The following essay is an excerpt
from an unpublished book of mine titled
The 'S' Word
The Good, the Bad
Note: The excerpt begins mid chapter and is word for word as I wrote it there
behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgment: I can't believe my own stupidity | one of the stupidities of our age.
• the quality of being stupid or unintelligent: a comedy of infantile stupidity.
Now if we look at the definition of ‘stupidity’ itself, we see that it is described as a ‘noun’, which, denotes : ‘behavior’, that shows a lack of a good sense of judgment! Whereas before the analysis the average person might have automatically assumed in a somewhat dazed (or in fact ‘stupid’) manner that stupidity was something that was always ‘inherent’ in some one or other sentient being, now it could be described as more of a dazed reaction’ to something or other in the entities’ environment. This makes more obvious (to me at least), the fact that ‘stupidity is almost always a ‘state’ rather than a permanent condition in any individual, and that even the manifestation of what may appear to be inherent stupidity, may in fact only be a result of the entity in question’s being subjected to some confusing or disorienting temporary, long term or permanent external situation in terms of their environment or some other persistent irritant that may be causing it! The implications of these observations, when fully understood are really vast and very profound in that they are not at all taken into consideration by most of us with any regularity in our assessments of the intelligence of those sentient beings we share this planet with. We assume for example that horses are smart whereas donkeys are stupid without giving any consideration as to what they were bred for over the centuries if terms of temperament!, People naturally assume because they are similar in appearance that they should behave in a similar manner. Horses have proclivity for racing because that has been bred into them for 10,000 years whereas donkeys appear slow and clumsy in comparison. If you try to spur them on with a whip, they only appear that much more stupid because now they are ‘dazed’ by the message of the spur and the whip. Whereas the horsed interprets the stimulus as a message to run, the donkey interprets it as a message to strain at the load they have to bare! If you expect a dog to act like a cat and vice versa, they are both going to appear to be stupid. this is because they will be stunned and confused at the commands you give them in expectation of that which, would be considered ‘strange behavior’ by them. If you expect a dolphin to speak English and he doesn’t, it’s because he doesn’t have vocal cords. They understand English commands well enough for sure when taught. And so because they can’t then answer with words, they are considered not as intelligent as a human beings. Look up Koko the Gorilla on YouTube ! Here is a gorilla that communicates with American sign language. There are other primates that use sign language, computers and symbols to communicate with. People will say “ Oh, they are so intelligent…Ah, but not as intelligent as human beings!” But they fail to take into consideration that a primate has primate ‘thoughts’ and thinks about things that matter to ‘them. In fact they may perceive ‘you’ as being the stupid one as far as they are concerned. How would you feel if you went to some foreign country where you could not speak the language and all of a sudden someone started barking orders at you in some other language. Do you think it might serve to disorient you? Do you think that it’s possible the people witnessing you might consider that you were …stupid? If you didn’t understand their language you would certainly be in a state of confusion if your hosts were aggressively barking at you. It could really throw you into a daze if the individual barking orders at you were a police or immigration officer.
Once when I was walking around in the rain in Paris, I went into a department store to buy an umbrella. I spoke no French really and so for whatever reason it was, when I found the umbrellas I picked one up and went to what I thought was a checkout counter not realizing that I was supposed to have paid for the item at a more internal location of the Department Store. Suddenly the woman at the counter starts in to screaming at me in French. I just stood there like a deer in the headlights. Finally someone on the line there explained to me in English that I should have paid for the item at the proper register and that the woman thought that I was trying to steal the umbrella. I was totally dumbstruck when she picked up a little bell and started ringing it. Someone on the line told me that she was ringing for security and that they were going to detain me. Well, somehow I got my bearings immediately, dropped the umbrella and ran like a bat out of hell once I got outside the front door. I immediately just disappeared into the crowd trembling in fear. I guess I must have appeared pretty stupid to that woman and some of those there on the line in that Department Store. And for sure I perceived this woman as being much more than very stupid. But really we were only both acting in accord with what we knew to be the ‘norms’ of our respective countries. Everyone else in the Department store knew exactly what the procedure was. As for me, I was ‘dazed’ and in confusion trying to make out what all the signs written in French meant. The woman was stunned that anyone at all could not speak French. (It seems the French simply ‘expect ‘everyone’ to speak their Language). If you are American this should all be very familiar to you anyway. Americans are so bad that they actually go to Foreign Countries and expect ‘them’ to speak English! The thing is though, that most people don’t travel much at all, and so therefore have very little capacity to empathize with the stranger in their own midst’s! And so we have prejudices! We act stupidly around certain foreigners, whom we ourselves often consider to be stupid themselves! There was another time that I was caught up in the rush hour at a train station in Zurich. I remember being so completely disoriented that I actually felt my head spinning. I was in a complete stupor until I managed to get my bearings. This gets even scarier for someone lost in the press of the crowd miles from their hotel in the middle of Shanghai or somehow finds themselves in Mexico City's famous ‘Tepito’ bario at 3 in the morning!
But what is it really that is at the root of our proclivity for taking on simplistic points of view to the point where we so frequently generalize about people and situations we do not understand: as being ‘stupid’? Well, I think that root can be traced back to the formation of the general criteria that we have come to accept as the gold standard in making these everyday assessments. And I would have to think the manner in which Religion is taught plays at least one very important part in this license to what often amounts to the ‘right’ to depraved indifference to those that are different to us in any way! The education system too , is also very much to blame. But lets first examine what goes’ into the making of the individual mindsets of everyday Christians, Muslims and Jews.
If we look at the world situation today, things seem pretty bleak in terms of resolving the difference between Christian Muslim and Jew. All of them insist that their own religion is the only true religion and all of them base this insistence pretty much on their ‘faith’ alone! If I were to question the average Christian in America today as to why they believed their faith was the only one true faith and no other, they would surely answer something like: ‘Because the bible tells me so”, not at all realizing that what I was asking them, was in a sense akin to asking them why they believed in or had faith in the bible! They cannot at all see that it is NOT ok for them to answer the way that they do. Just this afternoon I was speaking with some Jehovah’s witnesses and I posed to them the dilemma that the Jew is in, in regard to the acceptance of the dogmas of the Christian Religion. I asked them to try to put themselves in the place of a 1st Century Jew in the Synagogue at Capernaum of Galilee listening to Jesus of Nazareth discourse on the eating of his own flesh and the drinking of his own blood. (John 6:1 thru 26) I pointed out to them that in all innocence, these Jews who were bound by the Law of Moses, and were fully aware that Blood was totally forbidden to them according to the Mishnah, were in total disbelief at what Jesus was posing to them there in the synagogue! I made it clear also that on other occasions, Jesus had claimed that he had not come to change the Law but to fulfill it. I pointed out that considering he himself was a Jew, that the statements he was making were both contradictory too, and irreconcilable with, the Law of Moses at it is written! And well, they just immediately, the both of them –– went gaga on me! The first thing that they tried in their stupor, was to convince me that his statements were symbolic, saying that at the Last Supper he made that clear –– which he didn’t by the way! I pointed out to them that we were discussing ‘the’ famous event that took place at the Synagogue at Capernaum where Jesus first made the above declaration, and, that the alleged ‘Last Supper’ was as yet, years away in the future for Jesus. I explained to them that in the minds of those seated there in the Synagogue, The Man called Jesus in their presence was making claims to the effect that he was sent by their God and had the authority to dictate to them that they must break their own law at his say so, and not only drink blood, which was unlawful to them, but in fact that He wanted them to drink HIS blood and to eat his flesh, thereby asking them to partake in an act of cannibalism, and compounding the blasphemy! They were ‘stupefied’ by this statement of course and started to become hostile in their state of ‘stupor’!
Well, needless to say, since none of this seemed to sit well with them ,I bid them a pleasant day and so then went on my way.
You have to realize though, that these two perfectly other-wise intelligent human beings were already in a stupor of sorts to begin with. They had been taught that it was all right to ‘believe’ something without any factual basis if it had to do with the bible! For them, the Word of God as they called it was their ‘Everything’! Disobey it, and you could wind up in Hellfire! Well, if you are religious and you’ve ever burned your finger on the stove, you know that it has passed through your mind at least once that hell is a ‘hell of a lot’ hotter then the stove, and ‘forever’ is a hell of a lot longer, than the half a second that your finger was on that stove. And I would think that any well read Christian would come up against a ‘wall’ of denial, when being confronted with anything that would cause their God to surmise that they had lost their faith in Him.
As I said, the situation for those Jews in the Synagogue at Capernaum was one where it was literally impossible for them to reconcile the eating of flesh and the drinking of blood that was strictly unlawful to them, and still be good Jews; not to mention, that they faced a strong likelihood that they might even be stoned to death for complying with Jesus’ demands!
The Muslim also is faced with a nightmarish dilemma when presented with the thought that he might compromise with Christian beliefs about the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth. Most people have never even seen a Koran much less actually read one! Well, believe me when I tell you: it’s not like the bible at all! There is the constant threat of hellfire for the infidel, and that fact is ‘clearly’ stated on most its pages, whereas in the bible any threat like that could only be considered ambiguous! A devout Muslim believes that there is One God, and that Mohammed is his Prophet. All Muslims believe that Allah has NO equal, and NO partner. He believes that he will be raised up in Judgment on the last day and rewarded or punished according to his or her merits! No Muslim would ever dare to even insinuate that Jesus of Nazareth was ever any more than a prophet! The consequences are just too horrific! The only possible resolution to this is for one side or the other to abandon their stand in faith. Both religions here can be said to be in a stupor! In the case of the Muslim he is ‘overwhelmed’ with the conviction that the consequences for his apostasy would be incomprehensible suffering for what might be an eternity. The Christian is in a stupor because anytime he might ever even try to make any sense of the New Testament, he is overwhelmed by the confusion of the way the Gospels are laid out so as to seemingly contradict each other in terms of timeline and other factors. His problem is compounded by the fact that his religious mentors insist that there are no contradictions at all in the bible! Also the Christian fears hellfire somewhat, though not at all to the degree that any Muslim does.
So for the Muslim, there simply is no way out! The Christian could have a way out if he or she would look at the claims made by the New Testament in the Light of Science! If they could do that, it would resolve any differences with the Muslim world. Of course it would require a step-by-step unraveling of the New Testament so as to point out the numerous contradictions and irreconcilable religious issues that exist at it’s core. To expect the Muslim to abandon Islam though, would have to be considered unreasonable, if only simply because the Koran leaves them no ‘OUT’! A Muslim worships in a manner where he or she is fully obedient to Law that is not in any apparent contradiction to itself. The Bible on the other hand, contradicts itself constantly. Once the Christians would come to their senses, they could choose to become Jews or Muslims or give up religion altogether perhaps. Whatever they might choose to do though, would leave the world in a much better place than it is now for sure.
NOTE: Please realize as you’re reading this that I myself have no religion. I study religion comparatively , and that’s all. I just want to see peace on earth, and so I try to assist from the sidelines here.
What is throwing all those involved with religion into a stu-por is the fact that they are all in a sort of Catch 22 Situation. They literally believe that they are damned if they do and too cowardly to believe they’re not damned if they don’t…! When confronted with any of the possibilities at all, both sides immediately get stupid on us and start reciting things by rote,; and what they expound is not a bit of it based on any science; only, just ‘fear’! The Christian holds the key here that could resolve the differences between all three, but, they won’t budge; they won’t give an inch!
And so, in summary:
1.Being overwhelmed with contradictory and scientifically implausible doctrine
2.being overwhelmed with the fear of eternal punishment in the fires of Hell,
3. bewilderment with the phenomenon of the Religions having millions of followers
In other words, the victim is overwhelmed with confusion to the point of being ‘struck stupid’!
1.The refusal to tolerate another’s religion leads to war and terrorism.
2. the masses can be easily manipulated at the hands of those politicians adept at administrating in the name of their God
3. The worst effect possible will probably either be an act of Nuclear Terrorism or War and/or possibly complete devastation of the earths ecosphere due to the negligence of those who see no point in doing anything constructive in lieu of the fact that they are expecting the end of the world anyway!
Educating the affected masses from a scholarly point of view and in the light of truth, which is ‘science’!
Chances of this happening ?