The Myth of The Stupid

I’m going to say something fairly controversial around freethought circles.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I got some angry responses, but I don’t really care about that.  I do not believe that religious people are necessarily  “stupid” just as atheists aren’t necessarily “stupid”. But there is a rising  population of atheists, freethinkers, etc, who appear to view those who are hyper-religious, for example, as “stupid”.

This also happens with liberals, as well as conservatives. Liberals tend to view  conservatives as “stupid” due to their extreme differences in opinion- for instance,  their belief that same-sex marriage should be banned, and another of other things. I myself have been guilty of  this, not so long ago I described in a post on a forum that I believed same-sex marriage  should be institutionalized simply on the basis that people “need to stop being stupid”.  Simultaneously conservatives tend to view liberals as  “stupid” for wanting to allow same sex marriage in the first place, among a number of other things as well. Now I see things differently.

This doesn’t mean that I no longer support same-sex marriage, I do. But I now realize that people have different value-systems. Not only that, but they also have different thought-processes, different beliefs, and different belief systems. I’ve also realized that people attack whatever is alien to their value-systems, thought-processes,
beliefs, and belief systems. This results in extreme division among most groups.

In addition to that I’ve realized that not only do people have those different aspects, they also have completely different histories, which may have had great influence on what they believe and do not believe. So clearly, none of this is attributable  to any clear definition of “intelligence”. At the same time, I can understand the  argument. Something so extreme that is deemed as a threat to one’s ideology, or whatever  aspect of human psychology it may be, is often indistinguishable from “stupidity”. Nevertheless, this view of stupidity is flawed, and has no basis in any discussion.


~ by theuncynic on July 27, 2012.

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