Knowledge and Wisdom

by Dr Davis on April 21, 2016

Donald Vance, indep. Scholar
“When Knowledge and Wisdom Collide”

if you missed the session this morning with Dominic and Sarah and Joe… had to rework my paper as a result…

3 fundamental rules of robotics
1-cannot injure humans
2-must obey humans
3-must protect self

One man’s magic is another man’s engineering. Asimov
Supernatural is a null word. Heinlein
We are born into time only to live out of it… Dean Koontz, Saint Odd, 2015

Sf about tech
But tech brings its own problems.
Extension of our personal connections, people more isolated, not more connected.
Hawking and Musk alarm on …

Where is wisdom? Applied knowledge.
Tech = applied knowledge
Is there an equivalent advance of wisdom?

Where is wisdom? Applied knowledge.
Tech = applied knowledge
Is there an equivalent advance of wisdom?

Slavery gone.
Racism being eliminated.
Status of women improved.
Can’t agree that killing babies is wrong. Medical journal says babies = fetus. Let parents kill deformed babies.

Semitic language specialist. Specialty is Wisdom lit.

Asimov and Heinlein failed.
Knowledge has its dangers, but retreat?


Hard science is listening today.

Job argues with his 3 friends. He demands to argue with God. “what you know, I know” … “I cannot wait to argue with El” … “all of you are quacks”

SF fails to understand the spirituality of our culture.
Johns Hopkins has had spiritual experience. Everyone has had. (Vance says)
Either hold in abeyance or incorporate it into belief.


In sf wise = advanced engineering
Sf lacks understanding of wisdom.
Mechanical reading of Proverbs would imply that wisdom is the goal.
Ignorant and untrained start off Proverbs. Will become old, if you live. To overcome lack of training, must make intentional training. By choices either end up a wise person or a fool. Proverbs goal = to make you a wise person

Wisdom lit of ancient near east = to make you wise

But Proverbs undermines that idea.
New element…


Song of Songs… book where wisdom, knowledge, and understanding never said. But in wisdom literature? Why?

Sf knows about God, but doesn’t know God.
Interesting to read sf where people know God.

Notes from ORU 2015

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