Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Ignoramos

One of the sins I am often accused of is referring to people as ignorant in their face. Apparently, people are offended when someone says they're ignorant.
Well, allow me to say that a person who thinks of themselves well versed in everything deserves to be called ignorant, because we are all ignorant about most things. Even the things we are familiar with, we are usually only relatively familiar with them while somewhere out there lives a person next to whom you are, relatively, ignorant. If I look at myself, I'm ignorant in many things I don't care about (e.g., baseball); I'm ignorant in things that are mildly relevant (e.g., living with pets); and interestingly enough, I'm ignorant in the things I care about the most. Take parenthood, for example: can I call myself a master parent or am I being led by the nose through the process?
My point is simple. There is no harm in admitting to be ignorant in something you don't know much about. Harm, however, can easily come when you think you know it all but in fact you don't.

All this discussion about the meaning of ignorance was a prelude to one of today's more interesting news items. According to surveys conducted amongst Americans, the people who are most familiar with matters of religion are atheists and agnostics. In contrast, people calling themselves religious are relatively ignorant in these matters. You can read more about these surveys and their findings in the New York Times, Associated Press or CNN.
Me, I'm not even slightly surprised by these results. After all, you have to be ignorant in order to believe the religious nonsense of this world; once you become familiar with your belief's finer details there's a good chance you won't be a believer anymore. Or, in other words: the best cure for someone religious is to let them read the bible. Really read it.
As in, left to its own devices, shit floats.

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