There’s nothing so stupid that some intelligent man won’t believe it

Discuss.

24 thoughts on “There’s nothing so stupid that some intelligent man won’t believe it”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    One would like to believe this is true, if only out of a romantic belief in man’s ability to achieve anything.

    However there are, I would guess, an infinite number of things one could believe in. An infinite number of which must be stupid. But there is only a finite number of intelligent human beings.

    Thus, unless every intelligent being believes an infinite number of stupid things, there must be stupid things that no intelligent being believes. For instance, that one can achieve nuclear fission using only camembert cheese. I think I am on safe ground in assuming no man has ever believed this.

    The situation is changed somewhat if we consider a slight change to the question – is there nothing so stupid that some intelligent man might not have good reason to believe it? A sort of culpable and non-culpable belief in the stupid. I believe that the category of non-culpable stupidities – the group of stupidities that could be believable in the right circumstance – could be finite. Therefore it is possible that every single one of them has been believed by an intelligent man at some point. It depends on how big the group is.

  2. Just saw on Facebook a proper “As lenin correctly pointed out, Intelligent people like you and me need to educate the working classes on the need for revolution” from my old history teacher who I had otherwise respected. Proper, 150-year-old Vanguard of the Proletariat bullsh1t.

    Never realised he was like that…

    Unfriended.

  3. Actually, that really aggravated me disproportionately. He’s a very intelligent man, which I suppose you have to be to be able to contort yourself into that BS (it was posted under someone’s BS about working classes voting tory against their interests because the newspapers tell them to)…

    So many layers of BS accepted by an otherwise extremely intelligent man.

  4. Nihil tam absurde dici potest, quod non dicatur ab aliquo philosophorum.

    There is nothing so absurd that it has not been said by some philosopher.

    Cicero, De Divinatione, Book II, chapter LVIII, section 119.

  5. Proof once again of the human condition. It’s easy enough to be original, it’s also easy enough to be right. But to be both right and original is something allowed to few…..

  6. Actually, that really aggravated me disproportionately. He’s a very intelligent man

    Different sorts of intelligence, though. Some of the smartest people I’ve met have been farmers: they have to be. But they’d probably not do well academically. Although a whole lot better than a professor on a farm.

  7. SMSF – It’s not a stupid thing if a) it can’t happen and b) nobody has suggested that it could. So yes, nuclear fission from Camembert would be a stupid thing to suggest, but since nobody has suggested it (as far as I know) we can discount it from consideration.

    And besides, everyone knows that the cheese needed for fission is that molten stuff you get on cheap burgers. Camembert? What an el-Emmental mistake.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    Geoff Taylor – “It’s not a stupid thing if a) it can’t happen and b) nobody has suggested that it could.”

    Is this the equivalent of a tree falling in a forest? Presumably a stupid idea is stupid before it is spoken? It is not in a state of potential intelligence that does not cohere into a state of idiocy or otherwise when said. It is, if you will, essentially stupid – stupid since the creation of the universe in the Big Bang and until the Big Crunch.

    “So yes, nuclear fission from Camembert would be a stupid thing to suggest, but since nobody has suggested it (as far as I know) we can discount it from consideration.”

    Sure. Fusion would be much easier.

    “And besides, everyone knows that the cheese needed for fission is that molten stuff you get on cheap burgers. Camembert? What an el-Emmental mistake.”

    Puns like that deserve the death penalty. Which I say with a note of admiration.

  9. “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”

    The legendary Thomas Sowell

  10. Here’s a few more corkers from Mr Sowell:

    Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.

    It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.

    The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.

    Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.

    There are only two ways of telling the complete truth–anonymously and posthumously.

    There are few things more dishonorable than misleading the young.

    If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.

  11. It appears to be true that the academic sorts I know on Facebook are more likely to declare themselves “unabashed fans” of Jeremy Corbyn. I’m honestly not sure if they’re just unaware of his many shortcomings or if they don’t care.

    Meanwhile those of my relatives and acquaintances who didn’t go to university, read tabloids and repost sentimental memes seem more likely to see through him.

  12. This relates somewhat to “Crabtree’s Bludgeon”, which states that “No set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated.”

    This works for me as an explanation for the possibility of a continuing belief in socialism despite the ample evidence of it’s abject failure.

  13. I read somewhere recently that scientists are more taken in by scammers (or conspiracy theories? can’t remember) than others. Mostly because they’re too sure of themselves.

  14. It depends on how you’re assigning “intelligent”. Intellectual? Educated? Accomplished?
    Problem’s, pretty well all of the metrics used to define “intelligent” are self referencing. Scoring high by one metric doesn’t necessarily translate to scoring high on another. The was a Mail story linked by SMfS on the “Stable door” thread. The gay teacher in the projects & the pupil from hell. No doubt most of the metrics used by people here would assign the high intelligence to the teacher & very little to the gangsta. It’s actually completely the reverse. In that world the educated, right-on, teacher’s a complete moron whilst the black kid’s the genius. He understands how to game it so he’s on the top of his heap. Which is what matters if that’s the heap you’re living on.
    So I’m not sure the topic being debated has any relevance. It’s perfectly possible to believe.stupid things if fields where one has no direct experience because one doesn’t get the reality check of finding out they don’t work. So, maybe it’s better to define stupidity than intelligence. Finding out it doesn’t work & still persisting.in believing in it.

  15. “But to be both right and original is something allowed to few…..” Hah! A chum of mine was recently quite excited by a notion he’d had. Perhaps the prophet (pbuh) suffered from acromegaly? I persuaded him to google. Not original.

  16. “working classes voting tory against their interests because the newspapers tell them to”

    Teachers, in particular, were far too busy loathing Thatcher to get to grips with why she appealed to the vulgar masses below them.

    I’m not even sure it’s yet accepted that she DID appeal to them.

  17. It’s like the attitudes I used to get from some lefties I used to work with: “I know about the working classes, I studied them at university”.

  18. For instance, that one can achieve nuclear fission using only camembert cheese.

    I smell a short story in there somewhere. I would like to bet a £1 donation to the charity of your choice I can prove that it is possible. SMFS are you willing to take that bet?

  19. These were right-on lefties in their 30s or so, who had been at Uni in the 1980s/1990s. I got on better with the grass-roots old school labourites who squeezed in an accountancy course between ten-hour shifts pouring molten steel and fighting through the thicket of party entrenchment in the 1960s.

  20. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “In that world the educated, right-on, teacher’s a complete moron whilst the black kid’s the genius.”

    I am happy to compromise and say they are both morons. The thuglet is a moron because while he is riding high for now, High School does not last forever and he needs to have a plan – something better than being a shoe salesman. He is trading a short term gain – which is not negligible – for a better future. The teacher is a moron because he has allowed the SJWs and Hallmark Feel Good Saturday Afternoon Specials to define his world. It is utterly insane to think Mr Chips or any of the lesser derivatives reflect reality. The best preparation for teaching thuglets is Mad Max.

    But that would be Bad Think and Goodwhites don’t do that.

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