Bonhoeffer‘s Theory of Stupidity *Important*

JimKiler

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Oct 10, 2002
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I used to wonder how the Germans went along with the Nazi's but after the 2016 election and the chaos of the last 5 years I do not consider it a one and done event any more. There is still much to learn about the Germans going along with Facists but it is crazy how willing our society has flirted with it.
 
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MrSquished

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4-ish minute simple video worth a watch.
All should watch this video and I agree people who demand video views are asses. I’ll own being an ass, regardless it is good content.

Bonhoeffer‘s Theory of Stupidity
Only thing I think that didn't make sense was that people who live in solitude are more likely to be less stupid. I disagree. Look at the voting for dumbfucks like Trump, they do best in lesser populated areas including the most isolated rural ones.
 
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dank69

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Only thing I think that didn't make sense was that people who live in solitude are more likely to be less stupid. I disagree. Look at the voting for dumbfucks like Trump, they do best in lesser populated areas including the most isolated rural ones.
There is a difference between solitude and low rural density. Rural towns still have town centers with bars/restaurants/churches and other places for people to congregate. The difference between a rural bar and an urban one is the lack of diversity in the former. Bonhoeffer was clearly talking about serious introverts when he mentioned solitude. People who interact with the world through books then (and the internet now). Tough to sustain that lifestyle back then when you can't read. Then herd mentality takes over.
 

MrSquished

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There is a difference between solitude and low rural density. Rural towns still have town centers with bars/restaurants/churches and other places for people to congregate. The difference between a rural bar and an urban one is the lack of diversity in the former. Bonhoeffer was clearly talking about serious introverts when he mentioned solitude. People who interact with the world through books then (and the internet now). Tough to sustain that lifestyle back then when you can't read. Then herd mentality takes over.
Yeah well you can't compare rural town centers to even the burbs let alone cities.

I think people in more solitude environments are generally, but not all, less tolerant of different lifestyles/races/ethnicities and also can just live off of propaganda because they can't see much outside their world, which is not diverse and very small.

I think people that grow up or live in more populated places can start to open up their minds a bit more, generally, though not all.

Now a person in solitude isn't going to be too dangerous, unless you are a right wing mass shooter, but when you get into groups with only groupthink, that's when stupid can take over via herd mentality.
 
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Yeah well you can't compare rural town centers to even the burbs let alone cities.

I think people in more solitude environments are generally, but not all, less tolerant of different lifestyles/races/ethnicities and also can just live off of propaganda because they can't see much outside their world, which is not diverse and very small.

I think people that grow up or live in more populated places can start to open up their minds a bit more, generally, though not all.

Now a person in solitude isn't going to be too dangerous, unless you are a right wing mass shooter, but when you get into groups with only groupthink, that's when stupid can take over via herd mentality.
I think the point is someone who is prone to believing BS that chooses to live in a solitary environment has broken free of stupidity.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
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The video, and I’m assuming Bonhoeffer, offer the solution: only an act of liberation can free the stupid person. An external act of liberation and can yield the subsequent internal liberation.

At the same time, the video offers that we don’t attempt to engage the stupid person.

so I guess I’m a bit confused as to how we can free the stupid person from their mindlessness
 
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The video, and I’m assuming Bonhoeffer, offer the solution: only an act of liberation can free the stupid person. An external act of liberation and can yield the subsequent internal liberation.

At the same time, the video offers that we don’t attempt to engage the stupid person.

so I guess I’m a bit confused as to how we can free the stupid person from their mindlessness
It’s like an addict, we can’t until they want to liberate themselves, this is why stupid people are dangerous
 

Vic

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Jun 12, 2001
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The video, and I’m assuming Bonhoeffer, offer the solution: only an act of liberation can free the stupid person. An external act of liberation and can yield the subsequent internal liberation.

At the same time, the video offers that we don’t attempt to engage the stupid person.

so I guess I’m a bit confused as to how we can free the stupid person from their mindlessness
The stupidity arises from groupthink. People want to be part of the "in" group, and not ostracized as a member of the "out" group, so they go along with whatever the "in" group is saying, regardless of how stupid that is.
The external act of liberation comes from welcoming the stupid person into a new "in" group that does not require such stupidity.
IOW liberal stupidity arises when they act like conservatives and ostracize conservatives as members of an "out" group.
And if you take a while and look, you'll see that conservatives say this all the time. Liberals are hypocrites for calling them names, for cancelling them, for putting social justice ahead of their concerns, etc. And this sense of being pushed into an "out" group is capitalized upon by dishonest political leaders who use it to manipulate and divide for power, control, and money.
I could go on with this at length, but suffice to say that most of us have never matured past the playground. I don't mean that disparagingly, or even to be partisan, it's just a fact.
 

Vic

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Here's a great video that explains how all of us know far less than we think we do, and how deeply reliant we are on shared knowledge. The path to stupid lies when we choose group acceptance over critical thinking for our sources of shared knowledge, and end up with the wrong ones. The important lesson here is that this can and does happen to everyone, and that our natural, intuitive response to stupid is wrong.

 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
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Unfortunately, that act of liberation... is very much in line with the 2022 Russian definition of liberation.
The "stupid" person cannot be reasoned with. We argue with reason - to try and intercept other people before they are infected by said stupidity. Before they identify with the opponent.

There is no magic cure for when people abandon reason for madness. It is just human nature to be tribal, fervent, and delusional. The author calls it stupidity, but I think the term itself is a misunderstanding of human nature, while correctly identifying many of the deficiencies. It simply failed to consider the scope of the problem. That we are ALL afflicted, and the "not stupid" people are merely of a tribe that tries to value critical thinking. He simply framed being reasonable as being normal.... but I think the situation is worse than that.

I fear our civilization was a spark of hope, a light in the darkness. And now that spark has faded.
 
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That’s what I was afraid of. They’re hooked for life. Considering Bonhoeffers situation, being nazi Germany and all, maybe not the best omen.
When they act in the right manner and that manner could be as simple as “maybe I was wrong” or “maybe it is wrong for my former guy to be selling secrets” we need to praise them for evolving out of the stupidity.
 
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woolfe9998

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Only thing I think that didn't make sense was that people who live in solitude are more likely to be less stupid. I disagree. Look at the voting for dumbfucks like Trump, they do best in lesser populated areas including the most isolated rural ones.
No one is truly isolated anymore, not from groupthink. Try reddit. Doesn't matter where you live, so long as you have internet.
 

Moonbeam

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I just did a whole thread on this topic here and set the stage with something slightly modified from John Stewart Mill:


The OP does essentially what this post tries to suggest, an explanation for irrational thinking. I suggest that all efforts in that direction face an invisible barrier to success, the fact that nobody wants to know why irrational thinking exists. It is rationalization by the ego to prevent the repressed feeling that we all feel like the worst person in the world from entering conscious awareness.

The Neuroscientist that Vic linked to understands the phenomenon in terms of what I call the danger of Knowingness, the certainty that we know when in fact we really know nothing at all but the programming we unconsciously assume to be correct without any self awareness it's all nothing but our sacred cow bull shit, what we need to see to feel we have value. As he said, the only way out is humility, and nobody wants to be a know noting like me.
 

Moonbeam

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No one is truly isolated anymore, not from groupthink. Try reddit. Doesn't matter where you live, so long as you have internet.
Mental illness depends on comparison. We were reminded endlessly that someone else was always better than us. In this way we became aware that via comparisons we are worthless. For those who live in isolation there is less reminder of this and thus more chance to reacquire self respect.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
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Mental illness depends on comparison. We were reminded endlessly that someone else was always better than us. In this way we became aware that via comparisons we are worthless. For those who live in isolation there is less reminder of this and thus more chance to reacquire self respect.
This appears to have very little to do with the post you replied to.

But also, I tend to doubt that people who live in isolation have more "self-respect" than people who do not. Humans are social animals. Isolation may cause depression and anxiety. For example, during COVID.


People who live in isolation may have fewer irrational ideas because they aren't as often exposed to them. But then again, as I said, the internet is making all that irrelevant.
 
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Moonbeam

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This appears to have very little to do with the post you replied to.

But also, I tend to doubt that people who live in isolation have more "self-respect" than people who do not. Humans are social animals. Isolation may cause depression and anxiety. For example, during COVID.


People who live in isolation may have fewer irrational ideas because they aren't as often exposed to them. But then again, as I said, the internet is making all that irrelevant.
Sorry. I assumed the point I wanted to make, the connection between two seemingly different things I believe I see, would be more obvious to you than it turned out.

No matter. I understand the countervailing arguments also express.

I see many apparently opposite things resolving owing to the experience of alteration of conscious states.

We are what we think we are, what others think we are, and what we really are, in my opinion. There is a relationship, I believe, between who we think we are as a product of others telling us who we are, comparison, that can create depression when such feedback ends. We can feel lost and adrift. But when it comes to the Hero’s Journey, the quest for self understanding and self integration , self acceptance and mental health, we forget that the door to heaven lies at the bottom of hell. Psychologically, spiritually, therapeutically, down is up.

Depression is caused by an inner conflict, environmental conditions giving rise to pressures to suppress dormant feeling of self hate something is awakening. The more that pressure causes the feelings to Rise in conscious awareness, the more the depression will change from numbness, to sadness, to rage, and finally to grief where the healing can take place.

Healers and the wise have known this for thousands of years and include all manner of intentional withdrawal from the world as an aid to shattering the delusions of ego.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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Sorry. I assumed the point I wanted to make, the connection between two seemingly different things I believe I see, would be more obvious to you than it turned out.

No matter. I understand the countervailing arguments also express.

I see many apparently opposite things resolving owing to the experience of alteration of conscious states.

We are what we think we are, what others think we are, and what we really are, in my opinion. There is a relationship, I believe, between who we think we are as a product of others telling us who we are, comparison, that can create depression when such feedback ends. We can feel lost and adrift. But when it comes to the Hero’s Journey, the quest for self understanding and self integration , self acceptance and mental health, we forget that the door to heaven lies at the bottom of hell. Psychologically, spiritually, therapeutically, down is up.

Depression is caused by an inner conflict, environmental conditions giving rise to pressures to suppress dormant feeling of self hate something is awakening. The more that pressure causes the feelings to Rise in conscious awareness, the more the depression will change from numbness, to sadness, to rage, and finally to grief where the healing can take place.

Healers and the wise have known this for thousands of years and include all manner of intentional withdrawal from the world as an aid to shattering the delusions of ego.
I have no doubt that is a major cause of depression. A prominent real world example is why everyone feels they have to make tons of $$$$ in this society. Because we as a culture have decided that is the yardstick of human worth and value. If we see ourselves as a failure it is because of what others are telling us is expected of us.

I would point out, however, that depression is also rooted in neurochemistry, and is somewhat hereditary. So two people receiving exactly the same negative stimuli, which is what you described as a sort of real or perceived social rejection, one could become quite depressed, while the other, not so much. I think your world view tends to leave out things that make us different as individuals, in favor of one-size-fits all explanations. Which is why I pointed out in that other thread that not everyone had the same experiences as children. This BTW is meant to be constructive.

Since I'm on the subject of constructive criticism, I want to point out that not all hate springs from self-hate. A ton of it does, more than people realize, but not all of it.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
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When they act in the right manner and that manner could be as simple as “maybe I was wrong” or “maybe it is wrong for my former guy to be selling secrets” we need to praise them for evolving out of the stupidity.
this may or may not be effective. I see this received as “condescending”, but YMMV. It really depends on how ready a person is to really receive it.
 
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ch33zw1z

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I find this topic very intriguing. I was raised in Protestant indoctrination, group think was paramount. But deviously, as you were “allowed” to question things. The leaders were prepared with their logical fallacies to keep you on track. Much of it never really sat very well with me, and in this scenario it’s quite noticeable. So that put me in the “out” crowd. The select few of us who didn’t buy it all, and really at all.

but, the indoctrination is very effective, and very difficult to shake thought processes that were taught from a young age.

my point here is that I understand the groupthink scenario and how hard it is to break out of it. It’s extremely emotionally taxing.
 
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this may or may not be effective. I see this received as “condescending”, but YMMV. It really depends on how ready a person is to really receive it.
Not sure of the effectiveness, I started doing positive reinforcement a few years ago. We all don’t have to agree upon the same thing and it should be celebrated when we get *some* agreement.
 
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I find this topic very intriguing. I was raised in Protestant indoctrination, group think was paramount. But deviously, as you were “allowed” to question things. The leaders were prepared with their logical fallacies to keep you on track. Much of it never really sat very well with me, and in this scenario it’s quite noticeable. So that put me in the “out” crowd. The select few of us who didn’t buy it all, and really at all.

but, the indoctrination is very effective, and very difficult to shake thought processes that were taught from a young age.

my point here is that I understand the groupthink scenario and how hard it is to break out of it. It’s extremely emotionally taxing.
That’s an interesting point, I think it depends upon whom is answering the question. During Covid my pasture (UCC Church) had a ask me anything session and I wanted to see his response to the simple George Carlin question of “Can God make a rock so big that he cannot lift it?” This is obviously a question that cannot be answered it’s either yes or no. Pastures response was “God is not a magician he does not do tricks”
Simple answer that gets to the point it is irrelevant wether god can make such a rock or lift such a rock. Faith is the point.
 
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ch33zw1z

Lifer
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That’s an interesting point, I think it depends upon whom is answering the question. During Covid my pasture (UCC Church) had a ask me anything session and I wanted to see his response to the simple George Carlin question of “Can God make a rock so big that he cannot lift it?” This is obviously a question that cannot be answered it’s either yes or no. Pastures response was “God is not a magician he does not do tricks”
Simple answer that gets to the point it is irrelevant wether god can make such a rock or lift such a rock. Faith is the point.
it will always boil down to faith.

I remember well having the same conversation with a leader or two, and they said the same thing.

My reply would be “of course he does tricks, shows of strength are talked about throughout the Bible.”

The crux of religion always comes down to interpretation of texts. Leaders of denominations are really just guides for a specific interpretations of religious texts.


anyways, of the topic here. My problem with religion is general is how easily the OP is applies to it. Countless atrocities have been committed in the name of religion throughout human history
 

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