Intelligence vs. Common Sense?

If you had to choose between being very intelligent, but having very little common sense; or having all the common sense in the world, but little intelligence, which would you choose? Give your explanations too.

Well this is interesting…

I think I would l choose to have the common sense.

This is because in situations that require creative thinking, common sense usually prevails.

I’m sure I"ll rethink this again but that’s my story for now…

If I had to choose one, I’d choose common sense. It’s more useful, more of the time. I’ve met a lot of very intelligent people who were utterly useless outside their one field of expertise, but people with good common sense can manage just about anything that doesn’t require abstruse learning.

I agree with Eilsel.

My common sense tells me to choose common sense, and I would hope that would be an intelligent decision. I can’t help but wonder, though, if what we
think to be common sense changes with each generation, and updating it is an intelligent move? I am very interested in others responses to this great thread!

My common sense tells me that skyzoo is being sarcastic, but my intelligence tells me not to worry about it.

I think it is important to remember here that if you choose the common sense, you are giving up lots in the intelligence category. Let me be more specific. If you take the Intelligence, you will have the common sense of the average 2nd grader, but, you will be highly intelligent. If you choose common sense, you will have the intelligence of a 2nd grader, but all the common sense you could hope for.

I would actually take the intelligence. I don’t think the low level of intelligence could be overcome by the common sense.

I would choose the intelligence. People tell me all the time that I am “book-smart” but I don’t have a bit of “common sense.” How can it be so common if I don’t have it? I apparently got checked out of that line too quickly.
I kinda like not having it because rarely do I think like other people about things. Someday I need to post a topic that covers all of the crazy (crazy as deemed by others, no necessarily by me) ideas I have come up with.

I would chosse intelligence. It allows me to entertain myself easily.

“chosse intelligence”? Don’t you just hate it when that happens?:smack:

Ouch! I’m sorry if what I wrote seemed sarcastic. I wasn’t being sarcastic,
and I don’t know what seemed that way, :confused:;
nevertheless, Moejuck , please accept my apology for coming across this way to you.
I like this thread, that’s why I clicked it.

(Felt I needed to reply)


I would choose intelligence. Right now, I believe I’m fairly intelligent, but rather lacking in the common sense department. I don’t really have anything to complain about that, so I see no need for me to completely change this :slight_smile:

Besides, I’ve seen plenty of second graders with more common sense than adults. So having the common sense of a child doesn’t sound all too bad to me.

Common sense - mostly because when most people refer to it they are actually talking about street-wise mind-reader common sense and human manipulation ability; they’re not talking “Duh, better not lick that red-hot burner thingy again Billy Joe… Uh God Dang! - we just learnt us a lesson thar! A heuk heuk!!!

Intelligence is frustrating - you have the greatest ideas but absolutely no one will listen to you or buy into your plans ('cause you got no common sense and are therefore too risky).

Add to that that intelligence is not a prerequisit to a completely normal life… don’t have to be a genious to push a mop around and cash your paycheck every other week. Common sense (or a friend with it) are needed not to get screwed over, run over, or pulled over by all the bad people out there.

I’d rather have the common sense not to walk down that dark alley in Crackville on a Saturday night than have the intelligence to make cold fusion work (but loose my car keys every morning since I lacked the common sense to put them in the same place every night)… especially since Mr. Brainiac wouldn’t have the common sense not to sign his idea over on a handshake and a promise to some fast-talking scummy businessman who’d then shaft him and patent the design himself.

Common Sense, easy. For the reason suggested above.

I agree with the common folk—or, rather, the common sense folk.

I knew a man once who was extremely intelligent, but had a hard time in life because he didn’t have a lick of common sense. He was amusing to behold at times (not when he was getting screwed over, mind you, just when he was being naive—“So this place is called McDonald’s? And they have, what, hamburgers there? Hmmm, I’m not familiar.”), but life for him was too much like walking into the lion’s den on a constant basis.

I wouldn’t be too thrilled to be stuck with the intelligence of a 2nd grader, but I definitely want more common sense than that same 2nd grader. A lot of kids that age have barely mastered the knowledge that they are NOT rubber and I am NOT glue.

If asked to make a choice…well, I’d be delighted to get either. A strong case can be made that I lack in both right now.:slight_smile: I guess I’ll say common sense, as I see plenty of people who get along swimmingly with little intelligence.

Just to be a bit contrary here, I question the validity of the OP.

In the hypothetical presented, it’s as if the two can be drawn apart as separate entities.

While certainly not generally true, I believe most of the “intelligent” people I have known have had abundant common sense. If we reserve “intelligent” for just the geeky oddballs who specialize in some arcane knowledge and who have littlle “walking around” sense, I think we’re committing the sort of thing that has some people labeled as “idiot savant.”

If the “common sense” crowd automatically have little “education” and are thus removed from the possibility of attaining “intelligence” through that channel, again I think we’re creating two camps that don’t apply in real life.

As for myself (as I always say) when faced with a choice take both.

Or as Yogi Berra would say, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

Skyzoo, no need to apologize, I was just being a smartass.

Zeldar, I am not saying it would be common to have the above situation, or even possible. This was the easiest way for me to find out whether people value their sense more, or their intelligence more.

I think that what is meant by “intelligence” by the original poster is really not intelligence at all but mere erudition. We are indoctrinated from a very early age by “educators” to equate mere recall of many facts as being the sole sign of “intelligence”. Indeed, from my experience, I’d have to say that “common sense” far better qualifies under a rational definition for “intelligence” than does any other possible definition. Likewise, mere “intellectual” comprehension of a situation is far less intelligent an appraisal than acting upon that comprehension.

Thus, perhaps the OP should have asked: What would you prefer, sterile erudition or dynamic intelligence?

Intelligence. I have less common sense than a 2nd grader anyway, this way I get to improve both.


Very good explanation. I had a hard time when I started this thread thinking of how to word it, but I think most people get the general idea. I think you wording is much better.

So I guess it comes down to whether you would rather be well read and experienced, without much “dynamic intelligence”, or would you rather have the dynamic intelligence minus the experience and education?

As a side note, please don’t lump all educators together, especially in a negative light. Thank you.

well, i like to think i got a couple extra helpings of the common sense that someone else passed up when they went through the cafeteria line. my hubby at least also thinks i’m pretty intelligent. so, what to choose …

on the whole, i believe i’d keep the common sense. being able to deal practically with matters seems much more desirable than having esoteric discussions regarding politics and religion. plus, i’d still be smart enough not to put the watermelon on top of the dozen eggs when i’m bagging my groceries.

i’d also like to think, since common sense seems generally to deal with things as they are, with what’s on hand, that having that gift would make me inclined to search out additional knowledge on my own, in order to fill in gaps that i discover. i may not know how to do something right now, but i know that i can learn, or else find someone else who already can!