Theory Of Stupidity

While in prison in 1943, Dr Dietrich Bonhoeffer meditated on the question why the German people – in spite of their education, culture, and intellectual achievements – had fallen so far from reason and morality. he concluded the people had been afflicted with collective stupidity. He was not flippant when he used this term stupidity to describe actually a sociological problem rather than a psychological one, and a human defect rather than a intellectual one. The atrocities during World War 2 had shown him that perfectly intelligent people could be rendered stupid under the pressure of political power and propaganda. That is, they could be rendered incapable of critical reasoning.

He continued to expound that stupidity is even more dangerous than wickedness. Evil can be protested against, exposed and prevented by force. But against stupidity, there is no defense. Facts that contradict one’s prejudice simply don’t need to be believed, and when they are inescapable, they can simply be brushed aside as meaningless or isolated cases. The advice is not to convince the stupid with reason, it is pointless and dangerous. It is a fact that stupid people are stubborn and when one is dealing with them personally, it seems that catchphrases and slogans have taken possession of them like under a spell. That is blindness which Scripture often mentioned.

We can also see this blindness and stupidity in the religious sphere. Despite the clear error of false teaching such as false Christology and the shamanistic practices of the NAR movement, yet we see millions following them without any critical reasoning.

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