New Seven Deadly Vices: Ignoranceon February 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm
I thought it would be illuminating to list the vices that were, in my book, much worse than the traditional seven deadly sins. They are the result of a perspective fueled by the vicissitudes of postmodern culture – one that absorbs and progresses past the traditions of Christianity and the tenets of modernity.
I have already blogged on a related field: stupidity. In addition to a factor of suffering, ignorance is the uncritical assumption that one’s knowledge is good enough and the unknown is not worth knowing. When a problem arises, we are quick to blame others before we look at our own lack of knowledge or understanding, that it is limited. Ignorance is more than the absence of knowledge — it also consists of a characteristic of indifference, an apathetic attitude that only reinforces self-deception regarding what one already knows. Being ignorant means you have no point of view, and do not deserve a place at the table of discussion.
Naturally, it stands to reason that it’s better to know than not, but at the same time a general apathy has infected our culture to the point that it’s not cool to know too much about anything. Yes & that leads to the absurd position that its better not to know too much, or be seen as a nerd. This also may be a variant of the traditional belief that ignorance is a virtue in order to accept authority; thus knowledge is dangerous. As a result we don’t grow, evolve, learn new things — merely await marching orders from our superiors.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil was the original forbidden fruit & only spineless saps fearful of change & the unknown bought that myth lock, stock and barrel. In this age of proliferation there should be some corner you must master. Schooling isn’t enough. There must be a desire to learn that stays with you for the rest of your life. Ignorance is only at best a starting position, provisionally, to investigate the rich mystery of life. It is okay not to know, but it’s not okay to stay in your comfort zone.
“The fruit of good conduct is pure & untainted, they say, but… ignorance the fruit of dark inertia. From lucidity knowledge is born; … from dark inertia come negligence, delusion & ignorance.” — The Bhagavad Gita: Krishna’s Consul
Knowledge liberates. Ignorance enchains.