Tag Archives: responsibility

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on STUPIDITY

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer — (4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident. Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program. He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo. After being accused of being associated with the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, he was quickly tried and then executed by hanging on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing. 

(Read more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer

The following statements about “STUPIDITY” are taken from a circular letter, addressing many topics, written to three friends and co-workers in the conspiracy against Hitler, on the tenth anniversary of Hitler’s accession to the chancellorship of Germany.

Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed- in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer | Mimetic Margins

‘If we want to know how to get the better of stupidity, we must seek to understand its nature. This much is certain; that it is in essence not an intellectual defect but a human one. There are human beings who are of remarkably agile intellect yet stupid, and others who are intellectually quite dull yet anything but stupid. We discover this to our surprise in particular situations.

The impression one gains is not so much that stupidity is a congenital defect, but that, under certain circumstances, people are made stupid or that they allow this to happen to them. We note further that people who have isolated themselves from others or who lives in solitude manifest this defect less frequently than individuals or groups of people inclined or condemned to sociability. And so it would seem that stupidity is perhaps less a psychological than a sociological problem.

It is a particular form of the impact of historical circumstances on human beings, a psychological concomitant of certain external conditions. Upon closer observation, it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political or of a religious nature, infects a large part of humankind with stupidity. It would even seem that this is virtually a sociological-psychological law. The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other.

The process at work here is not that particular human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence, and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances.

The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with a person, but with slogans, catchwords and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.

‘Yet at this very point it becomes quite clear that only an act of liberation, not instruction, can overcome stupidity. Here we must come to terms with the fact that in most cases a genuine internal liberation becomes possible only when external liberation has preceded it. Until then we must abandon all attempts to convince the stupid person. This state of affairs explains why in such circumstances our attempts to know what ‘the people’ really think are in vain and why, under these circumstances, this question is so irrelevant for the person who is thinking and acting responsibly.

The word of the Bible that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom declares that the internal liberation of human beings to live the responsible life before God is the only genuine way to overcome stupidity.

‘But these thoughts about stupidity also offer consolation in that they utterly forbid us to consider the majority of people to be stupid in every circumstance. It really will depend on whether those in power expect more from people’s stupidity than from their inner independence and wisdom.”


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“On Earth, the propaganda taught and agreed upon is that the gods are responsible, and that human beings are not responsible.  You are taught that only a god can create universes.  So the responsibility for every action is assigned to another Is-Be (Immortal Spiritual Being) or god. Never oneself.”

~ Alien Interview ~


(Painting by Michael Parkes  — http://theworldofmichaelparkes.com)


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Watch this brilliant animated video:  Nothing To Fear

“…government emerges with regularity on planets where the citizens abandon personal responsibility for autonomous, self-regulation. They frequently lose their freedom…”

— Excerpted from the book “Alien Interview”, edited by Lawrence R. Spencer


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The Oz Factors“There are at least THREE DEFINITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY, each of which have a lot to do with creating or preventing workable solutions.


It is easy to see that if Dorothy had taken more responsibility for the actions of her dog, Toto, she could have avoided getting into trouble with Miss Gulch. Although Dorothy’s dog is the origin point of the trouble with Miss Gulch, Dorothy was not willing to take responsibility for it.

Example: Scientists build atomic bombs and genetically engineered diseases capable of killing all life forms on the planet. The scientists place the responsibility for their actions on the government who hired them to do it. Members of the government pass the buck back and forth between themselves. The individual voters and citizens of the country take no responsibility for the government. No one is identified as the origin point of the bombs or the biological warfare weapons, so these weapons continue to be a threat to survival to every being on Earth.

The origin point of bombs and biological warfare weapons are the scientists who make them. Scientists build bombs, not politicians. If the scientists refused to build the bombs, there would be no bombs. Without such weapons, psychotic politicians would have to resort to killing people with their own bare hands.


The concept of responsibility is not one of assigning blame. It is simply the concept that the being who causes an action, phenomenon or event is the owner of his causation. Once a correct cause is found, the mystery or problem is solved and a workable solution can now be created.

Example: A man murders another man. He goes to court to stand trial for his crime. The court allows a psychiatrist to convince the jury that the murderer is not responsible for the murder (that is, HE did not cause the death) because he was “insane” or “mentally incompetent”. Based on such psychiatric “logic”, the criminal is set free to kill others. This is not a workable solution.


One can take over control of a situation and become the cause of it even if one is not the source of it. When one is willing to become cause and assume responsibility for solving mysteries and problems, workable solutions can be found.

Example: A man witnesses an automobile accident from across the street. He races to the scene and pulls the driver from the burning wreck just before the car explodes, saving the life of the driver. The man in this example has ASSUMED responsibility for the accident. He decided to BECOME cause for the life of the driver even though he was not the cause of the accident. His decision to become cause resulted in a workable solution.

Every problem or unworkable solution can be traced to:

The Oz Factors, by Lawrence R. Spencer1/ failure to locate the correct origin point of the problem

2/ failure to determine which being or beings are the cause of the problem

3/ failure to assume responsibility as cause for discovering or creating a workable solution.”  ~ The Oz Factors, by Lawrence R. Spencer

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