A few days ago I came across this video:
It is based on a text Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in 1943 while sitting in a Nazi prison.
Bonhoeffer says that stupidity is more dangerous than malice because, as the saying goes, there is no cure for stupidity. or this reason stupidity is not an intellectual deficit but a moral one, a character flaw.
I find this explanation of stupidity and the danger it represents to be as relevant and compelling today as it was when he penned it. This is confirmed for me by the pervasive impact of conspiracy theories and the popular acclaim of politicians who promise their voters the moon, usually at the expense of some group of people or another.
A long time ago I came across the tag line, “Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by ignorance,” and it resonated with me so much that I used it in my e-mail signature for many years. And it reminds me, in this context, of a crucial difference between stupidity and ignorance:
Stupidity is willfully unteachable ignorance, denied ignorance, which does not want to be confused by facts which contradict its own, ignorant convictions.
I believe that part of the stupidity that prevails today is the pervasive rejection of faith in God: as the Psalmist says, The fool (the stupid person) says in his heart, “There is no God.”
I am not a historian, but I would not be surprised ad all if the seed of the destruction of all past civilizations and empires was stupidity: the conviction that one knows it all, and knows it better than anyone else, and thus has no need to learn anything new or listen to any advice.
I fear that this could be the end of our civilization as well, if Christ does not return before then and makes an end to all stupidity and all malice.