I sometimes wish we lived in a world that rewarded or penalized us the way characters in video games are.

How To Use Intelligence, How Not To Use It—And A Warning To The Wise

How to use intelligence. Use intelligence to pursue truth.
Photo by Ryan Jacobson on Unsplash

# 76 on my 99 Life Tips–A List is: Use your intelligence to pursue Truth. Do not use your intelligence to produce misinformation.

Simple. The warning is a little further below.


Intelligence is both a gift, a tool, and a potential curse. Use your intelligence to pursue Truth. (Yes capital T, because all truth issues from The Truth, just as all lies issue from the father of lies).

Too often, intelligence is used to corrupt, camouflage, or constrain truth. This is a shameful abuse of the gift, a shameful misuse of the tool, and ends up being a curse both to the intelligent misuser, and to those harmed by the misuse. 

Intelligence is a tool for finding truth, because it is the only tool we have to recognize it once found. To use it for another purpose is to damage the tool.

We live in an age of misinformation affecting everything we hear from politics to healthcare to religion. We are shamelessly lied to by the powerful who control the machinery. And some, parroting the powerful, use social media to scatter the lies like one pushing a broadcast spreader of grass seed infested with weeds. 

What are the intelligent to do? In the land of lies, truth seekers are enemy combatants. The intelligent are labeled “elitists”, as if it is elite to believe in mathematics, scientific data, and live video (regarding vote counting, or virus spread rates, or a violent insurrection, respectively). 

Call me elite.

Grow your intelligence bar and power up

I sometimes wish we lived in a world that rewarded or penalized us the way characters in video games are. 

Use your intelligence correctly and cause your intelligence bar to fill and glow. Fill it to maximum and level up, enabling discovery of even more truth. You progress and advance, careful to increase, not decrease, your intelligence meter.

Use it incorrectly, either by believing, or spreading a lie, and the bar level drops. Believe or spread lies often enough and the intelligence bar drops to zero, disabling even the simplest actions.

Of course if that was happening in RL, there would be millions who could no longer dress themselves. Kitchens would be on fire in every neighborhood. And drooling, blubbering, naked and shoeless fools would be strewn everywhere, having abused the gift of intelligence they had started with to their own detriment. If only…

But that is not our reality. There is no immediately discernible, internally affective penalty. So liars prepare and feast on deceptive nonsense with impunity.


Truth starts with me and you

But what if we didn’t tolerate that anymore? What if we demanded truth of ourselves, those with whom we remain in contact, and from those to whom we turn for information? Truth starts with me… and with you. It starts with policing ourselves, refusing the commission or admission of lies.

The degree to which we live and act in harmony with truth is the degree to which our intelligence displays its existence and vigor. Conformity to truth determines the degree to which we can hear, recognize, and embrace new truths as we discover them.

Just as a conscience is be-numbed each time its own warnings are ignored, until ultimately it becomes cauterized and useless, so intelligence is defiled with every lie believed and uttered, until it too is useless — twisted by its own misuse into self-deception. Every lie believed or uttered contributes to deceiving oneself, extracting a toll on the ability to recognize truth at all.

Here’s a perilously frightening warning to those I’ve described, who do not love, seek, and cling to truth, confirming the deterioration and ultimate disaster coming their way. Notice the susceptibility to further delusion once love of truth is abandoned.


“… and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

~ 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, NKJV


I strongly suspect that verse is not magnet’d to the refrigerator of many of the self-righteous perpetrators of the numerous lies polluting the national dialogue. 

They probably think they can pick-and-choose which truths to love… not so!

So, the takeaway, I repeat, is to use your intelligence to pursue truth. Cause if not…

Self-deception and delusion is its own condemnation.

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