“Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
“Remember Kyle, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.”
–Mr. Garrison, South Park
Ever since I was a kid, I have pondered the “big questions”: Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? Why are there so many stupid people around? OK, maybe I didn’t ask that last question until I got a little older. But it certainly muddies the waters in which I contemplate the first two.
Another way to look at this is, are there really stupid people, or just people who do stupid things? Well, I know for sure the latter is true. I have even witnessed people I would not consider to be stupid doing stupid things, so definitely there are people who do stupid things. Perhaps whether or not anyone actually is “stupid” is irrelevant. But I digress.
It seems to me that any comprehensive worldview, any theory that attempts to “explain it all,” needs to take into account the infinite human capacity for stupidity. Though many of us like to raise our heads and lift our hearts with visions of the noblest acts of humanity, this is really just the equivalent of spraying air freshener in a befouled bathroom… no matter how advanced we become as a society, some of what we do still stinks.
So we are left with somewhat more complicated questions: Why are we here — in an overcrowded world with a bunch of people who hate each other for no good reason? What is the meaning — of all of the stupid, mindless actions that clutter our striving for a complete and satisfying life? What kind of God would create such a beautiful world and then fill it with creatures who seem hell-bent on ruining it?
The televangelists are starting to make sense to me now.