Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
Anyone who ever watched the classic film Forrest Gump knows the classic comment by Forrest played by Tom Hanks: “Stupid is, as stupid does.” But Forrest didn’t really get to the root of the epistemology question, of why people do things. Truthfully it all,comes down to beliefs.
If one believes that the world is flat in spite of all the scientific and physical evidence are stupid.
If one believes that their religious beliefs and traditions trump all other such believes and traditions, which none of which are based on fact, but rather faith, they are stupid.
If anyone believes that vaccines against a host of proven scourges which in times before they were introduced killed millions of and devastated the pieces of millions of others are more harmful than beneficial, they are stupid.
If someone believes that a particular political ideology is superior to all others, or has no weaknesses, they are stupid.
If someone believes that their race is superior to all others beasts on some combination of religion, political and racial ideology, or pseudo-science, the are stupid.
I could go on to a host of other topics including long held military dictums, economic and social theories, but I will not.
There is not one human held theory or belief that when followed to its logical conclusion cannot be either disproven or questioned. But there are some things which on the simple basis of fact can not only be disproven, but the following of can be called stupid.
The fact is that stupid people do stupid things, but the deeper truth goes back to what they believe. Forrest Gump wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box but he had good character and a bit of common sense. That makes a lot of difference.
So as the world heads into a very trying and tumultuous time when basic beliefs or right and wrong, true and false, ethical and unethical are being refined and tested to separate the precious from the dross, it is time for every serious person to look to character, and if they are Americans ask if a particular belief or ideology aligns with the premise of the Declaration that “all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with the certain unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” From my point of view, if they do not, regardless of their beliefs, religious, or political ideology, they are stupid.
Stupid is, as stupid believes, and the beliefs result in actions that can only be labeled as stupid.