Virtue via intelligence

The evils of the world are due to moral defects quite as much as to lack of intelligence. But the human race has not hitherto discovered any method of eradicating moral defects; preaching and exhortation only add hypocrisy to the previous list of vices. Intelligence, on the contrary, is easily improved by methods known to every competent educator. Therefore, until some method of teaching virtue has been discovered, progress will have to be sought by improvement of intelligence rather than of morals.

-Bertrand Russell

The Will to Doubt: Bertrand Russell on Free Thought and Our Only Effective Self-Defense Against Propaganda

One Reply to “Virtue via intelligence”

  1. Intelligence, on the contrary, is easily improved by methods known to every competent educator.

    If this is true then the only explanation for the world we live in is comically few competent educators.

    I think one of society’s bigger problems is a systematic effort via our education systems to equate regurgitation and falling-in-line with “being educated.” That’s before you even include propagandizing.

    I’m also a strong believer in morality. I think society these days often refuses to allow people to say things like “moral defects” because there’s an overwhelming view that there’s no such thing as “absolute right/wrong.”

    Anyway, just wanted to spam your blog late at night (early in the morning?)

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