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Is common sense good sense?

  1. Mar 22, 2003 #1
    Common sense seems to be the platitiudes, half truths and old wives' tales that we inherit from our parents and surroundings, stuff like "life is fair", "work hard and you can be anything you want". "dream big and you'll be rewarded big", etc. etc. While there might be a minute grain of truth in such common sense, there is also a whole load of unsubstantitiated nonsense.

    Some so-called common sense is merely thinly disguised prejudice, such as that certain groups of people are more intelligent/beautiful/harder working than other groups.

    When someone says that something is common sense, I am immediately suspicious. I think that the person is about to lie, speak nonsense or be extreme.

    How do you feel about commmon sense? Is it good sense at all?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2003 #2
    I feel that common sense in context just describes how something is really easy, something that anyone would know. IOW, no "brain power" needed, to be more succinct. So, the correct term, as far as I know, would be a motto, or dictum.

    Anyhow, most dictums are fairly true. One, in general, would pretty much get the point. But, for those of us who are perfectionists(like me, I think about this all the time) would much rather get to the bottom of whether or not a dictum is true or false, wholly. Most dictums, if not all, will have a paradox; I'm sure of it since they don't always apply to everything.

    In general, I don't say anything when someone says "Work hard, it'll pay off!" but I do think of the inconsistencies involved in the dictum.
     
  4. Mar 22, 2003 #3

    Kerrie

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    common sense really isn't so common anymore...
     
  5. Mar 23, 2003 #4
    Cultural Sense

    Are you referring to that which is cultural or, that which is inherent? And here I've been taught -- although this would imply cultural -- that it's inherent. Well if that doesn't just sound like I contradicted myself? And yet it's my common sense that just brought it to my attention? ...

    Thus it would suffice to say (if I'm correct), common sense is the natural born intelligence we give up through "being brainwashed."

    And perhaps, if somebody really wants to fool you, they would start by appealing to your "common sense" -- and begin distorting it into "cultural sense." And guess what? before you know it cultural sense becomes "common sense."

    Hmm... I wonder if this is had anything to do with the appeal the serpent had back in the Garden of Eden? (i.e., the appeal of knowledge versus common sense).
     
  6. Mar 23, 2003 #5
    N_Quire, what you are describing is not "common sense". Common sense is easy deduction. Such as if you see a dead body and a guy with a knife covered in blood standing over her screaming at her, its common sense he must have killed her. Though you could be wrong, it is simple reasonable deduction. If you want to be a doctor you have to go to school....common sense. What you are describing are cliches, sayings. I hate them all that you described and they are all misleading. Life is not fair, you can not always become what you want to become (someone with no art talent will never be able to paint like rembrant), and dreaming does nothing, goal setting is what they are talking about and it is actions that accomplish things. These saying are dangerous to believe because they bring nothing but disapointment. I teach my children that life is NOT fair and that they cannot become ANYTHING but should become SOMETHING. These are possible outcomes and reachable goals.

    *I am an artist so if anyone wants to debate that they could paint like rembrant if they tried and have no talent, please do not do so with me, I will only get violently mad. LOL. If you can't hear a note you cannot become an Opra singer. Same goes with art.*
     
  7. Mar 23, 2003 #6
    common sense is also what tells one what direction is west when watching the sun set. common sense is not things like; "life is fair", "work hard and you can be anything you want". "dream big and you'll be rewarded big", etc. etc. those are adages which are something relative to the society in which they are perpetuated.
     
  8. Mar 23, 2003 #7

    (Q)

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    Is it good sense at all?

    Yes, as long as you have enough information to give common sense validity and credibility.

    Relativity, for example, defies common sense. That is, until you have an understanding of relativity.

    Another example, if you gazed out of your window staring across at the horizon, common sense would tell you that the world was flat.
     
  9. Mar 23, 2003 #8
    What if there was a big gully in front of your window?
     
  10. Mar 23, 2003 #9
    then it would seem to be flat with a big gully. :wink:
     
  11. Mar 23, 2003 #10
    no common sense would tell you that the earth is round because you can move from point A and continue until you hit point A again. It would not be common sense now, was when they never traveled around the world though.
     
  12. Mar 23, 2003 #11
    i am prety sure that he means "if you never left the house and just looked out the window for your answer." :wink:
     
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