Social Question

whiteliondreams's avatar

Why am I finding it so difficult to tolerate [insert word]?

Asked by whiteliondreams (1717points) July 27th, 2012

It isn’t ignorance because that connotes a lack of information or knowledge. The word I am seeking means that people don’t care if something is right or wrong, they simply agree with it because it seems like a quality that can be accepted because it works or worked for someone else. As I learn to reason more in depth about the etymology of words and understand meta-ethics, I am having a hard time controlling my tolerance for human understanding and compassion. It is bothering me more that people do not want to ask why. Is there something I can read or listen to or watch that can help relieve this stressor? I was very tolerant of ignorance and [the word I seek], but it seems that I am apexing and will blow up altogether. Help!

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31 Answers

Trillian's avatar

Apathy? Stupidity? Idiocy?”
Unwillingness to exercise critical thought ability? Laziness? Complacency?

tom_g's avatar

Warning: My response here might be difficult to tolerate…

@whiteliondreams: “As I learn to reason more in depth about the etymology of words and understand meta-ethics, I am having a hard time controlling my tolerance for human understanding and compassion. It is bothering me more that people do not want to ask why. Is there something I can read or listen to or watch that can help relieve this stressor?”

You seem to have put a lot of work into learning about the etymology of words and “meta-ethics”. But how much work have you put into understanding your relationship to this knowledge and its effects on your emotional health? Could this be an area that deserves at least as much effort and work? Is it possible that your ignorance of how the mind works – especially your own – is causing you unnecessary suffering?

whiteliondreams's avatar

I don’t know what word it is, I can only describe it. Can you help me figure out why I feel this way or at least guide me towards subsiding such a feeling of psychological stress? I am lacking understanding at this point. @tom_g Yes, in fact that is why I am inquiring here. I cannot afford professional health, my area of study is philosophy, and under psychological aspects, it appears that I have a behavioral issue myself. The question is, why? I want you to know that reason is replacing compassion, but I do not know why it irks me that intelligent people are ‘complacent’, unwilling to question emotions, morals, ideas, principles, and the likes.

Trillian's avatar

@whiteliondreams I think the problem is that you are looking for a one word answer which does not exist. You want to narrow down and categorize something which is broad and far-ranging. There are as many different lenses of perception as there are people, and they all took differing paths to come to the place where they are now.
You are describing a societal issue with multiple underlying factors. Too look at one without seeing the whole is counter-productive.Go to you tube and watch Mind-walk. It’s in 9 parts and if you can get past the first nine minutes you may have a few “A-ha!” moments.

whiteliondreams's avatar

@Trillian thanks, I truly appreciate it.

josie's avatar

Something seems to work today, but there is no exploration of whether or not it has a objective basis in reality, and there is no consideration for possible negative consequences in the future.

JLeslie's avatar


wundayatta's avatar

I think @JLeslie has it. I was going to say “lack of curiosity,” but indifference says that more simply.

gondwanalon's avatar

Political propaganda (liberal and conservative) and that’s about all I get these days.

wonderingwhy's avatar


Also try willful ignorance (a personal favorite), convenient misinterpretation, accepted misunderstanding (or any combination of them) on for size.

Sadly, incongruities and the inconvenience of having to reconcile them, particularly when sufficiently opposed or when the final answer(s) don’t support ones preferred state, tend to limit many people from asking “why” too seriously/frequently.

Frankly, I’m glad it bothers you, I think it should. When we stop questioning, challenging the known and unknown, we lose track of a path to something greater.

ucme's avatar

Moronic scatterbrained dullards?

thorninmud's avatar

“Mental laziness”, perhaps?

People tend to settle for easy, intuitive answers. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense. Critical thinking consumes massive amounts of metabolic resources. There is a certain adaptive logic to only firing up the heavy reasoning machinery when there’s a compelling reason to do so. Most people even find careful reasoning to be downright unpleasant, in the same way that physical exertion is unpleasant: the unpleasantness is a kind of built-in “warning light” to keep us from casually using our resources.

So we’re naturally mentally lazy. Instead of careful reasoning, we fall back on heuristics, aphorisms, accepted “wisdom”, and “good enough” approximations. And actually, for the most part, that stuff gets us by. It allows us to live life on a basic level without burning much fuel. It’s biologically efficient.

But you have been bitten by the questioning bug. You have seen that easy answers often don’t hold up to close examination. You have been exercising your intellectual muscles and like a long-distance runner, you’ve developed a tolerance for the discomfort of exertion. But now you’re at risk of becoming an intellectual snob. You’re beginning to look down on people who take the easy mental path and shy away from the hard work. You’ve become enamored of the arcana of intellectualism, and there’s some pride in that. You’d like to kind of distance yourself from those in the Easy Answer Club, and this intolerance you’re talking about is a manifestation of this.

whiteliondreams's avatar

Normative judgments…or better, subjectivity. Such a simple word and I forgot about it.

whiteliondreams's avatar

Damnit @thorninmud, it’s like you know who I am becoming! That’s exactly how I feel without having reached the snobbish intellect. I do feel suppressed though, I have a partner who I live with and I cannot discuss this with her, despite her sometimes critical questions of why I think or react the way I do, because I know she is intolerant of my critiquing. It’s come to that point where I have to kee conversations simple and this muffling is eating me inside. I don’t have anyone here to talk to, so I succumb to fluther. No offense. I find myself getting frustrated quickly and tiring from reading my class texts. I work out every morning except today. Thank you so much once again.

creative1's avatar

the lack of sex

Coloma's avatar

Definitely lack of curiosity. It amazes me how so many people are incapable of elevating a conversation above the mundane daily concerns of their life and their current stress, traumas and dramas. Jesus mercy….ya know, there is a whole fucking UNIVERSE out there and I hate to tell you but your petty humdrum complaints do NOT matter! lol

wundayatta's avatar

@Coloma I could argue that humdrum personal experience is really all that matters. The universal stuff is too big to be relevant. We can’t affect it or control it. The only thing we have any influence over at all is humdrum everyday experience, which is why it is the only thing that matters.

I find it ironic that you, ms politics don’t matter, would be arguing the point of view. You’re much more of a “the personal is political” kind of person. Have you been eating a lot of happy brownies today? ;-)

whiteliondreams's avatar

I’m going to give you an example of what I mean. If I tell you that charisma is an innate “gift” for “special” people, what justifies this presumption? it isn’t that I am arguing the statement itself, but the intent behind sayi g it as well, as if what they are saying is absolute because of whatever the subjective reason may be. @thorninmud This ^ is what I am talking about. I feel like Bruce Banner being liberated from the confines of cultural normative morals and judgment. I read that logic and reason are important because they separate rationality from irrationality. Then it comes down to well, how rational is rational and is elevating from irrationality any different from being logical or rational generally speaking? Fml, never mind.

linguaphile's avatar

I’d use the word “ennui” for the emotion/scenario you describe.

janbb's avatar


Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta LOL..well, I do think curiosity is important, there is so MUCH to know about everything. My daughter and I were hanging out last night and we can go on forever bouncing from one interesting topic to another. Sorry, I NEED intellectually stimulating conversations as you need sex. It’s my personality, besides, who the hell CARES about listening to anothers dull recital of their daily routine. Bah! FEED MY MIND! :-)

blueiiznh's avatar


wundayatta's avatar

@Coloma and I would feed your mind (or try, anyway) with tales of the most tiny things, like how I made my compost pile, or how I fight off mosquitoes, or even how I organize my files on my computer. And I would think to myself that if I couldn’t get you spellbound about these things, then you don’t have a mind to feed. LOL.

augustlan's avatar

@whiteliondreams Studying philosophy can really mess with your mind. I’ve only dipped a toe in, and I pretty much got completely outraged at the state of the world (and people in general) while I was immersed in it. It’s liberating and terrifying all at the same time. Having had time to process things has put me on a more even keel. Don’t get me wrong, I still get outraged, but I also know I have to continue to live my life. Being in a constant state of outrage or intolerance isn’t conducive to that. In the end, the (depressing) answer for me was to chalk the shitty things up to human nature.

codette's avatar

@whiteliondreams I feel you on the relationship front. I have been experiencing a similar dischord with my partner when it comes to communication and critical thinking styles. Remember that there are so many personal and social reasons for how people think and how they let themselves act on those thought processes. Prejudices, shyness, and stubborn defensiveness come to my mind first. It’s frustrating, especially when someone who is a thinker completely shuts their brain down out of stubbornness or something. Hopefully you two can break through whatever barriers are separating your minds.

hearkat's avatar

@mazingerz88 – Passivity was the first word that came to my mind, also.

codette's avatar

I am always excited to find out about words in other languages that describe feelings and phenomena that we don’t even think about having single words for in English. I bet someone has the word you are looking for!
The language you have at hand directs your perception of the world. :)

Nullo's avatar

“Complacence,” maybe?

If your intolerance vexes you, perhaps you might imagine thinking of things from somebody else’s angle. I am content to ponder the mysteries of the universe, but that slows my hands and diverts my attention and my boss… my boss wants me to focus on my work so that we can all still be employed after the health inspector comes through.

DaphneT's avatar

What you are becoming intolerant of is the majority of the human race in your sociological construct. If you moved somewhere that has more people like you, just like philosophers did of old, you could find yourself with good society. If Fluther has been your main source of intellectual interaction, you need to find some place similar to Utne Salon to expand your connections. You may have to create the social construct you’re looking for. Sections of London, Paris, Hong Kong, Sydney, Vienna, Athens, New York City, Seattle, etc. were known at one time for their intellectual residents. Those old intellectual communes survived and thrived on boozing and extemporaneous discourse, hence the occasional references to Saturday wine on Fluther.

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