Whether research into happiness – what it is exactly, what makes people happy, does it have roots in our biological evolution or is striving for happiness mostly a phenomenon of culture, is difficult enough. Research into wisdom will probably yield just as much perplexing information. Words to the Wise: Experts Define Wisdom – Survey identifies central, unifying characteristics – and how wisdom differs from other traits
[ ]… In fact, there is no enduring, consistent definition of what it means exactly to be wise. It is a virtue widely treasured but essentially unexplained, a timeless subject only now attracting rigorous, scientific scrutiny.
[ ]…Phase 1 of the survey revealed significant group differences among the concepts on 49 of 53 statements. Wisdom differed from intelligence on 46 of 49 items, and from spirituality on 31 items.
In Phase 2, the definition of wisdom was further refined by focusing upon 12 items from the Phase 1 results. Most of the experts, Jeste and Meeks said, agreed that wisdom could be characterized thus:
It is uniquely human.
It is a form of advanced cognitive and emotional development that is
It is a personal quality, albeit rare.
It can be learned, increases with age and can be measured.
It is probably not enhanced by taking medication.
The survey was conducted using the Delphi method, developed by the RAND Corporation in the 1950s and based on the principle that forecasts from a structured group of experts are more accurate than those from unstructured groups or individuals. The paper’s authors identified 60 recognized experts on wisdom in the world, focusing upon those outside their own institutions. The nominees were required to have at least two peer-reviewed publications on wisdom or spirituality, though the number of total publications was not the sole criterion for selection.
Rene Descartes, even though he included a spiritual aspect was of the opinion that knowledge was the foundation of wisdom. What one perceives must be sifted thoroughly. The knowledge won from careful deliberation – at times to the point of personal torment – produced wisdom. Great profundity, yet Descartes felt that some supreme other worldly being was the font of ultimate wisdom. A wisdom difficult to obtain because of the “illusions” and impermanence of this physical world. Emanuel Kant on the other hand believed that wisdom could only be found via the supremacy of reason. Any conclusions that skimped on reason were faulty by their nature. Wisdom than, just like reason, must be objective. A simple majority may not come up with wisdom by the subjective winds of emotion. Something found to be wise by way of a rule formulated by reason and knowledge will always be wise. Kant’s wisdom contains the implication there is such a thing as pure reason. Less problematic than imaginary friends of channeling wisdom from a nether world, but that formulation is probably outside the realm of pure empirical truths. Knowledge might be hard to grasp and has a less humane quality about it. It has little regard for people’s feelings or consequences. Often times people feel threatened or insulted by knowledge. While wisdom has a softer edge. William Cowper (1731-1800) wrote,
Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass,
The mere materials with which wisdom builds,
Till smoothed and squared and fitted to its place,
Does but encumber whom it seems to enrich.
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
Conflating wisdom and age is also questionable. Listen to the lyrics of Beatles songs like ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ written by Paul McCartney when he was sixteen or “Eleanor Rigby” when McCartney was only 24. Both contain a prescience and insight about life that is easily found lacking in people middle-aged or older. On the other hand seniors are more apt to take an interest in public policy and vote. Those seniors literally make decisions, the consequences of which ambivalent youth will have to live with.
In the midst of a panel discussion on the massive BP oil spill that’s contaminated the Gulf of Mexico in recent weeks, Maher took aim at Republican radio personality Rush Limbaugh, who only days prior whipped up a firestorm of rhetorical controversy by claiming that such pollution is “natural” and will simply go away.
“That’s right, a petrochemical stew is very natural to wetlands,” Maher scowled. “You know what, you dipshit? Mercury’s natural too, but you don’t put it in your Cheerios.”
The people who make their living either directly or indirectly from the Gulf of Mexico would also disagree with Limbaugh who is 59.
Sarah Palin, 46 years on this planet, can count Iranian fundamentalist among her ideological brothers – American Law Should Be ‘Based On The God Of The Bible And The Ten Commandments’. In his autobiography, Thomas Jefferson wrote about the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom:
“Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”
In a letter to Edward Livingston, 10 July 1822, James Madison echoed Jefferson’s sentiments:
“And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
They both believed in a creator and attended religious services on occasion, but both were believers in the watch maker theory of the universe. The watch maker put all the parts together and stepped back to let creation manage itself.
henna star tattoo. those thinking of getting one for a party or special occasion like a wedding should know they’re not like tempt tattoos. depending on various conditions henna tattoos can last for weeks. some interesting designs here.