Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Joined
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    24 Jun '15 13:06
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Issac Asimov

    It is this adoration of ignorance that sustains and nurtures racism and political decisions leading to negative outcomes not only for U.S. citizens but the rest of the planet as well. With a few federal level legislators displaying less scientific knowledge than the average 8 year old, I do not see the reign of ignorance ending any time soon.
  2. Cape Town
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    24 Jun '15 14:13
    Originally posted by Phranny
    With a few federal level legislators displaying less scientific knowledge than the average 8 year old, I do not see the reign of ignorance ending any time soon.
    That suggests that when your 8 year olds grow up, you will not be electing them to the legislature. I think the problem may be with your electoral system.
  3. Standard membervivify
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    24 Jun '15 14:261 edit
    Originally posted by Phranny
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Issac Asimov

    It is this adoration of ignorance that su ...[text shortened]... knowledge than the average 8 year old, I do not see the reign of ignorance ending any time soon.
    I don't think ignorance is American's main problem. I think it's apathy and pride.

    Look at Fox News, for example. They clearly aren't ignorant, they are immensely biased. This comes from their refusal to waver from their right-wing culture. They are too proud to admit when their side is wrong. I see this same mindset throughout the conservative landscape.

    Then, there's the Americans who simply don't care. They don't care about world events, learning about other countries, or even learning about how the government works. This apathy leads to ignorance, which then enables politicians to be elected based on silly criteria like who's more entertaining in a debate, or who has snappier commercials.
  4. Joined
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    24 Jun '15 14:42
    Originally posted by Phranny
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Issac Asimov

    It is this adoration of ignorance that su ...[text shortened]... knowledge than the average 8 year old, I do not see the reign of ignorance ending any time soon.
    An ignorant electorate that is easily swayed is a (perhaps unintended, perhaps not, depending on the politician) consequence of the current US political system.
  5. Standard memberbill718
    Enigma
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    24 Jun '15 15:31
    Originally posted by Phranny
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Issac Asimov

    It is this adoration of ignorance that su ...[text shortened]... knowledge than the average 8 year old, I do not see the reign of ignorance ending any time soon.
    This is sadly true. There are many American's who do not fit this mold of course, but too many that do. 😞
  6. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    24 Jun '15 17:091 edit
    Originally posted by vivify
    I don't think ignorance is American's main problem. I think it's apathy and pride.

    Look at Fox News, for example. They clearly aren't ignorant, they are immensely biased. This comes from their refusal to waver from their right-wing culture. They are too proud to admit when their side is wrong. I see this same mindset throughout the conservative land ...[text shortened]... sed on silly criteria like who's more entertaining in a debate, or who has snappier commercials.
    Pride is an excellent way to put it.

    When Jim Inhofe brings a snowball into the Senate to prove that there's no global warming, he knows perfectly well in his heart of hearts that the snowball proves nothing. He's not an ignorant man. He's using a prop to show how dug in he is. No1 might says that he's holding his breath until her turns blue. He's making a stand and telling his folks back home that he's standing up to the bad guys.

    People (especially liberals, though that's neither here nor there) love to use the term "ignorance" for any position they disagree with because calling someone else ignorant makes one feel good about one's knowledge. It's not ignorance. It's pride. Willfully closing your eyes to all evidence that you're wrong is not being ignorant. It's being stubborn.

    I hardly think that pride is limited to the United States, however.
  7. Joined
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    24 Jun '15 19:02
    Originally posted by Phranny
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Issac Asimov

    It is this adoration of ignorance that su ...[text shortened]... knowledge than the average 8 year old, I do not see the reign of ignorance ending any time soon.
    I agree that the US suffers from ignorance. Ignorant people are easily duped because they have nothing to base their decisions upon.

    The US, like most of the world, is without a moral base and is totally ignorant as to what is right and what is wrong. This means the US population is easily led by the nose through the media and government propaganda. As I said, the US is far from alone.
  8. Zugzwang
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    24 Jun '15 22:061 edit
    Originally posted by Phranny
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Issac Asimov

    It is this adoration of ignorance that su ...[text shortened]... knowledge than the average 8 year old, I do not see the reign of ignorance ending any time soon.
    When 'liberal' Americans blame only ignorance for the USA's woes, there seems to be a
    presumption that if there was more education (meaning more money spent on it) then
    all these woes should disappear. That presumes that all Americans are willing to learn
    *and willing to change themselves* if given enough educational opportunities.

    But the evidence of history has shown that many Americans seem quite satisfied with
    themselves as they are--full of ignorance and prejudices. Many Americans have shown
    they are unwilling to learn and unwilling to change themselves if that would mean having
    to give up their cherished prejudices. These many Americans are *willfully ignorant*.

    And what motivation would they have to change? Let's consider a white man of low
    education and economic and social status. What does he have to make himself feel
    good about himself? Well, if he embraces racist and sexist ideologies, then he can feel
    superior to non-white people and women just for being a white man, and no one can
    ever take being a white man away from him. So his identity has a deep investment in
    these racist and sexist ideologies. Would exposing him to a 'cultural sensitivity' class
    (or whatever it's called) be enough to motivate him to abandon these racist and sexist
    ideologies and lose self-esteem in the process? I doubt it. His self-esteem--his sense of
    superiority over other people--is much more important than the objective merits of his beliefs.

    As I wrote earlier, my advice to immigrant parents who want their children to succeed in
    American schools would be: "Discourage them--gently if possible--from becoming 'Americanized'."
    The more 'Americanized' that children become, the more likely they will become to accept
    mediocrity, at best, in academics and to celebrate anti-intellectual populism as an ideal.
  9. Zugzwang
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    25 Jun '15 02:24
    Originally posted by sh76 to Vivify
    Pride is an excellent way to put it.

    When Jim Inhofe brings a snowball into the Senate to prove that there's no global warming, he knows perfectly well in his heart of hearts that the snowball proves nothing. He's not an ignorant man. He's using a prop to show how dug in he is. No1 might says that he's holding his breath until her turns blue. He's ...[text shortened]... ant. It's being stubborn.

    I hardly think that pride is limited to the United States, however.
    "I hardly think that pride is limited to the United States, however."
    --Sh76

    I would call it 'arrogance' rather than 'pride'.

    While it's true that many other countries have proud--or arrogant--traditions of nationalism,
    this sentiment becomes particularly susceptible to being manipulated to a dangerous extent in the USA.
    Why? On account of the USA's power and importance. If a Lithuanian, for instance, were
    to boast that Lithuania's 'the greatest country in the world', then no other sane Lithuanian
    would believe there's a claim about Lithuania being divinely appointed to lead the world
    and impose its will by force upon every country that resists. However proud they may be
    of their country, Lithuanians lack the imperialist pretensions of a superpower's citizens.
    Lithuania's small size imposes a certain sense of restraint and modesty upon its people.

    In contrast, when an American boasts that the USA's 'the greatest country in the world',
    many other Americans seem to believe it must be literally true in every important way.
    Many Americans also seemed to believe that the USA has been divinely appointed (or
    morally obligated) to dominate the world and impose a self-serving Pax Americana.
    So I would submit that a vast country full of arrogantly nationalistic Americans is much
    more dangerous than a small country full of arrogantly nationalistic Lithuanians.
  10. Standard membershavixmir
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    25 Jun '15 04:181 edit
    I can only assume that some Americans are ignorant and that a good many are not. I mean they have universities and colleges and some very intelligent people come from there as well.

    What I pick up from Americans is unwavering patriotism, fear, an obsessive impulse to own guns and a hard-wiring on ownership, property and materialism. The gun comment is a bit of a joke, because most Americans I actually know don't even want to own one. The rest of the points are very common.

    Patriotism and the right to own things will make someone very defensive about what they have - they like it and don't want to lose it (borders, perceived general culture, rights, etc.). It's a very inward way of looking at things.

    Fear serves paranoia.
    When you mix it with the patriotism, you get the concept of spreading your brand as much as possible (so other brands can't get you).

    When you mix fear with the drive to own and protect material things, you get a police state.

    Although my gut feeling is along the lines of: fox news is as it is, because the rich and powerful want to maintain their status quo (and since capitalism needs to expand so as not to lose profits, that's the message Fox sends: protect the borders, lock up anyone wanting to ravage our property and invade other countries)...
    I actually think Fox news (which is all of the above) is also, to some extent, a reflection; not the cause, but a symptom.

    Singing the national anthem at school, putting the flag to bed, God is on our side, calling people caucasion (whatever that is), hispanic and black, calling things unamerican, oscars for best foreign film... These are the real causes for the general American attitude.

    If you ask me.
    Ignorance, like Fox news, is what non-Americans perceive as problems; they're actually consequences; it's not ignorance, it's a defensively, fear driven patriotism.
  11. Standard memberRJHinds
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    25 Jun '15 07:27
    Originally posted by vivify
    I don't think ignorance is American's main problem. I think it's apathy and pride.

    Look at Fox News, for example. They clearly aren't ignorant, they are immensely biased. This comes from their refusal to waver from their right-wing culture. They are too proud to admit when their side is wrong. I see this same mindset throughout the conservative land ...[text shortened]... sed on silly criteria like who's more entertaining in a debate, or who has snappier commercials.
    It is difficult for us to admit we are wrong when we know we are right. 😏
  12. Standard memberRJHinds
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    25 Jun '15 07:34
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    I can only assume that some Americans are ignorant and that a good many are not. I mean they have universities and colleges and some very intelligent people come from there as well.

    What I pick up from Americans is unwavering patriotism, fear, an obsessive impulse to own guns and a hard-wiring on ownership, property and materialism. The gun comment is a ...[text shortened]... ; they're actually consequences; it's not ignorance, it's a defensively, fear driven patriotism.
    I don't mean to imply FOX News is perfect, but it is better than the rest. 😏
  13. Joined
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    03 Jul '15 03:551 edit
    Originally posted by Phranny
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Issac Asimov

    It is this adoration of ignorance that su ...[text shortened]... knowledge than the average 8 year old, I do not see the reign of ignorance ending any time soon.
    Science informs one less about matters of racism and political decisions than some other academic studies.

    As one example, science informs one less about racism than, dare I say it, accurate Christian Theology does.

    So one's scientific knowledge is not necessarily an aggregate of ignorance or erudition. I've met many intelligent people who knew very little about science and very many intelligent people who knew very little about metaphysics.
  14. Standard memberRJHinds
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    03 Jul '15 08:45
    Originally posted by King Tiger
    Science informs one less about matters of racism and political decisions than some other academic studies.

    As one example, science informs one less about racism than, dare I say it, accurate Christian Theology does.

    So one's scientific knowledge is not necessarily an aggregate of ignorance or erudition. I've met many intelligent people who knew very little about science and very many intelligent people who knew very little about metaphysics.
    The so-called science of evolution provides a reason for White supremist to be racist. 😏
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