There are such fundamental deficiencies among the human species that they can be exposed by even the simplest of tasks. In this case, I present a statement that I think could singlehandedly expose much of mankind for its illiteracy.
Don’t misunderstand me. The human species is uniquely intelligent, but most of them are far better informed than they are prepared to reason. Regrettably, this leaves the modern example of the species feeling superior in virtual every way to his forbears, but little does he know that he’s actually standing on their shoulders; and little does he know the sacrifices and tradeoffs made along the way.
As it turns out, it doesn’t take much to ascertain the cognitive ability of the people in our lives. Take for instance a simple statement of fact such as this:
“Racism was neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for slavery.”
Most people are so braindead and suffer so profoundly from cognitive dissonance that they cannot possibly entertain new information such as this. They are so thoroughly brainwashed that their minds cannot even grasp this very simple concept; a concept, no less, which happens to fundamentally encapsulate some of the primary rudiments of logic.
I suspect that, even upon grappling with this simple sentence for a few minutes, most people, among those who’d even have the patience to endure those minutes, wouldn’t have even the slightest clue as to its meaning. Among those who emerge with some vague understanding, most will predictably seek refuge in their more familiar conceptions.
This example serves to illustrate the point that the majority of people are largely empty vessels unequipped with the ambitions as well as the faculties to derive meaningful insights, let alone to engage in honest intellectual debate.
Most people simply lack the cognitive ability to, as Aristotle is believed to have put it, “entertain an idea without accepting it.” So instead, most people, steeped in cognitive bias, outsource their critical thinking; they prefer to reach conclusions, provided for them by other people or their preferred “experts”, before they even begin to examine the manner in which they were derived.
For their purposes, it’s both safer and virtually costless for them to obtain and parrot these claims. It’s cheap because it requires precious little effort to obtain, and it’s convenient because most people will accept it at face value simply because they either agree or otherwise prefer to avoid the debate; and it’s safer in their estimation because they bear none of the responsibility for being wrong. After all, it was never their idea in the first place.
It’s a sad day indeed when you truly accept that most people in our lives are little more than gears in the machine, the raw material used to manufacture the products as well as the illusions we’re expected to maintain. Of course, all of this has been suddenly accelerated over the course of the last century.
Our lives are faster and busier than ever, yet they’ve simultaneously lost so much of their meaning. We’ve enjoyed so many advantages through the advents of technology and logistics: from trains, planes and automobiles to internet, television and telecommunication, what once took days, months and even years has suddenly become a minor inconvenience; and what once called for physical human interaction has been swiftly replaced by virtual entertainment.
In that same space of time, we’ve become more connected than ever, but we’ve grown even further apart; we’ve become better informed, but less educated; and we’ve amassed incredible wealth, but we’ve become less resourceful.
As a people, we have come to sacrifice so much in the way of ethics, ingenuity, faith, family, community, and freedom, and we’ve enjoyed some advantages along the way; but it turns out it was a raw deal indeed. In many ways, mom and dad sold the farm for a lifetime of produce. Little did they know that they were giving up so much more.