Taking Pride In Ignorance


" If truth doesn't support your argument, then convince them that the truth is irrelevant. "


I first ran into this in, of all places, a college classroom.

In talking to a student it became obvious that she was proud of not knowing some basic things, as if knowledge was associated with pinhead intellectuals that couldn't be trusted with things in real life.

The same went for studies. If they conflicted with what she preferred to believe, her view was,  "I don't believe in studies."

I assumed it was a trait of the minority group she represented until I found that this was now a significant part of religious-right and even some Republican beliefs. This often goes beyond being anti-science and anti-information to taking pride in ignorance.

This also means that sources of valid information must be  screened out, lest they threaten that ignorance.

That's My Belief and It's Very True

Right-wing pundits and some politicians now spew out anything they think will convince an audience without having to back it up with reasonable support.

When challenged the response borders on, "That's my belief and it's very true."

To cite the latest example, a Republican state legislator recently used totally erroneous "facts" to support a bill he introduced. When challenged he responded to the effect that (easily verifiable and scientifically valid) facts were irrelevant to his position.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

As history has repeatedly shown, unsupported beliefs often have been totally wrong.

any of the things people once believed would be laughable, if the consequences weren't so tragic.

But if ignorance becomes a virtue, how will we know?

" Shameless lying and ignorance works surprisingly well as a debate tactic. It’s hard to argue with someone who not only has signaled that he doesn’t care what the truth is but is downright proud of how little he actually knows. Such a person is not amenable to being educated. Once the pretense of really caring one way or another about what is right and what is wrong has been abandoned, all avenue of discourse is shut down. "
"Beyond the war on science:
Why the right embraces ignorance
 as a virtue,"
Slate, June 13, 2014


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