The 10 facts about Bonhoeffer’s theory of stupid people that explain a lot about today’s world. In answer to the question “what happened to society?” one theory explains it in a way even stupid people can understand. Hopefully…
The problem with stupid people, which makes them dangerous, is that they do not listen. Anything outside their self-imposed limited view is not of interest to these people. Truth is absent from their thinking, and they have no desire to find a reason or expand their minds. They are too busy echoing talking points to justify their position. They fight for all the wrong reasons and gaslight everyone who attempts to challenge their views. Even when presented with verifiable evidence to the contrary.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer theorized that stupid people are far more dangerous than evil people. Why? Simply because we can fight bad people, but with stupid ones, we are powerless — all reasons fall on deaf ears. Bonhoeffer’s theory warns free societies of what can happen when certain (nonsensical) people acquire too much power. They cannot be trusted to be honest because everything to them is purely subjective. Objectivity and truth go together, but from a personal viewpoint, there is no objective input. It’s one-sided.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a young pastor saw the darkest times of German history first-hand. He witnessed mobs of previously civilized people throw stones and break windows of innocent shop owners. Further, he saw the humiliation of children and women in public. Bonhoeffer spoke out publicly against the atrocities. Years later, still trying to stop the senseless acts, he came home one evening, was met by two men, and taken off to prison.
While in prison, Bonhoeffer reflected on Germany’s country of poets and thinkers, turning into a society of cowards, thieves, and criminals. He concluded the cause of the problem was not malice but stupidity.
Facts challenging stupid people’s prejudgment are simply not believed. When faced with the truth, stupid people see facts as inconsequential or incidental. The cycle continues with the stupid person being self-satisfied and, being a weak person who is easily triggered, goes on the attack pointlessly and dangerously.
Among the discoveries, stupid people have a moral defect – not an intellectual one.
Some intellectually impressive humans are actually stupid people, and some who are intellectually dull are actually quite intelligent. It’s more than a perception difference. It is a matter of deeply held beliefs that we live by. Not trivial spontaneous ideas, but right vs. wrong, being kind to others, being honest, etc. These types of views. Those who live by a strong moral code can be stupid, or the inverse. According to Bonhoeffer, it depends on the moral investment one has in their life.
A close friend often jokes that to “get rid of stupid people in the world, simply remove all the warning labels.” He might have a point. In reality, stupidity is not always congenital. Some people become stupid over time, enabling this to happen to themselves willingly. It was found that people living in solitude create this defect less frequently than people in groups. Perhaps stupidity is less of a psychological and more of a sociological problem.
The stupid person is often stubborn, which must not blind us from the fact that they are not independent. In taking with the stupid person, one may perceive dealing not at all with him as a person, but as slogans, buzzwords, and other nonsense have literally taken possession of their minds. A one-track mindset.
Stupid people seem hypnotized, blinded, misguided, and abused in their minds.
This ultimately leads to becoming a mindless tool. The stupid person is capable of pure evil. This is because they cannot understand that it is evil. An act of liberation, not instruction, might overcome stupidity. In most cases, a genuine internal liberation becomes possible only when external liberation has preceded it. Until then, we must abandon all attempts to convince the stupid person. Maybe there’s hope, but it starts with them. They must re-learn the truth and how to escape the filters in their minds. Because they plant these things in their own minds, it might seem to be a form of mental illness. Whatever it is, realizing there is no way to reason with someone who argues against truth and facts – once you recognize stupid, be smart and run.
Deitrich Bonhoeffer died participating in a plot against Adolf Hitler on April 9, 1945. This happened at the Flossenbürg concentration camp just 14 days before US soldiers rode in and liberated the camp. After years of doing what he believed was right – Deitrich Bonhoeffer’s life ended and his legacy was cemented in history.
“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility. The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer