People are Sheep

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.”

22 thoughts on “People are Sheep

  1. I agree that (most) people are sheep most of the time and almost all are sheep some of the time or once in a while. I am posting now to share the gist of a readout from a recent survey via The University of Chicago [Tommy Christopher reported for Mediaite].

    Five percent of overall respondents agreed the use of force is “justified” to restore Trump to office. Almost all of those people said they were willing to “participate” (if it means killing). “Independents were just as likely to espouse or promise participation in violence — and were nearly twice as likely to say that ‘Use of force is justified to prevent the prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified documents by the federal government,’ at 9 percent, versus 5 percent of Republicans. Six percent of Democrats agreed with that one.”

    “I would participate” went from three percent to four percent (for restoring Trump to the presidency) when the statement was amended to include “even if some people are injured or killed.”

    With something like twenty percent of people becoming physically forceful (or giving it a try or thinking they would), I wonder what the rest would do.

    {My guess is that a little over half of the Independents (five of the nine percent) are Republicans, more or less, who don’t think the party is extreme enough. I’m additionally guessing the Democratic leaning are saying they would respond to violent Trump-support that rationalizes (or justifies) violence. I could be wrong. And it could be that more like seven of the nine percent who were in the Independents category would go Trump’s way. If all respondents, though, fully understood and truly agreed to the intent of the statements, yikes; twenty percent on the Trump end of things (rather than my ten and ten best case) in what I see as an anti-democratic action.}

    And then that has me wondering if Bertrand Russell’s statement employed the word cocksure to indicate persons willing to assault others.

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  2. Either way, our society is doomed. The stupid, apparently, are inheriting the earth, while the intelligent people sit back and philosophize about how and why this is happening.

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    1. It has been raining hard here and the worst is yet to come, but Clermont is the highest elevation in Florida, so there will be some flooding, but I will survive. Thanks for your concern and how is your vacation going Fandango?

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    1. I am fine Max and thanks for your concern. A limb came down off of the tree in my front yard and there are a lot of leaves scattered around, but all of that was expected.

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