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Complete Ignorance: The Video

October 20, 2010

What is ignorance? Often I have heard the word ‘ignorant’ used in the connotative sense of someone being rude, but in actuality, ignorance is really a lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, there is a trend in which ignorance goes hand-in-hand with an inflexible opinion.

Think about that for a moment…

I have little knowledge, understanding, skill, or expertise in the current subject but at the same time I have an inflexible opinion on that subject.

Don’t confuse me with any facts. I know what I know; I believe what I believe, and that’s all there is to it. When one confronts such stunning arrogance and ignorance what can one do? Well, I guess one can attempt to ‘debate’ such a person, but then we all know what that looks like don’t we. Ad hominems, logical fallacies, red-herrings, and appeals to ‘self-evident’ truths that don’t appear very self-evident.

And the favorite rhetorical devices of the ignorant: interruptions, huffs, head-shakes, anger, smirks, sarcasm, and condescending questions.

Person 1: “Science has reasonably proven that the sun is at the center…”

Person 2: “Really? pffffft. You believe in the ‘theory’ of the sun at the center of the universe, but I believe in God. Ha! Who am I supposed to believe: the creator of the universe of you (the last word said with all of the dripping, dismissive sarcasm one can muster).

Yes, that is hyperbole. However, I am fairly certain that many of you have atempted to engage this person in ‘dialog’.

How did that go?

Anyways, if you ever need to demonstrate to anyone what ignorance is, here is your video edition. All of the traits of ignorance are on display. I especially like the part where O’Donnell trots out the old “You are telling me that the separation of church and state is in the First Amendment?” and the audience begins laughing, and because she misunderstands the issue and believes she has undermined her opponent with a devastating rhetorical question she looks at the audience with that grin. I almost feel embarrassed for her.

Christine, they are laughing at you, not with you.


10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2010 10:59 am

    How did that go?

    Awful, every single time, but you knew that.

    In fact there is an inverse correlation between ignorance and an inflexible arrogant opinion, the problem being that they don’t know how much they don’t know….

  2. Josh Mueller permalink
    October 20, 2010 12:15 pm

    I always wonder: where are the inner critics of the party calling for a stop to this continuing embarressment? Whether it’s Palin or O’Donnell or whoever – if you haven’t even bothered to study the history of the constitution and its amendments, or if you’re ignorant of recent Supreme Court decisions, you shouldn’t get the opportunity to run for public office, period.

    But it seems populism and the garnering of votes through an appearance of “folksiness” and appealing to those who’d identify with this sort of contempt toward intellectualism trumps all other considerations.

    • October 21, 2010 12:05 am

      Here, here!

      • Josh Mueller permalink
        October 21, 2010 12:40 am


        Looking forward to your guest appearance on the O’Reilly Factor real soon!

  3. Jon H permalink
    October 20, 2010 12:59 pm

    “where are the inner critics of the party calling for a stop to this continuing embarressment?”

    Nowhere. All that matters to them is that it works. If there weren’t Michelle Bachmans and Louie Gohmerts getting elected, they might take a different approach. But they know it works.

  4. Jake permalink
    October 24, 2010 8:42 am

    I think that the “Rent Is Too Damn High” Party should have a representative at every Governor debate.

    • November 11, 2010 11:36 am

      I’m with Jake.

  5. November 11, 2010 11:34 am

    I thought this was funny, but not for the same reasons. A guy I work with is, for some reason (because I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about either of the “two” parties), always coming to my office with these kinds of “gotchas” when a Republicrat goofs, but never when a Demoblican goofs.

    I had to straighten him out, thus:

    In fact, the phrase “separation of church and state” not only doesn’t appear in the First Amendment, but isn’t found anywhere in the Constitution. The Establishment Clause is there (“Congress shall make no law concerning an establishment of Religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”), but what so many people assume is a nonexistent “Separation Clause” likely derived from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury (CT) Baptist Association (wherein he assured the worried pastors that the new government would “build a wall of separation of church and state, and build it high,” to stave off a Presbyterian church like the Anglican one they’d just thrown off). It was about denominational parity, not civil agnosticism.

    So, technically, O’Donnell was right, and, technically, both her opponent and the audience–for all their monolithic derision–were wrong.”

    He got flustered and wandered off…

    But what do I care? The election is over, the idiot lost, and, shucks, I’m an anarchist.

    Or at least a political atheist.

    • November 11, 2010 11:44 am

      A) I’m Canadian, so on the one hand I don’t really care, but on the other I feel bad that Americans actually have candidates like her that have to waste money on commercials that begin “I am not a witch…” I don’t care what party anyone is with: that’s messed up.

      B) The clause “Congress shall make no law concerning an establishment of Religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” is commonly understood, for a very long time, by a great deal of people as “separation between church and state.” I for one support that. I have no interest in a redneck, ignorant, backwards, “conservative” theocracy. I would think for the position she is running for the common interpretation should be known to her. Whether it’s the one above or yours, she is unfamiliar with either of them. She is completely incompetent to accomplish any of the tasks of office regardless of her political affiliation… but hey, I’m Canadian, what do I know?!?

      C) Nice to hear from you again, you haven’t been around much lately!

      • November 11, 2010 11:58 am

        A) I agree; our whole system is ridiculous, top to bottom. I teach my girls that if someone says something about them they don’t like, they have two options: if it’s true, change it; if it’s untrue, ignore it.

        On a related note, Sarah Palin spoke in Dallas last night, and it was all over drive time radio this morning. That’s all; just thinking about some idiot saying stupid shit reminded me of that.

        B) I certainly can’t disagree with anything you’ve said, Scott. (Especially that last line or so 😉 ) I just enjoyed shutting that dude down, is all. Ultraliberals like this guy are just as annoying as all the ultraconservatives I work with.

        God save us from an evangelical theocracy.

        C) Yeah, all work and no play has made Jack a dull boy. (Zip it, Jake!) (That was pre-emptive. We Americans are good at that.)

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