Tag Archives: wisdom

Is faith a kind of knowledge?

Pure faith has to be a special kind of knowledge. Faith must be blind: to be respected, it ought not to be challenged.

Faith is conviction in what can only be felt intuitively. As such, it cannot be scientific; it need not be checked against externality.

Faith in the ultimate is irrational. It may be a kind of knowing rather than knowledge–it cannot be denied, once had. To attempt such would be to reject God’s gift to us.

Faith is the absolute episteme. It can be placed in anything, and is holy as such. The holy person cannot break something so sacred!

Knowledge of faith is only afforded by genuine wisdom.

Character-strengthening

In yesterday’s post, I laid out positive psychology’s six virtues. Each virtue (wisdom; courage; humanity; justice; temperance; and transcendence) consists of three to five character strengths.

Each of these character strengths can technically be considered a “sub-virtue”. Let’s assume that maximizing at least half of each virtue’s sub-components–or achieving medium competence in each sub-virtue–leads to attainment of the higher virtue(s).

Wisdom’s character strengths are: creativity; curiosity; open-mindedness; love of learning; and perspective.

Courage’s sub-virtues are bravery; persistence; integrity; and vitality.

Humanity’s are love, kindness, and social intelligence.

Justice’s are citizenry, fairness, and leadership.

Temperance’s sub-virtues are forgiveness/mercy; humility/modesty; prudence; and self-regulation.

Finally, transcendence’s character strengths are: appreciation; gratitude; hope; humor and playfulness; and spirituality.

Building on each of these 24 aspects of one’s character leads to its ultimate strengthening! How does one build on them–all the way from creativity to spirituality? And: Is it better to focus on a few sub-virtues…or to balance them all equally?

Insight-driven knowledge vs. wisdom

What’s the difference?

Insight-driven knowledge comes about when information acquires meaning for us. 🙂

Such knowledge is wisdom, manifest in a form which we can represent however we so choose!

Wisdom is the unintended byproduct of using our reason courageously. It comes to the self-actualizing person who commits to what Maslow called “expressive behavior”. Such behavior for Maslow was unmotivated and unconscious: acted out purely for itself.

On the other side of expressive behavior is “coping behavior”. Coping behavior is motivated and conscious, acted out only to fulfill some “deficit need” (i.e., D-need). D-needs can only be temporarily gratified.

The wise, self-actualizing person engages in coping behavior only as a mortal, flawed agent. Such a person only behaves as such in the service of their greater expressive behavior.

What are your favorite expressive behaviors?

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.