Morons is a harsh word and a harsh concept …but let’s face it … most of us have experienced that maddening discussion where we explain that seemingly simple concept … or that seemingly simple common sense point of view to someone … and not only can they not grasp it but may actually argue a completely moronic point of view that flies in the face of <1> facts, <2> truth, or maybe even <3> common sense.
In fact … during the discussion we may even try several different approaches to the idea, using every metaphor <or parable or analogy> within reach to throw into the discussion that we think the person should reasonably be capable of following.
In the end … sometimes we succeed … mostly we fail … and always it is painful <to us> and obviously moronic <to us>.
It is here I will bring up the idea of intelligence <despite the fact it may sound odd in a rant on morons>.
First. Just to set the groundwork … most everyday functions of modern life require an IQ of around 90.
Those functions include driving a car, mailing a letter, paying bills and making a bank deposit.
The more specialized the function, the more intricate, the higher the level of intelligence necessary.
Second. I am not using the term ‘moron’ as a classification of any mental deficiency despite the fact that technically ‘moron’ translates to denoting a mild mental deficiency. I am going to suggest being a moron denotes a certain deficiency … but not a mental one.
Therefore <here is where I link intelligence and the topic of morons> we can dispense with the idea that morons are stupid or have a lack of intelligence.
The deficiency within morons, or being moronic, has nothing to do with intelligence <or at least IQ>. Most have IQs at or above 90 <I made that up but I tend to believe it>.
Let me take it one step further. You cannot be a moron unless you actually are intelligent.
Because morons are actually people who have intelligence … but they waste it.
Either by using it <their intelligence> poorly or misusing it or not even using it at all.
Bet you didn’t think I was going to head down that path, did ya?
Morons are actually intelligent? Yup. Morons are simply purposefully ignorant … but they are smart.
That means morons are as intelligent as you and I <okay … maybe at least me … you are probably smarter and this is simply my issue>.
All that said … it suggests that the moronic issue resides elsewhere than intelligence.
Robert Heinlein said that stupidity characteristics <or characteristics of morons> are actually tied to ignorance <so I am going to steal that idea because I agree with Bob>.
He suggests that stupidity cannot be cured using money, remedial education or some governmental edict because inevitably it resides within a different reason … a purposeful or intentional ignorance.
Purposeful. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm … This means that morons actually know something to be wrong with themselves <it may be subconscious but they somewhere within they understand> … they are intelligent enough to understand … and, yet, rather than correct themselves and abandon that ‘something’ … they practice intentional ignorance clinging to that ‘thing’ and inevitably insist that they are right and everyone else is wrong.
And this is where morons are dangerous.
“Because, fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and drums beating, we’ll be marching backward, backward, to those glorious ages of the 16th century, when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind.” – Clarence Darrow <Inherit the wind>
Morons march backwards. Busily marching themselves and trying to herd the rest of us backwards to some glorious age.
It is a Life truth that fanaticism & ignorance is forever busy <and a busybody>.
I fully understand that this fanaticism and ignorance is impossible to extinguish. But that doesn’t mean it should be tolerated. Particularly if it is actually harmful.
Regardless. Tolerance is an acceptance of the morons.
And with this acceptance, albeit grudging acceptance, the morons simply see it as permission to be moronic and they gladly step up <in their forever busy way of theirs> and do harm.
Harm in the form of stopping <or even reversal> of progress … harm in marching us backwards.
Or they teach and promote falsehoods to others <others including children which is disturbing> with the hope that this younger generation will grow up and can possibly march us backwards.
All this translates into a lot of time and effort and energy lost as ignorance and its byproducts step up and suck time & energy from progress.
Ok. A Bruce thought.
I believe we can no longer afford the luxury of moronic ignorance or tolerate the presence of morons. Tolerating them leads to the creation of a sense that this moronic ignorance actually equals some sort of knowledge <which then makes them some sort of “knowledgeable person” and you know where that leads … ‘trouble in River City’ to quote The Music Man>.
“<there is a> … false notion that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” ― Isaac Asimov
Morons are wily. They have the notion that their smarts, combined with their purposeful ignorance, is just as good as real unfiltered knowledge.
This is tiring to deal with.
In fact … if you find yourself surrounded by morons, rather than just shake your head, you have to purposefully accept the challenge to deal with their moronic thinking with the knowledge that they actually have the intelligence to be non-moronic <but actually choose to be moronic>. Wow. Just typing that made my head hurt.
It would take a monumental effort to create the unlikely evolutionary change where morons become extinct <that may be an unattainable objective but it is certainly an admirable objective>.
And it will take your best monumental effort to deal with a moron because there are instances where the lines are blurred and where argument and debate and discussion regarding two sides of an issue are actually warranted.
You should seek solace in that there are also issues where right is right … and wrong is wrong … and anyone who argues it looks like the guy who believes Yoda exists somewhere and The Force can be attained with focus & practice.
And here is where morons really thrive.
Numbers & science & studies & statistics <oh my>.
Science is smart and science is stupid.
Both are true and there could be studies done to prove it.
One of the smart/stupid things about science is something called the ubiquitous study. They are excellent scientific research formats but while all studies <and most research in general> are interesting … they do not reveal eternal, all-encompassing truths.
They simply provide a glimpse into one small, carefully cordoned off area of interest. Extrapolations from the data are based on statistics and therefore do not necessarily apply to everyone and everything.
I say that because it seems like we find comfort worshiping at the altar of the ‘numbers’.
All of us seem to be considering study results and numbers to be the indisputable truth.
What a fantasy.
But it is often a fantasy land morons live, eat & drink in <and thrive in like a bacteria in a petri dish>>. Numbers are their friends and constant companions.
Morons thrive on the isolated statistic. A random factoid or piece of information that has no context nor admits it has Truth only within a limited set of circumstances. And they win a shitload of debates using this technique. How does all this happen?
Well. It sounds simplistic … but I believe we allow it to happen for a couple of reasons … first is a well intentioned but subverted belief in freedom of speech. Subverted because inevitably it is often simply ‘freedom of opinion’ these days. Secondly … ‘opinion’ forces us all to seek something tangible in which to reach some conclusion … therefore we seek statistics or numbers to identify truth <and isolate something we can all agree on>.
And numbers do not necessarily translate into Truth. Especially isolated non-contextual numbers.
In the end we seem to be damned by a society that has ingrained in us this strange belief that because we encourage freedom of speech and freedom of thought … that all ideas deserve respect and consideration that no one individual <or idea> is “better” or more “worthy” of consideration than any other.
What a bunch of bullhockey.
This has created an environment in which any moronic idea can hover around like an aggravating gnat as legitimate idea.
It is crazy.
A moron is a moron.
A moronic idea is a moronic idea.
It is time that we learned to have the balls <or spine if you are a woman> to call out the morons.
Because they are frickin’ intelligent enough to know better than skate by on shallow feelings and beliefs.
And all the while you must swim in the shallow end of the intellectual debate to debate with them … you must be careful of your own ignorance more than theirs … because purposeful ignorance does have a sneaky way of creeping up on you. What I mean is that it is easier to be a moron than to not be a moron. It takes less work, intellectually and curiosity, to maintain an ignorant point of view than it takes to not only grow personally but to actually help a moron grow <which is a quite taxing job>. Frankly it is just easier to quit debating than to take on a moron. I imagine it becomes a test of character.
Regardless. I imagine in the end that is my point <the test morons give us day in and day out>.
Morons are morons because they are smart enough to engage in purposeful ignorance.
To be ignorant on purpose?
You would have to be a moron.
But. In the end … morons hate to be called morons simply because they are smart enough to know they could do, and be, better. Even morons know somewhere under their purposeful ignorance they should be better than what they are. I imagine the only way to beat morons is to actually get them to face that fact.
Wow. There is a tough job. But. We cannot let the morons win. Purposeful ignorance is a disease. A disease that can affect entire civilizations & cultures. That thought makes it scary to even think about tolerating the moron.