Why is it that people in my life, people I consider to be intellectual giants in their fields have opinions on social issues that would rival a 1st or 2nd graders understanding of said issues? It befuddles the mind and confounds the soul that people can be so narrow minded on topics that analytically they should know better than. Yet they do not. Why? This phenomenon can’t be explained away by these people belonging to a specific race, gender, or social strata either. This query has permeated all levels of human consciousness. It is an enigma from which there is no simple answer. Or is there? Maybe it is not how smart one is or how well versed they are in any academic arena, it is the result of something much broader in scope, yet singular in application. Their intelligence hinders them from seeing the true culprit behind their ineptness in understanding basic social and scientific facts.
I know it doesn’t seem like there would be a problem with being smart. In fact who wouldn’t want to have the problems associated with intelligence? However, I also believe that their is truth behind the statement, “Ignorance is bliss.” If you are dumb, I am guessing you are probably unaware that you are a moron and therefore happy with life and what life puts in front of you. There is a certain charm and appeal to that. However, the real conundrum comes from people who are smart, educated, and who are well spoken, but are still quite stupid despite these attributes. I call them intellectual morons. Now that would be plagiarism if I didn’t reference Daniel Flynn, who is actually the person who coined that phrase in his book by the same name Intellectual Morons. But it is true. There are many people who are brilliant or at least intelligent, yet somehow can’t seem to wrap their heads around very basic ideas. And the reason why, as I eluded to above, is actually quite easier to pinpoint than I originally thought.
It all comes down to one thing, ideological beliefs. People’s ideological beliefs stop them from being able to use their analytical skills and basic common sense to see to the hearts of matters such as economic strife, political asylum, homosexuality, environmental human impact, imperialism, deregulation, religious tolerance, race relations, and any number of hot button issues that politicians and religious clerics have used to divide us. They plant the seeds of intolerance and then allow us based on our individual ideological pedagogy to sow our own biases based on a structured belief system set forth in the ideas we subscribe to before we have even had a chance to think about the issues. That was a jumble of words I know, so let me clarify. They, meaning the politicians (the American version of kings queens, and aristocrats) and religious leaders use our devotion to the political parties and the religious hierarchy to get us to feel, not think, a certain way about issues that we should be able to freely decide on our own.
Our ideas stop us from being able to think clearly on subjects that should be pretty straightforward. The worse thing anyone can do in my opinion is use statistical data as empirical evidence to support your idea. Statistics can be manipulated so easily and can be made to support any argument. Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Gaddafi, Pinochet, Castro, Kim Jong Ill, Regan, and many others have used ideological beliefs and statistical data to back their outrageous claims and create global strife using people that should know better. They didn’t do anything themselves, they allowed the people around them to do it for them. They used their own belief system and ideas against them. Do not fall into the same trap. Don’t allow your ideological beliefs to hinder you from using your brain. Think, analyze, and process information for yourself without the hindrance of your own biases. The channels of debate and discussion should be open to allow the free flow of true ideas.