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.
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.
everyone here is smarter and more witty and funny than anyone here.
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.
Very well said. But, of course, there are still some other things that needs to be considered.
May I ask where you attended college? And if you would feel uncomfortable answering that, what was your major in?
Originally Posted by Celebrity Killing Spree
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.