Ignorance: A Bad Thing?

nickspencerMy last post generated quite a response, mostly concerning ignorance.

Most of the responses I received stated that atheism is based on ignorance.

To a certain extent I would agree, but if you bear with me, I’ll clarify exactly what I mean.

My last post considered the view that atheism must pre-date religion for the simple reason that one must consider a concept before one can either believe in it or dismiss it.

I hate doing this… Again! But the dictionary definition of ignorance is:

Ignorance: the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.

So, it’s not a bad thing, it’s a starting point.  A blank slate if you will.

Therefore, if one has no belief in a supernatural entity, due to not having considered it because one may have more pressing issues to think about must make one an atheist.

The theists immediately leapt on this and decided that all atheists must be ignorant.  Completely ignoring the fact that there is another way to atheism and that is the one that most modern atheists take:

Examine the information available, make the conscious decision that there is no credible evidence (read: no evidence at all) to support the position that god or gods exist, declare as atheist.

Babies are born atheist.  Belief in the supernatural is learned.  After all, one must be aware of a concept in order to believe in it.

Early humans would not have had neither the time or the inclination to invent gods or partake in any sort of philosophical debate… They’d have been too busy staying alive.

Can I make it any clearer?

So, I hope, I’ve shown that ignorance isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Wilful ignorance on the other hand…

Wilful ignorance is the demesne of the theist.  That is to say, consistently professing a belief in the face of a complete lack of any evidence at all to support it.  Not only that,but stating that it doesn’t matter what evidence against an event being supernatural rather than natural will not change their stance.

After all the following are statements made by theists:

If it said in the Bible that 2+2=5, I wouldn’t question it, I would believe it – Pastor Peter LaRuffa

No, nobody is ever going to convince me that the word of God is not true – Ken Ham

Is that ignorance? No, it is wilful ignorance and as such is a pitiful thing to behold.

I actually made the point in my original article that atheism before the concept of gods existed had to be called atheism due to a lack of a word to cover the situation, when one of the commenters came up with intrinsic atheism, which I think covers it perfectly.

We are all born intrinsically atheist, some are indoctrinated and find their way back to atheism and some resist the indoctrination from the beginning.

So you tell me. Is ignorance a bad thing?

This entry was posted in Atheism, Christianity, Islam, Mythology, Paganism, Philosophy, Religion, Science and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ignorance: A Bad Thing?

  1. It’s not a bad thing at all. We’re all ignorant about a great many things. To me, theism is a jump to a conclusion without the needed evidence. It’s why faith is needed and is lauded by the devout as such a great quality.

    Nice post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ignostic Dave says:

    One must be aware of a concept in order to disbelieve in it. Before there is theism, there is nothing. Labeling nothing as anything other than nothing is a pointless exercise.


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