July 29, 2010

I Am Fascinated With Idiocy

When I first started doing the Idiot of the Week series here at Atheist Revolution, it was intended to be nothing more than a humorous poke at people who did or said something stupid. I thought it would be fun to break up my usually serious tone with some "Hey everybody, look at the moron" sort of material. Even atheists need a good laugh every now and again! Not surprisingly, most of the "winners" have been Christian extremists, but I have tried to acknowledge others who needed someone pointing at them and laughing.

despair-poster-idiocy.jpgI have considered abandoning the series many times. Sometimes it seems petty, mean, or otherwise counterproductive. And other times I simply find myself getting discouraged by how hard it is to select one idiot from so many thoroughly qualified people.

As I reflect on it today, I am finally beginning to accept my fascination with idiocy. It isn't just about mockery; it is about my genuine puzzlement with whether people actually believe some of the gibberish they spout. It is about the intriguing question of how otherwise functional individuals could believe some of what they claim to believe. It is about wanting to know why thinking is so aversive to so many people. And it is about trying to figure out what we in the reality-based community can do to correct the rampant misinformation that places us all in jeopardy.

Idiocy is broader than religion. It facilitates religious belief, but it also supports a host of other irrational beliefs and behavior. It poses a significant obstacle to modern society, and it appears to be on the increase - or at least, the degree to which it is celebrated in American culture seems to be on the increase.

Expect to see more from me on this neglected subject.

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