Our reverence for the past is just in proportion to our ignorance of it.
A great idea is usually original to more than one discoverer. Great ideas come when the world needs them. They surround the world's ignorance and press for admission.
Right conduct can never, except by some rare accident, be promoted by ignorance or hindered by knowledge.
Slavery is but half abolished, emancipation is but half completed, while millions of freemen with votes in their hands are left without education. Justice to them, the welfare of the States in which they live, the safety of the whole Republic, the dignity of the elective franchise, - all alike demand that the still remaining bonds of ignorance shall be unloosed and broken, and the minds as well as the bodies of the emancipated go free.
Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.
Man never knows what he wants; he aspires to penetrate mysteries as soon as he has, he wants to reestablish them. Ignorance irritates him and knowledge cloys.
There in fact four very significant stumbling-blocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, long-standing custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge... there are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely by reasoning and experience.
There is no stopping the world’s tendency to throw off imposed restraints, the religious authority that is based on the ignorance of the many, the political authority that is based on the knowledge of the few.
Buddhist Sutra from Sanskrit “The Heart of the Prajnaparamita” - All dharmas are marked with emptiness; they are neither produced nor destroyed, neither defiled nor immaculate, neither increasing nor decreasing. Therefore, in emptiness there is neither form, nor feeling, nor perception, nor mental functioning, nor consciousness; no eye, or ear, or nose, or tongue, or body, or mind; no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touchable, no object of mind, no realm of elements (from sight to mind-consciousness), no interdependent origins (from ignorance to death and decay), no extinction of death and decay, no suffering, no origination, no extinction, no path, no wisdom, no attainment.
It is not wisdom but ignorance that teaches men presumption. Genius may sometimes be arrogant, but nothing is so diffident as knowledge.
We smile at the ignorance of the savage who cuts down the tree in order to reach its fruit; but the same blunder is made by every person who is over eager and impatient in the pursuit of pleasure.
Ignorance is an enemy, even to its owner. Knowledge is a friend, even to its hater. Ignorance hates knowledge because it is too pure. Knowledge fears ignorance because it is too sure.
It is strictly and philosophically true in Nature and reason that there is no such thing as chance or accident; it being evident that these words do not signify anything really existing, anything that is truly an agent ore the cause of any event; but they signify merely men’s ignorance of the real and immediate cause.
Much of our ignorance is of ourselves. Our eyes are full of dust. Prejudice blinds us.
People sometimes refer to higher education as the higher learning, but colleges and universities are much more than the knowledge factories; they are testaments to man's perennial struggle to make a better world for himself, his children, and his children's children. This, indeed, is their sovereign purpose. They are great fortifications against ignorance and irrationality; but they are more than places of higher learning - they are centers and symbols of man's higher yearning.
It is good... to try in imagination to give to any one species an advantage over another. Probably in no single instance should we know what to do. This ought to convince us of our ignorance on the mutual relations of all organic beings; a conviction as necessary as it is difficult to acquire. All that we can do, is to keep steadily in mind that each organic being is striving to increase in a geometrical ration; that each at some period of its life, during some season of the year, during each generation or at intervals, has to struggle for life and to suffer great destruction. When we reflect on this struggle, we may console ourselves with the full belief, that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply.
Genuine ignorance is... profitable because it is likely to be accompanied by humility, curiosity, and open-mindedness; whereas ability to repeat catch-phrases, cant terms, familiar propositions, gives the conceit of learning and coats the mind with varnish water-proof to new ideas.
A mind risks real ignorance for the sometimes paltry prize of an imagination enriched. The trick of reason is to get the imagination to seize the actual world - if only from time to time.
Pollution is nothing but resources we're not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value. But if we got onto a planning planning basis, the government could trap pollutants in the stacks and spillages and get back more money than this would cost out of the stockpiled chemistries they'd be collecting. Margaret Mead gets cross with me when I talk like this because she says people are doing some very important things because they're worried and excited and I'm going to make them relax and stop doing those things. But we're dealing with something much bigger than we're accustomed to understanding, we're on a very large course indeed. You speak of racism, for example, and I tell you that there's no such thing as race. The point is that racism is the product of tribalism and ignorance and both are falling victim to communications and world-around literacy.
Where ignorance is bliss, a little learning is a dangerous thing.