The Church of Ignorance – Intro

Here's a first (dedicated) post for a topic I think I may talk about forever, because it's — loosely speaking — my new religion.

Unsurprisingly given my history with religions, this one has nobody in it but me, and maybe people who agree with me but probably don't know about my Church and, if they grok this idea as a spiritual one, are pursuing it that way on their own.  I'm 100% good with that; organized religions do a lot of evil and very little good, and aren't a sandbox I'm really interested in playing in.  So no, I have no inclination to turn my "new religion" into what you'd probably consider a real religion, because real religions suck.

BUT.

But Ignorance (as I'm defining it) IS worship-worthy, and the more I think about it, the more my devotion to it becomes exactly of the kind we think about when we're talking religion:  Powerful, life-driving, and yes, faith-based. (Faith-based but not illogical, for reasons that, with any luck, I can explain, in this or future writing.)

I suppose I'll start with some statements about why "Ignorance is worship-worthy".  Each of them could probably be a whole book, but getting this idea to be more than just a supernova that lives in my mind is gonna require condensing things *a lot* at first — and this month's experiment seems as good a place to try as any.

All churches assume a Good and an Evil, as does this one, so let's start with the Devil, who, as usual, exists largely to hold a mirror up so we can see the otherwise-invisible Good:

Arrogance is the rotten root of evil.  Arrogance is nothing more than an illogical, faith-based assumption that we know things we don't or can't know — and that assumption makes humans do terrible things.  You can find arrogance at the root of everything from the biggest evils (Holocaust; the Inquisition) to the smallest (personal racism; apathy / materialism; being a jerk online).  It's been a few years of chewing on this idea for me, and as I get more familiar with it, I can more quickly and clearly see Arrogance at the root of every dumb, awful thing people do — and even my own dumb, awful thoughts, because holy shit is Depression arrogant.  (If you read the bit I wrote on Depression vs. Logic, you can see this pretty clearly too.)

On the flipside, Ignorance is where all our good comes from.  And to be clear, when most people say "ignorance", they actually mean a kind of arrogance (!!) — the arrogance of assuming you know about a thing that you don't know about, and thus refusing to learn otherwise.  Ye Olde Dunning-Krueger thing currently pervading American politics, for example, is arrogance — it's not unknowing; it's an assumption of knowledge where there is none.  When we say the President "is ignorant", what we actually mean is that they're uneducated and too arrogant to allow themselves to become more educated.  I'm sort of reclaiming the word "Ignorance" here (and giving it a title cap, befitting its status as Deity), because we (desperately!) need a word for the opposite of Arrogance, and for reasons I'll save for later, this one works.  My word "Ignorance" here indicates the willingness to see and admit– you could say "REALize", in the literal sense — the places where we do not know, and sometimes cannot know things.  THIS Ignorance is a powerful (maybe the most powerful) motivator of things like humility, patience, gentleness, generosity, gratitude…again, basically every good thing humans do, big and small. 

Arrogance — assuming knowledge — is factually wrong; Ignorance — assuming lack of knowledge — is factually correct.  Let's just start by saying "duh" to that one; leaving it as an exercise for the reader makes sense because really, it's one of the few blindingly obvious truths we can stomp a foot and insist on, anywhere, in any situation or context, from any point of view or at any macro/micro level. 

 

…I totally got stuck on trying to elucidate this further, in ways that didn't spin off into huuuuuge ridiculousness; and then wham, it was 11pm and I'm running out of time!  I'll come back to this though, for sure, perhaps inevitably.  But in the meantime, I *didn't* fail five days in!  \o/

About puredoxyk

Word addict, kungfu/taiji nut, and life-partner to polyphasic sleep. Rabid fan of as many hobbies as the world will let me pry into its piddly fourth dimension (it helps to have knocked out the wall).
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