May 11, 2012

Two Different Types of Ignorance

I am one of those who claim that "I cannot stand ignorance" quite often (more often I said it silently though:-)), yet I am fully aware of that our humans are all ignorant. So to clarify the difference, or (maybe) to distinguish myself from the ones that drive me crazy, I tried to draw a line between one kind of ignorance and another:

1, the ignorance of our nature, which I think can be defined as the limitation of our intelligence; 2, the unawareness of the existence of such nature, which is reflected most in our obsession of absolution, "god", "doctrine", "tradition", "text books", "expert opinions", etc.  And this type of ignorance can be simplified as "pretending to know" - which is also one of our human nature.

It is the latter that challenge my sanity...


  1. Ignorance is indeed a challenge to our patience! And while I cling to my faith in God as a high calling (I will have to lovingly disagree with you on that one!) I heartily agree that the blind upholding of tradition over human worth, or 'experts' above the common thinking person,are ignorance. An interesting post - what spurred it on?

  2. I understand your feelings. How many absolutes do we really have in life? There is always room for debate and growth in knowledge, and there are some things we will never truly know. Some find that frustrating. Others find it liberating. I fall somewhere in between.

  3. melody,
    thanks for commenting. nothing perticularily spurred it, but just some accumulation of daily thoughts.

    "cling to faith in god" as a personal approach is perfectly positive thing, i guess.

  4. Janene, thanks! "falling in between" is good thing, it give your room to develop.

  5. I respect the ignorance of "I don't know" a thousand times more than the ignorance of "I know, and I have the answer." Great post, Yun Yi!

  6. yunyi, do you know this T.S. Eliot quote: "Humankind cannot bear too much reality." I think that's the motive behind all our pretense of knowledge. We can't face the raw, hard facts of existence, so we create an imaginary world in which the mirage becomes the desert and the desert the mirage.

  7. no, i don't know Eliot's quote. thanks for sharing.
    " we create an imaginary world in which the mirage becomes the desert and the desert the mirage."
    ---very thoughts provoking!