EQ–Ethical Intelligence

EQ–Ethical Intelligence March 21, 2008

Are we all born with the same amount of ethical intelligence? 

I would imagine that most people believe that “intelligence” or IQ is not something all people are born with equal amounts of (although an interesting argument anyone is welcome to take up would be that “IQ” is a culturally bound notion and most people are born with equal amounts of “intelligence”). While we may be able to increase our IQ to a certain extent, it seems (at least to me) that there are always people who are more intelligent, and seem to be naturally so.

A similar argument could be said for SQ or “social intelligence” (although much less quantifiable). Some people are naturally better at responding to social circumstances, “fitting in”, or “getting along” with others. A large amount of in-born(?) social ackwardness is hard to overcome.

I’m curious whether or not this argument can be extend to the ethical or moral sphere as far as Mormonism is concerned? Are we all born with the same amount of ethical intelligence? In terms of this discussion it may perhaps be best to create a working definition of ethical intelligence–the ability to recognize right from wrong–as subjective or objective as it may be (so not necessarily to take action or “do” the right, which would also be an interesting discussion). I’m speaking here generically and not universally. In other words there are of course those with sever deformaties that make any universal claim impossible, so I’m dealing here in a “generic” rather than “universal” sense.

Can we all equally recognize right from wrong? Are we born equals in EQ, or are some more naturally endowed than others? If we have differing levels of EQ, is it harder for some to live the gospel than it is for others? 

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