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Are you a militant Atheist?

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Faerie
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« on: August 23, 2010, 14:46:23 PM »

Have'nt got a lot of time - but I managed to glance through this and figured that if we lot were the Taliban, we'd have taken over the world by now.....

http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistactivism/tp/YouMightBeMilitantAtheist.htm

Quote
It's common to hear religious theists complain about "militant atheists," but just what is a militant atheist? What separates militant atheists from regular (pacifist?) atheists? It's not always easy to tell and the people most likely to call atheists "militant" seem to be the least likely to try to explain the label. So here is a guide to militant atheism derived from the sorts of situations where religious theists insist that atheists are being too militant and demand that atheists be quiet or otherwise behave more deferentially towards religion, religious beliefs, and religious institutions.



I'm a pacifist at the best of times, but according to this, I'm ready to take up arms for my cause.....

and the comments are an interesting glance as well:

http://atheism.about.com/u/ua/liberationatheology/Militant-Theism-Religion-Stories.htm
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 15:19:32 PM »

oops, seems im more militant than i thought.  oh well, so much for that then.
bring the batons and burning tyres!!
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Lilli
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 15:41:56 PM »

Quote
Admitting you're an atheist can upset some religious theists – especially Christians.... So, if you tell people you're an atheist instead of staying in the closet, you're a militant atheist. Religious theists, however, are not militant if they regularly engage people (even strangers) about their religious ideology.

Yeah - that seems fair.  Roll Eyes
And the rest of the article carries on much the same way. I like the author. And some of the comments. Thanks Faerie.
(by the way, are we assuming that the woos think being militant is a bad thing?  Just curious)
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2010, 16:18:01 PM »

Yeah, this sounds about right. Being atheist and saying it out loud within earshot of another human being is considered "militant". In fact, just last week AT Stevo's talk one of the mensans I happened to recognize as a friend-of-a-friend came to me and once again I got the reasoning to the effect of: "If I was an atheist I wouldn't feel I need to tell anyone about it. I dunno why these atheists get so chatty about it, or write books... why don't they just shut up and get on with their lives". 2 seconds later I told him *I* was an atheist (he was working on a completely different assumption) and highlighted him some inconsistencies with that. Cheesy
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GCG
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2010, 16:28:16 PM »

why dont xtians just shutup and get on with their lives, and stop writing books about it?
hmmm?
there are, page for page, hundreds, if not thousands, of books more about god and his cronies, than atheism.  hypocrisy, anybody?
and for people who have to have little 'how cool are we' meetings per month, aka mensa, that is allso a bit stuck up their own bottom.  sitting there looking at the rest of world down their noses.  coz they have BRAINS.  whatever dude.
there are books about collecting belly-botton fluff, and breeding horses, and photography.... everybody should just shut the freck up too then?
people write books because they choose to share what they have found, or learnt, with people who are interrested in learning.  if you arent interrested, then dont buy the book.  duh?!
i wonder how many of those clever people have published works, on like, molecular biology, quantum physics.  90% of the world doesnt give a rat's ass about it.  so they should just shut up about it.

i have very little time for stuckups like that.
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Michael Meadon
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2010, 20:34:10 PM »

Erm.... On these definitions some theists count as militant atheists. Some theists (e.g. fans of natural theology) "Reject Faith as a Means for Acquiring Knowledge". Many theists "Deny that Atheism Leads to Immorality". Some (e.g. deists) believe "Religion is a Source of Political & Social Problems".

Dumb article.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2010, 23:16:42 PM »

Micheal, I think the first article is sarcasm.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2010, 09:31:26 AM »

Quote from: gothcatgirl
for people who have to have little 'how cool are we' meetings per month, aka mensa, that is allso a bit stuck up their own bottom. 

To be fair gcg, the members of this site also meet monthly.  Grin
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GCG
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2010, 09:52:46 AM »

hell boogie, at least we dont sit there and pretend to be oh-so-holier-than-thou.  as much as we would like think we are meeting to discuss skepticism, its just an excuse for a pissup really...  Grin  and i honestly think, that its more a meeting of friends, than a cliquey little were-better-than-you club.
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Faerie
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2010, 10:19:57 AM »

In all fairness to the Mensa crowd, its just another like-minded group of people getting together, and whilst they might be presented as these super intelligent people, most of those I know has'nt got an iota of social skills, which is problematic in making friends. So I'd give them a break, they're generally a nice lot although at times a bit difficult to connect with, and none I know consider themselves better than others.

Compare them to the Warhammer crowd GCG, the two groups are more similar than you might realise!
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GCG
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2010, 10:32:32 AM »

the warhammer dudes i know, are pretty laid back, just uber geeks. 
the mensa dudes, were, just, so unapproachable.  one or two were chirpy and fun, and gave comments while stevo was talking, the other were murmuring amongst themselves, and not all of it positive, or even related to steve's talk.  they had this air of 'what the freck does he know'.  i know its a generalization, but this bunch put me off.  a mate of mine is allso a mensa member, and he's salt of the earth dude.  he doesnt make a person feel like your an idiot. 
maybe they need to meet once a month to get to socialise with anything but a microscope and a flux capacitor.  then dont be so high and mighty about it.
i mean, stevo sat chatting with me and boogie, and they werent even interrested in talking with him about his talk.  allmost like he's not on their radar even.
maybe i was just protective over stevo, and with that mind-set, took them to be stuck-up snobs.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2010, 11:13:06 AM »

... they had this air of 'what the freck does he know'.  i know its a generalization, but this bunch put me off.

i mean, stevo sat chatting with me and boogie, and they werent even interrested in talking with him about his talk.  allmost like he's not on their radar even.
maybe i was just protective over stevo, and with that mind-set, took them to be stuck-up snobs.
Thanks gcg. And yes, I felt it too. And felt as if you guys were friends/family which is why I was drawn to you in the pub afterwards. Their attitude is actually why I stopped going to meetings way back in the 90s.

Here is an incident that happened after you left (hadn't thought much about it 'till now). We were kicked out of the pub coz the staff wanted to go home so I joined a group of mensans standing chatting outside. I added the odd comment to the converstation but they just seemed to ignore me. Then one of them said to me, something like, "You seem quite smart Steve, you should write the test to join Mensa." I replied that I had been a memeber of Mensa for 17 years having passed their friggen test in 1993 (I refrained from adding that I had passed in a way that indicated that I was unusually smart by Mensa standards - didn't want to rub their smug faces in it even though I was sorely tempted). Then they included me in the conversation - and confirmed for me why I had stopped attending all those years ago.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2010, 11:18:07 AM »

I can't say they've ever attracted me either. When I was a kid I saw a thing in a magazine that said: "If you can solve this puzzle you are smart", so I took about 15-20mins and solved the puzzle. I saw a thing at the bottom that was an invitation to join mensa if you "enjoyed" the puzzle. I never did. The whole idea of a society where you're unwelcome if you don't score high enough on an IQ test of debatable merit, puts me off.
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GCG
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2010, 11:22:41 AM »

i liked what you said about intelligence not just being an IQ number.    and they sure as hell didnt like it,  i could just see them stiffen in their chairs.  the outrage!!
i think intelligence is a mix of curiousity, street smarts, book smarts and actual IQ.
while im not educated as them, im sure i could stand my ground to argue life in general.  but of course, they would start throwing in book smarts, where i would fall off the bus.
before the meeting started, a bunch was sitting in the pub, dicussing quarks and physics.  and i thought, do they honestly have nothing else to talk about?  or are they trying to front to their peers?  im smarter than you schpiel.  can they not talk about politics, weather, the new movie in the cinema?  do they not talk this shit enough at work?  or are they deliberately talking about stuff that nobody else would know squat about, because, this is mense, after all....
i think our bunch was the elitist bunch.  the 'if your not a doctor/professor etc, then you are not worth our time'.
quite sad, coz i would have loved to chat with them, but not at the price of sitting there, and hearing them speak to me in gibberish.  or speak down to me either.
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Faerie
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2010, 11:35:53 AM »

Bunch of snobs by the sound of it.... and you'll find them on every level.

It just supports my own little opinion:

There are Intelligent people, clever people and wise people.... and it is rare to find all three combined into one.

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Peter Grant
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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2010, 13:01:19 PM »

Checked out their website http://www.mensa.org/, says anyone who scores in the top 2% of the population can join. What's that in IQ, about 110-120?
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2010, 13:17:35 PM »

i read that little piece, and i got a bit moerig, so i just left it there.  didnt think it worth getting my bloodpressure up for.
a bit snootish if you ask me.
i just have a question.  say, for instance, i am quite smart, my IQ is up there, but my maths suck.  can one not be intelligent, but not mathematically inclined?  i suck at maths,  so that test will have me floored.  im by no means saying im mensa material, but i think that telling one's intelligence by your general  IQ is a bit lame.
i might be a friggin genius with spatial awareness, or logic, or language.

anybody who has done this mensa test?  any ideas on how this works?  or am i getting it all wrong here?
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Mefiante
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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2010, 13:22:37 PM »

What's that in IQ, about 110-120?
133 on the Stanford-Binet scale.

'Luthon64
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 14:51:27 PM by Mefiante, Reason: Sorry, finger trouble. » Logged
Mefiante
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2010, 13:39:57 PM »

anybody who has done this mensa test?  any ideas on how this works?  or am i getting it all wrong here?
The Mensa admission test actually consists of two separate tests, each of the multiple-choice type.  The first test assesses language/logical/inferential reasoning skill, so you’ll be faced with word puzzles (20 of them, IIRC).  The focus isn’t on complicated maths but you’ll need to do basic arithmetic.  Rather, the test seeks to measure your analytical abilities.  The second test assesses associative/spatial reasoning, so you’ll be faced with pattern-matching puzzles (25 of them, IIRC).  Both tests are done during the same sitting (less than two hours total), and you only have to pass one of the two to gain admission to Mensa.

BTW, my and Stevo’s experiences are remarkably – uncannily – similar.

'Luthon64
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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2010, 13:49:22 PM »

Im just wondering now, are these similar at all to the aptitude tests you take when you're in school?
if so, surely when those are taken, then seriously clever kids would be identified and pushed into mensa?  or dont they particularly care to swell the ranks?
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Mefiante
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« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2010, 14:33:32 PM »

Im just wondering now, are these similar at all to the aptitude tests you take when you're in school?
I can’t really say for certain, never having taken such an aptitude test, but I’d guess that they probably are quite similar except that the Mensa tests will likely have a narrower focus.  In SA it was legislated that the exact results of IQ tests had to be treated with strictest confidence and may not be given to any unauthorised person, including the testees and their next-of-kin.  Only the referring and administering psychologists are allowed to know, but they were permitted to say what sort of band you fell in, i.e. sub-normal, normal, etc.  I’m not sure if these rules still apply.  It may be that they do, but it is more likely that schools and other institutions are bound by confidentiality constraints that prevent them from urging kids into joining Mensa or even ISPE.

'Luthon64
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2010, 14:36:57 PM »

cool. thanx for the info Mefi.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2010, 14:44:12 PM »

i liked what you said about intelligence not just being an IQ number.   and they sure as hell didn't like it,  i could just see them stiffen in their chairs. the outrage!!

You picked up on that one gcg - it was my personal little "grudge-remark" on the whole idea of Mensa. I once read an awesome book by Stephen J Gould called The Mis-measure Of Man. He goes into the history of IQ tests and how and why they started in France in the early 1900s. They were never designed to give you a "score" that was a sort of badge to wear for the rest of your life. Their purpose was to identify areas of learning in children starting school where they would either need more or less input from the school system.

Apparently I score somewhere over 170 which places me in a very high bracket according to the tests, and yet I feel really doff sometimes. I don't think of myself as "smart", and see one's ability to think logically as a skill that can be developed (if you are so inclined) and not as a fixed "you've-got-it-and-I-haven't" type of gauge of our fellow humans.
gcg (formerly GCG) you are one of the smartest, brightest, wittiest people I have the privilege of knowing, and as far as I'm concerned Mensa can shove it where the sun don't shine.
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Faerie
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2010, 14:49:45 PM »

Im just wondering now, are these similar at all to the aptitude tests you take when you're in school?
if so, surely when those are taken, then seriously clever kids would be identified and pushed into mensa?  or dont they particularly care to swell the ranks?

As far as I know, they dont take them at school anymore (well, neither my kids did), I did take both the lads to Wits to have them tested (more for aptitude purposes than any other reason). Apparantly the practice was abolished in the early '90's because of the educational backlog of the black students at that point (which would have made an interesting study really, I'm sure it would have been an interesting watch over a period of 10 years or so whether there was growth/decline across black/white/indian and where the line would lay now)

As far as I can recall we did these government supported IQ tests in then Std 4... wonder why actually, the apartheid government was full of conspiracy theories and some of the things they did remain a mystery.

Gods, I'm reminded of my age almost daily lately....
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Faerie
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2010, 14:52:36 PM »

gcg (formerly GCG) you are one of the smartest, brightest, wittiest people I have the privilege of knowing, and as far as I'm concerned Mensa can shove it where the sun don't shine.
to quote my almost-mother-in-law:

AMEN to that.

 Grin
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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2010, 15:13:09 PM »

gcg (formerly GCG) you are one of the smartest, brightest, wittiest people I have the privilege of knowing, and as far as I'm concerned Mensa can shove it where the sun don't shine.

jislaaik stevo, you makin me blush.  you obviously dont know all that many people then...
i really dont think im dof, and i really think if i had been given the opportunity to study physics or any other la-ti-da science, i could have winged it.  i just get bored easily.  i now have the power of the interwebs, and now i can make myself knowledgeable as far as i want, then move on when i get bored. 
i love it though, to spend time in the company with people such as these on our forum, coz they know stuff, and they dont try and give god the credit for all and sundry.
and i think, even if i had the brains to be a mensa member, i would be bored out of my bracket with these snooty types.  im a rebel, and any cause will do   Evil
i am quite flattered that you think im interresting, coz i havent got the healthiest of self-images, so a clever and established guy like yourself, and a published author too boot, that thinks im cool, well, that just ups my street cred plenty.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2010, 17:18:15 PM »

i am quite flattered that you think im interresting, coz i havent got the healthiest of self-images, so a clever and established guy like yourself, and a published author too boot, that thinks im cool, well, that just ups my street cred plenty.
Aaah - feeeel the leeerve. I struggle to relate to most people (and feel, sometimes, like a bit of a social outcast or misfit) and also get bored quickly. But the folk here on SkepZA? What a cool bunch of weird, wackey, wonderful, wise wingbats - the kinda folk you and I relate to without even blinking.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2010, 17:49:39 PM »

True, I find it amazing how we can sit down together without ever having met, and just converse freely. Love it.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2010, 17:56:02 PM »

True, I find it amazing how we can sit down together without ever having met, and just converse freely. Love it.
Pre-zackly! And if Mandarb had been able to stay on Thursday it would have been the same. When I saw you guys it felt as if we had always known each other - same with gcg.
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« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2010, 18:05:58 PM »

we are like, so connected, bru   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2010, 18:20:23 PM »


anybody who has done this mensa test?  any ideas on how this works?  or am i getting it all wrong here?
Yes, I've done the test (and been a mensa member for about 20 years).  It doesn't matter if you're bad at, say, maths.  If you score in the top 2 percentile on any section of the test you pass.
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« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2010, 18:24:22 PM »

Sounds like you guys had lots of fun teasing the Mensans, sorry I missed it.

133 on the Stanford-Binet scale.

'Luthon64

Wow, and still so many theists? That's kind of sad, maybe they need to raise the bar a bit higher. Tongue
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« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2010, 19:57:00 PM »

Applications for Dofsa are now invited. Kindly note that pitching up for the admissions exam will be cause for immediate disqualification. Successful members will meet on Fridays, and to keep club expenses down, are encouraged to bring their own crayons.

This week's hot topics:

1. A rare doughnut with the hole on the outside, and other dimensionless conundrums
2. A decade of drinking games with special reference to the history of ducky fuzz
3. The Inflationary period: when to abandon cycling shorts
4. Why does my dog do that? - Consciousness and its manipulation with a cheap waterpistol

Mintaka
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« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2010, 20:03:26 PM »

You seem to be well informed, Mintaka.   How so?   Are Dofsa and Densa affiliated?
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« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2010, 20:10:16 PM »

Densa? DENSA!!! Its been done before!

Oh dear - nothing original left. Daar le reeds spore op die maan - KdP Grin.

Mintaka
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« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2010, 20:14:10 PM »

My IQ and my age recently parted.   I feel a lot younger.
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« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2010, 08:51:03 AM »

Sounds like you guys had lots of fun teasing the Mensans, sorry I missed it.

Wow, and still so many theists? That's kind of sad, maybe they need to raise the bar a bit higher. Tongue
Brilliant post heheh.

There is actually some evidence that there is a direct inverse correlation between IQ and religiosity. i.e. the higher the IQ the less likely to be religious. Out of the Top 600 IQ in the world, not one believes in God (or so I have been told).

And this is the second reason I stopped attending Mensa back in the 90s. In Pretoria I was the ONLY atheist (go figure) and so apart from the pretentiousness I also found them to be a little bit too stupid (okay, now I am being pretentious and arrogant but WTF??? How did they qualify for Mensa if they were still Christians? Didn't make sense - still doesn't). Yes PG, even though I was their guest speaker, I took a jab at them. The really smart ones found it funny (like gcg, BoogieM and Mandarb) and the doff ones (the Christians) were offended. It was fun. (In fairness to Mensa Jhb, about half the room indicated they were atheists - impressive number - and we did meet some cool folk who were not arrogant or pretentious)
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« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2010, 09:26:27 AM »

AAAw you guys make me feel all left out here in Durbs...sounds as if you had a good one Steve...well done. Concerning intelligence as opposed to the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) the latter is merely a 'quotient' or score compiled mostly in western countries with western value systems and were considered by the unions and educationists in the new SA as discriminatory hence the cessation of its use. Quite frankly it was a hideous tool used, abused and misused by teachers to create self-fulfilling prophecies about a learner's performance...remember they had access to your score...so if you scored high you got special smiles and favours and more attention...the poor kid with a dof score was lumped into the low class and had to plod on...jy sien hy's maar dom! About 'intelligence'... research seems to indicate there are different types of intelligence, I forget all the types, but language is one, mathematics another,sports (physical intelligence) another and so on. That's why Stevo says he sometimes feel dof about some things....very few people can claim to be 'gifted' in all types and that's OK. So MENSA take a hike....will you allow a genius sportsperson like say Tiger Woods or Naas Botha who may be poor at your IQ tests???
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Stevo Muso
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« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2010, 09:49:29 AM »

AAAw you guys make me feel all left out here in Durbs...sounds as if you had a good one Steve...well done. Concerning intelligence as opposed to the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) the latter is merely a 'quotient' or score compiled mostly in western countries with western value systems and were considered by the unions and educationists in the new SA as discriminatory hence the cessation of its use. Quite frankly it was a hideous tool used, abused and misused by teachers to create self-fulfilling prophecies about a learner's performance...remember they had access to your score...so if you scored high you got special smiles and favours and more attention...the poor kid with a dof score was lumped into the low class and had to plod on...jy sien hy's maar dom! About 'intelligence'... research seems to indicate there are different types of intelligence, I forget all the types, but language is one, mathematics another,sports (physical intelligence) another and so on. That's why Stevo says he sometimes feel dof about some things....very few people can claim to be 'gifted' in all types and that's OK. So MENSA take a hike....will you allow a genius sportsperson like say Tiger Woods or Naas Botha who may be poor at your IQ tests???
I agree 100%. IQ is too vague to be considered much use in the real world. But EQ? Now THERE is a thing. The ability to withhold immediate pleasure for the sake of future gain. I can't drive home from the shops with an unopened bag of licorice.
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