Friday, January 12, 2018

Anti-Intellectualism, Racism, Complacency

  • Some people deny the scientifically-proven, human-created climate change.
  • Some people refuse to get their children vaccinated.
  • Some people are fearful of non-white humans.
  • Some people are proud of having faith over knowledge.
  • Some people think our planet is flat.
  • Some people prefer faith over knowledge.
  • Some people consider science a dubious enterprise. 
  • Some people prefer guns rights over personal rights.
  • Some people eschew medical treatment for prayer.
  • Some people are fearful of people who have beliefs different from themselves.
  • Some people support the glorification of the emotional and irrational to the logical and rational.
  • Some people think that there ever was a better America when we had institutional racism, sexism, genderism, and many other forms of inequality and injustice.
  • Some people prefer tradition and mythology over reason and logic.
  • Some people embrace homeopathy and other alternative treatment forms to proven medical knowledge.
  • Some people actually conceal their intellectual ability in order to not offend those around them.
  • Some people accept the word of their leader implicitly and without question.
  • Some people listen to words and ignore action.
  • Some people prefer easy over right.
  • Some people prefer the cloak of patriotism over what is right and, further, paint many forms of behavior with a broad patriotism brush.
  • Some people actually believe that lands of poverty or violence, and those who flee that land, are to be blamed for problems in our own nation.
  • Some people in the USA fear those who flee before war and tyranny.
  • Some people are willing to listen to the fearmongering of our leadership with regard to other countries and minority religions even there is no evidence to support that fear.
  • Some people are willing to replace ignorance with blame, rather than with knowledge.
  • Some people are willing to overlook misinformation for security in not knowing.
  • Some people prefer sensationalism, out-of-touch storytelling, and drama to hard truth.
  • So many people can be emotionally manipulated to political sway by fear and misinformation.
  • Some people pass along conspiracy theory rather than informing themselves.
  • Some people fear the global market and prefer an isolationist agenda with regards to our economy.
  • Some people consider the terms intellectual and egghead to be insults.
  • Some people doubt the evolution of species in spite of the overwhelming evidence and prefer creation stories from various religions.
  • Some people accept propaganda about GMOs and other tabloid news without looking for reputable news and information sources.
  • Some people are unaware of the social media bias for news, how news sources located by one's own search algorithms will always reflect one's own personal paradigm, rather than a neutral and reputable news source.
  • Some people can't understand that making money is not preferable to protecting our planet.
  • Some people approach the polls without truly educating themselves about the issues or the candidates.
  • Some people insecurely think that, because they don't understand something, that they can't understand it.
  • Some people think that their ignorance can be equal to my knowledge.
  • Some people, maybe schools, consider performing well on a test to indicate true knowledge.
  • Some people don't seem to recognize how this anti-intellectual bent in the USA affects public policy, has social costs, and is reflected even in our economy.

I'm not attempting to create a provocative post. I'm merely mourning, feeling overwhelmed with sadness, and expressing my consternation with the norms in my beloved country.

I see the anti-intellectualism so clearly in many public places and forums and I wonder why are we so complacent about this? How did this country get this far along this road? How many of our elected officials are a part of this anti-intellectualism? How deluded can our country be to ignore all of these facts? Do many people recognize that the uninformed are seldom politically active? How can the general populace not see that the wealthy-without-integrity are benefiting from this lack of curiosity by failing to support human-focused values? I find it alarming.

What can be done?

It takes effort to forgo our human emotional foundations for reasonable thought. I fear that much of the easy anti-intellectual activity we see is supported by and encouraged by various religions as well as by other public systems. (I could be wrong in this.) It aggrieves me to see how pervasive it is in this country, this disdain for science and general knowledge. How many of our leaders are actually Young Earthers or creationists?

The lack of knowledge and, further, the disdain for knowledge shows itself in so many ways in our country. From the current white house administration to the shameful racial biases in our criminal justice system to our illiterate graduates to the questionable and dangerous health practices to our nationally disgraceful expressions of WOO to our inability to get consensus on climate change and global environmental issues, anti-intellectualism is the culprit.

What is the solution?
JOIN ME in embracing REASON and in spreading Love of Learning.

You might also enjoy:
Being Atheist isn't Enough
Being an Atheist: I Miss the Church Community
Tea and Biscuits for Atheist Parents
Definition: The Formal Statement of the Meaning of a Word

1 comment:

  1. SO true! I'm married to someone like this. He actually seems to believe that the country has IMPROVED over the last year. Say what? But well yeah, it would seem that way to him because HIS values are being met and his values are much of the above. My 12 year old questions him constantly and it's interesting to watch but hard too because he is so narrow minded in his beliefs and she is so not and she gets so frustrated and upset with him and his ideals. I don't blame her because I feel that way too, it's one reason why I'm looking to leave my marriage. Our values are not the same and I find it hard to like him as a person for that very reason. *sigh*


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