On Ignorance and Idiocy

You have the right to stay silent. Should you wave that right, if you’re an idiot, everything you say can and will be used against you in accord of all…

Idiocy. Unfortunately, it’s everywhere. You see it on television, you hear it on the radio, and you probably bump into more than a few living examples of it on a daily basis. But what exactly is idiocy, and how does it differ from ignorance, or for that matter stupidity?

Not knowing that you don’t know about something, or simply not knowing about something, is generally known as “ignorance.” I’m ignorant about diesel fuel, for example. In fact, it wasn’t until today that I realized how ignorant I was of it, knowing nothing more than “it exists, it’s $.16 cheaper at the pump, and the pumps are usually off in their own island somewhere.”

Now, I don’t plan to find out more about diesel fuel because, frankly, I don’t have a need for it; I don’t drive a diesel-powered car, or truck, and I’m not in the fuel industry. I am ignorant of it, though now a bit less ignorant than before. I openly admit this, and am not ashamed.

If I however, in my current state, decided to start arguing with someone who is in the fuel industry, and questioning their knowledge and authority regarding diesel, that would make my ignorance into aggravated ignorance, also known as stupidity.

Now, one level above that is pre-meditated and flaunted aggravated ignorance. That’s when I would, instead of simply arguing a point, begin to insult the fuel expert about how diesel is really only useful for lawn mowers, and that my regular-gasoline Honda Civic could outstrip any diesel vehicle on the road. Also that diesel vehicles might as well be toys because they’re not real cars. This form of pre-meditated aggravated ignorance, especially when I flaunt it as such, is usually known as idiocy.

Sadly examples of idiocy are seen all the time, everywhere. When someone says “well, books don’t have all the answers,” and you know this person’s idea of heavy reading is the comic pages, or “you’re stupid if you think the economy needs X, and only Charles Manson would vote for that guy” and you realize this person knows nothing about economics, and even less about your candidate, then this qualifies as idiocy.

Now, people have the right to be idiots about anything they want to be idiots about. Most idiots usualy are. But remember that “Freedom of Speech” is not “Freedom from Consequence.” I don’t have to accept your idiotic ideas, simply because “well that’s what I think and that’s that.” If you tell me there’s no God, and you’ve spent more time on your Madden 2006 game than in a theology book, then your opinion is worthless, and your flaunting of that opinion makes it open season on you for people who do know a thing or two about theology. In short, flaunting your ignorace deserves my doing something about it. Although I’ll likely not change your idiotic ways, you just declared it open season on you, and sooner or later, the hunters willcome.

Remember, you have the right to be an idiot, just as I have the right to make fun of you for it.

Of course, you should never try to fight with a pig; you both get dirty, and the pig loves it. Unless you’re just egging him on for your own entertainment. That, however, is a dangerous line because when you get in an argument with an idiot, people will usually be unable to tell the difference.

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