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What is your definition of *stupidity*?

I guess we all agree that stupid is not just the opposite of intelligent, because we all know some person who is fairly intelligent but also stupid.
So was is the main characteristic of stupid people?

My personal definition is "being unable to think outside the box".
Stupid people are severly blinkered, they are living inside their box (often together with like-minded people!), they know everything about the interior of this box, which is their world, they may be renowned experts about this box-world (yes, there are stupid professors !), but they can't step outside (mentally) to look around and to gather new evidence, maybe even to change their mind.
They may be wonderful persons, funny, nice, empathic, altruistic.... but intellectually their little box is the world, and that's it.

Matias 8 Nov 22

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"Trump is/was a great President"

That´s a good example, but not a definition... 🙂

@Matias actually, if someone says that (why it is in quotes) it is the final definition of them.


Stupidity: the act of rejecting facts.

Examples include the triumph of ideology over data (sex abstinence as a form of birth control instead of teaching young people about the facts), the misrepresentation one thing as another (claiming that the Bible is the evidence God's existence, not the claim of God's existence), and being terrified of the side effects of Covid-19 vaccines while ignoring the consequences of having Covid-19.

I see stupidity as just one manifestation of cognitive deficiency.


Being unwilling to verify facts.

Really? They are willing to verify their facts - alternative facts...


Talking or acting without knowing the facts.


"The significant difference between intelligence and stupidity is that intelligence has its' limits."

(quote often wrongly attributed to Einstein)


Stupidity is job security.


In my opinion, stupidity is making the same type of cognitive errors and decisions repeatedly. Yes, I’ve heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result, but stupidity is a failure to take cognizance of one’s ignorance or shortcomings, ignore new information and thus fail to learn, whether it be from one’s own prior mistakes or the mistakes of others.


It may not exist at all. Just as there is no such thing as dark, only a lack of light, and no such thing as cold only a lack of heat, so there may be, no such thing as stupid only too little thinking.

Curious. But what if too little thinking, like intelligence, could be mapped to genetics? Might the definition be of less importance than basic cause-and-effect?

Given that there was darkness before light (seconds after the Big Bang), darkness cannot be just the privation of light.
Is a disease just the absence of health? Poverty the absence of wealth? Death does not exist because it is just the absence of life ? Was Hitler a bad guy or did he just lack goodness?

@Matias Yes darkness can be an lack of light, you can produce a photon of light, can you find a particle of dark ? As to your other questions. No to the first, yes to the second, to the third death does not exist, and no to the last one.

@Matias, @p-nullifidian The cause and effects would be very important and the definition much less so. But since a definition is a immaterial human cultural construct, and genetics a material part of nature, they exist in almost completely different magisteria anyway.


Just last week I posted a video on Stupidity.
Interesting take.

"Interesting video on Stupidity.


Word Level 8 Nov 22, 2021

Interesting but I think Vonnegut had it right.


Stupidity is flawed thinking that goes against ones own best interest.......

What if one's interests involve removing others, maybe parents, from this picture? Is it then intelligent to kill them?

@rainmanjr All actions carries consequences. If it benefits someone in a positive way is it stupid for that person, even if it’s perceived as stupid by others?

Therefore Trump isn't a stupid personj because he is just acting according to his best interests?


a universal human characteristic in which comprehension is inadequate or inaccurate resulting in errors. sometimes a result of limited cognitive potential, sometimes lazy mindedness.


Then people discover A Glitch in the Matrix and start “thinking” way too far outside the box with Mandela effects everywhere in sight. So it can go the other way.

But there are post-structuralists such as Baudrillard who inspire us to think outside the box. The Matrix was a bastardization of his ideas.

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