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How should one react to controversial opinions held by highly intelligent people?

If you look at a list of some of the smartest people in the world (like this one, for example- http://onemansblog.com/2007/11/08/the-massive-list-of-genius-people-with-the-highest-iq/ ) you'll quickly start to find that a lot of very intelligent people have very unsavory opinions. Chris Langan is pro-eugenics. Chess master Bobby Fischer was incredibly antisemitic.

Other very intelligent people hold some pretty unpopular opinions as well. Nobel laureate James D. Watson has made some very controversial comments about racial minorities. Martin Heidegger was a card carrying Nazi, and never apologized for his support of Adolf Hitler. Noam Chomsky is a self identified anarcho-syndicalist.

Most of us would agree that the above individuals are extremely intelligent, probably even more intelligent than ourselves. But I suspect that most of us would also balk at the idea of eugenics or National Socialism. So how do you justify disagreeing with someone who is much more intelligent than you? To what extent, if any, should you reevaluate your own position?
tynamite's avatar People like to hear what they want to hear, and reject everything else. Even watching the news to see people murdered is what people want to hear, but that is not to say that what people value hearing about (your country/health/etc), nessacarily has to be good.

People are naturally ignorant to new ways of thinking, as both our capitalist and communist societies turn us into sheep. Our society teaches us not to question things, and to just do what we're told without question. We don't see the obvious in life unless it is popular knowledge.

Most people do not think before they speak, and most people do not know themselves as they have no self awareness. Whatever idealogical decision they think of, they just do, without questioning it. This means that they make choices without an informed choice. It's not their fault.

They're just continuing the ways of what they've always done, that has worked for them all their life, so why should they change?


Everyone has their own personal biases that they use to stigmatise people who they view are different. People project their paranoia and their brandishing template onto others, based on their past experiences.

Insecure people call others liars. Selfish people call others selfish. People with low self esteem accuse others of attacking them. Everything etc yes.
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What's an assertion, and what should I type in?

Compesh is a question and answer (and debate) website, so before you make a debate, you better learn what an assertion is. I suppose you already know what a question is, and that you've typed it in the box. ;)

An assertion, is basically a statement you can make, that is either true or false.

Richer people have better health.

The question for that would be, Do richer people have better health?

And don't forget to make your assertion, match your question.

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