Is personality more important than ability ?

Last updated: March 3, 2017

Should we value somebody's personality over their ability.

Is personality more important than ability ?
Yes because...

we can used diabled people as an example

By the very definition of the word disabled, these are people who are not able bodied. If we were to value ability over personality; then we put perfectly valuable human resources which are potential assets( such as disabled people) to society in the back burner.

They would be our last consideration as friends and we assign them with a lower human value than their able counterparts. It is for this reason that personality should be valued above natural ability.

People cannot avoid being born disabled, but they can control their attitude. Therefore; it is personality we should praise people for, as this is something that we cultivate for ourselves.
No because...
The problem with this argument lies in the terminology. Citing disabled people as an example of those who lack ability; you only talk of the physically disabled; what about the mentally disabled?

These people do not have the ability to change their personality, that is the very nature of their disability. It is a disability in the mind. So , how can we judge them on their lack of ability to change/develop their personality?

Counter: Quite often; the main reason we friend or are kind to disabled people is because we feel bad for them or wish to see the person 'behind' the disability and not because they have winning personalities.

The idea of good/bad personalities is subjective. People have personality preferences/compatibilities. Everyone may not hold the view that a commercially defined glowing/peppy personality is the best personality. And having an odd personality does not mean they/we can't find friends. We're all quirky/weird in our own way and true friends accept us with our faults/setbacks(irrespective of whether we are socially awkward, lack savoir faire, have disgusting eating habits etc ) and sometimes because of them.

*When we require a disabled person to meet our standards. That is require them to at the least have a good personality/smile-a-lot for us to be charitable to them. Then we are not being nice but are discriminatory. We should help people in need irrespective of whether we like them or not.

Human resources can only be utilized according to abilities. If you are mute; no amount of voice lessons will make you an incredible singer. Just as a lame-legged cripple cannot run a marathon.

Is personality more important than ability ?
Yes because...

we should not seek to improve ourselves via other people's ability

When it comes to valuing people, if we use ability to classify people by we are using an inherent thought process that renders that we should only value humans who can do something for us.

We should only value those who will help us achieve our goals. But this surely is not the way to go through life. We should not see people as a means to our own ends as Kant-anian theorists would say. Instead we should value people for their personality.

This valuation does not revolve around asking if a person is useful to our purposes and therefore is the least self interested valuation; and therefore the correct one.

Counter: I think the person who authored the paragraphs above; is confusing charity/human-kindness/selflessness with being won over by an individual's personality.The latter being self interested because 'you' need to be won over; that is(i.e), 'like' the person you're being nice to if you're judging him/her on his/her personality.

The general idea is that a good personality is one that makes other people happy; by making them laugh or feel important or feel like they are in the comfortable presence of greatness(as stated above and on the right:we like personalities that aid in achieving our own ends).

So; we have a general perspective of largely like-able personalities where as a vague measure of abilities; making our judgment of people on the basis their abilities as determined by time-limited tests problematic.

Think of this as E.Q(emotional quotient) versus I.Q
(intelligence quotient)

Clarifying with examples:

You can can hire/admit a person to a job/institution on the basis of his/her abilities as demonstrated/measured via/through testing and interviews but his/her personality will determine whether s/he can last in your work-place/space/environment, alternatively whether s/he fits in to/with your company culture.

e.g 2. You may admire/like a person from afar because of his/her sports/academic abilities/strengths but may not like the person once you get to know him/her because of a personality clash.

We of the proposition challenge the definition of personality as a means to showcase/advertise abilities and redefine personality as: who we are inside.
No because...
But the same argument can be made about personality. If we value personality, what criteria do we base this valuation on? We base the criteria around what we want out of life.

If we seek morbid truth and intellect, then we will value humans with these personality sets. If we require an out going friend who makes us laugh, then this is what we will value.

What we value in personality is also about achieving our own ends.

Counter to counter:
But personality as defined on the left, is the 'ability' to win people over; and therefore deems the debate itself void and self-contradictory. You cannot logically compare category of something with itself. A belongs to B; Is A preferred to B?
maybe actually

If you choose B,then you automatically get A since it is contained in B but if you choose A exclusively you could be saying you prefer A over B/A (U A) in B. Therefore prefer A over all elements of A complement in B.

Right, so the argument on the left is that the ability to win people over trumps all other abilities. Yes, but is personality not a superficial rendition of all your abilities? That is; your personality showcases how smart/athletic/able you are.

How you present yourself is not more important than who you are or what you are able to do. False advertising is devious and advertising in general can be thought of as showing-off/exhibitionism. Therefore personality or your superficial interactions with your universe of discourse is not a true indicator of merit/ability and should be dismissed relative to people's real value/competence

Is personality more important than ability ?
Yes because...

personality can sometimes achieve more than ability

A great personality practically proves to be a more effective conduit towards any achievement than mere ability. Ability without personality(meaning the right attitude here) is wasted because it lacks stand alone value.

Someone who is pleasant to talk to, willing to cooperate with others, trustworthy etc. can achieve much more than job competency. Good personality traits such as being optimistic and positive, perseverance, willful/sincere dedication to whatever you do and keeping a growth mindset; can prove to be supremely effective/useful in achieving any thing.

Everyone's good at something.
No because...
Personality without ability is shallow and void.

Skills must/should be honed before they are illuminated for all to see via a bright/attractive personality.

Otherwise you come off as fake/artificial/a-fluke/a-joke/dishonest/unreliable/exaggerating/a-stereotypical-socialite.

And your vibrant personality works against you.

Assuming 'Everyone's good at something'; your personality should match your abilities to be effective in your pursuit for success; giving a false impression does not benefit you(or anyone else) in the long run.

Is personality more important than ability ?
No because...

Ability can change, personality can't.

If I am incompetent at something, it is my fault because I have not trained myself up enough. Even people with no natural gift can get to a reasonably level of competence over time. Personality is part of identity, it is what makes a person who they are, it is unfair to ask them to change this. As it can't be changed, it is unfair to judge them on the criteria. Even if a person was to so radically change, it wouldn't be the same person, so it would be meaningless to compare them to the old person.

When you complain about someone being mean, miserly, dishonest etc. you are asking them to act in a different way towards you eg. give you what you want - not to actually be a different person! It would be unfair to ask them to change that much. Acting in a way that you can co-operate with others in a society is different from changing your inner life. You would usually give someone an incentive, such as a favour back, or a threat of punishment, to someone with a difficult personality, so that it makes sense in-character for them to act in the normally uncharacteristic way.
Yes because...
How can you believe that we have no control over our personality and therefore should not be judged for it? If we come across someone who is a nasty person, mean, scrupulous, we do not automatically think that they are born that way and forgive them. People do have control over their personality, people can choose who they want to be. To argue differently is to argue for the counter intuitive; opposite to how we all naturally think.

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