The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Does Intelligence Affect One's Consciousness?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Debate Round Forfeited
HypocrisyIsKey has forfeited round #3.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
Time Remaining
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/20/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 421 times Debate No: 98264
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)




Now, before I say anything, I want to clarify that:

a) Knowledge and intelligence aren't the same thing. A genius can know less than a regular person if the genius was taught less.

b) I have nothing against people with mental deficiencies. I've actually made friends with many people who have disabilities and I think they're awesome.

c) I do believe that IQ corresponds somewhat to intelligence, but I do not think it is a staple to exactly how intelligent somebody really is. You can't really determine EXACTLY how intelligent someone is based on a test they filled out. But hey, it's a debate. Feel free to disagree.

d) I do not think that we will ever be able to find the exact level of a person's consciousness, or whether consciousness does actually correspond to intelligence.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's get into it. I know it's a pretty deep subject, but it's always been a question I've had, and I want to see other peoples' opinions.

I believe that having a greater intelligence will result one's consciousness being stronger. Maybe I'm being egocentric in thinking that, because I consider myself as at least somewhat smart, and I believe I have a strong consciousness. But on the other hand, I think that everybody believes they have a strong consciousness, regardless of how smart they are considered to be. Even though most people know they aren't the center of the universe, they still feel as if they are. I haven't met a person who says that they have a weak presence in life. The problem is that this question is so difficult to tackle, since there is no way of ever actually knowing the "right" answer. One can believe that their mind's presence is as strong as the smartest man on Earth, and nothing can prove them right or wrong (or maybe there is something that determines this, and I haven't heard about it. If there is something like this, please share). A mentally handicapped person could be just as conscious and awake as you, or even more, and you would never find out. But I believe that the case is that the more intelligent the human mind is, the more aware and "awake" it will be. I have no good reason to believe this except for that some people I meet that I know are not on the intelligent side seem to have a dead, unaware look in their eyes, as if they aren't even fully aware of everything. Like they don't see what others see. I'm not saying this is the case for every unintelligent person, however, but definitely several. I'm not trying to be condescending; some people are funny, talented, and look alive even when they aren't particularly smart. And I'm certainly not saying that one human life is "worth" more than another, simply because of how conscious they are. However, I do think that being more conscious is a good thing, and that it can actually be improved with practice. I'm trying to stay open-minded, because I think that intelligence could definitely be entirely irrelevant to how aware somebody is, and it's simply a practice of senses. However, I do believe there is a correspondence here between one's intelligence and consciousness.


Unfortunately, you didn't give a clear definition of "intelligence" or "consciousness," so I'm unsure how to tackle your argument. I'm going to try to define the terms based on what you said in your argument.

According to your initial clarifications, your don't consider knowledge and intelligence to be equivalent. Is your definition of intelligence is likely the ability to process information, think logically and critically, and learn? This is the only definition that makes sense to me based on your criteria. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

Now, you say you don't think consciousness can be measured, so I assume this debate is purely of philosophical nature. You also describe consciousness with words like "awake" and "aware." Because of the likely philosophical nature of this debate, I assume you mean these terms metaphorically. You describe people with less consciousness as dead-eyed and unaware of things, which I think I can take more at face value. Because your description is so vague, I can't fully tell what you are talking about. Are more conscious people more understanding of philosophical concepts? Or are more conscious people more aware of reality?

Because I don't have a good definition of the terms we are using, I can't provide any decent arguments. The kind of arguments I could use vary wildly depending on the definition of intelligence and consciousness.
Debate Round No. 1


I define consciousness by the definition: the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc. As for intelligence, your assumption does indeed fit my definition for intelligence in this context.

You are also correct in believing this is a purely philosophical debate. Many terms that I use are metaphorical. As for my description of people of less consciousness, I am definitely not the most articulate person, but I will attempt to restate my point.

My point is that some people look almost dead inside, like as if they aren't "all there". Their eyes are unfocused and often foggy. I believe this sort of trait is more common in unintelligent individuals than intelligent ones. My point is that this is due to a lower state of consciousness of the people with less intelligence.

As to your question of what I believe conscious people are aware of, I believe that the understanding of philosophical ideas are what makes up the consciousness.

I hope this cleared things up for you. Have a pleasant day!


I actually agree with your original position, but I'm going to do my best to create an argument for the sake of debate.

Intelligence and consciousness aren't necessarily connected. As we've established, consciousness is an awareness, in this case, of philosophical concepts, while intelligence is the ability to process information and learn. Based on these definitions, I believe that intelligence requires mostly literal, nonabstract thinking, while consciousness requires mostly nonliteral, abstract thinking. So, someone who is incredibly intelligent could be completely incapable of comprehending the more abstract concepts required to be conscious of philosophical concepts. These people may excell with literal concepts, like science and math, but fail to understand abstract concepts like the meaning of life or the afterlife. Someone could also excell at abstract thinking and have the kind of imagination necessary to contemplate philosophical concepts, but be completely lost in terms of more literal concepts. Because people often possess different methods of thinking, it's possible to be highly intelligent or highly conscious, but not both.
Debate Round No. 2
This round has not been posted yet.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
Anyway. If you hate your past...If you hate your present... You are stuck with your "future" and will have "non-consciousness".
Posted by canis 1 year ago
Yesterday I saw a documeneary about a person with alzheimers. His "consciousness" slowly faided away. No "past", "present" or "future"... So yes.
Posted by Thoguth 1 year ago
This is probably going to come in kind of slant-wise to what you're saying, but I think it's related.

Are you familiar with simulationism? The idea that some techno-futurists hold that, the odds are good that we're living in a simulated reality and not "real" reality? The core of their concept is that, for those living within a simulation, there is not necessarily an obvious way of recognizing it as such.

My related (and I know a little cheesy) thought is that whenever we empathize with someone else, whenever we take a moment to consider how they're feeling now, or how they will feel in the future, we create, for a moment, a simulation of another consciousness. Obviously we're not creating an entire universe--well, or are we? We're creating a mental simulation of a person, with emotions, with a sensation of what exists--including everything in the universe in which their simulated mentality resides.

It's a VERY low-fidelity simulation, of course, right? But ... a smart person will create a higher-fidelity low-fi simulation than someone with low IQ, I beiieve.

Then there's one other thought: Simulationism is compatible (I think) with theism of some sort. If there were an "unbounded" intelligence, then for that intelligence to imagine a possibility, would be for them to "mentally" simulate it at such high-fidelity that it would in effect be creating a simulation of the sort of fidelity and precision that simulationists envision. If there is a God or any "all-knowing" entity like Him... then He doesn't even have to be "all powerful". By virtue of having an intellect that can simulate universes, he is all-powerful within his own "mind" (if you could call such a thing a mind, really). Even if He were to theorize on what future events might happen; in His mind, the simulation to determine what the long-term result was, would be to those-being-simulated, no different than the actual long-term result.

Not sure how relevant that all is, it just feels like it c
Posted by HypocrisyIsKey 1 year ago
The most fitting defintion that I could find of consciousness, as defined by, is: "The state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc."

As for parameters, I mean the levels of introspection and understanding of other people, as well as the understanding of reality. Hope that helps!

I probably should have cleared this up beforehand, but I'm also trying to keep the debate more conversational and casual yet deep, rather than intense and argumentative.
Posted by sboss18 1 year ago
Define "consciousness" and explain by what parameters you measure having a "strong consciousness".
This debate has 0 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click the Add to My Favorites link at the top of the page.