Ethical Quotient (EQ)

Facts that are useful become knowledge. It is simple to create the ability to access large amounts of facts. Google does this. We don’t consider Google to be intelligent, in fact, we don’t consider intelligent, a human being who does nothing but access large amounts of facts with no further reasoning involved. It is the selection of facts that are useful that steps up from being facts alone, into the realm of knowledge.

Knowledge that is applied well becomes wisdom. Having a lot of knowledge (useful facts) but failing to apply them well falls short of wisdom. Wisdom generally implies the use of knowledge to improve our lives or living conditions. The analysis of how to apply knowledge well is called ethics. We consider alternatives and how they will determine outcomes and weigh the value of outcomes against each other.

Instead of using an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) to measure learning ability, we should use an Ethical Quotient (EQ) to measure the ability to apply intelligence well. IQ is measured by requiring manipulation of abstract symbols that hopefully is independent of memorized facts. An ultimate IQ test might involve developing a brand new algebra for manipulating previously unseen symbols.

Measuring EQ should require manipulation of abstract chains of events that are independent of any specific set of social customs and attitudes, in order to analyze best possible results. Increasing EQ level should be the end product of education.