One of the most tiresome aspects of Stephen King’s stories I’ve always found to be his reliance on the “saintly moron” or similar derivations of this themed character. Essentially, this involves a person of marginal intelligence who counters his lack of mental acuity with stupendous amounts of virtuosity and moral purity. He is the moron whose moral compass will dependably point the way to true North of virtuosity. In King’s world of goblins and ghouls, there is the subtle understanding that stupidity and lack of intelligence are synonymous with a sense of timeless, homey righteousness. Conversely, there is also a corresponding one-dimensional expectation of intelligence as an accompaniment to sinister motives and dubious morality. This is but one extreme of the simplistic idealization of intelligence as a signal of personal morality. The flagrant rehashing of such pallid Kingian characters is indicative of the superficial expectations he has of a nuanced personality trait such as intelligence.
On the other hand, I’ve also noticed a tendency on the part of some “racially conscious” bloggers to treat intelligence as an indisputable indicator of virtue, and idiocy as a twin of depravity. Robert Lindsay, a true race realist, earlier posted something entitled “Black Pathology and IQ – Is There a Connection?” He refers to a comment link from Jewamongyou’s Blog and a post there that examined the odd confluence (or not) of Blacks and animal rights, a common theme Robert Lindsay and JAY have been fencing over recently. On JAY’s blog, a commenter attempted to equate abuse of dogs with low-IQ’d savagery. In this I saw a polarized version of Stephen King’s saintly moron archetype.
In both perspectives, there is a nonsensical interspersing of intelligence (as defined by IQ) with morality and human decency and “anti-savagery.” This is ridiculous. The intrinsic act of blurring morality and intelligence is immoral in itself. Intelligence is not morality, and vice versa. Abusing animals is a moral transgression, and if indicated in youth, might very well be the precursor to harmful personality deficits later in life. Abusing animals is not an intellectual shortcoming. In fact, perhaps it can be argued the young animal abuser whose demented drive to torture animals is so strong that he continues to sate it without getting caught is in fact displaying signs of great intelligence. Maybe those who get caught abusing dogs are in fact less intelligent and resourceful than those who slyly get away with it? Is the pool of animal abusers these race realists display as sociological examples thus self-selected for below average intelligence?
I don’t understand the fixation with lack of intelligence as a proxy for amoral and base behavior by many of these race realist types. Idiocy is no more an indicator of animal abuse than intelligence correlates with respect for mankind. The renowned Nuremberg defendants IQ list should lay to rest any lazy inklings we may entertain that intelligence and morality are entwined in any sort of cohesive structure of predictability or logic.
The commenter in the above link connotes animal abuse with “savagery.” Of course. Still, we can clearly state that all animal abusers are savage, but not all savages are animal abusers. The common denominator is not savagery, it is animal abuse. Animal abuse/torture/cruelty is mundanely immoral. Nothing more, nothing less. Animal abuse as a predictor of IQ is not measurable and elusive to the point of uselessness. It’s a dead-end thought experiment because the smartest animal abusers will not be caught and thus not have their minds enlisted to the inquiring research of modern medicine or psychology as it seeks to make sense of abnormal psychology. Interestingly, the sanctification of intelligence issues from the corners of the blogosphere with the severest fetishiization of human IQ. There is a foolish self-congratulatory element to this pattern of thinking, but really it is just another amusing demonstration of the ability of one’s own ego to dilute intelligence and perception.