Fandango’s taking some time off, so we have a golden oldie…
This week’s provocative question is based upon a quote by Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. Whew, that’s a lot of cred. Anyway, Russell, who died in 1970, suggested that…
“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that, in the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubts.”
Do you concur with Mr. Russell’s perspective? Why or why not?
The way this quote is phrased implies that he had been discussing “the trouble,” and since we don’t know what that was, it’s kind of hard to say. So, let’s assume for the purpose of this exercise that the “trouble” is just a generic thing. (Which is probably the intention.)
Anyway, I would agree with this.
There is the distinct possibility that my idea of who qualifies as “the stupid” and “the intelligent” might vary slightly (or greatly) with who Bert, or for that matter anyone else, considers to be a genius or a moron. My mother (who, as you have probably guessed, had an opinion about everything) once said of someone, “if it wasn’t on paper that he was smart, no one would know.” Or, as Sheldon Cooper often said, “I’m not crazy, Mom had me tested.”
So, maybe it’s best to rewrite the esteemed Mr. Russell’s statement:
“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that, in the modern world, the people who, in my humble opinion, are stupid are cocksure while the people who, in my humble opinion, are intelligent are full of doubts.”
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