Idiots are not responsible for what they do. The real guilt falls on the rational people who sit on their hands while the morons run wild. You can opt out if you want to. Play it safe. But if you do, don’t complain when the roof comes down.” – Jack McDevit
In a well-mannered society it would usually be considered bad form to call someone an idiot. But since it appears as if you and I live in a social order that can barely recognize the meaning of the word polite, let me make this one thing perfectly clear; we are undeniably surrounded by idiots. Some really stupid people have gained the upper hand. It’s as if the guards have fled the building leaving only the inmates to run the asylum. Societal idiocy has run amuck.
Please hear me out. I am not some angry right wing, gun touting, bible thumping crazy guy, nor am I a whinny, anything goes, Utopian social left winger. I do not carry water for any particular political party, I pay my own bills, and shoulder numerous responsibilities. My life path is one of mostly traditional moral and spiritual values. So, if labels matter to you, I suppose that would make me a Conservative Christian.
Normally, a conversational reference to someone as an idiot might be perceived as rude, insensitive, and/or critical. I agree. That is why I have not singled anyone out for specific reproach. It just seems that we are surrounded by Idiots. Look around you. From the Political House to the Court House to School House to the Public House; madness, folly, foolishness and stupidity seem to freely reign. I will say it again, societal idiocy has run amuck.
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” – Plato.
Just out of curiosity, do you even know from whence the contemporary word Idiot originates? Can you define an idiot? Thought so. Our English word Idiot appears to have come from a Greek word which was often used when referring to an individual who lacked a “professional” skill. Similarly, the Latin word idiota was used for a commoner or layman. I found it rather amusing when I read that for a time the ancient Greeks thought of anyone who was concerned with only themselves to be idiot.
Anyway, over time, the term “idiot” morphed and by the Late Latin period (3rd to the 6th centuries AD) it came to mean an “uneducated or ignorant person”. Today, in modern English, an idiot is a person who regularly engages in the extremes of foolishness (stupidity) and consistently exercises overall bad judgment. Often the idiot is either incapable or unwilling to separate what is good from wickedness. In the end an idiot is slow to understand, makes poor decisions, and careless mistakes. In other words, they are stupid and foolish.
“You’re not a very nice person… so offensive. Right and wrong are relative. It’s whatever works for me. How dare you talk like this. You are the real idiot… Ummmm, … I mean… you suffer from “profound intellectual disability.”
Really? Thank you. That’s very Politically Correct of you to say so.
The problem is that it has become politically awkward to draw attention to the absolutes of bad and good. In place of manners, we now have doctrines of political correctness …Therefore if you say people are bad, you are the one who is bad.” – Lynne Truss
In the Bible’s Older Testament Book of Jeremiah, the prophet laments over the condition of his people and the great nation that he loved. Through tears he said,
19”My heart, my heart” I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still. For I have heard the blast of enemy trumpets and the roar of their battle cries. 20 Waves of destruction roll over the land, until it lies in complete desolation. Suddenly my tents are destroyed; in a moment my shelters are crushed. 21 How long must I see the battle flags and hear the trumpets of war? (Jeremiah 4:19-21 TLB)
Jeremiah recognized the negative spiritual and social changes of his day and the destructive consequences those changes were bringing down upon the land. And so he asks of the Divine Spirit,
21”How long must I see the battle flags and hear the trumpets of war?” (Jeremiah 4:21 – TLB)
No direct answer is given to his question. Instead the Spirit of the Almighty tells Jeremiah the cause of Judah’s calamity is,
22 “My people are foolish and do not know me,” says the Lord. “They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!” (Jeremiah 4:22 – TLB)
The people of Jeremiah’s times had effectively become “idiots” (as defined by the scriptures). They had spent years sowing to the wind and now they were reaping the whirlwind (Hos. 8:7). But here’s the troubling part, this rejection of God and His ways is happening – right now – all over the world. Don’t believe it? Just look with discernment at modern politics, entertainment and popular culture. They are swarming with idiots – fools who do not truly know (acknowledge, or recognize) the Creator. And even those who profess to believe in a “Higher Power” often act like “stupid children who have no understanding… no idea how to do right!” Decades of ignoring Divine Providence has accelerated our societal downward spiral. When human acts of wickedness, deception and defiance accumulate, real truth is hidden or distorted.
“I’m all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.” – Leo Szilard, Nuclear Physicist (1898-1964)
In spite of this societal blindness, whenever sincere men and women open their eyes and look around they can find God. There is a Divine imprint on every human soul. I call it spiritual DNA. Every atom of creation reflects the reality of its Creator. Hence, no one has a legitimate excuse for denying God. The New Testament Apostolic writer Paul expressed it this way,
18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all wicked, evil men who push the truth away from themselves. 19 For the truth about God is known to them instinctively; God has put this knowledge in their hearts. 20 Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day. 21 Yes, they knew about him all right, but they wouldn’t admit it or worship him or even thank him for all his daily care. And after a while they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what he wanted them to do. The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming themselves to be wise without God, they became utter fools (idiots) instead. (Romans 1:18-22 – TLB)
Foolish minds filled with darkness? Men and women who think up silly ideas of what God is like and what he wants them to do? Yes, that is exactly what Paul said. Modern idiots who “Claiming to be wise without God, …became utter fools instead.” No wonder the Psalmist declared,
53 “Only a fool would say to himself, “There is no God.” And why does he say it? Because of his wicked heart, his dark and evil deeds. His life is corroded with sin.” (Psalm 53:1 – TLB)
You’ll find God deniers everywhere- from the highest to the lowest among us. They possess a conscience that is corroded by turpitude, and so they cannot separate right from wrong. Some of them may feign spirituality, and even speak of God with platitudes, but their foolish hearts are far from Him. Consequently, by their actions they proclaim “I do not really know God”. Thus, they are declared to be fools.
Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with their experience.” ” Greg King
I am a recovering idiot myself. God, in His amazing Grace, opened my foolish eyes and let me see the wretched man that I was without Him. And even though I still may act foolishly on occasion, I am no longer an idiot. I know in whom I have believed and His absolute truth trumps all of the wisdom of mankind combined.
Of course, it’s your right to disagree with me. You can call me an idiot if you like. However, I will not argue the point with you any further. Why not? Is it because I am afraid to debate the subject? Nope. I think this verse from the Book of Proverbs answers that question quite succinctly:
4”Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool; you’ll only look foolish yourself.” (Proverbs 26:4 – MSG)
And on that note, I rest my case.
Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabid Coastal Junkie ®
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656