Thursday, July 07, 2011

On intellectuals

So, there was a recent thread on "intellectuals" where the starting post noted that the word:
it connotes not intelligence (a word with its own Mormon history), but a certain kind of attitudinal disorder.  Indeed, I have since learned that to qualify among the Saints as an intellec-chal requires neither grades, nor credentials, nor learning, nor for that matter, intellect, but only the disturbing symptoms of a too objective or analytical distance, a kind of willful autism of the spirit ...

That original essay (which the quote comes from) led to an excellent post (which is where the quote links to, not the original). Kristine realized that "intellectual gifts, like most of what we bring to the altar, are not nearly as valuable as we think they are" and "Perhaps we need to be told exactly what to sacrifice because we aren’t very good at recognizing what is valuable. Maybe Paul’s description of gifts within the body of Christ isn’t just about other people’s gifts that we wrongly think are less worthy than our own, but about our estimation of what it is we ourselves have to offer."  [cf "brilliance"]

Which leads to my Wheat and Tares post for today, one that is recycled from a post at this blog, but which fits very much into the current discussion: -- not only are you probably not as bright as you think you are, most of us are probably confused as well.  I know I often am, more than I realize.

1 comment:

Papa D said...

Loved Kristine's post and love your thoughts on this topic.

I believe there is a HUGE difference between being highly intelligent and being "an intellectual" as that term is used by most LDS Church leaders. That's an important distinction, and it's important to understand what "an intellectual" means in that context - but it generally is misunderstood, unfortunately, but people across the entire intelligence spectrum.