Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Moral Mind

“The most important endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity for life.”
Albert Einstein, Letter to Reverend C. Greenway, 
November 20,1950. AEA 28–894



In this science program “How Smart Can We Get?” on PBS-TV, the question of smartness is discussed by host David Pogue. This documentary, which aired on the show NOVA (October 24, 2012), has the following program description:
How do you get a genius brain? Is it all in your genes? Or is it hard work? Is it possible that everyone’s brain has untapped genius–just waiting for the right circumstances so it can be unleashed? From a man who can immediately name the day of the week of any date in history to a “memory athlete” who can remember strings of hundreds of random numbers, David Pogue meets people stretching the boundaries of what the human mind can do. Then, Pogue puts himself to the test: after high-resolution scanning, he finds out how the anatomy of his brain measures up against the greatest mind of the century: Albert Einstein.
While feats of memory are interesting and can provide amusement to large crowds of people, they hardly define the highest mark or achievement of human intelligence. This takes hard work and a high degree of concentration. Curiosity and creativity along with a desire to understand describe the minds of all great thinkers. Understanding our place in the universe and how to go about our business in the best possible way are always worth considering and pursuing. When the human mind is dedicated to doing good—a moral good, I might add—then our actions will have a basis in such morality, engaged in the pursuit of something noble and worth remembering.

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