“Ignorant” and “stupid” are adjectives, but they are not the same thing.
If a person is “stupid,” then he/she does not have the ability to understand something due to insufficient intelligence or brain power – thus leading to a misinterpretation of fact.
- Having the inability to understand;
- Having a resistance or inability to acquire knowledge;
- Accepting anything heard or read as fact without testing for truth;
- Avoidance of the critical thinking process;
- Having a mental deficiency or attitude problem regarding learning.
If a person is “ignorant,” then he/she might be perfectly capable of understanding something and be very intelligent – but he/she simply has not been exposed to knowledge about a subject.
- A lack of awareness of a simple fact or set of facts;
- A lack of knowledge – NOT the lack of capability;
- Capable of being fixed when knowledge is acquired;
- Caused by circumstances of one’s life – such as non-exposure to fact;
- Common in all people when true facts are not known.
So, what do ignorance and/or stupidity mean in life?
- All individuals are ignorant when they are born – they simply have not been exposed as an awake and observant human being to knowledge and facts about the world.
- As individuals grow and mature, they acquire knowledge and facts – at different rates, of course, depending on the individual’s level of intelligence and willingness to learn. The quantity of things about which an individual is ignorant becomes less and less as he/she becomes educated and gains experience about the world.
- Individuals who are stupid do not acquire knowledge – either (1) unwillingly (because of their diminished mental capabilities), or (2) willingly (because of their attitude against learning or their reluctance to employ critical thinking
There is no stigma about being ignorant. In fact, people who are inherently curious readily admit their ignorance of things – and willingly take steps to learn about such things so that they are not ignorant about such matters. They become lifelong learners!
But learning about new things takes time and effort. Critical thinking takes work – it requires examining information as it comes in, testing it for truth, deciding what the information means, and drawing conclusions through the critical thinking process.
Those who find critical thinking difficult or want to avoid it completely reach out for simple solutions to complex problems – simple “formulas” that explain a complex world. Such individuals might exhibit:
- Strong fundamentalist religious beliefs accepted on faith rather than evidence;
- Radical and unwavering political views – right or left.
How a person wants to proceed in life is a matter of his/her own choice . . . and what that choice may be depends on whether a person has a desire to think critically or not.
If that choice is to think critically and to consistently “fix” ignorance about any sort of thing, then the Critical Skills to use are:
- Continuous Eduction
Give this some critical thought!