We start out life knowing nothing and learning mightily for years. Then suddenly, without warning, when we are 18 or so, we know everything. Luckily this stops within a year or two, but what if it doesn’t? How does this happen?
Let’s looks some definitions. Ignorance comes from two words- “ig,” meaning without and “gnosis,” knowledge. But ignorance is not a sin. Not knowing something is a simple lack, like not having enough gasoline for your car. If you know how to get some, you go get it.
For example, I am ignorant about the bond market; I have no interest in it but I do know where to go if I want information. A five year old is ignorant about bond markets too but we don’t expect him to know and why should he? He’s only five. And if he went online to buy bonds he would be stopped. That would be ignorance joined with arrogance, hence twins.
Arrogance comes from this word- “arrogate,” to take or claim (something) without justification, also to usurp. The word requires a presumption of some level of authority. You cannot usurp a position as President of the United States if you actually are the President and have the authority of the office. The opposite of arrogant is then qualified or authoritative.
In my business I often see this: “The Bible says” and then there is quoted some outrageous nonsense. There are only two kinds of people who do this: (1) those who have not read the Bible and are parroting someone else’s words or (2) someone who has read the Bible and didn’t like what it said. Since many people today are ignorant about what is actually inside their Bibles the speaker can count on not be challenged.
But the reason I am writing here is that the news Media has become largely an exercise in ignorance and arrogance. And the bigger the Media the bigger the arrange and therefore the larger the misinformation, also now rightfully called lies.
“The Constitution says” – I have a copy of the Constitution in my handbag and so far I have never needed to pull it out, but those times when a TV personality has “quoted” the Constitution they apparently did not know what the Constitution said. Now if the critic is Alan Dershowitz I listen; his politics and mine don’t match but when he speaks on this subject he has authority. The final authority is the Supreme Court but it has made some embarrassing mistakes in the past, such as the Dred Scott decision. Men are not omniscient although occasionally they pretend to be.
The next time you hear the words “the Bible said” or “the Constitution says” or “President Trump said” pull out your phone and do a search. You’ll have the last laugh.