Article of the Day: April 22, 2020

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity

 / JOHNFEA

bonhoffer

Thanks to Bonhoeffer biographer and theologian Charles Marsh for bring these words to my attention.  You can apply them this morning as you see fit.

“Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force.”

“Against stupidity we are defenseless; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed, and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one.”

“It seems obvious that stupidity is less a psychological than a sociological problem. It is a particular form of the impact of historical circumstances on human beings, a psychological concomitant of certain external conditions.”

“The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he speaks on behalf of an empowered group. In conversation with him, one feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans and catchwords that have taken possession of him.”

“The stupid man is under a spell…[And] having become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil.”

“The Bible’s words that the ‘fear of the Lord God is the beginning of wisdom’ teaches us that a person’s inward liberation from foolishness and decision to live responsibly and intelligently before God is the only real cure to stupidity.”

Bonhoeffer, “After Ten Years”, Letters and Papers from Prison

3 thoughts on “Article of the Day: April 22, 2020

  1. I only wish the conclusion were more truly effective. Nonetheless, hope is so important.
    John

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  2. Randy – After reading and thinking about this article, I began to wonder if you were trying to tell me something …

    Like

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