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Intelligent Answers?
Intelligent People Need Intelligent Answers - S. Hein

As I was thinking about intelligence, I thought that intelligent people look for cause and effect. They look for real reasons and are not satisfied with the same answers that satisfy the majority of the people.

Then I came up with this list of not so intelligent answers shown below. I believe young people need better answers to their questions than those they often get. I also believe that when adults don't know the answer, young people need to hear the truth in the form of "I don't know" and then be encouraged to seek the answer.

Most are answers below I got in response to my own questions.Some are answers I have heard given to children or teenagers.

As I think about this list, I believe it would make an interesting "Intelligent Reasons Test". We could ask people questions, then see what kind of answers they give, then rate their answers according to how intelligent we thought their answers were. Then we could see what kind of children these people are creating.

By the way, this reminds me of my list of characteristics of suicidal teenagers, because suicidal teenagers typically have not been satisfied with the answers they get. This contributes to their emotional/psychological pain, an intense pain which they don't know how to stop any other way than self-harm or suicide.

S. Hein
Pedro Ruiz, Peru
February 2, 2005
(updated July 2007)

Intelligent Answers??

Answers I would respect more

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Intelligent Answers? (AKA "Answers I don't respect)

- because it says so in the Bible (note)

- because it is a sin

- because it is wrong

- because they are evil (note)

- because it is my country (note)

- because I was born here

- because it is our culture (note)

- because I am not used to letting him do it (note)

- because he is a minor

- because he is only xx years old

- because I said so

- because I told you to (note)

- because I am your father

- because I am your mother

- because I am her mother

- because I am her father

- because she is my daughter

- because he is my son

- because it is inappropriate

- because it is the law

- because it is illegal

- because it is against the law

- because it's not polite

- because it is rude

- because he is lazy

- because I am older than you

- because I know more than you

- because education it is important (note)

- so you can get a job (note)

- because I am his big sister (see story)

Because it is my country - This is a typical answer I get when I ask people in South America why they are proud of their country

Because it is our culture - A typical answer I got in Indonesia when I asked why they did things the way they did.

Because it says so in the Bible. - This is an answer I have heard so many times in my life in all parts of the world when I ask people questions like "Why do you believe ...?"

Because they are evil. - This was the answer I got when I asked David Caruso why someone would want to instruct someone else to crash a plane full of people into an office building

Because education is important - This is the kind of answer people often give when asked why young people are forced to go to school

Because I am not used to letting her do it - A typical answer in Peru when I asked parents why they wouldn't let their son or daughter do something.

So you can get a job - A typical answer I get when I asked why education is important

Because I told you to

This is from a conversation I had with a teen in England. July 2007

sagus says:
i have probs with teachers
steve says:
like what kind?
sagus says:
they'll say something and i have to answer back
steve says:
like how?
sagus says:
like if they order me to put my bag off the desk or get out of the classroom i say why
steve says:
steve says:
then what
sagus says:
they yell
steve says:
like what do they say?
sagus says:
because i told you to!
steve says:
ha ha thats a good reason
steve says:
they are supposed to be educators and thats the best they can come up with?

Answers I Would Respect More

Here are answers I would respect more, because they are more honest.

"I believe that because that was what was taught to me and I never questioned it."

"I believe that because that was what was taught to me and when I questioned it, I never got any good answers."

"I believe that because that was what was taught to me and when I questioned it, I was punished."

"Because I am afraid of...."

"Because it is convenient for me."

"I don't know. I never really thought about it. It's just what everyone else says or does."

A personal one for me...

- because of the APA guidelines