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Without thinking by ourselves, the inevitable result is the cult of ignorance

In a recent column in Clarín, Argentine journalist and philosopher Miguel Wiñazki rightly affirmed that we live in the era of the "cult of ignorance." And while such a statement is focused on the context of his native country, that cult of ignorance is already a global cult that worships an ignorance that aggressively prefers to stay ignorant rather than think for itself.

For her part, in a recent column in Milenio, Mexican writer Avelina Lésper argues, also rightly, that "technology is making us stupid," and that stupidity arises precisely from the fact that technology keeps us ignorant, as evidenced by the fact that fewer and fewer humanities subjects are taught in schools and universities.

As Lésper says, we live in a society in which it is stated that we no longer need philosophers, artists, or poets, only technocrats.

To see such a society in action, we invite the reader to watch The Obsolete Man, episode 65 (1961) of The Twilight Zone. As Rod Sterling says in his opening narration, “This is not a new world, it is simply an extension of what began in the old one.”

In real life, many people erroneously assume that today we no longer need philosophers or artists. As Wiñazki rightly says, Plato is no longer read, even when some of his thoughts, expressed 2400 years ago, due to their depth and lucidity, could have been written today. Obviously, those who read Plato the least are those who need to read it the most.

In that context, this sentence by Wiñazki should be quoted in its entirety: “Among the teachings of history, and the closure to everything learned, those walls that close off access to all the lessons of the past prevail.”

And this phrase by Lésper should be quoted verbatim: “If language is reduced to emojis and monosyllables, intelligence decreases, and by reading philosophy or literature, the ability to understand the world grows. We are on the threshold of mass stupidity disguised as progress.”

For her part, also recently, during an acceptance speech for the prize awarded by the Association of Communications Directors of Spain, the Spanish philosopher Adela Cortina asserted that technology often prevents us from speaking intelligibly (clear language), veracity (saying what that is really thought), truth and justice.
“Post-truth doesn’t exist. Lie exists. The truth is fundamental for there to be communication, and if there is no communication we cannot build a life together,” Cortina said.

Therefore, it could be said that, according to Wiñazki, we are unaware of the foundations of our own culture, established two and a half millennia ago. And that, according to Lésper, we do not know what we are becoming due to technology. For this reason, as Cortina said, we have lost much of our ethical perspective for solidarity. 

Obviously, the solution is not just to read Plato or to reject all technology. So, what shall we do? Unfortunately, as Heidegger pointed out, "We are too late for the gods and too early for Being.”


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