1. Psychology . a person of the second order in a former classification of mental retardation, above the level of idiocy, having a mental age of seven or eight years and an intelligence quotient of 25 to 50.
2. a dunce; blockhead; dolt.
3. mentally feeble.
4. showing mental feebleness or incapacity.
5. stupid; silly; absurd.
I was recently taken to task by a good friend, confidant and fellow atheist for referring to those who invested their life savings in Mr. Camping’s end times prediction as tantamount to being mental defectives, imbeciles.
This friend was herself once terminally infected with the God Virus, belonging to one of the charismatic Christian sects. She had the strength, and intellect, to see through it and break the chains of religious enslavement. But she reminded me that those who are still encumbered with the fundamentalist mindset are victims of indoctrination “brain washing.” I don’t necessarily disagree. As I have said many times, had not these people’s minds been infected early and steeped in superstitious gibberish by family, friends and clergy from childhood, it is likely they would have never been willing recruits.
But there is a big difference between being inducted into the prevailing culture’s religion, even brain washed into accepting the most outrageous concepts and tenets of the fringe sects; and imbuing some old fool radio personality with a prophetic gift to whom you willingly bequeath the bulk of your savings in anticipation of his predicted end of the world scenario. A BIG difference.
Some are now angry at Camping. They should be angry at themselves, but I fear they aren’t smart enough to see that. Some others still believe in Camping, accept his calculation error, and eagerly await the new and improved October 21 prophecy of rapture followed by complete destruction of all life on earth. Whether the former or the latter the fact is these people ARE stupid. They ARE silly. They ARE dolts. They show a degree of mental feebleness in their credulity that is reserved for a miniscule percent of believers. These people are then, by definition, imbeciles. Oh, perhaps not clinically, but certainly in the colloquial sense of the word.
Do I feel sorry for them? No. I won’t shed a tear, nor would I contribute to them a single cent. I’ll save my sympathy and my donations for those people who have fallen on hard times because of the economy, or because of physical disability, or even mental disability caused by disease, injury, or genetic predisposition. I have no sympathy for those who have invested their lives and fortunes in soothsayers, shaman, man-gods, the supernatural, and the patently absurd. They’ve had the same choices, the same opportunity to build up the anti-virus we call Reality, Reason, and Logic as did my friend who has been in remission and is now God Virus free.
Yes, Virginia... I called these people imbeciles, and I am unrepentant.