Monday, September 20, 2021

Ignorance is not Stupid

There is a reason why we don’t agree.  There are actually multiple reasons why some believe and others do not, regarding a multitude of subjects, ideas, politics and to be honest, most of us form our opinions based on incorrect or insufficient information.

Man is ignorant.  Women are ignorant, we are all ignorant of most things, but does that make us stupid?  Stupid is defines as:  having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense. That is a question you need to determine on your own.  Keep in mind that our minds are not designed to store huge amounts of information.  A psychologist named Thomas Landouer did an experiment to determine how much information the average mind can sustain.  His findings determined that we have about 1 Gigabyte of storage capacity, that is not very much, but that does support the premise that Man is Ignorant.  Ignorance is not necessarily bad.

“False belief is our birthright”  Said Phillip Fernbach, Cognitive Scientist, Boulder Colorado. He postulates that regardless of our inability to “be smart” we are intelligent by virtue of our social collectivism.  When I say “most people are wrong about most things, most of the time”  It coincides with the idea that we are all ignorant of most things, most of the time.


If we are all ignorant then developing false beliefs is a common and expected outcome of being human.  That is why so many believe so many things in so many different ways. Democrats, believe one way and Republicans another, is either right or wrong?  I believe in God, others do not,  who is right?  Can you explain in detail why one is right and one is wrong about anything?

Men and Women, and especially teenage boys attempt to show their knowledge through arguments and disagreements and in most cases one party or another will have some permanence by virtue of more experience, more knowledge or more power, but is that the way we should be motivated toward understanding?

I often get into discussions with others who do not agree with me, and very seldom do our disagreements get resolved with a meeting of the minds and a mutual understanding that enhances both our lives.   I am starting to understand that regardless of our shared ignorance of most things, neither of us understands the depth of that ignorance, and that prevents us from moving forward from a common understanding of our shared innocence.  

The process of being smart is rarely seen as a collective achievement, but the evidence seems to support the premise that we are all specialist in something and to some extent we can contribute to the intelligence of humanity by cooperating individually so that we share in the cycle of wisdom that comes from accepting that we are insignificant but together amazing things can transpire.

I am not suggesting in the least that we move toward socialistic style cooperation, those two words do not exist in this context.  We are all individuals with individual rights, privileges and responsibilities, but when we decide as individuals to cooperate then our options for advanced  achievements are multiplied and expanded, exponentially.    

There is a religious component to this argument.  My belief in God mandates that I pursue that belief individually, but that individual desire to have a personal relationship with His Son Jesus Christ facilitates my desire to help my neighbor, support those around me, assist them so that we can together obtain His promised blessing.  

It is the same process of overcoming my own ignorance by relying on the individual efforts of others and their unique skills and thoughts.  We do have very intelligent individuals throughout history, some who stand out beyond the billions and billions  who have lived, but even those were assisted to some extent by the conversations, the discussion and the opinions of others.

Our only way out of these contentious times is to realize that we are all IGNORANT of most things, and to understand that our lifeline to intelligence is through cooperative listening, thinking and acting.  Only then will we be able to solve the issues that face this Nation and only then will we come to the understanding that regardless of our own intellectual shortcomings, we can all be intelligent and wise together.


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