PHILOSOPHICALLY SPEAKING: What is Intelligence?
What is Intelligence? Is intelligence the same as education, knowledge, wisdom, or understanding? Is human intelligence the same as spiritual intelligence? Where does intelligence come from, and why is it essential for us to have intelligence to live successful lives? Can we be trusted to take care of our own destiny and survival without intelligence? Jeremiah, one of Judah’s greatest prophets, stated, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23 NKJV) (circa 627–580 BCE).
Intelligence begins with God. God has granted us, the highest of His creations, special blessings of human intelligence. There are three levels or concepts of intelligence; namely, Spiritual Intelligence, Human Intelligence, and Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence is a ‘double edged sword.’ On one hand it is an aid to human beings, as machines perform tasks that are mundane, repetitive, highly quantitative, highly efficient, and unsafe for human beings, and on the other hand artificial intelligent machines are rapidly diminishing the need for the human workers in an increasing number of disciplines.
Statements such as: The end of jobs, the computer age, the information age, and the robots are coming are commonplace in our modern vocabulary. The reality is that the beneficiaries of artificial intelligence are the capitalists through greater profits, and jobs for computer engineers, computer programmers, design engineers, and mass manufacturers. “The goal of work in artificial intelligence is to build machines that perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence” (Nilsson, Nils J. (1971), Problem-Solving Methods in Artificial Intelligence (New York: McGraw–Hill): vii).
Human intelligence needs the higher form of spiritual intelligence, to enable human beings to better understand how to create and use artificial intelligence to serve the needs of humankind. Spiritual intelligence transcends human intelligence, which informs all other forms of intelligence, such as: artificial, moral, social, scientific, and leadership intelligence. These forms of intelligence are attributes of the human intellect and are beneficial for the maintenance of viable human societies, and human beings as a viable species.
In a new human intelligence economy underpinned by spiritually intelligent, linear growth will underpin more meaningful implementation, adaptation, and assessment of fundamental human needs. More importantly, human beings are not fully benefiting from one invention before another overwhelms us. This writer postulates that a linear pattern of growth might seem revolutionary, and it may seem counter to human progress or even appear to go against the principles of capitalism, but the inherent benefits lie in more stable nations, sustained growth, preservation of non–renewable resources, and a more stable world economy.
Spiritual intelligence gives us divine insight into God’s divine knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. These are the prerequisites for moral leadership and authority in the world. Spiritual intelligence enables human beings to understand things that the natural mind cannot comprehend because only the spiritual mind can discern those things that are spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:10–14).
Human intelligence is a lifesaving gift from God. Unlike animals that are limited to instinctive behavior, intelligent human beings have the capacity to promote good or evil in the world by virtue of free will. Human intelligence guides our decision–making with regard to the nature and purpose of every human action and endeavor.
Human beings have great capacity to create artificial intelligence in machines and to serve human material needs, but without spiritual intelligence, we can only see life in a haze. We cannot effectively manage God’s creations or His created beings. Great leadership begins within the spiritual realm aided by God’s knowledge, wisdom, and understanding; however, He has limited human intelligence within the gap between the beginning of all things and the end of all things. He has sealed such knowledge from us until the time of the end. (Daniel 12:4, 8–9).
Our connection to God’s source of spiritual intelligence is through the Holy Spirit, which is the mind of God. Unfortunately, our knowledge of science and technology, derived from modern education and human intelligence, seems to place a barrier between spiritual intelligence and human intelligence. This ‘spiritual barrier’ diminishes our capacity to manage God’s creation and the affairs of His created beings. One might argue that a certain overconfidence of ‘human intelligence’ is the barrier to achieving the useful benefits of spiritual intelligence.
Did the complex human mind simply evolve in a vast pool of primordial soup, or did it evolve from the mind of beasts? Despite the awesome storehouse of human knowledge in the twenty–first century, why are we unable to create a world of peace and harmony?
This incapacity of human existence confirms the dominance of our ‘materially driven’ lives and the finite limit to human intelligence. Spiritual intelligence is the key that opens the human mind to comprehend the complexity of the world and to solve complex problems because the solutions are not strictly intellectual, academic, or economic. The laws of nature to which all humanity are subject, place limits on what we can achieve in the physical world.
History books are a testament to leaders whose empires collapsed as their reign came to a brutal and often abrupt end. These bloody leadership transitions often paralleled the way in which leaders rose to power. In ancient times, conquest was the rule rather than the exception, and wars raged across the feudal countryside throughout the ‘Middle Ages’ when leadership and authority were absolute. Some Old Testament kings failed to recognize the superiority of God (Daniel 3:30). Instead, they demanded godlike worship for themselves and their gods from their subjects.
Human beings are born with carnal minds that are limited to materialistic knowledge. Observe the reoccurrence of wars, genocide, mass murder, and terrorism that intelligent human beings have wrought upon the earth. Observe the repeated incidences of humanly caused and humanly inspired disasters that occur throughout the world. Observe the frequent collapse of major corporations that are managed by some of the most highly educated graduates from prestigious universities and corporate business schools. Are these worldly problems engineered? Graduate degrees and the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) accreditation have become more prominent as a core requirement for management positions.
The popularity of the MBA has mushroomed throughout universities and within private corporations over the past several decades, but observe (in parallel) the cyclic collapse of the world’s economy, and world financial systems. The evidence that modern education in its present form is not a substitute for a higher form of intelligence can also be viewed from the prisms of genocide, national and international violence, wars, mass–slaughter, and modern–day slavery. More absurdly, in human anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness, and other ills in the crucible of the twenty–first century, threaten the survival of the human species.
When we look at the vast and incomprehensible universe and try to comprehend the awesome world in which we live, the complexity of the universe provides us with compelling evidence of creation by a superior intelligence. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities−his eternal power and divine nature−have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20 NIV).
God has endowed us with free will. We are free moral agents who have the power to seek His higher spiritual intelligence and purpose for our lives. He has also given us the power of intelligence (the human mind) to allow us to comprehend our relationship with Him, worship Him, serve humanity, care for family, obey authority, and manage the environment.
Human beings have chosen another path underpinned by ‘materially based’ modern education, as opposed to a ‘WHOLESOME EDUCATION’, predicated on spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, and physical development (© 2011 Errol A. Gibbs & Philip A. Grey, Five Foundations of human development (FFHD) A Proposal for Our Survival in the Twenty–first Century and the New Millennium (AuthorHouse™, Bloomington, IN) (www.ffhdwritersinc.com).
This writer trusts that this message is clearly understood: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise person? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:18–20 NIV).
— Spiritual intelligence informs human intelligence; likewise, human intelligence informs artificial intelligence.
By: Errol Gibbs (05/05/2014)
Errol A. Gibbs, Author, International Motivational Speaker. Books: © 2011 Five Foundations of Human Development (FFHD) & Thoughts to Enlighten and Empower the MindTel: 905.875.4956/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/