Social Question

libkay5's avatar

Is "Common Sense" really just personal prejudices aquired by the age of eighteen?

Asked by libkay5 (24points) April 5th, 2010

I read this statement once and have yet to disprove it. I am curious as to how others might respond.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

Pandora's avatar

I’ve met plenty of people who have lacked common sense all their lives. So I would have to say the statement is false.

tinyfaery's avatar

Like most things, what we call common sense is culturally acquired. Not everyone will agree upon what constitutes such sense.

libkay5's avatar

How do some who have never been in a forest know they are being stalked by an animal when others who have lived in a forest all their lives never notice?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Common sense is an amorphous thing.

It symbolizes everything that a given person thinks everyone else should know.
It’s most often used as a way to indirectly insult someone else’s intelligence.

Since there’s no agreed standard for what common sense really is, it’s not a valid measure by which we can judge the choices people make.

It’s about as concrete a term as the dreaded “conventional wisdom”.
Both terms are based off the concept of assumption which has some pretty dire pitfalls.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Common sense is is the wisdom one (hopefully) acquires when personal preferences have been kicked in the ass a few too many times.

(Welcome to Fluther!)

Pandora's avatar

@tinyfaery @SABOTEUR Is common sense really cultural or personal preference?
Example of common sense.
Common sense would tell you, don’t hit a police officer unless you want to possibly get beat up and thrown in jail.
Don’t hit on a guys wife, or especially touch her in a bar if he is sitting next to her. Especially if he is a big guy.
Common sense would tell you don’t sleep with a married person in their home, especially if it is close to the time of them arriving home.

Common sense would tell you don’t weave in and out of traffic during rush hour when traffic is jammed packed.
Common sense would tell you don’t drive in the HRV lane when you are the only driver during rush hour.
Common sense would tell you don’t text and drive, or drink and drive. Especially don’t do both.
Some live and learn, some don’t live because they didn’t learn, some live on borrowed time because the are just lucky.

I think it may have more to do with survival instincts meets knowledge.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Pandora: Fair enough.

Snarp's avatar

@libkay5 I see no evidence or justification for your statement. It is unproven and essentially meaningless, therefore there is no need to disprove it. And the answer is no.

tinyfaery's avatar


It might behoove someone in say Columbia to run from the police or face certain death.

Your examples are so Western and focused on industrialized nations. Would someone who lives in Tajikistan need to worry about being in a bar, or in traffic? How could that be part of “common sense” when for some those problems do not even exist?

downtide's avatar

I would say its false. Most “common sense” is about personal experience than about prejudice. It’s the sort of things you learn that you can only learn from actual experience rather than from being taught by others.

Pandora's avatar

@tinyfaery, I used those examples because it is what is common place in the states or even most places. Of course you should use whatever is common sense practice for where you are located. Whatever knowledge you have of said culture and combine that with survival instincts an you have common sense.
Common sense would tell you that you should try to get through your day without getting, hurt or killed. Figured where ever you live, most would try to do just that. Of couse if you are a terrorist or something like that, then you have a death wish anyway. Common sense has long left the building.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther