A guy I know has the attitude and behavior of someone who thinks he is smarter and more knowledgable than everyone else. His behavior is offputting to me, but somehow it does not seem to derail his career one bit. One day I confronted him, and to my surprise, he admitted both things as true as if it were something obvious, and he had no shame of others knowing his feelings.
What I did not ask is whether he thought he was superior to everyone in general, not just intelligence; and now that I think of it, whether those are the same things. I found his ego to be offensive, bizarre, but also fascinating, and questioned whether in fact he could be right, at least in concept. The whole situation made me wonder more generally, whether being smarter means overall superiority over others, or instead, it is just a sort of abstract fact, like having a larger glove size.
Does being smarter mean you are superior to others, sort of being like more human than animal? Is superior intelligence the equivalent of overall superiority? If not, why is implying someone is not smart such an insult? Is it possible to honestly believe you are smarter than everyone and not “better” than everyone?