|Source: The Thinking Atheist- Dr. Michael Shermer, is the publisher of Skeptic Magazine|
Why smart people believe stupid things? Perhaps a better question would be do these smart people actually believe these stupid things, or are they ( pardon my French ) bullshit artists? People aren't necessarily good or bad because they're smart or even stupid. There not necessarily honest or dishonest because they're smart or stupid. They're Saints who are smart ( not necessarily in New Orleans ) and there Devils who are smart. ( Especially in New Jersey ) There are smart people who are honest like the late Dr. Martin L. King and there are smart people who are bullshit artists. Take cult leader and serial murderer Charles Manson.
There morons who are honest and where you know exactly what they think or don't think all the time. Seem to have this hellbent desire and lifelong quest to broadcast to the world how stupid they are. Donald Trump, might be a good example of that at least when it comes to government and public policy and his lack of knowledge of those issues. And there morons who are also dishonest which really makes them dangerous. Because they not only know very little if anything that is important at least., but they lie about what they actually think about those issues that they've somehow managed to get themselves involved in. Perhaps they have friends who feel sorry for them and decided to bring into their fields. Again, Donald Trump would be an excellent example of this. At least when it comes to government and public policy.
President Trump not only has a horrible habit of saying things that aren't true, but when he is clearly contradicted by people who even work for him, then he tries to deny and hide that he previously held stupid positions and made stupid statements before. Even when it's obvious that he did. And not to pick on our dear President who I don't view as a moron generally. But when it comes to public policy and government, it's hard to name a time in the history of the world, at least in America where you had a President or public official who knew so little about what they actually spoke about and positions that they took and then lied so much about what they actually thought.
When you see smart people say stupid things, here's a suggestion. Question whether they actually believe what they're saying. Especially if they're in politics either as a politician or as a candidate. Also look at the audience that they're speaking to and at risk of being insulting look at the intelligence level of the people the politician or wannabe politician is speaking to. I don't mean give everyone in the audience IQ tests. ( Unless you have way too much free time on your hands ) But look at what they believe and what they think, political and social positions that they've made in the past and take now.
Because the politician might believe the people they're speaking to are morons and are dumb enough to believe him or her when they agree with the groups they're speaking to. Which is how I look at Donald Trump. Not as someone who is a moron in general, but as someone who views his base as morons and as people who'll believe whatever the hell he tells them. And who takes their side simply because he believes he needs their political support.
The Thinking Atheist: Seth Andrews Interviewing Dr. Michael Shermer- Why Smart People Believe Stupid Things