimidate someone with self absorbed boasting or being depreciative. It requires the ability to admit that you don't know everything. It is also having the presence of mind to consider that you may be wrong about something, even if you have the vernacular firepower to convince others that you must know what you are talking about simply because it sounds impassioned.

I've been guilty of certain things regarding the internet "know it all" syndrome, but have realized it's a very delusional way of thinking. There are also probably a lot of mistakes with what I just wrote. If you feel compelled to correct whatever flaw you find, go ahead. Otherwise just discuss the topic and define what you consider a truly educated person to be and what if any difference you can distinguish them from an "intellectual" based on the guidelines presented in this thread.

1984
08-18-2012, 09:28 AM
Hey Dv5,

The purpose of this thread just seems to be a competition of who fits your definition of intelligence... I'm going to take a bite anyway because it's better then the 'brain' thread. I'll also make a point of saying that editing posts is fine (a lot of people seem to not like it when forum users do that?), I do it all the time because I'm a terrible proof-reader. I have a bad habit of pressing 'post' and proof reading after I've done it.

'Intelligence' and 'intellectual' are words that you can look up in the dictionary. I think if you don't fit what appears before you after doing that then you aren't really meeting the prerequisites of actually being those two things.

sayyosin
08-18-2012, 09:37 AM
I view an intellectual as someone who practices critical thinking, observes evidence objectively, and forms their own opinion based on the known facts. They don't resort to ad hominem attacks or emotional/personal agendas when debating about something. They are open minded about learning new things and can easily stand corrected if they make a mistake because they don't take it personally. An intellectual is a skeptic and always asks the right questions while avoiding the erroneous ones. They don't preach, but share their opinions in an effort to have a stimulating conversation. They also don't admit to know everything; an intellectual is humble about what he thinks, and doesn't boast about his knowledge. They also don't pretend that they know everything. An intellectual will admit they don't know something. They will be eager to hear what others have to say on the topic at hand that is unfamiliar to them- so that they can learn and have a better understanding of different perspectives.

To put it in one sentence, an intellectual is a humble skeptic eager for rational truth and learning more about themselves, others, and the world/universe we all live in. That's how I define someone who is an intellectual, though I rarely use that word to describe anyone.

Shangri-LIE
08-18-2012, 09:40 AM
Hey Dv5,

The purpose of this thread just seems to be a competition of who fits your definition of intelligence... I'm going to take a bite anyway because it's better then the 'brain' thread. I'll also make a point of saying that editing posts is fine (a lot of people seem to not like it when forum users do that?), I do it all the time because I'm a terrible proof-reader. I have a bad habit of pressing 'post' and proof reading after I've done it.

'Intelligence' and 'intellectual' are words that you can look up in the dictionary. I think if you don't fit what appears before you after doing that then you aren't really meeting the prerequisites of actually being those two things.

I can address that. I did cite my definition of intelligence as how I perceive it, or how it should be utilized rather. I was also trying to make a distinction between someone who professes to be an intellectual and someone who is educated. I thought about this last night. I was having a discussion with someone about how a lot of people can be lured into believing that someone knows what they are talking about because they speak well and on that basis alone. I also welcome others to discuss it and to read what gets contributed to this thread in order to get a grasp on where each of us are coming from, as most of us communicate here on a daily basis. Edit - As for editing comments, yeah it is fine. Although I was talking about people who go back after being proven wrong, or a flaw shown in their logic and then they go back and change the content of their initial post.

Sayyosin -


I view an intellectual as someone who practices critical thinking, observes evidence objectively, and forms their own opinion based on the known facts. They don't resort to ad hominem attacks or emotional/personal agendas when debating about something. They are open minded about learning new things and can easily stand corrected if they make a mistake because they don't take it personally. An intellectual is a skeptic and always asks the right questions while avoiding the erroneous ones. They don't preach, but share their opinions in an effort to have a stimulating conversation. They also don't admit to know everything; an intellectual is humble about what he thinks, and doesn't boast about his knowledge. They also don't pretend that they know everything. An intellectual will admit they don't know something. They will be eager to hear what others have to say on the topic at hand that is unfamiliar to them- so that they can learn and have a better understanding of different perspectives.

To put it in one sentence, an intellectual is a humble skeptic eager for rational truth and learning more about themselves, others, and the world/universe we all live in. That's how I define someone who is an intellectual, though I rarely use that word to describe anyone.

I wholeheartedly agree with what you just said. Thanks for your input.

1984
08-18-2012, 09:48 AM
I can address that. I did cite my definition of intelligence as how I perceive it, or how it should be utilized rather. I was also trying to make a distinction between someone who professes to be an intellectual and someone who is educated. I thought about this last night. I was having a discussion with someone about how a lot of people can be lured into believing that someone knows what they are talking about because they speak well and on that basis alone. I also welcome others to discuss it and to read what gets contributed to this thread in order to get a grasp on where each of us are coming from, as most of us communicate here on a daily basis.

I understand. I have to admit, I'm lucky enough to be quite well spoken in life and because of this am able to 'trick' people into thinking that I know things that I do not if we are discussing a topic that I am not 100% on. I usually use this 'skill' in job interviews, or if I am talking to someone that I don't respect and want to belittle them. However, If a topic is raised in a friendly environment that I don't know about I pride myself in being humble enough to ask more and seek information instead of pretending that I know something that I indeed do not. Furthermore, if someone else does this to me I can usually spot it from a mile away.

AssetReign
08-18-2012, 10:10 AM
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s480x480/430226_454633767902902_608835374_n.jpg

^ The difference between the two.

Cat
08-18-2012, 11:21 PM
There is a struggle amidst this commmunity, like most public forums on the internet, where the "I am smarter than you" attitude just disembouges itself all over the place like a regatta of sewer abortions screaming for attention.



He he :) .... I try to keep my focus on people I find entertaining.

And they can have a high education or no education, it doesn't really matter to me because I'm not a snob! .... if they can give me a smile on my face, then they are intelligent and worth a lot in my eyes.

Emma
08-19-2012, 02:46 AM
I don't understand why there seems to be a dislike of people bringing reference into their argument - isn't this backing up your point with referencable data? After all when I wrote my history essays I had to produce evidence and footnotes to backup my argument.

Having an opinion is one thing and I see nothing wrong with that whatsoever but opinions are too often seen as fact - look at Fox, they say it and distribute it amongst the echo chamber until they can claim it as fact. Doesn't make it so.

I love debating people, I don't always get it right, and I do try to say when something is my opinion. I can get as much as anyone, emotional on certain subjects - we all have views which are close to us, the things that make our moral core, and these are sometimes the points we are harder to be removed from.

There are those who feel that by saying something that makes it fact, and that no matter what is brought up factually to denounce a view based on opinion, they can not be dissuaded.

I think it's great to learn and I read a lot and I try to read from different areas even if they are not ones I would be politically affiliated with so to speak. However I try if I can to take on others views - don't always do it, it's easy to get blinkered in a debate. I think we've all done that at one time or another.

Defconone
08-19-2012, 04:24 AM
It doesn't matter much to me one way or another because whether you're professed intellectual or educated Intellectual if you're a dick-face when trying to get your point across you're still a dick-face. I know people on both ends of the spectrum who I have had disagreeing opinions with and all sides had their say while being respectful and it was cool, nobody got pissed off and started being a dick-face. We pretty much agreed to disagree and went on about our lives.

I have friends and acquaintances who are some of the most educated intellectuals you could come across and we disagree on subjects in which they're experts in. I was in a debate with my aunt who holds a Ph.D in cognitive sciences last year about something in her specific field and at the end if the discussion we both walked away from it with a different point of view, she even changed her opinion on one thing that was brought up and so did I on another.

Just because you are an expert in something doesn't automatically make you right all the time. And if you're a professed intellectual and you do think you are right all the time, then you just contradicted yourself.

Enclosing, just don't be a dick-face and me and whomever can get along just fine.

Cat
08-19-2012, 04:55 AM
Just because you are an expert in something doesn't automatically make you right all the time.



Of course not because NoThInG stays the same, so what is true today might be false tomorrow, and ice versa :-)

Defconone
08-19-2012, 04:57 AM
Well said, I agree. :)

Willice
10-03-2012, 11:37 AM
The distinction between intelligence and education is a choice. If you live where education is compulsory to a certain age, you must choose to actively engage in what you are being taught and memorize your lessons. Education is the act of teaching and being taught.

Intelligence is more of a gray area. I was brought up to believe that the people who memorize the most facts and get the best grades are intelligent or intellectual, smart people. Others argue that intellectuals are those who use reasoning to arrive at conclusions and that humility plays a role, as the original post states. I suppose it encompasses both reasoning and memorization, but perhaps one's type of intelligence depends on what subject they are involved in. Math and science seems to involve applying solid facts to validate a falsifiable theory (1+1=2, therefore...) and you need to learn a lot of facts to prove a point. Politics and philosophy is more about applying falsifiable theories to solve a social/ethical/moral problem (If A, then B. A, so B) and this means that you take opinions or previous experiences as potentially fact forming and make an argument valid with them. Maybe that's two explanations of the same damn thing and I haven't reached a real conclusion here but it seems to me that intelligence is more complex than education because there is more than one way to display it and apply it. It can be the application of education, or it can be how much education someone has. Intellectualism would be the practice of both...maybe.

Sorry if that sounds a bit pointless, but it was fun trying to form an opinion on this matter.

Celebrity Killing Spree
10-03-2012, 08:04 PM
Anybody ever heard the expression "That idea is so dumb you have to have gone to university to have thought of it?"

That pretty much sums up a lot of my post-secondary experience. I have two degrees but I can tell you that with the caliber of idiots I was taught by and graduated with, they shouldn't really mean that much.

ThreeEyedGod
10-04-2012, 08:46 AM
everyone here is smarter and more witty and funny than anyone here.

Celebrity Killing Spree
10-31-2012, 10:06 AM
I think ultimately what it comes down to is that a true intellectual is someone willing to be proven wrong.

In this regard, education is often the greatest foe to intellectualism because it teaches people to be critical of everything but themselves.

GailG
03-05-2013, 03:21 AM
Very well said. But, of course, there are still some other things that needs to be considered.

richard
03-16-2013, 05:59 AM
Anybody ever heard the expression "That idea is so dumb you have to have gone to university to have thought of it?"

That pretty much sums up a lot of my post-secondary experience. I have two degrees but I can tell you that with the caliber of idiots I was taught by and graduated with, they shouldn't really mean that much.

May I ask where you attended college? And if you would feel uncomfortable answering that, what was your major in?

On a separate note, intelligence can be multifaceted. For example, you can be an excellent virtuoso pianist, and there is certainly some bit of musical "genius" in that.
Though, I think the form of intelligence that we all seem to be referring to here has its roots in skeptical philosophy, which is arguably intelligence in its most useful form. You can certainly go though life without being able to play a single sonata on a piano, but without some critical thinking skills you may well end up literally drinking the Kool-aid.
Even if we do live in a society that has become so rigidly ingrained with a collectivist mentality, we can't afford to forget that curiosity is a fundamental trait of human nature. One of our very early ancestors had to have had the skepticism to ask "What lies beyond that mountain/ plain/ forest?" This curiosity has led to the domination of the globe by modern man and to innovations that even our great grandparents would be doubtful of ever occurring.
However, it is also true that there are a lot (quite possibly even most, but that's just based on my anecdotal experience) of people who have a severe deficiency when it comes to understanding the value of truth and why it is worth pursuing.

Now for something that I'm sure I'll get a lot of heat over, I don't see why an intelligent person (in the directly above mentioned sense of the word) would pass up attending college. While it is true that there are many idiotic people there, who have been sent by mom and dad straight out of high school to get their Bachelor's of Science in Business, there are also a plethora of opportunities that it is doubtful you will ever get without attending.

Just the scientific experiments are enough for me, but then again I'm a biology nerd (and soon to be major, though technically I am just a General Education major, because my financial aid requires that I take a certain set of other courses before switching to a Bio major).
College also provides an excellent and safe social experience for those interested in having philosophical discourses about taboo issues that may have resulted in getting bullied in high school, or at least in my experience it has.
And, of course, college provides an excellent place to score drugs and get laid, on top of financial security providing that you don't pick some bullshit major like Women's Studies.

The only good reason I can think of to not attend college is if you are pursuing some sort of artistic career. There's really no point in majoring in most arts, unless you want to teach one of them in the future. Even there the financial investment is not as likely to pay off as with a more demanded major.

As far as how an intelligent person communicates goes, in my opinion there are some standards of what is and is not acceptable. The first being an inability to cite a respectable source to back up your claim. I hate it when I ask someone where they learned a certain "fact", and they can't even give me the vaguest hint. For all I know, the guy who told them was just as stupid as they are.
As far as language goes, not everyone is an English major, and not everyone should be expected to be. If you can speak coherently and have at least a general idea as to where your information comes from, then that's as far I go in judging your intellect based on your manner of speaking.