I wrote stupidity and evil in 2011. I have reworked it here for the benefit of this website.
For the most part, humans accept the dichotomy between good and evil. Popular depictions of this duality place its parties in a sort of perpetual battle, a ground whence the reasons for important events comes. Good and evil, light and dark, god and the devil are all descriptions of very human perceptions and unintentionally extended metaphors for intelligence and stupidity. Hence my deliberation of stupidity and evil being synonymous.
And I will submit that because of its inescapable abundance; the latter appears to be more powerful.
All “evil” actions perpetrated by man against man are failures to uphold his own intellectual values as more important than his emotions – as they should be.
Often, unjustifiably injured sensibilities lead to anger and the need for retribution. The moral warriors of today, who find anything outside of their worldview offensive, indecently refer to this sentiment as “justice”. Lack of understanding of a particular thing or occurrence, however natural it may be, guides people to fear. And this fear is exemplified by the way we treat our homosexual brothers and sisters. And to an extent, how we still treat those of other biological constitutions.
Intelligence, unfortunately, is not innate in our species; it requires nurturing and training of the mind that may (at some point) exhibit it as a prevalent trait of its behaviour. Nurturing and training that is constantly hindered by religion and dogma.
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On the other hand
Stupidity is much easier to come by because it grows out of emotion. It grows unjustified confidence and feelings that must be organised by the mind they plague to achieve order.
And whether this organisation or order is confirmed or contrived is not important. All that matters is that it feels good and alleviates the tension caused by the immense quantities of unorganised information produced by the world.
Hate, anger, and I maintain, most of human suffering results from an insufficient understanding of life processes.
All the horrible things that have happened in history, all the heinous crimes against humanity committed by other humans, all imply an inability to be or to remain intelligently detached from emotion.
Hitler felt that The Jews were the cause of Germany’s problems. Pol Pot could not have known that a return to agriculture wasn’t a feasible economic model for the Khmer nation; they (both) only thought and felt in their respective ways, as there was no critical basis for their beliefs. It is possible to apply the same logic to the current crisis in the Ukraine.
I can never assert that all emotions are destructive. But I declare that we must always remember and understand the destructive potential of human emotions when left unchecked.
Thank you for reading.
— The Devil Unbound.