Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Is ideology responsible for stupidity?

It occurred to me that (blind) ideology might be responsible for human stupidity. According to a 2018 paper in the Journal of Degenerative Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, author James F Welles claims it is indeed: The Ideological Basis of Stupidity. Since 1990, he wrote at least 3 books on stupidity.

The diagram in my recent blog on Needs, Wants, Beliefs, Awakening & Wisdom indicates the very same: stupidity is the disadvantage of having human beliefs. Nevertheless, human beliefs are also responsible for our belief that the sky’s the limit, and that anything is possible (eg, space travel).

The idea of flying in an aircraft must once have been considered as an example of human stupidity (eg, only birds can fly). Nevertheless, some examples of human stupidity translate in technological inventions. Perhaps, stupidity does not exist in Technology and/but only in Philosophy.

Technology uses tools to overcome human limitations (eg, communicating, diving, driving, flying, speeding). Hence, Technology realizes human dreams. Initially, any dream may sound stupid (eg, putting a man on the moon). In 1980, I saw someone walking in Amsterdam talking loudly in a “mobile” (car) phone. I still remember my then-thought: what a ridiculous invention. Today, we cannot even live without these.

In a 2004 Foreign Policy article, Francis Fukuyama called the then-philosophical dream of transhumanism as an example of The World’s Most Dangerous Ideas. Today, transhumanism is about Technology (ie, humanoid sapiens) rather than about Philosophy. Perhaps, Philosophy belongs to the world’s most dangerous ideas.

Quite often, realizing ideological dreams in the field of Philosophy appears to result in disastrous outcomes: identity, individualism (eg, end-of-life), nationalism (eg, Brexit), skin colour (eg, white supremacy), woke (eg, cancel culture). These ideological and/or philosophical ideas tear societies apart (eg, culture wars).

My examples have something intriguing in common: an underlying quest for Power. Ideology should be about Philosophy and thus be in the Knowledge domain of the 7 Belief systems. Perhaps, my examples reflect monism, in which Knowledge is (and Love are) subordinated to Power.

This year, I wrote several blogs on the link between Power and stupidity (eg, my blogs on Idiocracy). Recently, Dutch philosopher René ten Bos wrote an article that argues that the demise of morality (eg, Religion) has resulted in Power being our new god. Our lack of morality would then be responsible for our stupidity.

Humble and Kind (2016) by Tim McGraw
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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