Being intelligent, is not, in itself, very difficult. Being intelligent is largely just a matter of not being stupid. It is this task of not being stupid, that many find so difficult.

If that makes no sense to you, let me put it another way: Let’s pick a member of the public, at random, who is unable to come up with a rational, logical, intelligent argument on a particular issue of common concern.

It is very unlikely that their failure to come up with an intelligent argument is due to an inability to perform the mental calculations required. Even complicated arguments are generally made up of a number of perfectly simple, potentially easy-to-understand, logical steps that ought not to be beyond the processing capabilities of anyone other than those with extreme mental impairments.

No – the chances are that their failure to provide a rational argument is, instead, down to either;

  • 1) Laziness – they simply can’t be bothered to think about the issue in question, or
  • 2) Prejudice – they are, in some way, so biased that they refuse to consider the matter in a rational and reasonable way, or
  • 3) An unfortunate combination of both laziness and prejudice.

The secret to intelligence lies largely in recognising, understanding and overcoming these grave impediments. This is nothing like as easy as it sounds.