- Ignorance of one’s misfortunes is clear gain.
- Euripides, Antiope, Frag. 204
- Ignorance plays the chief part among men, and the multitude of words; but opportunity will prevail.
- Diogenes Laërtius, Cleobulus, iv
- He said that there was one only good, namely, knowledge; and one only evil, namely, ignorance.
- Diogenes Laërtius, Socrates, xiv
- He declared that he knew nothing, except the fact of his ignorance.
- Diogenes Laërtius, Socrates, xvi
- All wisdom is folly that does not accommodate itself to the common ignorance.
- Knowledge and truth may be in us without judgment, and judgment also without them; but the confession of ignorance is one of the finest and surest testimonies of judgment that I know.
- The common curse of mankind,—folly and ignorance.
- So long as the mother, Ignorance, lives, it is not safe for Science, the offspring, to divulge the hidden causes of things.
- Ignorance is the mother of devotion.
- Jeremy Taylor, To a Person Newly Converted (1657)
- From ignorance our comfort flows.
The only wretched are the wise.
- Matthew Prior, To the Hon. Charles Montague
- To each his suff’rings; all are men,
Condemn’d alike to groan,—
The tender for another’s pain,
Th’ unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate,
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies?
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
’T is folly to be wise.
- Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.
- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-1785), Query 6.
- If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey (January 6, 1816).
- Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education & free discussion are the antidotes of both.
- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams (August 1, 1816).
- “Man,” I cried, “how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom!”
- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Ch. 23 (1818)
- To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.
- Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil: Or, The Two Nations (1845) p. 36.
- A truly refined mind will seem to be ignorant of the existence of anything that is not perfectly proper, placid, and pleasant.
- Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit, Ch. 5 – Something Wrong Somewhere (1855-1857)
- Blind and naked Ignorance
Delivers brawling judgments, unashamed,
On all things all day long.
- Ignorance never settles a question.
- Benjamin Disraeli, Speech, House of Commons (May 14, 1866)
- Ignorance gives one a large range of probabilities.
- George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, Ch. XIII (1876)
- He that voluntarily continues ignorant is guilty of all the crimes which ignorance produces.
- Samuel Johnson, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 336.
- I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.
- Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, Act I, spoken by Lady Bracknell (1895)
- There are, however, some potentates I would kill by any and all means at my disposal. They are Ignorance, Superstition, and Bigotry — the most sinister and tyrannical rulers on earth.
- Emma Goldman, responding to audience questions during a speech in Detroit (1898); as recounted in Living My Life (1931), p. 207; quoted by Annie Laurie Gaylor in Women Without Superstition, p. 382
- Bring your ignorance to the Holy Spirit, the great teacher, who by His precious truth will lead you into all truth.
- W. P. Mackay, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 337.
- There’s nothing as safe as ignorance — or as dangerous.
- To be ignorant of one’s own ignorance is to be in an unprogressive, uninspired state of existence.
- David O. McKay, Pathways To Happiness, (1957), pp. 351-352.
- It’s innocence when it charms us, ignorance when it doesn’t.
- Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill
- If one neglects the laws of learning, a sentence is imposed that he is forever chained to his ignorance.
- Sterling W. Sill, The Power of Believing, (1968), p. 29.
- There are three degrees of comparison: stupido, stupidissimo, and tenore.
- Pietro Mascagni, in Scott Beach, Musicdotes, (Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1977), p. 94.
- If ignorance is bliss, then knock the smile off my face.
- Zack de la Rocha, “Settle for Nothing”, Rage Against the Machine (album), 1992
- Ignorance is death. A closed mind is a catafalque.
- Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life, (New York: Ballantine Books, 1998), p. 69.