A one sided conversation with pit bull advocate, Brittney Catherine, through her boyfriend, Mike Alexander‘s, Facebook profile.
Sent to me by the Facebook page, “Anti-pit bull memes” today. What started off as a call for help in responding to this willfully ignorant lunatic, turned into a one sided conversation and me being the proud new assistant editor of the page…LOL! They gave me a selection of memes to choose from and asked that I work them into this blog post. I gladly accepted the challenge under one condition, that I was able to add my own memes and screenshots as well. 🙂 I have to admit, I had a lot of fun with this post!
You can see most of the arguments she made have been debunked on my blog post here.
Willful ignorance is the state and practice of ignoring any sensory input that appears to contradict one’s inner model of reality. At heart, it is almost certainly driven by confirmation bias.
It differs from the standard definition of “ignorance“ — which just means that one is unaware of something — in that willfully ignorant people are fully aware of facts, resources and sources, but refuse to acknowledge them. Indeed, calling someone “ignorant” shouldn’t really be a pejorative, but intentional and willful ignorance is an entirely different matter. In practice though, the word “ignorance” has often come to mean “willful ignorance”, and indeed, in many non-English languages, the word based on the same stem actually carries that meaning.
It is sometimes referred to as tactical stupidity.
Depending on the nature and strength of an individual’s pre-existing beliefs, willful ignorance can manifest itself in different ways. The practice can entail completely disregarding established facts, evidence and/or reasonable opinions if they fail to meet one’s expectations. Often excuses will be made, stating that the source is unreliable, that the experiment was flawed or the opinion is too biased. More often than not this is simple circular reasoning: “I cannot agree with that source because it is untrustworthy because it disagrees with me”.
In other slightly more extreme cases, willful ignorance can involve outright refusal to read, hear or study, in any way, anything that does not conform to the person’s worldview. With regard to oneself, this can even extend to fake locked-in syndrome with complete unresponsiveness. Or with regard to others, to outright censorship of the material from others.