Ignorance and arrogance: are there any differences?

How many times did we call someone ignorant just because he didn’t know something? It’s true, ignorance is known as the condition of being uninformed or uneducated but there’s a lot more we need to check before defining a person as an ignorant..

For a long time ignorance was attributed mainly to those who finished school too early or to those who never had the chance to face studies.

Later, the term ignorance has been too easily and sometimes erroneously associated with people of previous generations by those of the present only because the needs and the ways of seeing have changed over time.

Today, however, ignorance has undergone a strong evolution. Ignorant people can be those who haven’t studied but also those who have graduated… Ignorance is not about the impossibility of knowing everything, indeed, each of us is ignorant in something, even scientists. For example, a biologist is ignorant in astrophysics, an astrophysicist is ignorant in chemistry but they each know what they don’t know and because of this they’re defined wise instead of ignorant.

The real ignorant, instead, doesn’t understand that he doesn’t know, and he always has wrong sources to quote. Besides, he thinks he’s better than others and has an arrogant attitude that can also lead to prejudice.

Often, indeed, people who think they know everything tend to judge a person in a superficial way dwelling on appearances, without deepening the possible reasons that can push a person to certain behaviors. 

Prejudice arises mainly from the fact that we limit ourselves to listen to what we hear from others, without verifying the reliability.  

In this way, it can happen that a person or groups of people are wrongly criticized and excluded.           

A famous proverb says “Ignorance is bliss” and it means that it’s better to remain unaware of things that may otherwise cause stress. Perhaps, however, it’s better to also know the bad things instead of risking seeming arrogant.

There is a way to combat ignorance caused by lack of knowledge but above all by arrogance and it’s thinking with an open mind. This kind of ignorance, indeed, disappears in minds that can identify with others, minds that are impartial, minds that evaluate everything objectively, minds that never stop studying, minds that evolve their thoughts, that want to learn new things and know how to do it, minds that are never the same as the day before and most importantly minds that observe and listen. 

To answer the main question: there are no differences between arrogance and ignorance because they go hand in hand and when people think they know everything but they don’t, they can be called both ignorant or arrogant.

On the contrary, when someone is ignorant about something but he knows he is, he’s wise. 


Eleonora Medda 3BL