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On Angels and Messengers

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


A Philosophy Lecture Without Too Many Words
(and hardly any of them original)

Today's Topic: Philosophy, Ignorance and Stupidity

"One of these things is not like the others ..." ~ Sesame Street

phi-los-o-phy, n., the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. From the Greek, Philosophia, a "love of wisdom"
Most people have some knowledge, about something.
Others, like me, love it to pieces.
"We," said Majikthise, "are Philosophers."
"Though we may not be." said Vroomfondel ...
~ Douglas Adams, A Hitchhikers Guide ...
Benjamin Franklin was too smart to have said,
"We are all born ignorant,
but one must work hard to remain stupid."

Ignorance and stupidity are not the same.
I've known many ignorant, intelligent people.
Ben must have, too. Ignorance is hard work.
It's not easy to ignore everything you hear.
Stupidity is a gift from God, an abiding quality.
"We are surrounded by a deep and abiding stupidity."
~ Bob Herbert, New York Times
"I see dumb people."
~ I heard my son, Mike, say it a few times.
Ignorance, although curable, is even more pervasive.
Q. Hey! Didn't some wise man say that "Ignorance is bliss?"
A. Not exactly. In context, the poet (Gray, 1742) actually said:
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; Where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise.
Mark Twain was wise enough to say,
"To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence."
M. Scott Peck (Further Along the Road Less Traveled) was taught that
"Clothes make the make the man." However, "Disillusionment was bound to follow, because sooner or later it was inevitable that I would run across a well-dressed idiot." Dr. Peck then quotes a slogan on an apron (Anon.). Yes, an apron. "Before Truth, the Right Fork." This would be funny if it weren't so true.
Q. Who said this and when?
"Where ignorance is pervasive, Democracy ~ government by the people, ~ is the biggest threat there is to the success of democratic government."
A. I did. Just now. Plato probably said something like it 2300 years ago.

"Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing."
~ Euripedes

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