26 Dec 2017

Stop Being Ignorant and Stupid

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Do you enjoy being ignorant and stupid? Or would you prefer to be intelligent and knowledgeable? Which condition is better for decision making and a long life?

About 10 years ago, I enrolled in Phoenix University, and one the first class on the schedule was about plagiarism and citations. The second class was all about rhetoric and logical fallacies, and the third class described critical thinking. As I was working my way through the checksheets, I realized these were the most valuable classes I had ever taken.

Do they teach these classes anymore? Because from what I can see from looking around at what many seem to believe and talk about, the general public doesn’t have a clue.

Let’s take the following conversation.

“GMOs are terrible and Monsanto is evil.”

“Okay, why do you say that?”

“Isn’t it obvious? GMOs are man-made, and that’s evil.”

“Gotcha. Why do you believe that?”

“Are you stupid? They’re modifying genes for their corporate greed.”

“Oh, I see. What is the evidence?”

“Evidence? What are you, one of the 1%?”

“That’s irreverent. What evidence do you have that GMOs are bad or have deleterious effects?”

At this point, they will either (a) walk away muttering about how stupid I am, (b) point me to some website that turn out to be political action sites which also produce no evidence to support their claims, or (c) they’ll tell me about some anecdotal evidence they heard from somewhere or other.

“My friend Terry got sick after eating GMO corn.”

“Oh, I see. How do you know it was the corn?”

“Of course it was the corn, stupid. She got sick right afterwards.”

You’ll get the exact same argument from anti-vaccine people.

“Vaccines need to be banned because they make people sick.”

“Really? What evidence do you have to support that claim?”

“I read it on a website,” they might respond. When I check the website, what I always find is anecdotal evidence, meaning “someone said or experienced.”

“Oh really? Well, that’s interesting. Why do you think vaccines make people sick.”

“I don’t think they make people sick,” they respond. “They DO make people sick. It’s a proven fact.”

Now they reference me to Jenny Mccarthy, am actress and Playboy bunny, and a number of other “experts”. Why anyone would listen to any actress or actor about any technical subject (unless they have an educated background in that area) is beyond me. They are entertainers, not medical experts, and generally ignorant on the subject on which they profess to be experts.

By now, I just sigh and let the argument stop.

The problem with these kinds of arguments is they are not based on facts, logic or reason. Instead, they are making conclusions based on emotions (usually fear) and little more than gossip.

This is not to say vaccines are good or bad or anything in between, or that GMOs are good for humanity or bad for people.

What I’m saying is in order to be taken seriously by more than a fringe element of society, you need to base your statements on facts. What is a fact? Well, here’s a great little video, made for children, that explains it in simple terms.

A fact is something provable. An opinion is not provable. Opinions are great and wonderful. We all have them But it’s generally ignorant and unwise to base decisions from opinions. It’s better to base them on facts.

So how do you find out the truth?

You use critical thinking.


And you use credible sources.


And finally, check for logical fallacies.


So do you want to be more intelligent and knowledgeable? Then before accepting something you read on the internet, use the above tools to ensure you are not being down the garden path of stupidity.

Richard Lowe Jr

Richard Lowe Jr

Owner & Senior Writer, Copywriter, Ghostwriter, WordPress Implementation at The Writing King
Richard is the Owner and Senior Writer for The Writing King, a bestselling author, and ghostwriter. He's written and published 63 books, ghostwritten 16 books, as well as hundreds of blog articles.
Richard Lowe Jr


Author of Focus on LinkedIn, Safe Computing, Surviving Disasters, Help! My Boss is Whacko!, Insider Secrets from a Professional Ghostwriter and many others
Do you want to make a living as a self-published author? https://t.co/wKjOvjKmzy - 1 hour ago
Richard Lowe Jr
Richard Lowe Jr

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sahil tbgt

nice blog post with some amazing videos