The Instigator
ObjectivityIsAMust
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
debatr1234
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

A stupid person can objectively know that he is stupid

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/29/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 935 times Debate No: 66021
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (0)

 

ObjectivityIsAMust

Con

I will debate that a stupid person cannot objectively know that he is stupid.

1. First round is only for acceptance.
debatr1234

Pro

I accept this challenge to debate. However, as the instigator hasn't provided any definition of how stupid the stupid person in question here is, i may find that I agree with him after he defines his terms.
Debate Round No. 1
ObjectivityIsAMust

Con

1. Assuming that we, an imaginary third person, could accurately measure intelligence, we would break down society into 3 groups of equal size. These group will be called smart, average and stupid. Therefore, a stupid person ranks under the 34th percentile in this our view.

To accurately guess the range of one intelligence level, one must be able to judge one self in comparison to others. And to judge the arguments and comments of others one must be able to understand them.

This is because, despite the verbiage of some speaks or writers, there arguments could carry little to no substance. Therefore, those who appear smart may not necessarily be smart. So simply because a person does not understand what other people are saying does not mean that he is stupid as he could merely be average.

It could also mean that the arguments:
1. have been said to quickly.
2. carry to many words that the listener does not know (they could be too technical)
3. are vague and too abstract
4. they contain to many unnecessary and therefore distracting words
5. they are illogical

To measure one intelligence one would have to see through this and therefore I conclude that a stupid person could not do so.
debatr1234

Pro

Before I present any arguments, I'd like to point out that, if I can give a single valid example of a stupid person objectively knowing they are stupid, then my opponent's thesis is shown to be false, as he stated that a stupid person "cannot" objectively know they are stupid. Now on to the arguments:

A core problem of my opponents thesis (that stupid people can't know they are stupid) is that stupidity exists in varying respects. Autism provides us an example. Many autistic people have an incredible memory of numbers, can calculate massive equations (and even solve for square roots of large numbers) in their heads. Some have the ability to memorize thousands of dates with impeccable accuracy. Others have a perfect sense of musical pitch. Are these individuals smart or stupid? The answer is both. In some respects, they are amazingly smart, and in others, they are not.

So what does this prove? The evidence presented by my opponent only referred to stupidity in one sense: the ability to understand what people are saying and to identify problems with their arguments. However, one can be stupid or smart in many other areas.

For example, I am objectively stupid at Calculus. I can look at Calculus equations, but I can't understand them. However, I can watch people solving problems (problems I can't even hope to solve) on youtube or in a classroom. In this respect, i can objectively state that I am stupid at Calculus.

In conclusion, I don't find that my opponents arguments truly prove his position. His arguments only prove his assertion regarding stupid people in the respect to identifying and understanding other's statements or arguments. Instead, there are numerous examples (of which I can provide more) of individuals who can objectively declare themselves stupid in respect to a number of different areas of life.
Debate Round No. 2
ObjectivityIsAMust

Con

Irrelevant argument: "Many autistic people have an incredible memory of numbers, can calculate massive equations (and even solve for square roots of large numbers) in their heads. Some have the ability to memorize thousands of dates with impeccable accuracy. Others have a perfect sense of musical pitch. Are these individuals smart or stupid? The answer is both. In some respects, they are amazingly smart, and in others, they are not."

-> An autistic person or even a savant cannot objectively guess the interval of their intelligence since they are "in their own world" sort of speak. Therefore, whether they are classified as smart or stupid is completely irrelevant to this proposition since either they do not challenge it.

"For example, I am objectively stupid at Calculus. I can look at Calculus equations, but I can't understand them."

-> This could simply due to your brain containing enough patterns of the subject or that you are not approaching it from the right perspective. In addition, studies have shown that their is a G-factor in intelligence (G as in general).

I quote: "Since its discovery by Spearman in 1904, the g factor has become so firmly established as a major psychological construct in terms of psychometric and factor analytic criteria that further research along these lines is very unlikely either to disconfirm the construct validity of g or to add anything essentially new to our understanding of it."
http://www.cogsci.ecs.soton.ac.uk...

"However, I can watch people solving problems (problems I can't even hope to solve) on youtube or in a classroom."

Unsupported conclusion: "In this respect, i can objectively state that I am stupid at Calculus."

-> You are unskilled at mathematic yet that does not prove that this is due to a lower mathematical intelligence as it could also be due to just a lack of fundamental understanding. If your brain contains bad or little information on a subject it is very unlikely that it will be good at it.

In addition, mathematic is merely one facet of intelligence. I refer back to the G-factor.

The ability to understand another person statement is merely the ability to deduct ones linguistic skills. The principle I stated in the first round can also apply to mathematical pattern, musical pattern, etc.
debatr1234

Pro

Con begins by dismissing the example of autism as irrelevant because they are "in their own world." However, I believe my original argument was quite misunderstood. The purpose of this example is to point out that one cannot simply refer to some one as 'stupid' as Con does in the very thesis of this debate. Instead, we can only truly declare an individual to be unintelligent with respect to a certain area. G factor is certainly important, but claims of stupidity are not useful if they are not specific to an area. That is the purpose of presenting the example of autism.

The example demonstrates the broadness of the claim that stupid people cannot objectively know they are stupid. Con has (as i pointed out earlier, and was not refuted) only proven that stupid people cannot objectively know they are stupid with respect to others statements or arguments. After all, Con states: "despite the verbiage of some speakers or writers, there arguments could carry little to no substance".

His arguments hardly prove his thesis. They merely prove an inability of stupid people to analyze the arguments and statements of others, not that, with respect to a G factor or all areas of stupidity, people cannot objectively know they are stupid.

He responds to my example of inability to perform Calculus by saying it may have other causes than stupidity, namely lack of knowledge/understanding. Con states: "If your brain contains bad or little information on a subject it is very unlikely that it will be good at it."
But isn't that an form stupidity? If someone came up to you and said the world was flat, you'd probably tell them that that's a stupid proposition (or something of that sort). This is because the claim that the world is flat would be either based on bad or little information. My lack of understanding or knowledge of Calculus could certainly be identified as a form of stupidity.

Con also responds by stating that mathematics is merely one example. However, as I stated earlier, Con has stated that a stupid person CANNOT objectively know they are stupid. If there are examples of stupid people doing just that, Con's thesis breaks down.

Hopefully this clarifies my position.
Debate Round No. 3
ObjectivityIsAMust

Con

"The purpose of this example is to point out that one cannot simply refer to some one as 'stupid' as Con does in the very thesis of this debate. "

That does not show that one cannot be called stupid. There are those whose intelligences is ambiguous but these are savants that cannot compare themselves to others as like I stated "they are in their own world" and therefore do not apply to the question as how they are qualified is irrelevant.
To support your position you must show that someone who can be considered stupid can rational know that he is stupid. Your previously argument is merely distracting.

Inaccurate: "The example demonstrates the broadness of the claim that stupid people cannot objectively know they are stupid."

All it shows is that some people are in an ambiguous category but seeing as these people do not apply to this debate, it is merely pointless argument

"They merely prove an inability of stupid people to analyze the arguments and statements of others, not that, with respect to a G factor or all areas of stupidity, people cannot objectively know they are stupid."

-> My arguments shows that they cannot compare themselves to others and thus cannot judge their intelligences.

"But isn't that an form stupidity? If someone came up to you and said the world was flat, you'd probably tell them that that's a stupid proposition (or something of that sort). This is because the claim that the world is flat would be either based on bad or little information. My lack of understanding or knowledge of Calculus could certainly be identified as a form of stupidity."

How can we classify someone as stupid because of lack of knowledge in one area... Their are so many subject that one can learn that even the most educated person would be uneducated in some fields.

In addition, by this standard so many of the worlds past geniuses can be consider stupider than the current average person because of the limits information that they had in their period.

Another point is that stupidity is a method of comparison and a large number people perform poorly in mathematics therefore having a lack of understanding in this subject does not prove stupidity, in fact it might just be due to lack of effort.

"If there are examples of stupid people doing just that, Con's thesis breaks down."

Yes, but you have to find examples which you have not done.
debatr1234

Pro

debatr1234 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
ObjectivityIsAMust

Con

ObjectivityIsAMust forfeited this round.
debatr1234

Pro

I apologize for missing the due date for the last round. Life is pretty busy this time of year.

First off, Con argues that the example of the autistic is merely distracting. Its purpose was to demonstrate a larger point: that simply referring to someone as "stupid" as Con does in his thesis simply doesn't work. People are not stupid, but stupid in certain respects. Apparently Con isn't satisfied with the example I gave, so here's another one: imagine a brilliant physicist who has made many amazing discoveries. However, this physicist has poor grammar. Is he stupid or smart? As I explained with autistic savants, the answer is both. The physicist in question here is smart with respect to his scientific endeavors, but stupid with respect to linguistics. So to simply declare someone to be stupid, and thus unable to compare themselves to others hardly makes sense.

Con states "My arguments shows that they cannot compare themselves to others and thus cannot judge their intelligences."
However, as I have pointed out earlier and Con has failed to respond, his arguments have not proven that stupid people cannot compare themselves to others. In fact, his original proof was the following:

"This is because, despite the verbiage of some speaks or writers, there arguments could carry little to no substance. Therefore, those who appear smart may not necessarily be smart. So simply because a person does not understand what other people are saying does not mean that he is stupid as he could merely be average"

This hardly proves the entirety of Con's claims, that a stupid person CANNOT objectively know he/she is stupid. As I stated in my very first round of argumentation:

"The evidence presented by my opponent only referred to stupidity in one sense: the ability to understand what people are saying and to identify problems with their arguments. However, one can be stupid or smart in many other areas."

I have reiterated this point in all of rounds of argumentation that i gave, and Con failed to truly respond to this flaw in his proof.

Finally, I'll turn to the example of Calculus. Con states that my inability to solve calculus problems is not necessarily stupidity, but perhaps a lack of understanding. However, Con has failed to provide adequate reason why a lack of standing in a certain area should not be considered stupidity in that area. Con refutes the claim by saying that past geniuses were obviously not stupid simply because of their lack of good information, but that simply doesn't prove that a lack of understanding of an issue is not stupidity with regard to that issue.

In conclusion, Con hasn't really proven what must be proven to convincingly argue that a stupid person cannot objectively know they are stupid.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Atmas 2 years ago
Atmas
You must have been bored with our debate. Anyway, yes, a stupid person can understand their mental limitations and accept or deny them. I've met both kinds and the one that accepts, puts more emphasis on their other qualities and leaves the thinking to others better suited. However, most of the time,a person is stupid because they're uneducated and are not interested in being intelligent.
Posted by raja_raman 2 years ago
raja_raman
A stupid person may or may not know that he is stupid but he is really a stupid either way. :p
Posted by ObjectivityIsAMust 2 years ago
ObjectivityIsAMust
Objectivity does not imply 100% certainty that is merely a distortion and inaccurate. What it states is that a stupid person can, without bias, accurately state that he is stupid.

This is a meaningful debate and can be thoroughly argued from both sides.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Objectively, this is a stupid debate.
Posted by TheNamesFizzy 2 years ago
TheNamesFizzy
Oh, I would have accepted if you didn't say "objectively," because no human being can be 100% objective. Every person has some biases and therefore, no stupid individual could ever say 100% objectively they are stupid.
Posted by ObjectivityIsAMust 2 years ago
ObjectivityIsAMust
In less abstract terms, the question is can a stupid person, without merely guessing, know that he is stupid.
Posted by ObjectivityIsAMust 2 years ago
ObjectivityIsAMust
Well no that what you need to debate. Whether are stupid person can be objective about his stupidity.

One is not merely objective or not objective it depends on the circumstances.
Posted by ObjectivityIsAMust 2 years ago
ObjectivityIsAMust
Jimmy Kimmel Pedestrian Question: Are you Stupid? made me think of this question.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
do know If a stupid person is objectively stupid?
No votes have been placed for this debate.