You can’t argue with ignorance

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29


When life imitates farce, you know that it is time to lighten up a little. Whether it is in the business world or in the social world, you have to interact, engage, and collaborate with many different people. When you start to notice the lunacy of life, you know you have to step back and take stock.

Sometimes, people put all their passions and efforts into activities that to others seem pointless and trivial. Or get so focused on something, that they exclude everything and everyone else from their world.

In addition, people might believe that their way is “the right way”. The “only way”. “My way or the highway”. You get the picture.

I have come across many people like this during my working life. In fact, some people might suggest that I have exhibited those traits myself at some point or other. And, in fact, they would be right. We have all done it at some point. If you feel passionate about a subject, person, event or fact, you will seek to develop it, justify it and ultimately defend it. Sometimes, no matter what. I dare you to reflect for a moment and think about something you have felt passionate about and how you acted.

However, what many people find intensely annoying is those people who argue, defend and otherwise seek to maintain that their way “is the right way” despite the facts pointing to the contrary.

These people fight in the face of the obvious. For these people, I came up with the expression that is the title of this article “you can not argue with ignorance”.

I use it myself at work and also in social situations. Never to the person’s face directly. After all, they probably would not even understand what I am saying. But, I use it myself to reflect internally. That you can not argue with someone when they believe so much in their perception of reality. So the next time you are faced with someone of that ilk, feel free to use the expression.

I leave you with the following quote that encapsulates the idea…….

Genuine ignorance is… profitable because it is likely to be accompanied by humility, curiosity, and open mindedness; whereas the ability to repeat catch-phrases, cant terms, familiar propositions, gives the conceit of learning and coats the mind with varnish waterproof to new ideas.  ~John Dewey

2 thoughts on “You can’t argue with ignorance

  1. Martin you also need to invite the question whether you are invested in the outcome? If so, then going head to head with someone’s thoughts is never going to produce that lightening bolt moment. My view is that when you stop being invested in the outcome, everything, and I mean everything, looks different. _/\_


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