Why is There Stupidity?
Why is there stupidity? Why are there trolls? Why is there Obama, Deepak Chopra, the MSM, Scientology, Keith Olbermann, Charles the Queeg, Lawrence Rosie O'Donnell, Bill Maher, the designated hitter rule?
Easy: because there is intelligence. Because there is intelligence, there is stupidity in all its varieties, including the intelligent stupidity of Marxism, socialism, deconstruction, existentialism, atheism, metaphysical Darwinism, radical feminism, climate changerism, you name it. Truth is one. Stupidity is legion.
Obviously, stupidity is a "privative phenomenon." Truth is what is, while error is what is missing, or what is disproportionately overemphasized, or what has no real possibility of ever being there at all. Therefore, while error can and will be present in our approach to truth, as Schuon writes, it cannot be derived from intelligence as such. Rather, since we are relative beings, our intelligence operates amidst other factors -- hopes, fears, dreams, wishes, resentments.
When intelligence goes astray, it is due either to the passions or the will; indeed, this is why one cannot detach the question of stupidity from that of sin, for sin is a kind of stupidity, while stupidity (as opposed to ignorance) is definitely a kind of sin. More problematically, there is unconscious passion and unconscious willfulness, AKA Mind Parasites with hidden agendas all their own.
Human beings are simply the "hosts" for these infrahuman agendas. While not derived from intelligence as such, the mind parasites are hardly unintelligent; like all viruses, they definitely learn their lessons, in particular, how to adapt to new circumstances in order to fool the host and his psychospiritual immune system. This is precisely how Obama was able to fool so many "sophisticated" and "intelligent" people, despite the fact that the truth was and is there for all to see.
To cite one particularly glaring example, there is the science of economics. And there is politics, or "political science." The former is the application of intelligence toward understanding the creation of wealth. The latter is the application of intelligence toward the acquisition of power (or perhaps we should say power misappropriating the intelligence).
These two uses of intelligence are at odds, which is where socialism come in. Socialism -- including Obamanomics -- is the application of the will to bend the science of economics toward the acquisition of power. As Mencken said, "a socialist is simply a man suffering from an overwhelming compulsion to believe what is not true."
Now, all varieties of relativism -- including most notoriously, the intrinsic stupidity of metaphysical Darwinism -- are not only impossible, but posit an impossible world. For example, existentialism -- which is really just relativism drawn out to its ultimate nihilistic implications -- "postulates a definition of the world that is impossible if existentialism is possible" (Schuon). How is that?
Simple. Either knowledge -- and therefore truth -- is possible, or it is not. If truth is possible, then surely it is objective and therefore "absolute in its own order." In fact, the cosmos is hierarchically ordered, with the Absolute at the "top," so to speak, but with lower degrees of reality, all in turn guided by their own "relative absolute."
For example, the very practice of any kind of science, whether physics, biology, or chemistry, is guided by relative absolutes that apply to the plane in question. But biology is not constrained by the laws of physics, any more than the spiritual ascent is constrained by the genes. Different, planes, different relative absolutes. My knowledge of truth is hardly limited by what natural selection supposedly permits me to know.
But once you invert the cosmos, then you have committed the cardinal sin of intelligence, for you have banished intelligence from existence. For such a person, intelligence is reduced to brain activity, brain activity is reduced to genes, genes are reduced to physics, and physics is reduced to.... nothing. And not the good kind.
Thus we insist: either God or nihilism. There is no in between. Or, to the extent that you believe there is, you are living in a self-made fantasy land, pure and simple.
Now, for the theist, there is most definitely a world between God and the nihil. We call it "the world." It is surely real. Just not the ultimate Real. But for the a-theist, "the world" is necessarily reduced to a manifest void.
Please understand that we are being quite literal here. As Scuon writes, any kind of a-theism can only involve "speculations in the void," i.e., no one thinking about nothing. Academic psychologists will assure you that the "self" is an illusion, just a side effect of brain activity, like urine to the kidneys. That being the case, there is no one to get all weewee'd up about nothing at all.
This is the lie that is hidden in plain sight that undergirds all forms of a-theism. The relativist never explains why he is a miraculous exception to his own irony-clad rule: "whence comes this demigiod who accuses, and whence his power to accuse?" (Schuon). For if he is correct, then surely man has the capacity to transcend his relative state and to know the truth of himself.
But what kind of beast is able to share in absolute truth? Only one kind: the kind who is in the image of the creator, the Absolute. Otherwise, the gap between matter and truth is -- and how is this not obvious? -- infinite and absolute.
To insist that the intellectual queegmire of metaphysical Darwinism is absolutely true is as absurd as saying that truth is derived from error, rather than vice versa. There is "no common measure" between a truth-bearing person "and the wholly contingent movement preceding it.... Man is what he is, or else he is nothing" (Schuon).
Yes, human beings may doubt, but only "because there is certainty." Likewise, "the very notion of illusion proves that man has access to reality." And to know reality is to be certain, beyond doubt. Thus, the certainty of faith is the vehicle on which we float upstream in this void called "the world."
Conversely, cynicism is the raft upon which the a-theist rides to his eternal destruction, which is simply cosmic stupidity by another name. Cling to it all you like, but you are like a man holding onto a boulder plummeting to the earth.
(The Schuon quotes are from his Logic and Transcendence.)