When bigots or racists or homophobes act according to their bigoted, racist, or homophobic thoughts, inevitably someone comes along and says, “They’re just ignorant.” Wherefore, naturally, I wonder: Ignorant of what?
Do not get me wrong, there are bigots, racists, and homophobes out there. Many of them are probably ignorant of a whole variety of things. And some of these things, when learned, have the potential to lead previously ignorant people to a more tolerant and loving stance towards those with different views, towards those of a different race, and towards those with a different sexual orientation than themselves.
Do not get wrong. Educating people is a great good, and some actions flow out of an ignorant heart.
Some people — nay — most people are probably just evil.
Truly, some of the worst men in history have been incredibly intelligent, and knowing stuff is quite distinct from having a heart that is disposed unto bad things.
Yes, most certainly, as noted previously, action flows in part out of belief. But can we honestly sit here and say that all of these wicked actions are entirely a result of these particular people just being ignorant of certain facts?
From these things, I am led to this conclusion. People who use the term ‘ignorant’ in this way are one of the following:
- Assuming for a philosophic position in which people are naturally good, and teaching these naturally good people certain things will enlighten them to the point in which their naturally good hearts will overflow into naturally good actions.
- Ignorant of what the term ‘ignorant’ actually means.
I hear it ringing in my ears.
– The Odd Thinker