Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ignorantia Affectata

Bangladesh: Brackish water from the Bay of Bengal is encroaching, surging up Bangladesh's fresh-water rivers, percolating deep into the soil, fouling ponds and the underground water supply that millions depend on to drink and cultivate their farms.
The deniers first deceive themselves that they are sincere in their adherence to falsehoods. Thus they cannot be faulted for acting on genuinely held views. But in truth, they have cultivated an ignorance of the facts, what Thomas Aquinas called ignorantia affectata. An ignorance so useful that one protects it at all costs, in order to continue using it in one’s own self interest. This ignorance is not exculpatory, but inculpatory. Forgive them not, for they know full well what they do.

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