Poll: Are skilled/intelligent people obligated not to "waste" that skill or intelligence?
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View poll results: Are skilled/intelligent people obligated not to "waste" that skill or intelligence?
10 20%
31 61%
Not Sure
10 20%
Voters: 51.
I was just having a conversation with my friend about a mutual acquaintance. He's a smart kid, but he has no discipline and is really fukken annoyingly disrespectful. My friend said that he was selfish and "wasting his talent" by quitting high school and doing whatever.

Ignoring the quitting school angle, is there such a thing as "wasting" one's talent? Does having a skill or a talent obligate you in any way to use them? Are intelligent people morally obligated to make use of their intelligence?

I disagree, personally. I personally want to use my abilities to better society, but I don't believe that people should be obligated to simply because of some special skill. Taking that to a logical extreme, the most capable members of society would be morally enslaved to the needs of the least capable or the least skilled.

Once you're forced to do something, you no longer do it well.
i don't know why i feel so dry
people can do whatever the hell they want to, regardless of what they're wasting. live for yourself, not what possible contribution you can give to the world.
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I wouldn't call it wasting talent but I would call it underperformance especially when someone has the talent. We all have bad days where we do stupid things or make the wrong decisions in hindsight but I don't think talent can ever be wasted, just either underperformed or underachieved. At the end of the day talent is talent and no one can take that away from you. On any God given day, you could display all the talent that you had.

A bad decision doesn't necessarily mean wasting talent. As I mentioned above, I don't believe there's such thing as wasting talent.
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no because those who become great at something are great because they do it alot because they want too, in most cases at least. This is especially true in the arts and in the people that contribute most outside-the-box innovations in various fields. It's hard for people to fall in love with something if there forced to or feel obligated to do it. Take me for example, I have an IQ of 119 but in terms of mathematics I am in the bottom 3rd % of people my age. I also have harsh ADD. All those years I was beating myself up for "not trying" in school and everyone would say "but your smart, just lazy" and I would accept that. It took the results of psycho-educational assesment for me to admit to myself that it's not that I'm being lazy it's that school is in fact very difficult for me. I have since dropped out. I hope your friends finds happiness, finds something he likes to do and manages to make a living in a way he can bear/find a lifestyle he enjoys.
Quote by Eastwinn
Once you're forced to do something, you no longer do it well.

I thought that at first then thought of all the asians who are forced to do math and are amazing at it.
There's an episode of Black Books (UK sitcom) where one of the characters (Tamsin Greig, UK actress) buys a car (common UK transportation). In the same episode she meets some new extended family, who love her. It slowly becomes clear, though, that they only love her for her car, as they keep getting her to run errands for them and drive them places. She ends up petrol bombing the car so she doesn't have to carry on.

By analogy: if you have a particular skill or talent or car, you shouldn't have it exploited or feel pressured into using it all the time, or you'll just end up resenting and maybe destroying it.

Also, for any of this to make sense, talent=car.

You can find out more about cars here:
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He doesn't sound so smart to me.
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For me wasting talent and being obliged to use it are different things. I don't think you are obliged to use it at all, but having said that, if you do not, it is still a waste of potential.
I think people should do whatever the hell they want as long as they don't break any mayor rules and are able to deal with the consequences.
People who say their talents are going to waste usually want to use them for the good of the world but for some reason can't.
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Quote by CrunchyRoll
He doesn't sound so smart to me.

I was thinking more generally. I think the guy's an idiot, but that's not the issue.
Quote by rgrockr
People who say their talents are going to waste usually want to use them for the good of the world but for some reason can't.

That reason being they have no talent?

And it's in no way a moral obligation to use your talents. Talent and intelligence is adjustable; there's only so much you're born with. You can be talented at writing, but if you want to be an engineer despite your lack of skill, then there's nothing stopping you from not writing anything and studying physics. If you keep in mind the fact that you can gain skill and intelligence, you might wind up becoming an equally proficient engineer as you would a writer. You shouldn't become enslaved to do something you don't like just because you're good at it.
Im torn on this. For example, if you have a vast knowledge of medicine, and a sick person came to you and asked for help, in a way, doing nothing would be considered wrong, and wasteful. But if the only thing your good at is killing people, then its not wasteful to not do it.

I guess you should be able to do what you want, regardless of whether or not your good at. Ie I play guitar and play football. I wouldn't say its wasting
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