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Old 09-11-2007, 11:29 PM   #1
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Question Do you believe

that common sense can be taught?
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:36 PM   #2
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Absolutely, I feel as parents we begin teaching our children common sense from birth!

I am looking forward to reading other responses.
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:48 AM   #3
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No - some people just seem to have it and others don't. You can see this, I think, right from childhood. Remember those kids who made odd decisions that made no sense, like jumping off the top of the monkeybars, while other kids chose not to. I think a certain amount of common sense can be taught, but to "have it", well, you are just lucky!

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Old 09-12-2007, 12:54 AM   #4
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My family would say no, because the always said I was so smart, but had no common sense. Actually, what I've found that to mean for myself is that I sometimes get so excited about a creative idea that I forget to think it through, and end up with unforeseen consequences.

That being said, I worked as a counselor and probation officer for many years, and met so many people without basic survival skills. I had a lady on probation who really didn't understand why she was getting fired from jobs for being late, and didn't own an alarm clock. Her parents hadn't had one, so she didn't either.

Sometimes what we think of as common sense is actually knowledge that that we were taught (or learned through observation) so early and so naturally we don't even remember learning it.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:15 AM   #5
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I don't think common sense can be taught. I think that certain skills and disciplines can be taught-like the alarm clock thing, but not common sense.

Basically, this is what an IQ test is. An IQ test isn't based on how educated you are, or how much knowledge that you have from schooling, books, etc. but instead a reading of how quickly and effeciently your brain works/thinks.

There are people who have college degrees who don't "get" a simple joke...or people who have college educations who can't keep control of their finances.

There are about 17 people in my and my husband's family with no common sense...and I don't see them getting any, any time soon.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:27 AM   #6
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John Locke would disagree with this. On the second Treatise of Government, I think Locke basically stated that common sense is based on the ideals of the many, or "common". Things that are innately intuitive are what we would refer to as common sense, but a lot of times, it has to be dealt dearly on how someone is taught. I would say that whatever society we gree up in would affect our common sense. So yes, in part I would say it could be partially taught, even though in many aspects it would never be. I cant bring up touchy subjects because they may be political, so I will leave it at that.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:55 AM   #7
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Okay - I'm going to say no - but I'm going to qualify this with my understanding of the word 'taught'. Let's change 'taught' to 'learned'. Can common sense be LEARNED? Absolutely. We learn through experience - success, failure, pleasures, disappointments and so on. Can ANOTHER person TEACH us to have common sense? No - that's just a lecture.

But most people, as they grow up (at whatever age!) begin to learn common sense... I am a late learner myself, though my sister, with her differing experiences, grew into an adult with a good deal of common sense at a much younger age than I have.

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Old 09-12-2007, 12:25 PM   #8
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Hmmm... we talked a lot about this in my household because it seems to be a family trait in my husbands family to be lacking in common sense. And I mean _LACKING_ in it!

I think it's a combination of personality and childhood examples and education that does it. I do not think an adult can be "taught" to have common sense. Like said before - it is learned, but it is a personal experience.

It sure is frustrating for those of us with it, to coexist closely with those who do not... mostly because we want to teach it to them, through lectures, sighs, beatings about the head... but it doesn't work. Believe me I have tried!
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:37 PM   #9
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Okay, I don't know but if there is one let me know, lol! I know a lot of people who are book smart, intelligent actually but have NO common sense what-so-ever!
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:38 PM   #10
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hmmm... interesting!!

A lot of my really intelligent friends i find have less common sense than the less intelligent
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizziness View Post

It sure is frustrating for those of us with it, to coexist closely with those who do not... mostly because we want to teach it to them, through lectures, sighs, beatings about the head... but it doesn't work. Believe me I have tried!


Yep...this is how I feel much of the time.
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAngel View Post
Okay - I'm going to say no - but I'm going to qualify this with my understanding of the word 'taught'. Let's change 'taught' to 'learned'. Can common sense be LEARNED? Absolutely. We learn through experience - success, failure, pleasures, disappointments and so on. Can ANOTHER person TEACH us to have common sense? No - that's just a lecture.

But most people, as they grow up (at whatever age!) begin to learn common sense... I am a late learner myself, though my sister, with her differing experiences, grew into an adult with a good deal of common sense at a much younger age than I have.

Heather
I think I pretty much agree with this. I'm like kaplods (Colleen), my family has always said I'm book smart but had little common sense. And I do stupid things sometimes that common sense would have clearly prevented. But here's where it gets tricky...I learn from my mistakes. Does the ability to learn from your stupid mistakes suggest the existence of common sense?
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Old 09-12-2007, 02:24 PM   #13
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You'll also find "common sense" being used as a judgement of one group against another group. What is thought of as "common sense" sometimes is just "things we were taught, that THEY don't know"

Is it common sense to come in out of the rain? What if you LIKE playing in the rain - do you lack common sense, or are you just unaware or unconcerned with the common "rule" that one must come in out of the rain.
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAngel View Post
Okay - I'm going to say no - but I'm going to qualify this with my understanding of the word 'taught'. Let's change 'taught' to 'learned'. Can common sense be LEARNED? Absolutely. We learn through experience - success, failure, pleasures, disappointments and so on. Can ANOTHER person TEACH us to have common sense? No - that's just a lecture.

But most people, as they grow up (at whatever age!) begin to learn common sense... I am a late learner myself, though my sister, with her differing experiences, grew into an adult with a good deal of common sense at a much younger age than I have.

Heather
very well put, I agree.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:33 PM   #15
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It CAN bet taught, although some people have a limited capacity for it --

However most people are taught the opposite of common sense, in fact having attended Catholic school I can say that there are times you learn to hide your common sense when it collides with "faith-based" matters, which it often does, or get in big BIG trouble!

We definitely need more common sense and rationality in this world and less religion! IMO!
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