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In contrast to the herd of independent thinkers, here is a portion of a letter written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German martyr who was executed in Flossenberg concentration camp on April 9, 1945, just days before it would be liberated by the Allies. He was well aware that he spoke in contradiction to the dogmas of the day, against the prevailing ethos, and into the deafening stupidity about which no reason could reason.

As we enter Lent this Ash Wednesday, may we have ears to hear, may our own stupidity be enlightened, and may our defences be overcome:


Credit to “Seagullanding” where this was posted.

As the Proverb goes:

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will become like him yourself.

Addendum (August 2021):

For an interesting discussion on stupidity, see Sacha Golob‘s article on “Why some of the smartest people can be so very stupid“. The essay begins with a discussion about the Austrian novelist Robert Musil who delivered a lecture in Vienna, ‘On Stupidity’ (1937).

“At its heart was the idea that stupidity was not mere ‘dumbness’, not a brute lack of processing power. Dumbness, for Musil, was ‘straightforward’, indeed almost ‘honourable’. Stupidity was something very different and much more dangerous: dangerous precisely because some of the smartest people, the least dumb, were often the most stupid.”

Golob ends with this bit of soberness:

“If history is anything to go by, a few hundred years from now, our descendants will find at least one part of contemporary morality almost unintelligible – ‘How could decent people ever have believed that?’ If they are not to condemn us as evil, they might well have to conclude that we were stupid.”