Stupidity

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice, and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.

We lie to ourselves, in order that we may still have the excuse of ignorance, the alibi of stupidity and incomprehension, possessing which we can continue with a good conscience to commit and tolerate the most monstrous crimes.

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.

Defense of morals is the battle-cry which best rallies stupidity against change.

Obstinacy and vehemency in opinion are the surest proofs of stupidity.

If it be true that men of strong imaginations are usually dogmatists - and I am inclined to think it is so - it ought to follow that men of weak imaginations are the refers; in which case we should have some compensation for stupidity. But it unfortunately happens that no dogmatist is more obstinate or less open to conviction than a fool.

The pressure that has been brought to bear upon the native people, since the cessation of armed conflict, in the attempt to force conformity of custom and habit has caused a reaction more destructive than war, and the injury has not only affected the Indian, but has extended to the white population as well. Tyranny, stupidity, and lack of vision have brought about the situation now alluded to as the “Indian Problem.”

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.

There are many paths to knowledge already discovered; and no enlightened man doubts that there are many more waiting to be discovered. Indeed, all paths lead to knowledge; because even the vilest and stupidest action teaches us something about vileness and stupidity and may accidentally teach us a good deal more.

The whole record of civilization is a record of the failure of money as a higher incentive. The enormous majority of men never make any serious effort to get rich. The few who are sordid enough to do so easily become millionaires with a little luck, and astonish the others by the contrast between their riches and their stupidity... The belief in money as an incentive is founded on the observation that people will do for money what they will not do for anything else.

There are lone figures armed only with ideas, sometimes with just one idea, who blast away whole epochs in which we are enwrapped like mummies. Some are powerful enough to resurrect the dead. Some steal on us unawares and put a spell over us which it takes centuries to throw off. Some put a curse on us, for our stupidity and inertia, and then it seems as if God himself were unable to lift it.

Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem. We recognize this for Nazi Germany, that the people obeyed Hitler. People obeyed; that was wrong.

With stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain.

Paltry affectation, strained allusions, and disgusting finery are easily attained by those who choose to wear them; they are but too frequently the badges of ignorance or of stupidity, whenever it would endeavor to please.

A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to hurt itself; stupidity often saves a man from going mad.

There is not a single idea, however absurd and repulsive, that has not a sensible aspect and there is not a single view, however plausible and humanitarian, that does not encourage and then conceal our stupidity and our criminal tendencies.

Stubbornness and stupidity are twins.

We lie to ourselves, in order that we may still have the excuse of ignorance, the alibi of stupidity and incomprehension, possessing which we can continue with a good conscience to commit and tolerate the most monstrous crimes.