Freedom from ignorance and arrogance

Nasrudin of Turkey was not the one to run out of tricks up his sleeves. His idiocy coupled with absurdity was the two strong ingredients that made comrades’ ribs crack. He embodied the highest pinnacle of imbecility and sheepishness.

His type of lunacy was not like that of David in Gath (1st Samuel 21:13). David practised juvenile tricks as a form of self-preservation. David was a market nincompoop with a purpose. But Nasrudin was purposeless daft.

One day Nasrudin was hanging a painting in his room when he inadvertently hammered the nail too hard to result in a yawning hole in the wall. He was hypnotized with this happening that he started to stare through the hole. As he did this, with vigour, he noticed goats grazing on the other side of the wall. Surprisingly he did not realize that the goats belonged to his neighbour. He then ran quickly to his wife and exclaimed, “Wife, you are not going to believe this! Guess what!” He continues, “My hammer went through the wall and I discovered another universe across my room. It is a universe of goats!”

An argument ensued between him and his wife. Nasrudin earnestly tried to convince his wife of the existence of another universe with goats only. His wife disputed it vehemently.

Finally, Nasrudin got irritated and went out to see his Master Erdogan. He was Erdogan’s coachman. As he walked out of his house, he saw his neighbour’s goats. He did not think about it, for was already won over by his mind.

This reminds me of a day when I was travelling in a matatu from Nyeri to Nairobi. There were three little children in the matatu. Their mother was sitting close to them. They were jovial throughout the journey and kept talking and singing in alternation. When we arrived at the place called Makuyu, they exclaimed, albeit in innocently, “Wow, an ocean!” I immediately cast my glance outside peradventure I would see the ocean only to be met with a sight of a beautiful dam.

Ignorance is dangerous. Ignorance that is mated to arrogance is a recipe for self-destruction. Ignorance from some quarters can be forgiven. For example, we don’t give a hoot when children believe in fairy tales. But arrogance and ignorance from adults of sound mind are nauseating. Some of the craziest stuff people believe include the following.

  1. Jesus never existed.
  2. The world is controlled by reptilians.
  3. The Moon Landing was a hoax.
  4. Christianity is a white man’s religion.
  5. Global warming is a hoax.
  6. Wooden literalism when trying to decrypt Ancient writings.

Some of these beliefs melt away when philosophically assaulted.

Most conspiracy theories don’t make sense nor withstand any scrutiny. They ordinarily involve operations so immense that they cannot be kept secret, and all the proof was given by conspiracy theorists usually have a pretty simple explanation (usually much simpler than the explanation given by the theorists).
Yet conspiracy theories are quite popular and appealing. Even when they don’t make sense and there’s just no proof, many people still believe them. Why?

One big reason for this is that some conspiracy theorists are smart. They use psychology to make their theories seem more credible. They appeal to certain psychological phenomena which make people tend to believe them. However, these psychological tricks are nothing more than logical fallacies. They are simply so well camouflaged that many people can’t see them for what they are.

%d bloggers like this: