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Stupid Americana? -_-'





quex
Am I the only one ashamed of the ease with which my countrymen (and women) are dissuaded into believing wild rumors and outright lies? Is this embarassing gullibility an American failing, or is it worldwide?

Sometimes I feel it's just human nature... the least intelligent among us putting a foot in their collective mouths, or the mentally ill manifesting their peculiarities. But no... no, some of this is unconscionable. Are we all really so gullible?

Not an April Fool's prank, sadly. ;_;
Bikerman
I think Americans are perhaps a little more prone to be gullible. That is, in my experience, based on a less cynical outlook than many Europeans and shouldn't really be treated as a negative IMHO.
In fact this is only my opinion, based on a comparatively tiny sample (the number of Americans I worked with and have met for long enough to form a reasonable opinion - probably no more than 20-30), so it should not be taken as anything more. There are certainly plenty of gullible people in this country. I still hear of people sending thousands of pounds to some chap in Nigeria who sent them an email offering a once in a lifetime opportunity. People still bang on doors selling (substitute anything you like from vacuum cleaners to double glazing). They must make a living at it.....
coolclay
I certainly won't deny there are quite a few folks in our country they most definitely don't have the right neurons firing in their heads, and can be lead to believe anything from an internet rumor to a rumor that Obama is really an illegal alien from Mars.

But that number is quite small in comparison to those brainwashed by Muslim extremists in so many other countries and lead to believe that if they blow themselves up and kill innocent people they will achieve great riches in heaven.
deanhills
I agree with Bikerman. It has been my experience too, but not only people from the United States, but people from all over the world, including myself too. We may be perceived to be gullible about politics just because we don't get all of the facts straight from the horses mouthes. We are being fed so much mis-information and lies from the Government and through the Government the media, and also by the wealthy who tend to have the media in their pockets. My wish would be for really authentic BS detector agencies to be put up everywhere in the world so that they can filter all the rubbish from the news we are getting. Maybe there are degrees of gullibility, in that there are those who are rediculously gullible, and cannot recognize their gullibility, and then there are others who are more aware of it.
quex
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. ~Cake

Maybe I'm fooling myself, but it just seems like there are too many in America who are terrifically eager to believe the stupidest things. Perhaps it's the media attention they get in this country, where every little town has it's own news station to report on the loonies... perhaps it's the disparity of the education system, failing whole generations and families... I can't tell, but I still believe there are an inordinate amount of them in the US.

One thing I am very suspicious of is that there is, maybe, a growing pressure in the American melting pot, as more people of different ethnic and social backgrounds are put into closer contact with one another, that breeds deliberate ignorance. I think some portion of us might be choosing to believe and spread damaging rumors about those we don't like... as though it provides legitimate reasons to hate them.

This worries me even more than the possibility that we are a legitimately stupid nation. :(
deanhills
quex wrote:
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. ~Cake

Maybe I'm fooling myself, but it just seems like there are too many in America who are terrifically eager to believe the stupidest things.
Not only Americans, as this is quite human and prevalent all over the world. We probably recognize American behaviour more than others, as most countries in the world get more news about America and Americans in their countries, than almost about their own countries. If there is a speech read by Obama, it is being viewed all over the world. If people in the United States point fingers at Bush, then everyone outside the United States note it even more than they would have done if it had been one of their own people.
Bikerman
coolclay wrote:
But that number is quite small in comparison to those brainwashed by Muslim extremists in so many other countries and lead to believe that if they blow themselves up and kill innocent people they will achieve great riches in heaven.
Really? You think so?
I don't know how many muslims would be suicide bombers - non of the ones I know. I think that there are a pretty big number of Americans who are prepared to believe silly things. Depending on which survey you read, the number who believe the world is less that 10,000 years old is between 20 and 45%. That is many millions. I doubt there are that many muslims queuing up to strap a bomb to themselves.

(Yes I know it is not comparable directly, but those who believe stupidities are more likely to commit atrocities).
Alaskacameradude
Quote:
Depending on which survey you read, the number who believe the world is less that 10,000 years old is between 20 and 45%


Making a claim such as this WITHOUT supporting evidence is....unlike you. Not saying you are or
are not wrong, but I'd really like to see the links supporting this claim, because I have not seen
these particular percentages before.....
Bikerman
Yes, you are right. The only reason I didn't is that I thought this was so widely accepted (and, I might say, I deliberately understated) that it wasn't worth the extra typing. You are, however, quite right and I should have at least provided a few sources, so let me put that right.
Here's a link to religioustolerance who I generally find honestly report facts - with their quotes of annual gallop poles, showing 40+ percent.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_publi.htm
An ABC poll asked slightly different questions and found about 60% believe in Noah's ark, according to the Washington Times
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/feb/16/20040216-113955-2061r/
wiki quotes gallop 2001, showing 45%
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism#United_States
Fortunately, as usual, wiki also has a link to the source of that, at Gallop, so we can check it out.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/14107/Third-Americans-Say-Evidence-Has-Supported-Darwins-Evolution-Theory.aspx
This shows that wiki has reported accurately.
25% bible literalists believing man less than 10,000 years old and
20% non-literalists with the same belief.
Unfortunately the article doesn't give much info about sample used, but I think it is likely to be a respectable size, knowing Gallop.
Alaskacameradude
Those are good sources, it's going to take me awhile to wade through them. The reason I was asking,
was that I know a high percentage of people, believe the Bible. I also know, a high percentage of
people believe the Bible says the earth is less than 10 000 years old.....but the Bible does not
say that anywhere. So what I was wondering, was whether the figures you quoted were people that
'believed the Bible literally' or whether they were people who believed 'the earth is literally less
than 10,000 years old'. And I had never seen any studies on this, and these numbers before,
I probably don't watch enough TV or something....
Anyways, thanks for the links and now I have a bunch of stuff to read.
Bikerman
I hope you know me well enough to trust that I try to be precise when quoting actual stats and I do try to use sources that are generally agreed to be if not authoritative at least reliable.
I actually really dislike people making stats up, over or under-quoting them deliberately, or choosing completely unreliable stats to make a point, and I always seek to avoid doing so.
(That's why I actually quite deliberately underplayed my 'between' figure. I could select some sources which would put it at 55% plus, but I think 45% is a good number when talking about 10,000 years old, creation etc.)

I know the stats roughly because of previous 'work' I've done challenging creationists over here when they bought into our school system a decade ago.
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