1
   

Stupidity: A Real Problem or Not?

 
 
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 12:42 pm
@odenskrigare,
odenskrigare;83611 wrote:
classical conditioning

acupuncture - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com

also you dodged what I said about being a serial killer

do you frown upon that rich



I concur with the laws of this country that makes murder illegal.

Since you are denying evidence regard acupuncture and the like, I presume that you will now be able to judge for yourself, what kind of person you are.




Rich
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 12:52 pm
@richrf,
richrf;83613 wrote:
So the question now you should pose to yourself (and to those to run the site that you linked to) is by denying evidence are you being stupid or ignorant? I think it is a fair question. You have been given the evidence, now judge by your own definitions.


What evidence am I denying?

I didn't say that acupuncture can't stop pain did I?

I just attributed its effects to classical conditioning

I wonder how well acupuncture works on people who are skeptical of its inherent value

If someone tried to stick those needles in me I'd say "***** hell no get da **** outta my face wiff dat ****"

it probably wouldn't do me any good

richrf;83613 wrote:
This is what I mean by all criticism should first and foremost be directed at oneself


except when issued by rich

you criticize empirical (i.e., reality-based) viewpoints here constantly as if we're supposed to feel dirty for demanding evidence

richrf;83613 wrote:
You are really no different than anyone else


I'm plenty different from the average person buddy

richrf;83613 wrote:
As for serial killers, they are everywhere unfortunately, and I concur with the laws in this country that are designed to protect citizens


who are you to criticize serial killers' preferences
0 Replies
 
Mel phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 12:55 pm
@Khethil,
LOL - and that gives you claim to 'stupidity' ?(I am totally cool with that Smile

PS:
Have you ever been to SA?
How would you define 'post-industrial' exactly?
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 01:01 pm
@Mel phil,
Mel;83616 wrote:
LOL - and that gives you claim to 'stupidity' ?(I am totally cool with that Smile

PS:
Have you ever been to SA?


No

I haven't been to Sweden either but I can read and write Swedish and I post in Swedish on Swedish websites I'm fairly knowledegable about that country

I hope you have a point about me not having been to Zuid Afrika

Mel;83616 wrote:
How would you define 'post-industrial' exactly?


Let me google that for you
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 01:55 pm
@richrf,
richrf;83597 wrote:
Let us take a simple example.

Recent studies have shown that diets that consist primarily of vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes, and minimize meats (especially less than 1/4 pound red meat per day) will increase lifespan and decrease chronic ailments including heart disease and dementia/Alzheimer's.

How many people on this forum have modified their diet with this information? How many intend to modify their diet? How many will not? If you do not, does this make you ignorant, stupid, stubborn, or what?

Ditto for moderate exercise of at least 20 minutes a day? Do you do this? If not then what does this make you?

Rich


Well, obviously, we cannot tell unless we know why the individual doesn't modify his diet. Not enough information. Some may be ignorant, some stupid, some stubborn, so don't care, some are weak-willed. There is no one answer that fits all. Why would you think there is?
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 02:00 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;83628 wrote:
Well, obviously, we cannot tell unless we know why the individual doesn't modify his diet. Not enough information. Some may be ignorant, some stupid, some stubborn, so don't care, some are weak-willed. There is no one answer that fits all. Why would you think there is?


Exactly. We don't know.
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 02:02 pm
@Khethil,
btw science is a lie

---------- Post added 08-16-2009 at 04:02 PM ----------

except when it supports my viewpoint or I twist it into something that does
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 02:05 pm
@richrf,
richrf;83629 wrote:
Exactly. We don't know.



Well, because the question you ask is too general to be answered. Not because the issue is mysterious. In many cases, if we had the information, we would be able to answer definitely. For instance, in your case, I can pretty well know why you answer questions as you do, and say the sort of things you say. There is no mystery about that.
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 02:12 pm
@Khethil,
The only thing I don't like about eating meat is the environmental impact

But I'm pretty slim (170cm, 56kg) and have a hard time just keeping weight on so I have to eat a lot of it

Other than the environmental disadvantage it's the ideal food: tastes great, high calorie content, entails slaughter of a conscious being ...... that's what I'd call a trifecta
0 Replies
 
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 06:03 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;82521 wrote:
To what extent is this a problem in the US?
If it is, indeed, a problem - what might be the solution?

From time to time I see reports, surveys and/or articles detailing some of the most outlandish responses people give to - what I perceive to be - some very basic 'truths' about current events, the country we live in, history and so on. Here are some examples from Bill Maher's article New Rule: Smart President ≠ Smart Country - except where set off by brackets, all are direct quotes:

  • On the eve of the Iraq War, 69% of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Four years later, 34% still did.


  • At a recent town-hall meeting [regarding Healthcare] in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his Congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross country to protest highways.


  • ...polls show that a majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is


  • ... 24% could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War.


  • More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade.


  • Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does.


  • Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators and more than half can't name their congressman.


  • And among Republican governors, only 30% got their wife's name right on the first try [unable to discern if he's just being sarcastic here or using vocalized pauses to inject a point]


  • Sarah Palin says she would never apologize for America. Even though a Gallup poll says 18% of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth.


  • A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen, and a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks


  • The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes 24% of our federal budget. It's actually less than 1%.


  • But here's one fun fact you can take away: did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which one came first.


Maher's text may be in dispute - I wouldn't swallow it all. But there are quite a few other sources which often speak of the same theme: We're not too smart. Is this political slandering or a real problem? I tend to think there's at least something to this issue since its come up so many times from many different sources.

Please discuss - and I'd ask that we try and stay centered on the theme "Is this a problem? Why? How?, etc".

Thanks


Yeah. There is quite some stupidity out there.
Though I think with such polls you can get completely different results depending on how you ask the question.
And you could get people to answer in almost any way if you ask the right way.
It's practically meaningless to quote polls without the methodology.

Is it a problem? Sure. Is it one that the government should fix? Absolutely not.
I actually think that much of this problem is caused by the government.
Another problem is that in our modern welfare state we insist everybody has to be equal, nobody can suffer the consequences of their stupidity. Which is like rewarding stupidity, while punishing being smart.
josh0335
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 07:05 am
@EmperorNero,
Quote:
Another problem is that in our modern welfare state we insist everybody has to be equal, nobody can suffer the consequences of their stupidity. Which is like rewarding stupidity, while punishing being smart.


That's a bit cold isn't it!? Stupid people still need to be cared for in our societies, regardless of how frustrating it is to smart people. I think the average person is ignorant because that's how governments want us. Smart people ask far too many questions and get in the way of powerful people trying to exert more power.
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 07:32 am
@josh0335,
josh0335;90568 wrote:
That's a bit cold isn't it!?

I agree with the rest of what you say, but I want to comment on this. Is is cold to not reward failure? In the short term is is easy to say that if we eliminate this program then it's recipients will be worse off. But throughout all of human history humans did what was necessary to get what they need and did as little as they could get away with. By financing stupidity we allow it to happen. If we are cold we get self sufficient people. You got to be cruel to be kind.
Americas success can in my opinion be traced back to the American concept of self sufficiency. You get to keep what you make if you succeed and if you fail the state won't to bail you out. This is what allowed America to be the most successful nation in the history of the world.
But now we put away with what mad us great because it seems cold.
Which beautifully plays into what you were saying. The rulers don't want inventiveness and progress. They don't want the people to be well off, they want themselves to be better off than everybody else.
0 Replies
 
josh0335
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 07:41 am
@Khethil,
I understand your point, but there is so much at stake when you say 'you got to be cruel to be kind.' People could die if you take away a welfare system. It comes across as punishment for being stupid. In the western world it is difficult to be self-sufficient. For the most part you must go and find employment, i.e. you need to convince someone else to employ you and give you a salary. The barriers to entry for entrepreneaurs are so great that most businesses fail within the first year. There was a time you could go to a market place and set a up a stall and sell things. Now, you must pay rent to be allowed to set up a table etc. People are not given the opportunity to grow and not depend on others to feed them. If a welfare system is removed, barriers in the market place must also be removed to give people a better chance at becoming successful.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 08:05 am
@josh0335,
josh0335;90568 wrote:
That's a bit cold isn't it!? Stupid people still need to be cared for in our societies, regardless of how frustrating it is to smart people. I think the average person is ignorant because that's how governments want us. Smart people ask far too many questions and get in the way of powerful people trying to exert more power.


I think you should distinguish between stupidity and ignorance. They are not the same thing at all.
josh0335
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 12:32 pm
@kennethamy,
But the effect on society is the same, no?
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 02:42 pm
@josh0335,
josh0335;90588 wrote:
I understand your point, but there is so much at stake when you say 'you got to be cruel to be kind.' People could die if you take away a welfare system. It comes across as punishment for being stupid. In the western world it is difficult to be self-sufficient. For the most part you must go and find employment, i.e. you need to convince someone else to employ you and give you a salary. The barriers to entry for entrepreneurs are so great that most businesses fail within the first year. There was a time you could go to a market place and set a up a stall and sell things. Now, you must pay rent to be allowed to set up a table etc. People are not given the opportunity to grow and not depend on others to feed them.


By self-sufficient I don't mean growing your own food, but doing what's necessary to convince someone to give you a salary. Not being dependent of the government or charity.
Which I think everyone has the chance to do in a free market system. Few are born too stupid to make a living.
Reducing welfare is not a punishment for being stupid. It's just not rewarding it.

Josh, I mean no insult, but that is usually the argument I hear from the left when bringing up the benefits of reducing welfare.
"It's hard to be self-sufficient. And when we fall on a bad time it may not be our own fault."
My problem with that paradigm is that it denies the individual the basic dignity of being responsible for ones own actions. We would need the elites to control our lives because we are too stupid to do so ourselves.

Another argument is that just because we think certain people should be helped, the state doesn't have to do it. What about private charity.

josh0335;90588 wrote:
If a welfare system is removed, barriers in the market place must also be removed to give people a better chance at becoming successful.


I couldn't agree more with this sentence. Barriers in the market place are in my opinion the problem in the first place. Every time the government intervenes it puts up barriers in the market place. These barriers are the reason that we need the government to intervene.
For example taking A's money to give it to B is an disincentive from productivity for both A and B.
A because his success will be punished and B because his failure will be rewarded.
So we need more barriers in the free market because of the barriers we already have in the free market? I hope you see where that leads.
Marx formulated this. He said that intervention should interfere with capitalism, then blame the effects on capitalism in order to justify more intervention. Until you gradually eliminate the free market.

So for the entire topic of economic liberty, we are really given two choices. We either justify taking more liberty with the liberty we've already taken. Or we reason that not taking further liberty would require less of the obstruction of liberty we already have.
Sadly we seem to have chosen the former.
josh0335
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 06:03 pm
@EmperorNero,
EmperorNero;91021 wrote:
By self-sufficient I don't mean growing your own food, but doing what's necessary to convince someone to give you a salary. Not being dependent of the government or charity.
Which I think everyone has the chance to do in a free market system. Few are born too stupid to make a living.
Reducing welfare is not a punishment for being stupid. It's just not rewarding it.


:bigsmile: I didn't mean growing food either! But again, convincing others to give you employment takes power away from the individual and into the hands of chance. I should be able to trade in the market with no huge registration fees, or licenses etc. but since this is not the case I'm having to depend on someone else to employ me. And since the ultimate decision of whether you get the job or not is not in your hands, it is not fair to take away the welfare system if you can't find a job. The last time I was made redundant, it took me 10 weeks to find another job, and I'm no bum. Okay, I didn't need to go on welfare but I imagine someone else in my position who had greater outgoings would have had no choice.

EmperorNero;91021 wrote:
Josh, I mean no insult, but that is usually the argument I hear from the left when bringing up the benefits of reducing welfare.
"It's hard to be self-sufficient. And when we fall on a bad time it may not be our own fault."
My problem with that paradigm is that it denies the individual the basic dignity of being responsible for ones own actions. We would need the elites to control our lives because we are too stupid to do so ourselves.

Another argument is that just because we think certain people should be helped, the state doesn't have to do it. What about private charity.


I can't see how the presense of a welfare state denies the individual the basic dignity of being responsible for ones own actions. I mean you don't have to use it (like me) if you find yourself unemployed.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever been unemployed, or anyone close to you?

How about better education and instilling good work ethics in young people? A change in attitudes and culture would, I believe, reduce the number of people who think it is okay to live off the state and at the same time keep a system which can help catch people when they genuinely fall.
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 06:14 pm
@josh0335,
josh0335;91078 wrote:
I can't see how the presense of a welfare state denies the individual the basic dignity of being responsible for ones own actions. I mean you don't have to use it (like me) if you find yourself unemployed.


That's the argument for welfare. "What happens to us may not be our own fault."

josh0335;91078 wrote:
Just out of curiosity, have you ever been unemployed, or anyone close to you?


Oh, I have. And I always had trouble presenting myself to employers.

josh0335;91078 wrote:
How about better education and instilling good work ethics in young people? A change in attitudes and culture would, I believe, reduce the number of people who think it is okay to live off the state and at the same time keep a system which can help catch people when they genuinely fall.


It would be empty words. You can't tell your kids that they have to do well but if they fail you bail them out anyways.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 06:25 pm
@josh0335,
josh0335;90680 wrote:
But the effect on society is the same, no?


No. But even if it were, it would not make them the same thing.
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 06:29 pm
@EmperorNero,
EmperorNero;91083 wrote:
Oh, I have. And I always had trouble presenting myself to employers.

How come?


EmperorNero;91083 wrote:
It would be empty words. You can't tell your kids that they have to do well but if they fail you bail them out anyways.
What would you suggest?
 

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