Imbecile was a controversial term used to classify a type of mental retardation
It derives from the Latin word imbecillus, meaning weak, or weak-minded
One of the greatest issues of society, in my opinion, is the widespread dumbing down of its populace. One of many examples of this is the exaggerated
use of False Generalizations
which I will highlight here. We can witness these all around us...in real-life, on these virtual
discussion-forums, in the mass-media. Some sweeping Generalizations I've viewed only today
on this discussion forum:
* Soldiers committed a crime. Therefore soldiers are scum.
* Obama is a liberal. Therefore none of his decisions will be any good.
* Bush is a Neo-Con. Therefore anything he does is bad.
* The Rothschilds financed both sides of wars. Therefore Jews are bad.
* The Christian Inquisition murdered many. Christians are evil.
* Terrorist attacks were carried out by Muslims. Muslims are terrorists.
* Homosexuals want marriage rights.
* A police officer abused his position. Police Officers are scum.
* UFOs are real.
* UFOs are not real.
* Women are...
* Mexicans are...
* Men are...
* Americans are...
* Reality is...
* Reality is not...
...in fact, open any given thread here and you will find Generalizations that lack discernment and instead divide everything into black and white,
100% good or 100% bad. Among the Billions of Idiots who spread the virus of Generalization words such as "some", "sometimes", "partially", "a
part of", "aspects of", "possibly", "maybe" etc. are not very popular. Words such as "is", "are", "fact" and "truth" on the other hand
are very popular with the imbecile.
The reason the feeble-minded need to divide everything into black and white or two sides is because they are unable to grasp anything bigger or more
diverse, colorful or complex than those two. Seeing something from three, four, five, six or seven sides already goes above these morons heads. In
this way they becoming unwitting agents of false information. This ancient story from India illustrates this:
The story of the blind men and an elephant originated from India. A group of blind men (or men in the dark) touch an elephant to learn what it is
like. Each one touches a different part, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then compare notes on what they felt, and learn they
are in complete disagreement. The story is used to indicate that reality may be viewed differently depending upon one's perspective, suggesting that
what seems an absolute truth may be relative due to the deceptive nature of half-truths.
A variation of False Generalizations is called Misleading Vividness:
The logical fallacy of misleading vividness involves describing an occurrence in vivid detail, even if it is an exceptional occurrence, to convince
someone that it is a problem. Although misleading vividness does little to support an argument logically, it can have a very strong psychological
effect because of a cognitive heuristic called the availability heuristic.
Anne: "I am giving up extreme sports now that I have children. I think I will take up golf."
Bill: "I wouldn't do that. Do you remember Charles? He was playing golf when he got hit by a golf-cart. It broke his leg, and he fell over, giving
himself a concussion. He was in hospital for a week and still walks with a limp. I would stick to paragliding!"
Lois Griffin: "I found an ad for a used car from the paper."
Peter Griffin: "Oh, no. A guy at work got a car from the paper, two years later, Bam! Herpes!"
If we were to remove this logical fallacy, 90% of our stories and "news" would fall away.
Sadly, sweeping generalizations create labels and stereotypes which stifle intelligent conversation and learning. More examples of "conversations"
(the second line being that of the moron. If you cant see the logical fallacy in the reply, do some more thinking):
"I went out with this other woman..."
"That means you dont love me anymore?"
"That is a good team"
"Yeah, because the players are good"
"The Swine Flu originated in Mexico"
"So it comes from Mexicans"
"The restaurant is always busy"
"That must mean their food is really good"
"Im a Republican"
"Oh, so you are for war"
"I´m a democrat"
"Oh, so you are for abortion"
"I´m an atheist"
"So you hate Christians"
"I believe in a Supreme Being"
"So you are a Creationist!"
"I believe ETs exist"
"But there is no evidence for them"
"Do ETs exist?"
"I believe so because there is no evidence that they dont"
"This is a thread about Generalizations"
"All Generalizations are false"
(Notice the self-contradictory statement)
To conquer imbecility in regards to Generalizations all that is needed is the realization that there is no such thing as 100% right or 100% wrong but
instead varying degrees of probability and that one need not jump to conclusions or have knee-jerk reactions about anything...much less about labels
which describe entire groups.
[edit on 22-5-2009 by Skyfloating]