Willful Ignorance

When I have time I like to read other blogs which may be connected with subjects I am interested in. Recently I stumbled accross somebody who actually said the following.
, ” in my experience atheists are all either willfully ignorant or downright stupid, probably due to too much marijuana.”
I thought this was a nice example of what wilful ignorance actually is; although that is probably not what the author intended!

He said a lot of other equally stupid things in an attempt to prove his own point that Catholicism is the only true religion and that abortion is evil and that anybody who disagrees with him must be stupid or evil.

At first I thought that the type of wilful ignorance that he displayed was based on a very strong faith that coloured all his perceptions and blinded him to everything else. After thinking about it further I came to the conclusion that such stupid, ignorant and sweeping statements are more likely to be based on a lack of any real faith. People who are desperate are the most likely to lash out blindly in all directions.

I have had really interesting discussions with Catholics and members of other faiths in which intelligent discussion provoked us both to question our assumptions and thus to learn and grow. Wilfully ignorant people don’t want that because at some level they realise their views won’t and can’t stand up to challenge, and thus they would be forced into the uncomfortable position of having to question EVERYTHING in their small lives.

The question for the rest of us is should we leave them in their state of blissful ignorance or should we challenge them out of their complacent stupidity? I guess I tend to take the more provocative approach. Wilful ignorance left unchallenged leads to all sorts of prejudice and conflict, sometimes violent.

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