Sophistication of Beliefs

What is the word for the level of sophistication of a philosophy or idea?

Like – when you’re younger, and you wander through the city and see people begging, and you think, “I’m not going to give them any money. That will just encourage them to keep on begging, and their begging makes me feel unsafe and uncomfortable, because I’m worried they might become confrontational with me. Plus, they will probably just spend any money on booze anyway. How hard would it be for them to really just get a crappy job at McDonald’s or whatever? Are they too lazy for a crappy job?”

And then, with new experiences and information, maybe you think about the people begging, “Their lives must be shit. $10 might hardly mean anything to me and it might mean a lot to them. Who on earth am I to judge someone else – and my gosh, as if it’s enjoyable for them to sit on cold pavement and be demeaned by all the passersby. I can’t put myself in their shoes at all.”

Oh, here’s another awful belief I had when I was younger (and I’m embarrassed to admit it, but there you go) – “Isn’t it stupid how we have to do training and get a license to drive a car, but people don’t have to get a license to have a child? ” Inferred: Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have children.

And then, the evolution of that belief: “Jeepers. Through the lottery of birth and the hideously unfair distribution of wealth, some people have everything, and some people have nothing, and the people who have everything stand there and say, ‘You should need a license to have a child…’ Life is so unfair, and humans are so cruel.”

Are there standard levels of wisdom that we can evolve through, and are they documented somewhere?

With social media, I feel like sometimes there is a push for a certain philosophical levelling-up, and it spreads like wildfire – wokeness – like #everydaysexism, where people acknowledged: “Women get treated like second-class citizens all the time. Still.”

Sometimes the populist philosophical evolution concerns me, like the aggressive demand that people always believe alleged victims of abuse/assault, because alleged victims are always right. I don’t think that’s a levelling-up.

Anyway. Just thinking out loud.


  1. L says:

    Wouldn’t it make sense that as we age and experience the main common things, we have changes in perspective parallel to the environmental and age-based changes? We learn so much from observation of others and through reflection and history. I think these play a part in the depth of analysis that takes place over time in creating our opinion.

    • Fox says:

      But that doesn’t really explain why some people grow older and still say, “People should need to get a license to have children.” ?

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