Curiosity vs. Adam’s apple

In positive psychology, curiosity is one of 24 “character strengths”. Curiosity is here considered a strength within the higher virtue of wisdom. Being curious, a data scientist might argue, leads one to knowledge: and knowledge is the penultimate step leading to wisdom.

In the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, Adam bites the forbidden apple. This leads to his estrangement by God from the Garden of Eden. The apple contains knowledge, but was Adam wise to bite into it?

It seems difficult to argue that Adam was wise in biting the apple. One may say that he was curious–hungry for knowledge–but that failing to heed God’s warning against eating the fruit was patently foolish. Thus, while wisdom (“Sophia” in Latin) is an admirable goal of human striving, one must be mindful of the means employed to attain it.


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