What It Really Means To Be Ignorant
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

What It Really Means To Be Ignorant

We continue to disguise the real problem with implications of "ignorance."

What It Really Means To Be Ignorant
Creative Commons

In a world that reveres educated insight and allows the layperson access to a wealth of information, social interaction has become a breeding ground for displays of scholarship by all members of the community. For example: the practice of using big words to sound educated and procure a sense of reliability or validity. My least favorite "big" word? Ignorant. The pesky, three-syllabled word plagues our political conversation with considerate consistency and little accuracy.

The word ignorant is so often thrown around as if it were decidedly insulting. It has become synonymous for a variety of unattractive characteristics including immoral, nonsensical, and our personal favorite, closed-minded. However, the word ignorant is defined by Merriam Webster as:

  1. a : destitute of knowledge or education <an ignorant society>; also : lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified <parents ignorant of modern mathematics> b : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence <ignorant errors>
  2. : unaware, uninformed

Too frequently I notice the word is misused as an adjective to describe the state of being unwilling to concede the validity or importance of that which they are indeed informed. In other words, we wrongly label those with deliberate disregard towards facts as "ignorant". We wrongly label those who assign value to, and prioritize information differently than us, as "ignorant". In these circumstances, what really angers us, is negligence.

A negligent person is:

  1. a : marked by or given to neglect especially habitually or culpably b : failing to exercise the care expected of a reasonably prudent person in like circumstances
  2. : marked by a carelessly easy manner

When we are concerned about or angered by an individual's negligence, it is because they are demonstrating a sense of carelessness or disregard to something we regard with import. The problem is that importance is subjective. The development of values is independent to those around us and specific to our socialization. Our own consciousness and reservoir of experiences is so central to-- in fact, inseparable-- from our human experience and identity that it is often difficult for us to understand and respect what motivates and guides the beliefs of those that don't agree with us. Naturally, an approach to opposition might be with a sense that, "They don't agree with me. I'm right. Therefore they are wrong." followed by an argument that is reasonable according to our own values. The problem with this approach is in the assumption that there exists a universal moral code. When our adversaries show resilience and an inability to understand our school of thought, the space created for conversation may be filled with hostility, as if it were a successful way of combating their "ignorance".

It is easier to dismiss any challenge to our beliefs than acknowledge them, reflect on them, and proceed with productive discussion. Those with an aversion to being "wrong", will abstain from activities that require the vulnerability of their beliefs. Closed-mindedness, as demonstrated by the inability or unwillingness to participate in an educated discussion when your beliefs are challenged, suggests to me that the foundation of your beliefs are fragile or unsound. An individual secure in their beliefs and the significance of said beliefs, should not feel threatened by a challenge. The diverse nature of our people's beliefs necessitates the productive discussion of controversial topics if there is any hope in establishing and enforcing law and policy. If we do not learn how to do this properly, divided we will stand and united we will fall.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Social Media Or Soul Media

To the generation that cares way too much about affirmation.

Emma Smith
  • This semester I am taking the ever so famous class, Writing 101. Walking into it, I had heard the horror stories about each major assignment. I have to admit, it’s not a class that I am fond of. But, major assignment #2 got me thinking, we had to create a research question based off of a topic that we are interested in.

Two weeks prior, I watched a very interesting documentary on Netflix. Miss Representation was recommended to me by one of my friends and I have to say the topic is absolutely mind blowing. Social Media and Female Body Image. How Social Media makes girls see this unnatural perfection of ‘beauty’ that really doesn’t exist. But female body image isn’t the only thing affected by social media.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sex And The Church

A letter to fellow believers.

Amanda Hayes
  • I know many of you just read that title and thought it was scandalous to see something so “risque” in the same setting as something holy. Well guess what – sex is part of that. Everyone seems to think they are separate, which makes since because most people treat them as though they are complete polar opposites. Shall we think this through?

Who created the Church body? God. Who created the body? Also God. If we know God to be the creator of all things, we cannot leave sex out of that equation. God created sex, people! Praise Him! Like all great things, the world has twisted and perverted it. The world has stained it so badly that even many church congregations see it only as stained and keep quiet about that part of God’s word. Many people know that God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), but a lot of people overlook the entirety of Song of Solomon. The entire book is dedicated to telling of the love and sex between man and wife. God blessed us with the gift of intimacy, one to be shared between husband and wife. Church if we teach of sex as the blessing that it is, more people will start treating it as such. If we stop viewing sex as this unspeakable act, the temptation would be lessened. With the fall of man, humans naturally desire things they should not have. So if more people speak of it with gladness and praise, and do not hide it in the darkness as if it were vile, fewer people would be drawn to it for the wrong reasons. More people would appreciate it for what it is: a gift from God.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chick-fil-A, I love you.

Keep Reading... Show less

An open letter to my father

What you did sounds dumb to me

An open letter to my father
The Truth About My Parents' Divorce

Considering im 18 now & you're one of the best men i've ever met since you have a child; me. I want you to know that I love you, more than anyone, I love you. I don't forgive you for the way you hurt my mother. I'm hurt because you broke our family. Thing went down hill the day you found Laquita. You we're distant & shortly after my mother turned into the coldest, saddest women to walk past me. She's my best friend & so are you. Not one day goes by where I don't wonder what she did wrong. How on earth could you trade your family & the women who loved you unconditionally for a home wrecker? Sounds dumb to me.

Keep Reading... Show less

Is God Reckless?

Exploring the controversy behind the popular worship song "Reckless Love"

Is God Reckless?

First things first I do not agree with people getting so caught up in the specific theology of a song that they forget who they are singing the song to. I normally don't pay attention to negative things that people say about worship music, but the things that people were saying caught my attention. For example, that the song was not biblical and should not be sung in churches. Worship was created to glorify God, and not to argue over what kind of theology the artist used to write the song. I was not made aware of the controversy surrounding the popular song "Reckless Love" by Cory Asbury until about a week ago, but now that I am aware this is what I have concluded.The controversy surrounding the song is how the term reckless is used to describe God's love. This is the statement that Cory Asbury released after many people questioned his theology regarding his lyrics. I think that by trying to clarify what the song was saying he added to the confusion behind the controversy.This is what he had to say,
"Many have asked me for clarity on the phrase, "reckless love". Many have wondered why I'd use a "negative" word to describe God. I've taken some time to write out my thoughts here. I hope it brings answers to your questions. But more than that, I hope it brings you into an encounter with the wildness of His love.When I use the phrase, "the reckless love of God", I'm not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however, saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so. What I mean is this: He is utterly unconcerned with the consequences of His actions with regards to His own safety, comfort, and well-being. His love isn't crafty or slick. It's not cunning or shrewd. In fact, all things considered, it's quite childlike, and might I even suggest, sometimes downright ridiculous. His love bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn't consider Himself first. His love isn't selfish or self-serving. He doesn't wonder what He'll gain or lose by putting Himself out there. He simply gives Himself away on the off-chance that one of us might look back at Him and offer ourselves in return.His love leaves the ninety-nine to find the one every time."
Some people are arguing that song is biblical because it makes reference to the scripture from Matthew 28:12-14 and Luke 15. Both of these scriptures talk about the parable of the lost sheep and the shepherd. The shepherd symbolizes God and the lost sheep are people that do not have a relationship with God. On the other hand some people are arguing that using the term reckless, referring to God's character is heretical and not biblical. I found two articles that discuss the controversy about the song.The first article is called, "Reckless Love" By Cory Asbury - "Song Meaning, Review, and Worship Leading Tips." The writer of the article, Jake Gosselin argues that people are "Making a mountain out of a molehill" and that the argument is foolish. The second article, "God's Love is not Reckless, Contrary to What You Might Sing" by author Andrew Gabriel argues that using the term reckless is irresponsible and that you cannot separate Gods character traits from God himself. For example, saying that God's love is reckless could also be argued that God himself is reckless. Reckless is typically not a word that someone would use to describe God and his love for us. The term reckless is defined as (of a person or their actions) without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action. However, Cory Asbury is not talking about a person, he is talking about God's passionate and relentless pursuit of the lost. While I would not have chosen the word reckless, I understand what he was trying to communicate through the song. Down below I have linked two articles that might be helpful if you are interested in reading more about the controversy.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments