Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ignorance

There is a wonderful sentence in The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. “He was giving forth his views upon the political situation of Europe generally with the self-satisfied assurance born of complete ignorance and true British insular prejudice.”

This describes a fictional character, but the sentence ties three things together that are true outside of fiction. They are “ignorance,” “prejudice” and “self-satisfied assurance.”

“Prejudice” is a negative pre-judgment based on no information, false information or misinformation. In other words “prejudice” describes a poor practice.

The following is a corollary to the above.

“Tolerance” is a positive pre-judgment also based on no information, false information, or misinformation. In other words, tolerance is not a good practice. Yet we think “tolerance” is good and “intolerance” or “prejudice” is bad.

If we are informed, then our judgment is based on true information. It is not a judgment of tolerance or prejudice. It is a just judgment. The judgment may be against murderers, rapists, demon activity, idolatry, animism and other false religion.

We may choose to remain ignorant and tolerant or ignorant and prejudiced.

There is not much difference between the two. They are both based on ignorance.

Get informed before making a judgment.

1 comment:

Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

I like that -- tolerance as the just-as-foolish flip-side of prejudice.