Originally posted to Facebook Notes
To explain my perspective on various types of behavior I often use these definitions to define said behavior. It is important to understand the reason(s) people do the things they do, especially when framing how to respond to those behaviors or when speaking of ‘love’ and ‘hate’. (in my opinion ‘hate’ is just as legitimate and emotion as ‘love’ so long as ‘hate’ is confined to those people or actions that threaten to destroy the things or people you love) For the purposes of this discussion, I focus specifically on misguided actions or behaviors and their causes.
Ignorance: not knowing something
Ignorance by itself can be excusable. I, myself, am ignorant on a great many things. Simply not knowing something, or not knowing all there is to know about something is not an inherent ‘wrong’. We are all ignorant about a great many things.
More often than not, the relevance of ‘ignorance’ comes down to a ‘need to know’. For example, I don’t ‘need to know’ how to fix the carburetor on a car engine – as a result I am ignorant on how to fix a carburetor. I have no doubt I could learn how to fix a carburetor, but I don’t need to.
Stupidity: the inability to learn or know about something
Stupidity again is excusable. It is a lack of ability to know something. I fully admit I am stupid when it comes to interior decorating. I don’t get it, I never will get it. I have no desire to ‘be’ an interior decorator, and if I ever really desire for top-notch ‘interior design’ I can always hire someone to do it for me.
Idiocy*: being ‘ignorant’ about something but acting in spite of that ignorance. Or making a conscious choice to remain ignorant when you really should not do so.
*This one is a bit tougher, because I could not find a precise word to assign to it based on ‘denotative’ meaning. So instead I chose the term ‘idiocy’ for it’s connotative interpretation. A more accurate word would be ‘ignoramus’, but the connotative perception of ‘idiot’ works.
With that said, I describe ‘idiocy’ as someone that can or should know better, but acts in spite of their ignorance. To use the prior examples, if I really needed the use of my truck but decided to attempt to fix my carburetor myself, I would be an idiot. Similarly, if I took a job fixing carburetors but still chose not to learn how, I would also be an idiot. Or if I were to claim to know something about interior decorating, when I do not and cannot understand it, I would again be an idiot.
Incidiot*: (Ihn-sih-dee-oht) Someone who does know better, but either feigns ignorance or tries to justify it when ignoring the facts about their course of action.
*this is a term I coined by merging the term ‘incite’ with my concept of ‘idiocy’
This term refers to someone who would seem to be behaving like the ‘idiot’ described above. Someone that acts inspite of not knowing something. However, they either do know or are in a position that it is highly likely they should know about the subject in question. i.e. a trained mechanic who intentionally fouls up a carburetor in the process of fixing it could fit this definition.
My concept of the ‘incidiot’ is therefore important to note, because someone that is feigning ignorance about a subject, and takes an action that is inherently immoral or wrong, is therefore intentionally behaving in a fashion that could be described as ‘evil’.