Does ignorance come in degrees like the word tall, for example? Can one categorize ignorance such as causal, self-imposed, accidental, willful? All of us have spent many years in classrooms and we thereby have come to observe ignorance in self and others. Yet I’d like to move beyond school years because the trials of learning in school are often rooted elsewhere.
What about adult ignorance? Ignorance: lack of knowledge about a thing in a being capable of knowing. Capable but not realized. Take a 2nd grader who is given this problem: x + 2y = 17. Most are “ignorant” of the answer[s] because they are not capable of knowing with their current level of mathematical achievement. Capable of knowing seems to be the operative phrase and therefore a necessary factor in assessing ignorance.
So what’s this got to do with society, as in the title of this post? Everything. The barbarian sacking of Rome is an example. Or lynchings by the KKK. The burning of witches. Holocausts. Ethnic cleansings.
Add to that list global-warming deniers, fossil fuel advocates and warmongers. Our 21st century ignoramuses. How about throwing in the religious believers who attempt to direct society through their biblical beliefs? Or have I already included this clutch already?
What to do about all of this? Sigh. How does one teach the unreachable? How do you catch a cloud?
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
― Martin Luther King, Jr.