As I sit here typing away, I’m frankly and completely flummoxed. Someone has had the audacity to call me, ME of ALL people Willfully Ignorant. ME?!?!
The background is somewhat long and drawn out but to summarize, the commenter and I disagree on the Anthropic theory of the Universe. He has invested a lot of time and energy in learning all about the current thinking on the origin of the universe and applying his own interpretation. I can respect that and I heard him out in previous comments (which can still be found on the respective posts) and even spent a significant amount of time trying to understand what he was talking about. In the end, I was relatively unsuccessful but despite his interruptions, the review of the text that started this whole thing, “The Cosmic Landscape” continued.
Apparently, at some key point in the text, my comments on the text disagreed with something he held to be true. Specifically, the Anthropic theory of the universe. At the moment, it really does appear that this theory is yet another attempt by the religious to slip their mythology into our lives in the guise of science. Is this the case? I have no clue, I haven’t had time to finish the book yet. Maybe it doesn’t but as of chapter 6 it certainly appears to be the case. I’m open-minded (despite the claims of certain commenters) and await further developments in the rest of the book.
At this juncture, I am forced to conclude that the person in question is simply a religious fanatic of some sort. Of course that’s his right but I will say that no religion I’m aware of would consider his behavior appropriate. Insults and name-calling are certainly not a Christian ideal. He’s entitled to his opinion and is free to post it as commentary on my blog. I have no problem with people hearing every side of every story. There is no higher ideal than the truth. It’s important to remember, however, that the truth is seldom delivered by people who hurl epithets at their opposition.
More than the irritation at my disagreement though, I’m amazed that anyone could call me willfully ignorant. My highest goal in life is to know as much about everything as possible. I don’t want to be ignorant of anything. To call me Willfully Ignorant is simply astonishing. In this specific instance especially, I don’t see how the argument can be made. The commenter can only be complaining about one of two things that I’m apparently refusing to learn about:
It’s possible he/she believes that I’m not trying hard to enough to learn about physics. To this, I’ll simply point out that I’m reading the book. I’ve read half a dozen others throughout my life and any ignorance of physics (which is considerable) is not willful. Willfully ignorant people don’t read books on the things they’re trying to remain ignorant of.
The other possibility is that he/she believes I’m ignorant of religion. If he or she really is a religious zealot, then the argument would simply be that I’m trying to evade his or her arguments so that I can continue to deny the existence of his or her choice of deity. If that’s the case, it’s just silly. I’ve spent more time reading the Bible than the average Christian and more time with the Qur’an than 99.9% of other non-Muslims so I’m far from ignorant of religion. I’m not denying the existence of anyone’s deity. I don’t subscribe to any deities personally but as I haven’t done an exhaustive survey of the universe I can’t speak as to where yours is.
In any case, to those who disagree, please disagree. But do not post disagreements of the form “you’re a ___” or “what a ___” as they’re just going to get deleted. Back your disagreements with facts, not insults. If I’m wrong I’ll happily admit it, I love to change my mind and do so often. Do not, however, expect me to just change my mind because you said so. In the end, we all have ultimate dominion over our own minds.