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Quotations about Ignorance



Admit your Ignorance, and few will blame you;
Pretend to Knowledge, and the World will shame you.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Pretence," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924


I admit my ignorance, as the best of men will, and the port hole through which we look is narrowed with the best of us when we compare the known to the unknown. ~James Gillingham (1838–1924), The Seat of the Soul Discovered or the World's Great Problem Solved, with Objections to the Same Answered, second edition, 1870


...there is no darkness but ignorance...
~William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, c.1599  [IV, 2, Feste]


Just as darkness is the absence of light, ignorance is the absence of knowledge, and should not be mistaken for a point of view. ~Robert Brault, 2017, rbrault.blogspot.com


So Nature, Wit, and Sense must blasted fall,
Whilst blooming Ignorance prevails o'er all.
~James Miller (1706–1744), Harlequin-Horace: Or, The Art of Modern Poetry, 1731


Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to buy an encyclopaedia on the installment plan. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


A little learning is dangerous, but downright ignorance is even more disastrous. ~The Galveston Daily News, 1894


Only ignorance is afraid to ask questions. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor


Whenever people attack not the idea — but its source — you know they've hit the brick wall of their intellectual limitations. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, lumpenbangenpiano.com
      [Dr. Dreimer's poetic version:
      "Ad hominem attacks
      Betray an absence of facts."
      —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]



The older we grow the greater becomes our wonder at how much ignorance one can contain without bursting one's clothes. ~Mark Twain


History shows that there is nothing so easy to enslave and nothing so hard to emancipate as ignorance, hence it becomes the double enemy of civilization. By its servility it is the prey of tyranny, and by its credulity it is the foe of enlightenment. ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is the Bible Worth Reading and Other Essays, 1911


Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power. ~P. J. O'Rourke, Give War a Chance, 1992


It is harder to conceal ignorance than to acquire knowledge. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)


Everybody is ignorant. Only on different subjects. ~Will Rogers


Innocence and ignorance are sisters. ~Proverb


It's innocence when it charms us, ignorance when it doesn't. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966, ©Thomas Paine McLaughlin


The pleasures of ignorance are as great, in their way, as the pleasures of knowledge. ~Aldous Huxley


Oh, my dear sir... Bless your heart and hide, you are ignorant of the very A B C of meanness! ignorant as the unborn babe! ignorant as unborn twins. You don't know anything about it! It is pitiable to see you, sir... making such an enormous pow-wow here about a subject concerning which your ignorance is perfectly ghastly! ~Mark Twain


Whatever tends to prolong the existence of ignorance or to prevent the recognition of knowledge is dangerous to the well-being of the human race. ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is the Bible Worth Reading and Other Essays, 1911


What are men the readiest to dub stupid? The cleverness which they cannot understand. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882


[A] man who scarcely ever allows a thought to work his brain, has no right to stand up with an air of importance and authority and try to strangle my little work. ~James Gillingham (1838–1924), The Seat of the Soul Discovered or the World's Great Problem Solved, with Objections to the Same Answered, second edition, 1870


Life teaches us that we are never happy except at the price of some ignorance. ~Anatole France, translated by A. W. Evans


I would rather have my ignorance than another man's knowledge, because I have so much more of it. ~Mark Twain


There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." ~Isaac Asimov, in Newsweek, 1980


If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people? ~Author unknown


If ignorance were bliss the world would be a fool's paradise. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. ~Bertrand Russell


If there is one tree that man needs to eat of, it is the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil; and if any knowledge will keep him alive and make him happy and perfect, it is just this knowledge which God forbid him to acquire. We are dying to-day from ignorance, not from knowledge... ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is the Bible Worth Reading and Other Essays, 1911


To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant. ~A. Bronson Alcott


You can't talk sense to people who oppose it on principle. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


All morons hate it when you call them a moron. ~J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1951


...the most violent element in society is ignorance... ~Emma Goldman, Anarchism: What It Really Stands For ⁂ ⁂, 1911


But don't you know, there are some things that can beat smartness and foresight? Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn't need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn't do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn't prepared for him; he does the thing he ought not to do: and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot. Well, how could I, with all my gifts, make any valuable preparation against a near-sighted, cross-eyed, pudding-headed clown who would aim himself at the wrong tree and hit the right one? ~Mark Twain


Dopeler effect:  the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. ~Greg Oetjen, The Washington Post word contest, 1998


Light travels faster than sound.  That's why most people seem bright until you hear them speak.  ~Author unknown


God save me from him who studies but one book. ~Italian proverb


Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. ~Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988)


We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart? ~Author unknown





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