There is a thin line that demarcates stupidity from sublime silence. It is arrogance that distorts and blurs it.
Ignorance knows no limits and the vast majority of ignorant people seem to be numbered in an unlimited way. The gap of knowledge may be far reaching as a continent’s mileage. But if an ignorant person sits beside a learned person, only silence marks their similitude.
While ancient wisdom praises the man who acknowledges his ontological ignorance, foolish is one who flaunts it as if it were a license to speak the limitedness of one’s knowledge. It may be too vainglorious, but the ignorance of a man is only as good as the disposition that carries his heart. If he wants to project its vanity, what will he make out of it except for the sake of the showboat? On the one hand, the lack of wisdom is a babbling smugness that splatters the silence of one’s soul – it mocks the essential innocence of oneself into a rapturous frenzy of empty words. Adorned with colorful coatings of strong tasteless sophistries, the rhetoric that lies in such emptiness delivers from a bracketing ear, a biased hearing which easily attends to the ambiguity in the other’s argument and argues it back with emphasis to cover the utter misunderstanding in the first place. On the other hand, what good will the learned person have except to learn from such folly and wait for ignorance to shame itself in front of wisdom? If the course of the conversation will allow the extension of possibilities to happen, the points are obvious:
- The conversation must not even start at all. The wisest move is to control the capacity of one’s argument not to fall on deaf ears – from meticulously selective ears ready to challenge with a handful of misunderstanding and absurd lines.
- One can read at best from a psychological standpoint that there is also pride on the part of the learned person: because he might not wish to be equated with the ignorant in the face of silence, he has to talk and challenge himself with the booby-trapped shores of fallacious argumentation. The demarcation ceases precisely at the moment of giving in to the temptation.
- Rhetorical criterion plays a role; convincing people, no matter how dull their understanding is, shows a considerable amount of strength in the halls of the convincer. In that line, a greater risk is hurled against content.
- Attentiveness to details works well in correction and re-emphasizing. There is a great deal of chance that acknowledgment of source and the lack of understanding of a particular source will be the first mistake to be assumed. Also, generic comments work well for a general audience whose attentiveness mostly receives mere impact.
- Horizons – in Gadamer’s sense – are contextual and can only be fused through understanding. If the course of the conversation dwells within sheer emptiness, or even if only one delivers falsehood, in the attempt of connection, the link will logically break. To wit, ignorance placed beside wisdom is an abysmal combination.
- The fleeting expertise of ignorance has a shallow surface-leveled remark: at best, it is a gossip opinion, an unconscious avowal of shallow confidence as well.
- Economically, it is not good for the wise man to lecture point for point his knowledge to the ignorant just for the latter to understand. In which case, a dual payment on the part of the ignorant must be done: a payment equal to the amount of higher education degree the points may take, and the surrender of his petty arrogance for talking in the first place.
So it is with the masters of none – the jack of all trades points to the underlying obliviousness to pure knowledge. When this mastery’s performance is done, silence will again creep in to dismantle any hubris still assembled by the vain trades. And isn’t it obviously blissful for any fool to remain silent lest he reveals another wise man to shame along with himself?