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How can wisdom be gained?

"A wise person is made not born".
Is this true? Why?
If it is, how is wisdom accumulated? And why is it 'practical' ?


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    Oct 9 2012: What I have learned by seeking wisdom:

    1. You should never be satisfied with what you think/feel you know.

    At the point where you think/feel you have gained wisdom, you should disregard the thought/feeling. If it is practical (useful and able to be built upon) no amount of rejecting can prevent the understanding. What tends to be practical does not consist solely upon static understanding, but majorly anticipates evolution and change.

    2. Individually we are limited to one perspective, so strive to not be an individual; desire multiple consciousnesses.

    Approach life realizing you know nothing, and look to others to configure what we collectively do not know. The happiest and/or most positive decision may not be the best in longevity; treat both the bad and good as equal momentarily in order to configure what 'works' in the long run. *Whether what 'works' is for yourself or everyone, is a question of virtue.
    (Appropriate school of thought: Existential Nihilism)

    3. Language is prior to understanding everything; words convey thoughts.

    Words are your friend as well as your enemy; treat them with the same respect you would the person you are talking with. Just like the idea/word of God varies from place to place, one must question what others mean when metaphysical concerns are being analyzed. Be mindful of the culture and society you are responding with.
    (Example: Platinum rule) (Relative ideologies: Ignosticism)

    Questions I ponder from what I learned:
    *Does virtue equal wisdom? Can a wise person have no virtue? Can a virtuous man have no wisdom?

    What does virtuous thinking look like; what is a positive spectrum of thought? When does or should knowledge and morality disconnect?

    If knowledge equals power, then what are we striving to gain power for? Altruism? Selfishness?

    What is the 'one' focal point where all questions lead? Is there there such a point of singularity?
    • Oct 9 2012: "*Does virtue equal wisdom? Can a wise person have no virtue? Can a virtuous man have no wisdom? "

      I think your asking some very important questions here. My question in return is what role do origins play in this quest? Is a man who has been conditioned to be virtuous also a man of wisdom? Is he still considered a man of virtue?
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        Oct 9 2012: Aesthetically... origin stories... they please mankind because it satisfies metaphysical longings. Wanting to know how we began is arguably wired into our brain. Whether the wiring is natural, or a response to evolving culturally; is a great question.

        Religiously; groupthought. The origin stories are less important than the entire group believing the story.

        I find that the question of 'God' assimilates a lot of euphoric thoughts. Therefore, God is all knowing and all good, so to aim towards finding God will access virtuous thinking (feeling enlightened while acting/thinking), or at least the thought-feeling you are being virtuous... Project this determination into a group mindset = hard to change either mindset.

        Objectively, I don't think origin stories are as much to blame as cultural-based virtues. Christians do a lot of work to feed children around the world, yet the whole world is responsible for millions of them dying a year from starvation. No logical conclusion is being made, rather, the position no system is teaching virtuous thinking apparently. Perhaps if nationalism equates virtue, like Socrates in the Crito. Which I disagree.

        “One will do what is right or best just as soon as one truly understands what is right or best” - Socrates.

        Virtue epistemology or epistemological ethics, has been around forever.

        Why did we ignore those propositions?

        So, I sum up with this; longevity mindsets is a major key for virtue. Good for health also.
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        Oct 9 2012: Interesting question Brian!
        Virtue: "strength; courage; commendable quality or trait; capacity to act; moral excellence; beneficial quality or power"

        Wisdom: ";accumulated philosophic or scientific learning; ability to discern inner qualities and relationships; insight; good sense; a wise attitude or course of action;"

        From the basic definitions, it seems that virtue and wisdom support each other?

        I cannot imagine how a wise person would not have virtue (strength; courage; commendable quality or trait; capacity to act; moral excellence; beneficial qualities).

        And I also cannot imagine how a virtuous person would not be wise (accumulated learning; ability to discern inner qualities and relationships; insight; good sense; wise attitude or course of action).

        Wisdom and virtue both provide a foundation for the other....what do you think? Can you think of a situation where a person may NOT have all of these qualities?
        • Oct 10 2012: I think it all depends on the social context. Is a person wise to have moral excellence in a vicious narcissistic environment where altruistic qualities would be maladaptive? Im not sure, we are humans and have evolved to be social creatures so this question may be unanswerable. However I guess if I have to take a stance on this I think it is impossible to be either virtuous and unwise or to be wise and unscrupulous. They seem to go hand in hand and from my personal experience the times i had no virtue I certainly wasn't wise. I don't claim wisdom and hope I never do, but I know when i try to behave virtuously i am more at peace with myself. Either way they seem to work in unison colleen, good question.
      • Oct 9 2012: Is a wise man virtuous? No. And Yes.
        If we think of a typical evil villain (let's say a mad scientist wishes to destroy the world) he may "have" wisdom but he chooses to ignore it. On the other hand, is he really wise if he ignores it?
        On the other hand, imagine a villager who is innocent to the point of gullibility. He is charitable and kind and loving, bla bla bla. If he gives away all his possessions in order to rid his village of poverty and lets himself be tricked by men who wish to get a bit of free money, he is most certainly unwise. But no one can argue that he is not virtuous.
        • Oct 10 2012: Maybe the man who gave away everything to those who wish to extort him is not virtuous. Maybe he knew he would perpetuate a pathological selfishness in these men/women by offering everything up. Or maybe he meant to propose a choice where one either listens to the conscience or ignores it. Could be either...
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          Oct 30 2012: Leo and Brian,
          Using the example of an evil villain who wishes to destroy the world, who may have wisdom and chooses to ignore it, you ask Leo,..."...is he really wise if he ignores it?" In my perception, he is neither wise OR virtuous! It seems unwise to ignore wisdom in oneself for the purpose of destroying the world! I do not think wisdom can be ignored, because, in my perception, it is a "knowing".....too much a genuine part of us to be ignored.

          Regarding the villager who gives away all his possessions...
          I agree with Brian that there could be many underlying influences for his decision, so I could indeed argue that he may not be virtuous.
    • Oct 9 2012: Hello Mr. Lukowiak!
      Thanks for writing here. I have a question about something you wrote in your text.
      Words. Wonderful words. Why are they important? You said : "Language is prior to understanding everything; words convey thoughts." So if I come from a setting where words are used seldom and my vocabulary is limited, am i less wise? Am I stupid because I am often speechless? And if I like to think in colors and pictures, am I inferior to others?
      Yours sincerely
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        Oct 9 2012: Even if this exchange was verbal, you would still rely on words - whether they are few and limited.

        I don't feel frequency (amount of words) is as important as the context or content.

        No words at all... That's a situational concern. When and why would you have nothing to say, is as important as what you are not/reject responding to.

        I feel it is 'how' you think and not 'what' you think that matters most. The process, not the results - should be continually analyzed. However, the 'what' and the results are still important.

        So, if you use less words, does not mean anything. Speechlessness is the state prior to finding something to say, so not stupid. I doubt anyone purely thinks in colors and pictures, but if they did, I (or anyone) has a way to determine if it is interior in anyway.

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