THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Is ignorance actually bliss? Or is it harmful? What position does it play in our each day lives? What harms can it trigger, or go away behind?
These are simply a few of the questions my colleagues and I are learning in our ongoing analysis of agnosis.
Agnosis means with out, or missing, data. Agnotology is the research of ignorance, the apathy in direction of data and the creation of non-knowledge and stupidity.
Sadly, there are many examples to recommend ignorance continues to be a priority in Canada.
Usually, victims of ignorance are left unaware, or at the very least unsure, in regards to the supply of their harms — and generally, they’re not even conscious they’ve been harmed.
‘Ignoring’ as an exercise
Individuals, organizations and governments can all partake in “ignoring” as an exercise. When info isn’t sought out — in different phrases, ignored — it might provide motivation and excuses for the perpetration of even essentially the most dangerous actions.
For instance, we proceed to reside by means of world occasions that recommend many Canadians are “ignoring” the hurt they’ll trigger once they disregard science and public well being measures wanted to fight COVID-19.
Too typically, marginalized and immunocompromised communities face the brunt of those selections. By ignoring science and believing in conspiracies, these communities are positioned in hurt’s manner.
5 methods to sort out ignorance about proof throughout and after the COVID-19 pandemic
In Power to Love, Martin Luther King Jr. says “Nothing on this planet is extra harmful than honest ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
And within the present period of “post-truth” politics, there are new and really worrying developments within the era of false “info,” ignorance and stupidity.
After we research ignorance and stupidity collectively, we see how ignorance and stupidity act in opposition to someone’s personal self-interests and the way there may be deadly penalties.
Deadly penalties of ignorance
Think about twice-impeached and disgraced former president Donald Trump. His administration’s politics invoked doubtlessly ethical dimensions of ignorance, the place ignorance in decision-making processes have been a sign of selecting stupidity by avoiding duty.
Such avoidance of duty by the anti-vax and “freedom” rallies that we’ve seen all through this pandemic equally speaks to Trumpist politics, as the continuing ignorance and denial quietly (or not so quietly) strikes us in direction of additional challenges, struggling and loss.
In each instances, public attributions of stupidity are political, and the position of energy right here factors to the challenges of balancing ignorance with, and alongside, an absence of data.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
Ignorance and the absence of data
We all know pandemic public well being measures work, and complicit ignorance and denial of scientific proof doesn’t. However, has a failure to embrace vital considering, or claims to excessive conservative ideologies, supplied consolation to folks wishing for “bliss” of their lives? Whatever the price to and sacrifice of others? Some would say so.
COVID-19 ‘freedom’ rallies really undermine liberty – right here’s why
In any case, when “freedom” rallies incorporate conspiracies, Nazi symbols and Accomplice flags, it’s troublesome to see how somebody’s rally stands for freedom or is backed by data.
If somebody’s trigger garners help from conspiracists, Nazis and different hate-filled teams, it’s most likely value questioning why. However I’d guess there’s a deeply embedded and dehumanizing ideology at work right here.
Finding out ignorance highlights how there are particular teams of people that grow to be excluded from the ethical and authorized protections usually owed to others. It has been a stunning revelation to some, lately, that human deception and self-deception have remained as undiminished as they’ve.
Efforts to unfold false “info,” ignorance and stupidity have by no means been as straightforward as it’s to unfold now.
The potential of our “post-truth” period far exceeds what George Orwell may have ever dreamed of in his time. He introduced a predictive and dystopian imaginative and prescient in 1984, however even he couldn’t have envisioned the agnosis we see as we speak.
Our age of agnosis is more and more coming into contact in methods past historic requirements and recorded reminiscence. Empathy, not apathy, is required now greater than ever earlier than. My colleagues and I proceed to discover agnosis, hoping to save lots of vital considering from obscurity.
James Gacek doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or organisation that may profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their educational appointment.