I am from Mexico and moved to America and what I found is that the normal in America is to be stupid. The grand majority are just plain stupid, now I compared it to Mexico (I lived in city and in 'high/educated' people (I put it in ' ' because the reality is that is relative) and the normal was to be stupid too, now don't get me started in the 'poor' areas). So, my question is: Are people stupid in general or culture, nationality, social class, play a bigger role? If so, why are there more stupid than intelligent?




*Note: When I refer to stupid or intelligent I am refering to the kind that Socrates meant, that the wise men were the ones who accepted ignorance and worked on it, the stupid were the ones who didn't care or thought they were intelligent.

** I don't feel intelligent or superior, but I try to be reasonable always.

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I'm not really clear on your definition of stupidity, but it shouldn't be confused with ignorance.

We should also allow for the concept of delusion-- an unsupported belief that persists in the face of evidence to the contrary-- which has nothing to do with intelligence or education. (For an example of an intelligent, educated, but deluded mind, see Sam Harris' analysis of the strange case of Dr. Francis Collins. Collins is a physical chemist, medical geneticist, former head of the Human Genome Project, and quite delusional Christian theist.)

Modern psychiatry generally gives religious belief an exemption from delusion despite that religious belief typically meets the main criteria for a delusion:

  • certainty (held with absolute conviction)
  • incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary)
  • impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre or patently untrue)

Richard Dawkins titled his book The God Delusion in reference to this, since arguably no intellectually honest reason exists for psychiatry to make this huge concession that exempts religion from being a delusion. (Any more than there is justification for the law allowing religion to be used as a defense against child abuse, child neglect, and manslaughter.)

Fine reply, quite fine Archeopteryx (lithographica, I presume) 

I was one driven to learn and although I am a senior citizen today (meaning I'm an old fart) I still continue to read more daily than my book hungry wife, but not fiction. I enjoy knowledge, and have this insatiable desire to learn nearly every subject I come across.  Not all subjects as you correctly point out, but certainly an unusually wide array.

There are social scientists who would disagree on some of your minor points but social psychology is a misunderstood science. Some really know, and others haven't a clue. I'm certain you realize it will always remain so in a world of tolerated variance.

Thanks for the good comment! Appreciato mucho! 

Ok, stupidity is relative to the company in which one keeps. If you keep company with scholars, then you learn to use your intelligence. If you keep company with people who do not use their minds to think outside the box, then you are likely a sufferer of 'group think' in which case it is nearly impossible to find a coherent thought process. Unfortunately in current times, it is 'cool' to be stupid. Girls who are incredibly intelligent dumb themselves down so that her target boyfriend isn't threatened by the girls intelligence, and likewise for intelligent boys. However it is more readily accepted for a boy to be extremely intelligent. I have never thought of myself as superior or super intelligent, I just don't allow the circumstances to dictate my intelligence level.

Reasonable does not always be rational. In those instances, I chose rational every time. (Or at least my brand of rational, which may not always be the same as everyone else but when I'm wrong, I readily accept criticism and debate... in fact I prefer that to being thought of as stupid)

RE: "I just don't allow the circumstances to dictate my intelligence level" - Yay, you!

I agree, and it is stupid because if I am being labeled as 'smart' 'nerd' I am proud of it, and smart girls are sexy, I have to admit.

I know I felt pretty smart when I backed my boat and trailer right on through the garage door.

Didn't that just make you feel like Einstein?  I once tried to drive into a parking garage and hit some invisible, impenetrable barrier.  I had kayaks on top of the car.  Gerschk!

Stupid? Not particularly. Ignorant or uneducated, however is more likely.  Note that by stupid I am assuming that someone is inherently deficient and incapable or learning while with ignorant or uneducated they could learn but due to various factors (lack of education, culture that ostracizes education, religious indoctrination, etc) haven't.

Do I think that America has a big problem with anti-intellectualism? Absolutely.

@Dave G "culture that ostracizes education". You got that right. I went to a state university. When I first walked into my Mathematical Physics classroom I immediately realized that I was probably the only person born in my country that registered for that class. That was a recurring theme as I progressed through engineering school. Wasn't a lot of beer drinking and taking in an NFL game after class with my classmates.

What really boggles my mind are the people who are proud of being ignorant. Like not knowing things is a virtue.

I asked in one of my high school classes to several people if they knew if Africa was whether a country or a continent? Most of them didn't know (that is not my problem), but they took with pride (that is a problem). One answered me: Why the fuck should i know that? And people laughed around him.

My response would have been, "Because knowing the answer just might separate you from the idiots!" (I've never claimed to be a nice person --)

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