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Ask the Patriarch 15
Why are people so stupid?

From Kevin Hatton

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I have, quite simply, a complicated question. Why are people so incredibly stupid?! I do not mean just making spelling errors (though one should be able to spell fundamental words, or at least be able to hit a button and let your computer spell the words), but I am referring to the stupid people who ask to be ordained as a Christian pastor at an Apathetic Agnostic Church, and everyone else who think they are ‘intelegent’ but really are not. Can you, at all, explain this to me? Or is this just another mystery unknowable to man?

The Patriarch replies:


I expect "Ask the Patriarch 4" was the prime motivation for your question, and thanks to your reminding me, I revisited the individual's web site to see if he had fixed any of the errors I pointed out to him. Unsurprisingly, 5 months later, he has not. And I did not point out all his errors. If you check his mailing address on his web site (where he wants us to send donations), he lives in "burligton,north carloina." Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! Not only can this clown not spell his own name, he cannot spell his city or state either.

But that does not answer your question; it merely serves to support your assessment of "incredibly stupid."

Why would he seek an Agnostic ordination? Christian ordinations are available online. I suspect those who seek our ordinations, yet plan to preach Christianity are looking for documentary evidence that they have been saved. "Look! I was ordained an Agnostic, and then I found Jesus! I saw the Light and I was Saved!" Perhaps they could make this the basis of a moving sermon, but it would be based on a lie.

I know that I have ordained a number of people who intended to preach Christianity. These people slipped through because they did not indicate their true beliefs in the comments section. That does not particularly bother me. They are the ones who have to live with the fact that their ordinations are based on deliberate falsehoods about their beliefs. I guess Christians are allowed to be liars in this fashion - the 9th Commandment only forbids lying about your neighbour - not about yourself.

So why did Phillips (and several others I rejected over the years) indicate his true beliefs in the Comments section? I suggest that he actually felt some guilt for lying about his acceptance of our Articles of Faith. And by writing "JEsus is my savor" in the comments section, he could lessen his guilt, and hope I was too lazy to notice it.

As to spelling, there are two factors at play here. One is that people tend to be incredibly careless when it comes to e-mail. The message is quickly written and sent unreviewed. E-mail seems to be an extension of speech rather than of written composition. This is a general problem, and not limited to those who disagree with me. The second factor, then, is that I have a nasty habit when I publish the works of others on this web site. Those that I consider to be reasonable get their spelling and grammar corrected as part of the editing and publishing process. But, in the cases in which I find the thought process questionable, I often leave the submission exactly as submitted. Perhaps that's not fair, but if people want to use this fairly open forum to promote opinions other than Agnosticism, they should care enough about their ideas to prepare their texts carefully.

As to your basic question: "Why are people so incredibly stupid?" I would suggest (simplistically) inadequate education and / or inadequate genetics. Other than that, it's an issue beyond my understanding.