Why am I Offended by Stupidity?

critical-thinkingDuring a break my co-worker showed me a hilarious YouTube site called Bad Lip Reading which is exactly what you would expect it to be. With the political season upon us we watched a few videos of the various debates which, most naturally, led to a discussion about people who insist upon opinions that are demonstrable false.

My co-worker mentioned that it was ridiculous to be offended by someone else’s false statement, by their insistence upon stupidity. Why would someone else being stupid offend me? It has no effect on me, it is no reflection of my own intelligence, it harms me not, and yet it bothers me. I often find myself unable to restrain myself in attempting to dissuade people from illogical and obviously wrong positions.

Why? I ask, why does it bother me so.

It is the mere existence of such illogical thought?

Is allowing stupidity to pass without saying something a reflection upon my own intelligence?

The majority of my blog posts are engendered by someone taking a position I find absurd. Such stupidity inspires me. It raises me up and the words flow, sometimes rather too caustically than the situation warrants.

The fact that I am bothered, yes offended, by stupidity is undeniable, as is my co-worker’s assertion that it is just as stupid for me feel so.

I’ve been thinking on the subject since that conversation. I had a good workout which often clears my mind. I watched an episode of the excellent although a bit sappy National Parks Exploration series on Hulu which is good entertainment for pondering difficult questions. I’ve written the above words rather slowly, pausing to think again on why I am so bothered by stupidity, by wrongness in others.

Is it my nature? Is it an inexorable feature of my genetic makeup (thanks, mom)? Was it my older sister’s insistence on pointing out most painfully my every mistake? A combination of these things?

I’m still pondering.

I don’t know. I just don’t know why it bothers me so.

But I do know one thing and of this I’m certain. My hatred of wrongness, my love of logic and critical thinking, despite all the problems in the course of my life these traits have brought upon me, and these troubles are not inconsiderable, it has served me well.

I insist on truth arrived at by precise and logical examination. I am not happy when such is not in evidence. Perhaps I could be happier if I did not so demand, perhaps my life would have been easier, perhaps I would have more friends, more loves, I cannot say for what is, is. What is not, is not.

I wouldn’t have it any other way, not that I could.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition
Next Release: The Gray Horn

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