Today, I have been musing on what makes people act in a stupid manner.
I know what intelligent actions involve-prayer, reflection, rational discourse, using the gifts of the Holy Spirit given in confirmation, getting advice from a spiritual director, reading, studying the Faith, doing penance.
Intelligence involves the entire person being focused on using the gifts at hand to learn the Faith and use it daily.
We are all made in the image and likeness of God, and the intellectual gift of thinking and decision making using will power-the will being one way we are like God, the other being our freedom and the third, which is the likeness, is grace.
I have written much on grace, so follow the tags, but using one's intellectual capacity to the fullest potential defines being human.
So, what makes people stupid and what does it mean to be stupid?
Second definition first-stupidity is dullness of mind, ignorance, and even obtuse, or stubbornness.
What makes people freely chose to be dull, ignorant and stubborn is, simply, sin.
Stupidity grows out of many sins, in fact, and here is an incomplete list:
I hope you recognize these as the seven deadly sins.
Lust consumes the imagination with false idolatry, thus making people dull of mind. Intemperance of thought, such as curiosity, and the chasing of emotional religious experience, are rooted in lust.
Sloth stops growth, makes one give up on holiness and ignores the virtue of studiosity.
Greed consumes one with false gods of money, things, status, power, making one into a beast instead of a thinking human being.
Anger brings about unforgiveness, rash judgements, prejudices, and intemperance, allowing the mind to dwell upon real or imagined hurts.
Pride creates an entire false world by which a person judges everything but themselves. Pride also dulls the mind, the soul, one's conscience.
Gluttony absolutely makes one stupid, as intemperance in food and drink slow down the thought processes and make a person dwell on satisfaction and comfort rather than study or reflection. Those who spend too much time on eating and drinking have little time or inclination for study.
Envy stops mental acuity by causing a person to dwell upon what others have and what others do. Envy causes shallow thinking and gossip, leading a person away from reflection and prayer.
I add fear to this list, as fear deadens the intellect. Fear makes a person fall back into the morass of negative emotions, protection, paranoia and self-preservation, all which stop intellectual growth.
Sin causes stupidity. Not facing and eliminating one's predominant fault causes stupidity. Refusing to follow the wisdom of the ages of Church guidance regarding holiness causes stupidity.
Wanting one's own way over and over and over is just plain stupid.
I incorporate the ideas of an old post to reveal how one can break out of stupidity. Humility is the answer.
Sunday, 22 July 2012