Wooden Headedness Essay Example


Wooden-headedness is the tendency to ignore certain facts when making decisions. Most people have fixed opinions on certain topics, even if there is strong evidence of the contrary. Although this practice is very unhealthy, it is used very often in not only day-to-day human decisions but also in important organizations such as the government, the justice system, and even religion.

In the democratic system of government, most people who hold office have chosen a party to stick with, usually because of that party’s stance on issues. In the United States of America, the two most popular parties are the Democratic and Republican parties. Unfortunately, in 2020, we have seen a major shift in the climate of the Republican party. The President, Donald Trump, was one of the first people to be made aware of the dangerousness of the COVID-19 virus. In an interview with Bob Woodward on February 7th, Trump admitted that the coronavirus is both more contagious and more deadly than the flu, but on February 26th, he claimed that COVID-19 doesn’t pose a major risk to the American people and that healthcare professionals should simply treat it like the flu. Many people, including Donald Trump, refuse to wear a mask and mock those who do. A surprisingly large number of these people have cited conspiracy theories that the virus doesn’t exist or is not as serious as the government makes it out to be, or that masks don’t lower the risk of contracting the coronavirus as their main reasons for their denial. Even after over fifteen million people have contracted the virus, and almost three-hundred thousand people have lost their lives due to this virus in the U.S. alone, people still refuse to admit that there is a pandemic and that we are all at risk of contracting or even dying from this deadly disease.

Another perfect example of wooden-headedness is religious people who persecute others because they don’t necessarily adhere to the rules of their religion. To be specific, many religious people condemn the members of the LGBTQIA+ Community because they feel that these people defy the rules of the correct “lifestyle”. This idea was formulated from the Bible. For example, Leviticus 18:22, states “Man shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind, it is an abomination.” In other words, romantic relationships were meant to be between a man and a woman, and same-sex relationships are offensive to God. Based on this, most Christians oppose any policies that legalize or accept same-sex relationships. In a 2011 vote in the New York Senate which legalized same-sex marriage, almost 47% of the Senate voted against the bill to legalize it. Most of the people who voted against the bill were Republican, who have been known to be very conservative anti-homosexual Christians. However, these deeply religious and critical people refuse to acknowledge that being judgemental is against their religion. The Bible - the very same book that these people use to attack members of the LGBTQIA+ Community - states that “Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and you shall be forgiven:” (Luke 6: 37). These Christians ignore certain parts of the Bible that speak against their actions, to condemn people, based on their preconceived notion that homosexuality is a sin.

Religious people in America have always tried to separate themselves from atheists and present a stark contrast between themselves and those who do not believe. However, wooden-headedness does not only attach itself to one group of people, but to everybody who is cognitively functional and able to formulate their own beliefs. Take into consideration the American justice system.  Most of the laws that have been passed in America have been based on Christian principles. America prides itself on the Christian foundation that it has laid down, so much so that the country’s motto has been “In God We Trust” for over 60 years. Whenever somebody commits a crime, it is up to the people of this great nation to decide what their punishment should be. This should make the justice system a more fair and unbiased one. However, it does the exact opposite of that. As soon as a defendant walks into a courtroom, they are being judged just by how they look. If there is a defendant that has committed crimes before, even if there is minimal evidence linking them to that crime, chances are, they will be convicted. For example, in a Netflix Series entitled “Orange Is the New Black" prisoner, Tasha Jefferson was put on trial for the murder of one of the guards. The guard was actually killed by one of his own men while they were attempting to take control of a prison riot. However, the only thing the jury could see in her was that she was already convicted of drug-related crimes. Despite the lack of evidence presented; despite the fact that Tasha Jefferson was not in the room at the time of the murder; despite the fact that the warden of the prison was on her side, the jury convicted her. The belief that every person in prison is a criminal, is the reason that the American justice system is flawed in so many ways. Unfortunately, there are many people like this in society. Americans have had the opportunity to sit back and watch the system turn away from convicting crime, to convicting a conveyed character, which sometimes doesn’t accurately depict the real character of the defendant. In this case, the jury refused to look at the evidence that Ms. Jefferson had not committed the crime but rather chose to look at their perception of who she was. Although this example was only a fictional story, there are many examples just like this in the real world.

Perhaps the most prevalent real-life example of this type of wooden-headedness in today’s society is the President’s remarks about the Central Park Five. The Central Park Five were a group of boys, Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, and Yusef Salaam, ranging in age from 14 to 16, who were convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in Central Park in 1989. The boys, now men, were falsely convicted and spent from 6 to 13 years in prison for a crime they didn't commit. There were no eye-witnesses, no physical evidence linking them to the crime, and no established motive. After the real perpetrator, a serial rapist, Matias Reyes, confessed to the crime in 2002, the men were exonerated. The president of the United States of America, then just a real estate agent in New York, called for the execution of these young boys. In an ad he took out in the New York Times, Trump said “Maybe hate is what we need if we want to get something done.” This is a perfect example of wooden-headedness clouding basic human judgment. Ignoring the fact that there was absolutely no evidence of these young men committing the crime they were accused of, the President relied solely on his personal beliefs, and his blatant racism to make the decision to call for the execution of the young men, who had barely even begun their life.

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