Quotations About
ignorance

Wanda: Let me correct you on a few things. Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not “Every Man for Himself”. And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked ’em up.

Christian: Do you like Billie Holiday?
Cher: I love him!

Posted in: Clueless

When grown people speak of the innocence of children, they don’t really know what they mean. Pressed, they will go a step further and say, Well, ignorance then. The child is neither. There is no crime which a boy of eleven had not envisaged long ago. His only innocence is, he may not be old enough to desire the fruits of it, which is not innocence but appetite; his ignorance is, he does not know how to commit it, which is not ignorance but size.

The Reivers (1962)
Posted in: William Faulkner

Jack: I wonder what it is that everybody wants from me?
Peter: You know that is the first question I have ever heard you ask that sounds like you don’t know the answer.
Jack: Oh, is that good? Is that what you want? Ignorance? Confusion?
Peter: Look, I just don’t think I see my way ahead as clearly as you do.
Jack: Shadows.
Peter: What?
Jack: It’s one of my stories. We live in the Shadowlands. The sun is always shining somewhere else. Round a bend in the road. Over the bough of a hill.

Posted in: Shadowlands

The origin of all science is in the desire to know causes; and the origin of all false science and imposture is in the desire to accept false causes rather than none; or, which is the same thing, in the unwillingness to acknowledge our own ignorance.

Burke and the Edinburgh phrenologists. The Atlas (15 Feb 1829)
Posted in: William Hazlitt

To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful workings of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge.

As quoted in Poland : The Knight Among Nations (1907) by Louis E. Van Norman

For I am not so enamored of my own opinions that I disregard what others may think of them. I am aware that a philosopher’s ideas are not subject to the judgment of ordinary persons, because it is his endeavor to seek the truth in all things, to the extent permitted to human reason by God. Yet I hold that completely erroneous views should be shunned. Those who know that the consensus of many centuries has sanctioned the conception that the earth remains at rest in the middle of the heaven as its center would, I reflected, regard it as an insane pronouncement if I made the opposite assertion that the earth moves.

De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543)

I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.

The Salmon of Doubt
Posted in: Douglas Adams

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill.

Meditations (c. 161–180 CE) Book II
Posted in: Marcus Aurelius