Hello! Seiiti Arata. I know that I know nothing. This Socrates quote causes some discomfort. How can it be good to recognise ignorance of things? Isn’t it a problem to say that I know nothing? Especially coming from a philosopher, isn’t it disturbing to admit such ignorance?
Our conversation today is not merely philosophical: it has a direct impact on our lives and on various issues in society.
1. Ignorance x False beliefs
Our biggest problem is not ignorance, lack of knowledge or doubts.
The problem is our false beliefs. To believe we know something even though there’s no evidence or, even worse, to believe in something that is wrong, insisting on an outdated belief despite new proof that contradicts it.
2. The problem starts when we stop seeking the truth
The problem is when voices from groups try to set dogmas, to block open communication.
When we acknowledge our ignorance, we are open to learning.
Get to know more about the work of Carl Sagan: Scepticism is necessary for us to continue our quest for better answers.
Humility is necessary to review old stances.
I mean, there is a way of thinking that favours our encounter with the truth, a way of thinking that allows us to correct mistakes and hold healthy discussions that will enrich society as a whole.
3. The trouble lies in remaining ignorant on purpose
The trouble is when we refuse to hear. When we have no interest whatsoever in looking at anything differently because we are committed to our individual truth, we think no further investigation is required or even allowed.
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Deliberate ignorance means we believe that we already know everything we need to know about a particular subject. This closed mind is the prison that locks us into a world of lies and intellectual darkness.
When I say that I know that I know nothing, I am acknowledging my ignorance—which can be cured by pursuing knowledge. This ignorance is healthy because it whets the appetite for improvement.
What we want to avoid is deliberate ignorance, which is the decision to remain ignorant.
Use the comments to share your thoughts on what areas of life you see people living in deliberate ignorance. Maybe it will help you rethink and take more interest in seeking new perspectives.