WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID?

An attention grabbing headline? That's the idea. It's not an accusation of behavior but of not knowing ignorance from stupidity. "J' accuse" does not come into play here. This treatise is intended to infuse those who want to learn with an understanding of the two words ignorance and stupidity and how they differ. People think they know the difference but cannot explain it adequately to etymologists. People misuse and substitute one for the other. What's most notable is that all of us have been on the receiving end of an accusation of having one of the faults.

There are several issues to discuss: 1) definitions of stupidity vs. definitions of ignorance; 2) keeping the two separate; 3) is it possible to be both stupid and ignorant? 4) Who is qualified to accuse one of either stupidity or ignorance? 5) How do we come to a disinterested conclusion? 6) How can we benefit from understanding the differences and using the words correctly?

STUPID: 1) With senses or faculties deadened, dull ,benumbed; in a state of stupor;

2) Characterized by evincing lack of intelligence, wisdom, prudence.

- from Webster Universal Dictionary, 1970

3) Lacking normal intelligence or understanding; incapacity of learning.

- from Webster's New World Dictionary, College Edition, 1966

Very well. Suffice it to say that a stupid person may have access to information that he does not know how to use or does not choose to use it , as he prefers an alternate conclusion based on inappropriate information.

Not all information is good, accurate, reliable, or totally reliable. So it takes some degree of intelligence to discriminate good information from bad information. That is not often done in an informal discussion such as one might encounter at a backyard party. Rather a search for good information can be done on-line and at a large library. There is lots of bad information out there and learning to wade through it and spot it is best left for another discussion.

I can't be telling everyone how to think. One should study that for themselves. Logic is part of thinking. There are many good books out there to help you. One thing you must do is to stop listening to your friends on many matters, unless, by education or experience, they are qualified to speak. Many people were born into a family or married to a person who might be an expert but that doesn't make them one. Being a frequent flier does not qualify one to fly a plane.

To sum it all up: use logic in formulating your ideas, before you speak. Does it make sense? Did you check it out? Do those who work in that field have similar ideas? IT's better to keep your mouth closed and let people think that you are a moron than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.