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8 Bumps

Is ignorance a virtue?

Why is it some people are so willing to reject research in favor of dogma? It's funny in some respects, because in throwing out the baby with the bathwater, they don't even realize that often, the research and study they are rejecting was performed and endorsed by highly educated scholars of their own faith. It used to be the greatest thing one could do for their faith was to study and question and learn. That's the tradition upon which Judaism is built, the tradition of most ancient religions, and even the way it works in seminaries.

It used to be that only the poorest and least intelligent were prevented from learning, and learning was something you hoped your children would be able to do, even if you couldn't. So why is it that now, when it is so readily available, so many people would rather reject that opportunity and lie back on their dogma, using the "we're just too mortal and imperfect to understand" point of view? You'd think your ancestors would be weeping at the willful ignorance. After millennia, finally, all that knowledge is available to anyone who wants it. So why, rather than welcome it and dive in, do so many turn their back to it and sit content with the game of telephone version they were fed as a child? And why are they so scared of even examining issues that they'd flat out reject the question as "not understanding" rather than consider it for themselves and see if they're even capable of answering it (beyond we're just too insignificant to understand)?

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NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 2:44 PM on Jan. 2, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 50 (416,537 Credits)
Answers (53)
  • Knowledge is a gift or a blessing and as far as I'm concerned ignorance is laziness (aka sloth) and is considered a sin.
    scout_mom

    Answer by scout_mom at 2:46 PM on Jan. 2, 2011

  • Some people just don't care.
    itsmesteph11

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 2:47 PM on Jan. 2, 2011

  • While knowledge is power, maybe some are frightened by that knowledge.
    sahmamax2

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 2:52 PM on Jan. 2, 2011

  • I think you can read, study, listen and learn and still come back to what you have believed all along- I do not think that you have to dive too deep into your Faith to truly understand and believe it. I think that is what makes Faith wonderful-its an overwhelming feeling within yourself. It is a lot like love- I do not have to understand or want to understand the science behind what attracts one to another- I don't have to look at every movement, word or deed of my loved ones to get the full effect of the relationship with them.
    On the other hand, if you are unable to have your Faith and beliefs tested by completely ignoring or cutting yourself off from anything that is different-then that is just as bad as never allowing your loved ones to experience their own life because it may change your relationship with them.
    I guess I am saying- I feel good about what I think and feel CONT
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 2:52 PM on Jan. 2, 2011

  • Knowledge is wonderful, but even scholars can disagree on almost every point. It also can take a lot of time to become really knowledgeable in a particular area. You might be knowledgeable in one area, but ignorant in another.

    RyansMom001

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 2:53 PM on Jan. 2, 2011

  • and I don't think its crucial to examine each and every aspect of it- its not crucial to read every article, every new theory that comes up in order to know that my path is the correct one for me. There is a difference between ignorance and satisfaction. I am satisfied with where I am spiritually so at this point- I enjoy listening and learning but having "all the right answers all the time" is not so high on my list.
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 2:55 PM on Jan. 2, 2011

  • Knowledge is wonderful, but even scholars can disagree on almost every point. It also can take a lot of time to become really knowledgeable in a particular area. You might be knowledgeable in one area, but ignorant in another.

    That's fine, but then why turn around and insist those who are knowledgeable don't know what they're talking about rather than just admit you are ignorant on the subject or remain silent altogether? If the question is "this theory suggests a, b, c" why respond with some smug "you just don't understand a b and c in your heart" rather than "haven't heard that, I don't know" or "hrm I'll go read that and see why they think so"?
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 2:56 PM on Jan. 2, 2011

  • If the question is "this theory suggests a, b, c" why respond with some smug "you just don't understand a b and c in your heart" rather than "haven't heard that, I don't know" or "hrm I'll go read that and see why they think so"?

    Oh, this is going in a different direction- I misunderstood- it goes back to being solid in your Faith and what it means to you. If you can not questioned, then thats a problem. The only one I simply can not answer is "how can you believe in God without solid proof"- that is the one that is so hard to answer without just saying, "either you believe or you don't". Most of the other points that come up on here are just a matter of how you decide to look at something and again feeling good about your own conclusion. One persons perspective does not in anyway diminish mine and vice versa.
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 3:02 PM on Jan. 2, 2011

  • Ignorance is certainly not a virtue. Knowledge is always preferred and people have the ability to interpret that knowledge in a way that won't necessarily contradict their beliefs. To rely on ignorance simply because they're afraid of what they might find is foolish.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 3:08 PM on Jan. 2, 2011

  • If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is willful ignorance. There is not one thing wrong with learning something new. It's like some people are so unsure of their own beliefs and faiths that they are afraid of learning new things, even if it confirms what they believe! It's ridiculous!!

    It's like the other day on that question about the missing books of the Bible. Biblical scholars were called false because what they said didn't mesh up with what one mom believed. Huh? People that study the Bible are wrong but she is right? Again, Huh?

    You have nothing to fear in learning something new unless you are already afraid and unsure.
    SpiritedWitch

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 3:14 PM on Jan. 2, 2011

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