Has wisdom been helpful to man or detrimental to him?
Wisdom has it's own benefits. Man is able to take calculated decisions about anything which animals are not able to. Man can provide for future action based on anticipated events which animals cannot. However wisdom of man has also lead to proliferation of weapons and means of destruction.
I think that's the only possible answer; wisdom has been both. Part of the detriment comes from the fact that we (as individuals and as the human race) aren't as wise as we like to think. What seems like a brilliant solution to one problem causes another one down the road.
Another thing, and few people today will admit to it, is that we (as individuals and as the human race) have a hard-wired bent toward doing evil.
Between the gaps in our wisdom/knowledge and the tendency toward selfishness and mistrust, it's almost a wonder we have benefited from wisdom as much as we have. But it's so much better than foolishness!
I think, despite all the technological advancements man has been proud of possessing, man is still not wise. Wisdom often requires control of one's emotional reactions (the "passions") so that universal principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one's actions. When man is polluting the earth and squandering on non-renewable resources, it is indubitable that man is not wise. Man is insatiable and man wants to have a higher standard of living and higher quality of life. However, man achieves that degree without thinking for the environment.
I would argue that mankind has regressed in wisdom. No one ask the questions “what if?” anymore. Today our minds seen to be very close minded and capped by what a science or technology book tells us and if the answers are not in those books we seem to bottle the question up and forget it ever existed. Also in todays world money and power seem to trump knowledge and wisdom.
The world is in need of another age of enlightenment.
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