If you grew up going to public school, you’ve probably been conditioned to suppress your intelligence.
Not only is public school culture dominated by low-IQ bullies who ridicule signs of intelligence… but the teachers themselves are not particularly bright.
After all, why would an intelligent person want to spend their life babysitting a bunch of feral children?
What are the signs of low intelligence? Illimitable Men summed it up nicely in a tweet:
Most people are uncomfortable with the idea of inequality. Some try to act smarter than they are. Some try to hide their intelligence to blend in.
The open hostility towards highly intelligent people in our culture can only lead to disaster. High IQs are kicked out of universities & pulpits for speaking truths deemed offensive by a low-intelligence culture.
Instead, we are left with sectarian rhetoric. Words that tickle our ears and stir the emotions, but do not stimulate serious thought or challenge us to grow.
My advice to my readers is simple: don’t be stupid.
You don’t have to be a genius. Just use enough of your brain to avoid being stupid.
I’ve noticed that stupidity can be contextually trained. People who might be intelligent in the context of their profession, suddenly become retarded when it comes to reading the Bible or interpreting current events.
Here are a few stupid ways of thinking to avoid in any context:
1.”But what about X?”
This occurs when people hear a generalization that doesn’t align with what they’ve been trained to believe. Rather than checking if they can confirm the rule in most cases, they look for the rare exception and present it as evidence of disproving the rule.
Feminists argue like this all the time. You can say that men are better at making money than women, and they’ll pull up a handful of special cases where a woman became a self-made millionaire.
The exception confirms the rule. The fact that something is special and worth noting indicates that it is not the norm.
2. Using personal or ideological context, rather than original context
What comes before frames the meaning of what comes after.
You cannot bring your own context and superimpose it onto a text. Look at what the author said before the statement in question. It really is that simple.
3. Mistaking logical consistency for reality
The brain is hardwired to like logic. And charlatans know this.
Philosophies and theologies based on falsehoods will almost always be logically consistent. This puts your brain at ease. Everything neatly falls into place so you think it must be true.
But internal coherence is not the same as correspondence with reality.
If you cannot confirm a general truth for yourself through observation, it’s probably bullshit. Nobody has “secret knowledge” that is not observable by ordinary people.
4. “Words don’t matter.”
If someone is disagreeing with you, it is more likely that they are using a different definition of terms than you.
As Vox Day has pointed out, the earliest tell of a charlatan is that they will use a common term in an uncommon way to suit his arguments.
If you call them out on this, they will typically accuse you of being petty, that the words aren’t the important thing, or (ironically) accuse you of redefining words.
I’ve also noticed that religious charlatans will mask the meaning of the original common Greek terms and replace it with a new religious meaning. The religious meaning then becomes the common meaning and it becomes almost impossible to refute without appearing petty or even like a charlatan yourself.
I must admit, I am impressed with the level of sophistication religious charlatans have implemented over the centuries.
It is not a waste of time to clearly understand the terms you are using. On the other hand, it is a waste of time to argue with someone who will not accept your (or the author’s) usage of a term.
5. Not checking the logic.
Often times, things that are fundamentally nonsensical get passed off as truth simply because of rhythm.
I kid you not.
Rhythm, alliteration, rhyming, etc. has a similar effect on the brain as logic. Because it’s so catchy, we think it must be true.
“Might makes right.”
“Happy wife, happy life.”
“Time is money.”
They make great soundbites, but they don’t hold up well under logical scrutiny.
Morality is determined by whoever is the strongest?
If making your wife happy is how to achieve happiness, doesn’t that mean the husband is subservient to her emotions?
Is making money really the purpose of our time?
We live in a culture that exalts stupidity. If you are lazy in your thinking, you will default to stupid thinking.
Exercise your intelligence and stay alert, soldier.