What is the difference between being stupid and being ignorant? Lately I have heard a lot of people saying that it is better to be ignorant then to be stupid because stupid is forever, but ignorant can be changed. I don’t think that that it true. In my mind, stupid is perfectly changeable. We say someone is stupid when they don’t know something that we view as common knowledge, but once we tell them about it, they know. I liken it to someone given a book. A stupid person reads the book, but doesn’t fully understand it. It needs to be explained to them. But an ignorant person will do one of two things: either they’ll read the book with the knowledge necessary to understand it fully, but they will ignore it, or they will refuse to read the book. Refusing to read the book is willful ignorance, where as ignoring some fact is usually subconscious and is caused by bias. Either way, it is much more difficult to educate the ignorant one than it is to educate the stupid one.
The reason I am writing this is because “stupid” is a terrible insult. We are all “stupid” at some time or another. None of us know everything. But we can be taught. I do not like to call people stupid for that reason. However, ignorance is my pet-peeve. Especially willful ignorance. I do not expect everybody to know everything that I do, but I do expect them to take what I say into consideration and be willing to learn. I am perfectly willing to afford others the same respect. But I have found that there is a culture surrounding being proud of ones ignorance. People are proud of not knowing and they see learning as a waste of time. I really hope that culture dies out soon.