Where does human logic end and stupidity begin? Let us dwell on it for a bit…
Obviously enough to any of us, there are various parameters that can affect human logic and make that person appear “stupid” towards others. From our everyday intercourses (since we have entered the age of globalization leading to multi-cultural intercourses) to the most subtle ones.
Some parameters that affect our standpoint and can cloud our objectivity over others can be considered the following ones:
– Space and Time. That means that depending on the geographical area, points of view differ; such is the case of what is considered “ethical” or not by various cultures. Time, refers to the fact that depending on which historical timeframe we view affairs (past or nowadays), notions like ethics, religion, democracy, equality etc. become rather blurry rather than clear-cut definitions.
– Culture. Each culture approaches matters differently than others do. Let us take for example of how cultures view the subject of equality or what the role of a man and woman “must” be in a relationship. To some, it is “obvious”, to others completely outrageous and culture plays a vital role in it. In the cultural aspect also come into play the so called social accepted norms.
– Religions. Each religion (regardless of our personal beliefs) approaches the issue of “faith” based on their own “holy scripts” and by what their religious leaders say – knowledge extracted from the “divine” revelation they received from our maker; sometimes reaching the point of extreme and aggressive behavior. Maybe some could say that each religion tries to approach the divine from a different viewpoint yet all roads lead to the same center?
– Family and social circles. Admittedly, each one of us receives his or her foundation of core values, norms and beliefs early on from his/her childhood years. Thing is that all these “lessons” are imprinted so much into us that they commonly affect our objectivity when judging others or trying to evaluate various circumstances. Social circles deprive a person from his/her true meaning of existence: specifically, to aim for what truly makes that person happy even if others’ opinions differ. Respectively, people lose their uniqueness, seize to be themselves and start becoming actors in the “movie” that others create for them instead of playing the main role in their own life.
– Self-deceit: This aspect makes its appearance when someone starts believing that (s)he knows everything which usually is reflected by their arrogant stance, their arrogant posture and commonly by using the “I” in the (beginning) of their phrases – so as to boost their egos and their vanity.
The result from the above parameters is that the human race has started to contradict itself in every possible way. Instead of standing united, bending together to solve humanity’s real issues, trying to truly understand each other, working together to create a brighter future for the generations to come, we (as a race) prefer to wage wars, pollute our planet in the name of prosperity, are hurting and disrespect others and above all we have become empty. Indeed, human beings appear to be no more than empty shells, walking dead some may say, having lost our purpose in life.
Humans are God’s marvelous creatures? As a race, overall, (reference is made to the human race as a whole), today – compared with the past – many of us have so many materialistic toys yet, ended up in becoming a travesty of our true selves. Some could argue that humans have turned into a living contradiction.
Let us take for example some “wise” and commonly accepted sayings/quotes that every one of us has heard, and approved of, yet they contradict themselves in the same manner as humans contradict themselves in their everyday lives:
1. Actions speak louder than words. Pen is mightier than the sword.
2. Early bird gets the worm. The early worm gets eaten.
3. Look before you leap. He who hesitates is lost.
4. Many hands make light work. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
5. Birds of a feather flock together. Opposites attract.
6. The best things in life are free. You get what you pay for.
7. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Better safe than sorry .
8. Clothes make the man. Never judge a book by its cover.
9. The first bird gets the worm. The second mouse gets the cheese.
10. The more, the merrier. Two’s company; three’s a crowd.
11. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Out of sight, out of mind.
12. Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is Bliss.
13. Great minds think alike. Fools seldom differ.
Probably, some could argue that the above sayings apply for different occasions; Granted. However, (to our own surprise?) we tend to lump everything together. Let us take two examples:
One, democracy: Many so called democratic nations are acting and invading other nations who happen to disagree with them. But in the name of liberation and democracy they still get invaded (from ancient times till today).
Two, religion: How many have been killed in the name of the all-loving God? Do the math and you will get a picture of it.
Point is that although these ideas, or concepts, are clearly understood it is us humans that twist their meanings so as to fit our desires and purposes; and usually we hurt others in the process. The same applies in the affairs of love…
So what is it that makes humans, the so called, the creatures capable of logic, the creatures that are supposed (!) to have attained self-awareness act in such stupid ways? Do we not think clearly? Is our mind corrupted? So what is it? Let us read a quote from Anthony De Mello:
People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it.
Most probably, this statement is closer to the truth than most (wanna be) philosophical statements out there. Think of it for a moment: Although thinking affects our feelings and they in turn our actions, the exact opposite is valid as well. The problem is, that nowadays humans lack virtue. For instance, Ancient Hellens (aka Ancient Greeks) had formed their educational system in such a way so as to obtain virtue (hence the true meaning behind the term they used: paideia – παιδεία). Nowadays, we have an educational system that falls short in guiding humans in obtaining virtue.
Additionally, taking into consideration that education occupies many years in our lives, from our very young age in which our ideas and beliefs are shaped, we end up in something that appears to be “mass-produced” rather than unique-existences/individuals. Respectively, most humans end up following the general accepted (cultural) norms rather than following their own dreams and their own true desires, which echo from within of all of us. In other terms, we have stopped listening to our hearts and instead we have created a whole in us which in turn, has given space for corruption to rise, within us, which is expressed through vanity, emptiness, greed, broken relationships and so forth.
To conclude: are we, as human beings stupid beyond help? Although we are capable of the faculty of thinking did our brain shut down permanently?
Personally, I would say no.
However, so as to leap into a higher sphere of existence we need to initiate an introspective approach to ourselves in order to truly learn who we are and what would truly make us happy. When was the last time that you asked yourself who you truly are? Are you truly happy with yourself and the way that your life is? How well do you know yourself? How well do you know others that are part of your everyday life? What do you do about it?
To put it simple, as Archimedes once stated: “Give me a small area of solid ground and I will spin the entire world around it”. Respectively, our “small area of solid ground” is our own self. Our body is our cathedral, through our heart resonates our own God (depending on our own personal religious views) and our minds form our universe. Taking care of all of them is a must! Therefore, the first step would be to attain true self-awareness which will penetrate our life, our thoughts, our actions and our relationships with others. And this new-attained self-awareness will eliminate our fears, and it will forge our relationships, with others, in a more pure and honest way.
As Delphi’s first (golden) rule clearly suggests: “Know thyself”!
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