• tim wood
    7.7k
    It's hard to know what ignorance is these days,... Kierkegaard said repetition was impossible, and that this meant we are incapable of imitating Christ. .Gary M Washburn

    Broadly, granted. In particular, not so. Imitating? Maybe. But we can take the lesson and try to be like as best we can.

    And variation a ground for intelligence to manifest? Beethoven by different conductors and orchestras each revealing some new aspect of the music. Or in any endeavor, Beethoven being just a richer ore.

    But by stupidity I mean that without redeeming merit. An absurd small example, but one that happens everywhere, and often. The fellow who on a hot Summer day parks in the middle of a paved parking lot, itself hot enough to fry an egg on, and inside a steel box too hot to touch, runs at around 500 degrees a large gasoline engine to power an a/c that in turn will blow a cooling breeze on him, and this mere yards away from a tree-shaded lake with benches and across which God's own breeze is blowing.

    What harm is he doing? With respect to other harms possible at that moment, probably not much. But as harm in itself, much, and a sign of a potential for much worse.
  • Tom Storm
    2k
    "To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost."

    Gustave Flaubert
  • Yohan
    225
    I am a low level expert on stupidity.
    My anti-stupid advice is pretty simple. But first, my favorite topic, malcontentment. Of which I am notan expert at, but... there is a tendency where the more one is attached to being content, the more malcontent one is. While the more one embraces contentment as ephemeral, the more contented one will tend to be. My advice is to apply this same principle when it comes to stupidity. Surrender trying to be smart.
  • Gary M Washburn
    213


    Merely suggesting that the most prevalent mode of stupidity in the world is obtusely misconstruing the stranger for fear of one's own alienation. It's the variations that come upon us even as we try to achieve consistency or continuity that create the terms by which intelligence grows. Stupidity is resistance against the stranger in us all.
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    Yours a generous spirit. Thought experiment: when on the basis of simple and plain evidence generosity is exhausted or even inappropriate, what then? And on a host of larger and smaller issues, has not that state already long been reached?
  • baker
    2.5k
    Point here. I think you're exactly right. But against that I appeal to longer term interests. That is, they may be tactical, but lack strategic understanding. For humanity writ large, that may be fatal and soon.tim wood
    So what? Man lives to please one's ego. One could be dying in the gutter and still feel satisfied with oneself, blissing out in righteous indignation.
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    So what? Man lives to please one's ego. One could be dying in the gutter and still feel satisfied with oneself, blissing out in righteous indignation.baker

    I'll ask the doctor to increase your dose.
  • Gary M Washburn
    213
    The stupidity of the law is that police, lawyers, and judges are required to apply a meaning of the law that belies its origin. When we stop at a stop sign we chafe a bit, from a rolling stop to an annoyingly full stop. The cop has his own standards, but each of us expresses our own in subtle ways and that subtlety, even if it doesn't come to explicit declarations or even political activism, effects the writing of the law, but not necessarily its enforcement, which may be entirely numb to the human controversy generating law. When the difference becomes intolerably confused the result is road rage. The legislator can't stand being judged. How stupid do you have to be to live under such a system?
  • 180 Proof
    5.6k
    "To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost."

    Gustave Flaubert
    Tom Storm
    :smirk:

    :up:

    *

    Because ...
    You can't slit the throat of everyone whose character it would improve. — Al Swearengen
    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." ~Hanlon's Razor

    Stupidity, n. A congenital species defect – the incorrigible misuse / abuse of intelligence, knowledge and/or judgment that inadvertently does harm to others and/or oneself (i.e. maladaptive conduct) – against which a cultivated intellect strives.
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/475510 :victory: :mask:

    What is your aim in philosophy? – To show the fly the way out of the fly bottle. — Witty, PI §309
    Against stupidity, philosophers (i.e. sisyphusian 'meta-cognitive hygienists' and/or 'dialectical rodeo-clowns') struggle in vain.

    Nevertheless, it seems to me, the purpose of philosophy, especially for those who recognize that they (we) are congenitally unwise, may be (YMMV) to strive to mitigate, to minimize, the frequency & scope of (our) unwise judgments, conduct, etc via patiently habitualizing various reflective exercises (e.g. discussing philosophy, etc.) And in so far as 'wisdom' denotes mastery over folly & stupidity (i.e. misuses & abuses, respectively, of intelligence, knowledge, judgment, etc), I translate philosophy as the love of 'opposing folly & stupidity'.

    "An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.” ~Victor Hugo
  • baker
    2.5k
    Thought experiment: when on the basis of simple and plain evidence generosity is exhausted or even inappropriate, what then?tim wood
    Then it's time to realize that one wasn't practicing generosity to begin with, but something else.
    Be in the clear that you actually want something in return from the other person, and that this is why you're giving them something in the first place. That's not generosity, it's transactional thinking and acting.
  • baker
    2.5k
    So what? Man lives to please one's ego. One could be dying in the gutter and still feel satisfied with oneself, blissing out in righteous indignation.
    — baker

    [Brother Wood replies with yet another derogatory remark intent on deflecting attention from the matter at hand.]
    tim wood

    Nonsense. People are generally driven to please their egos, above everything else. This is hardly a novel idea.
  • Laguercina
    15
    Nonsense. People are generally driven to please their egos, above everything else.baker

    I can't agree more. And as long as you let other people act out their egos in freedom there is nothing wrong with that, though my lovely wife tells me repeatedly my talk and acts will get me in trouble. Well, better acting and talking as I like it and die than to conform and live. There are a lot of people who wouldn't give a hand if I were drowning. Jealous people mainly. I'm a pretty well-dressed guy (red velvet jacket, white T-shirt, blue-jeans, and brown cowboy boots) and I have things to say. Difficult to digest for some people, especially for my neighbor, a serious guy.
  • Valentinus
    1.5k

    In the key of "mitigating the unwise decisions", I have a theory of stupid that developed from working as a project manager for a long time.

    Stupid is not only an absence of understanding or skill, it is an active principle that seeks ways to circumvent attempts to contain its effects.

    If one puts stupid in a corral, it will keep a constant eye on the gate. If the gate is left open for too long, stupid will get out. To counter this agency, a concentric ring of other corrals are built so the results of failures to restrain stupid are minimized.

    In times when many gates are open simultaneously, that is when the destructive capacity of the agency is greatest.

    Stupid wants to be free.
  • 180 Proof
    5.6k
    Stupid wants to be free.Valentinus
    And never sleeps.
  • Outlander
    1.3k
    But stupidity comes at a price. And perhaps starting with the invention of the Gatling gun, the price often has been too high.tim wood

    "If you don't do it, somebody else will" which is an unfortunate fact that most pacifistic logic crumbles in the face of, not from animosity but from sheer hypocrisy of what it's foremost doctrine declares to prevent.
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    Thus at some point not to be a pacifist. But imo one need not take a place on that continuum to combat stupidity. But certainly a repertoire of plan Bs and Cs is a good idea.
  • James Riley
    1.7k
    And never sleeps.180 Proof

    :100: :lol:
  • Janus
    10.7k
    And never sleeps.180 Proof
    :up:

    That's true and yet seems paradoxical in that sleep is the very essence and condition of stupidity. Thus the common injunction "wake up to yourself". Selective attention perhaps?
  • Zugzwang
    131
    I translate philosophy as the love of 'opposing folly & stupidity'.180 Proof

    :100:
  • Janus
    10.7k
    Surrender trying to be smart.Yohan

    Give up all aspiration for self-improvement? That seems like the zenith, or should I say nadir, of stupidity. If you had said 'surrender trying to appear smart' I could agree.
  • khaled
    3.1k
    an affliction of all at one time or another, for most to a lesser degree, but for some a career. Characterized by insistence on ignorance against reason, sense, evidence, experience, and all entreaties, appeals, and proofs.tim wood

    I think you forgot the most important characteristic. It appears to the afflicted that they're perfectly healthy. Which is why the way to deal with stupid is not to point it out, but to entertain it fairly. When you point it out, it will seem to the afflicted that you're the one exuding stupidity, which will end all conversation.

    Problem is most people don't so much want to remove stupidity, as much as they want to revel in attacking who they perceive to be stupid. Some people have developed a dependence on "Destroying idiots with facts and logic". It's sustenance to them, a requirement for their identity to remain intact. I was like that once, and occasionally catch myself falling into old habits.

    Care that you are actually trying to mitigate stupidity, not simply trying to affirm your superiority. Because it's always one or the other, and we have too many doing the latter, which only reinforces the stupidity.
  • Hermeticus
    58
    Disagree.

    1. Stupidity is subjective.
    2. Stupidity has always been a companion of mankind.
    3. Stupidity has been necessary for mankind to thrive.
    4. Stupidity is inevitable.
    5. Stupidity is incurable.
    6. Stupidity is not an issue.
  • Yohan
    225
    Give up all aspiration for self-improvement? That seems like the zenith, or should I say nadir, of stupidity. If you had said 'surrender trying to appear smart' I could agree.Janus
    I'm an expert on stupidity, you are not. Don't question me.
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    Hanlon's Razor

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. — Robert J. Hanlon

    I have issues, serious ones, with stupidity but then there's only one species which, on the whole, isn't stupid - homo sapiens - and look at the mess the earth is in? Brainless, stupid, plants and non-human animals seem, paradoxically, far, far wiser than humans.
  • Tzeentch
    1.2k
    The most appalling ignorance is that of individuals in regards to their own nature.

    Most are willfully ignorant though, simply avoiding the confrontation with their true selves because this would require them to accept truths about what drives them that they would rather deny. Of course this also ensures they are unable to change.

    To improve the world, one must start with oneself. Sadly, most skip this vital step. They would rather project their imperfections on the world around them and blame it on others.

    What drives people to think they can fix anything if they are incapable of fixing that which is closest to them and they are most knowledgable about: themselves?
  • Wayfarer
    13.6k
    Hitler wasn’t stupid.
  • 180 Proof
    5.6k
    What a stupid thing to say.
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    When a wise man hears of the Tao,

    he immediately begins to live it.

    When an average man hears of the Tao,

    he believes some of it and doubts the rest.

    When a foolish man hears of the Tao,

    he laughs out loud at the very idea.

    If it were not for that laugh,

    it would not be the Tao.
    — Lao Tzu
  • Wheatley
    1.9k
    Hitler wasn’t stupid.Wayfarer

    You said a good thing about Hitler! :rage:
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