Why is it stupidity is so contemptible?

Seems like a rhetorical question, but stupid behavior and/or expression bring out our often animated contempt. To cool my own contempt, I tell myself, people have the right to be wrong. If that were not true, we could not learn, for that is exactly how we learn; by making mistakes, or watching others make them. But to elaborate more, I believe people have the right to be wrong AND must have the responsibility to live with the consequences, myself, included.

In fairness, though, I can't really equate mistakes with stupidity. Mistakes are from not knowing. One definition described stupidity as "a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention" (http://www.answers.com/topic/stupidity-betise-folly-foolishness-imbecility). I think I would disagree with the inclusion of ignorance. To me, stupidity is knowing better and proceeding, anyway.

I tried to read the following article about stupidity, but I didn't get it. I don't have enough familiarity with the nomenclature in the domain of philosophy. I felt quite stupid, in fact. What I think he said was, because we are rational beings, and because each of us perceives information independently, in choosing the least implausible of options, we may choose wrongly because of those independent perceptions.If I understood wrongly, I will accept the rants of others against me as the consequences.

IN PRAISE OF STUPIDITY or How to Stay Reasonably Enlightened
© Ronald de Sousa
University of Toronto

So, where does the contempt come from?

Views: 33

Comment by Gina on November 17, 2008 at 12:32pm
/sighs haha...


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