Ignorance is lack of knowledge, education, or awareness. When I hear or see the word ignorant, I seem to want to interpret that negatively, as a lack of intelligence, for example. But, it’s not. All people, intelligent or not, are ignorant of some things. Some very intelligent people are ignorant of fundamental cognitive biases hindering their own critical thinking.
I’ve heard the idiom; I don’t know what I don’t know. The fact remains that there is a great deal of knowledge of which I’m ignorant. I know what some of it is. I don’t know, for another example, if I go to a church on Sunday and sit with hundreds of other people for an hour or more if I will become infected with a virus that will end my life in less than a month or two. I do know what happened to the ignorant folks who went to choir practice several weeks back. What they did not know infected many and killed some. What I don’t know can kill or injure me or others.
Willful ignorance is not defined the same way. The adjective changes everything. When people today go to choir practice, or to church, or have gatherings in their homes thinking it is a safe thing to do; or when they rely on a medication they are taking as a preventative measure, unlike the choir members who were infected out of ignorance, the new group is being willfully ignorant. They have been provided the knowledge, education, and awareness needed to be safe and to not endanger others. They are choosing to ignore it. Are they so brain-washed by religion, a minister, or family member that they flaunt their beliefs in the face of death to themselves or others? I think so.
But, like so many atheists (agnostics also), I like to say I don’t know when I don’t. I say it often. It turns out there is much of which I am, and shall remain, ignorant. That does not seem to trouble most others. Yet, some folks demonstrate considerable irritation by my confession, and they suffer even more dissonance when they try to apply the phrase to themselves.
I know what I think. I think I like staying home.
2 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge 2020 (I=Ignorance)”
“Ignorance” has a different meaning in England. Here it means avoiding knowledge or understanding. Those who stubbornly adhere to ideas that are demonstrably wrong in some way have literally ignored the new thinking. Ignorance is, therefore, always a negative characteristic
If we wish to describe somebody lacking knowledge through innocent lack of experience, we’d use “naïve”.
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According tot he Cambridge Dictionary, it is a “lack of knowledge;” however, the synonyms include “arse, be on another planet, and stump.” I’m chuffed. 🙂