Rant of the Week »« The Stalker Becomes the Stalked

The Necessity of Knowledge

It’s cliché time at the cantina, my darlings, because I want to talk about a simple truth: knowledge is power.

In observing politics and religion, you soon notice a distinct abundance of stupidity. And I call it stupidity, not ignorance, because refusing knowledge is stupid. Everyone at times refuses knowledge, but some people raise it to an art form. It’s a constant in their lives. They can’t be bothered to think.

I thought of it watching the teabaggers get manipulated by the corporate lobbyists. These people were tools, and they were too stupid to realize it. It’s not that they were ignorant of what was going on – the information was out there in abundance. They had it in their own hands.

There’s a tradition in religion and conservatism that says, “Don’t question authority. Trust received pronouncements.” Therefore, you get people who can be told that Obama’s leading the country into socialism. They know this not because they’ve seen evidence, not because they know what socialism is, but because they’ve been told Obama’s a socialist, socialism is bad, and therefore Obama is bad:


A little bit of knowledge would’ve gone a long way, there. Knowing what these social programs are, how they can work, and why being a selfish stupid git isn’t the best survival strategy would completely disarm GOP attacks.

If people bothered to gain a bit of knowledge, they wouldn’t be snookered by Newtie’s latest “green coal” blabbering. They wouldn’t elect ignorant fools like Michele Bachmann and John Boehner who don’t know the difference between necessary and toxic levels of carbon dioxide, and exactly which greenhouse gas it is that cows emit. Note to Boehner: it’s not CO2.

A little bit of knowledge combined with an ocean of ignorance is a dangerous thing. Michele Bachmann’s statement that carbon dioxide is a vital part of life on earth may sound persuasive if all you know is that CO2 is what plants eat. If you didn’t know other things, such as what happens when too much of a good thing gets into the atmosphere, then you’d think she had a good point. Alas, too many ignorant and willfully stupid people do. And so the planet boils.

Speaking of global warming, Sen. James Inhofe has “a list of 700 prominent scientists who oppose global warming.” Wow! With that many scientists saying global warming doesn’t exist, there must really be doubts, right? Here’s where knowledge gives us the power to resist fake science, though, because knowing who those “scientists” are changes everything:

Like the Discovery Institute’s similar list involving evolution, there are some real laughers on the list. Like this one:
One of the listed prominent scientists is Chris Allen, who holds no college degree, believes in creationism and belongs to a Southern Baptist church.

Allen is a weatherman at the FOX-affiliated TV station in Bowling Green, Ky.

[snip]

The list also includes a retired professor with no training in climate science who says that the earth “couldn’t be more than 10,000 years old.” And these names were listed as “prominent scientists” in an actual Senate report.

Outrageous fucktards can get away with this shit only because people don’t know any better. They haven’t bothered to learn. They don’t know how to verify claims. They don’t know how to think critically. If all of us had knowledge and knew how to apply it, the Senate wouldn’t be disgraced by idiots like Inhofe, because they wouldn’t get voted in there in the first place.

Given enough knowledge, people wouldn’t fall prey to vitamin pushers. They wouldn’t get taken in by fake medicine. And they sure as shit wouldn’t get snookered by priests trying to use science to shore up their homophobia. No wonder the powerful religious, political and corporate interests hate knowledge so.

Knowledge is necessary to keep us from falling prey. Knowledge is our power. I suggest that as Elitist Bastards, we teach a lot more folks how to use it.

Comments

  1. says

    I have relatives visiting my in-laws this week. At dinner tonight, Hubby engaged in a spirited discussion with them about politics, and R– told Hubby that universal health care won’t work in the U.S. because in the other nations that use it, you don’t get to pick your own doctor, and she’s mad that her medical bills are higher with insurance while “the illegals” don’t have to pay anything because they’re on federally-funded programs. Later, of course, she said that there’s no reason children born in this country (yes, she really used that phrase) should go without care.I excused myself from the table until they were done talking so I didn’t punch her in the face.

  2. says

    I swear these people live in an anti-matter universe sometimes. The folks NP is describing are completely wrong, yet they can’t tell. It’s scary how delusional some folks are. I don’t want to punch them anymore, I want to slap them and tell them to wake up.

  3. says

    Good points and well-stated. I would like to add, though, that the GOP and its supporters do not have a monopoly on ignorance. I say this only because your examples all fall into the conservative head-burying category, which may be of particular importance today, but I hate to see the other extreme get away with thinking that ignorance doesn’t apply to them. A good example is the post I read just before this (can you guess I’m going through the EB list?) on Southern Fried Science: http://southernfriedscience.com/2009/04/21/what-the-hell-happened-to-the-environmental-movement/