Did you know you’re ignorant? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
You are ignorant.
The person reading this.
How can I know this? I don’t even know who you are reading this. I’m not omniscient. Perhaps I am the ignorant one.
I am. I am indeed ignorant.
Yet I still know you are.
How can I know this?
Because I know everyone is.
And what are you ignorant of?
I don’t know that one.
The lesson to be grasped that is easily lost on social media is that we are ignorant. All of us. The problem is that we are all ignorant of different things and too many of the things that we think we are authorities in are things that we are really ignorant in.
For me, let’s start with an easy one. Sports. When I am playing Jeopardy on my Echo Show and I get a question about sports, I just think that this is going to be a miss for me, and normally it is. If I get a question also about food or alcohol or something like that, I usually also miss that. These are areas of knowledge that I am ignorant of.
If I go to get work done on my car, I try to go to a place that I trust or have someone go with me who knows cars. Why? Because I do not know about cars very well. I can drive them and put gas in them.
Many people think that if you’re smart, you automatically know computers well. Not true. I consider myself a highly intelligent person and I do not know computers that well. There are plenty of people who can run circles around me in their understanding of how a computer works.
Now in many areas, we can all bear to improve, but we can’t improve in everything and we can’t learn everything. There will always be something that is not known. In apologetics, for example, when someone asks me a question about science as science, I refer them to someone else. That’s not my area of specialization and I know it.
If you are a scientist, there are areas of science you are ignorant in. You can’t study it all. It might be botany or astronomy or geology. (Oh wait. We all know geology isn’t an actual science. It’s the dirt people after all.) It’s a mistake to think you know it all.
Sadly, on social media, everyone is convinced they are an expert and usually, they convince everyone else of the opposite. This is especially so in politics. Whatever the controversy is of the day, every person on the internet is an expert in that kind of policy. Of course, there’s a line between being an expert and being a complete dunce in an area, but we should be able to admit we can all learn a bit more about everything.
And definitely this happens with the Bible and religion. Too many atheists share ideas that they think are absolutely devastating to Christians and we instead just roll our eyes and think “That old one again?” This is one reason to read the other side. See if the objection you present has already been answered. As I said yesterday, I’m part of an Aquinas study group and it’s amazing how many times Aquinas in the Summa Theologica deals with a kind of objection that sounds like it came right out of the mouth of an internet atheist today who thinks he’s stumped us all.
The good thing is anyone who wants to treat ignorance can. No. You can’t cure it in every subject but you can learn in what you want to know something about. Perhaps if more of us spent as much time understanding the world around us as we do arguing about it, we would all be better off.
It’s worth a shot.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)