Fandango has a quote for us today that tells us where the trouble in our modern world comes from, claiming that the bulk of the difficulties in the world are caused by stupid people. These stupid people are bold enough to speak up about injustices that they see, and they have the confidence to tell everyone else that their perception is correct, and the rest of the people will tend to believe them. It says that intelligent have doubts, so they hesitate while they are procrastinating, and by doing this, they take a back seat in the discussion. By not saying anything, this projects uncertainty and by not being prepared to move forward with what they actually believe because they full of doubts, the intelligent people are letting the stupid people run the world, because these stupid people will have the power to convince everyone else that they are right.
This quote from Bertrand Russell is based on the premise that the world contains stupid people, intelligent people and the rest are just followers. I think the world is made up of more than three different types of people, so I don’t agree with this quote. I can see instances in the past where this quote seems very appropriate, where stupid people convinced everyone else that the world was flat and also when they said that the Sun revolved around the Earth and everyone went along with that. I think this quote makes a case for the person who makes the most noise will usually win the argument, whether or not their point is valid. The purpose of an argument is to try and settle disputes and all arguments are either valid or invalid, and sound arguments are established by true premises, where unsound arguments are built on false premises, so there should be no middle ground, thus no argument is somewhat valid.
A cocksure person will strut like a cock in an attempt to impress others and hensure is the female equivalent for this type of person. A cocksure person would be overconfident in their abilities and their opinions, and their audacity would make them arrogant, but many people would probably want to follow them because they feel that they have a sense about what is right. There are rational and irrational reasons for following another person and most people are willing to go along with the crowd, so they can feel like they are being accepted. People want to fit in even when it goes against their better judgement. Most humans will flock like sheep, subconsciously following a minority of individuals. It takes a minority of just five per cent to influence a crowd’s direction and that the other 95 per cent will follow blindly like lemmings without even realizing it.
Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #15 Redux which asks, “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that, in the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubts.”