From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is also the state of being ignorant or uninformed. For example, "Bill lost the debate because he was ignorant of that subject." In such a case the term is not pejorative, and may even be used as a self-descriptive term, as in, "I am ignorant of English history."
Another definition states that ignorance is the choice to not act or behave in accordance with regard to certain information in order to suit ones own needs or beliefs. For example, "I know better but I choose to ignore that and act in a way that behooves me." Ignorance is sometimes misinterpreted as a synonym of stupidity, and is as thus often taken as an insult, when really it is not.
In many if not all cases, ignorance is seen as a pleasant alternative to harsh reality.
- Willful ignorance (or vincible ignorance) is a bad faith decision to avoid becoming informed about something so as to avoid having to make undesirable decisions that such information might prompt.
- Ignorance is bliss is a phrase that comes from Thomas Gray's poem, "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College" (1742): "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."
- Rational ignorance a voluntary state of ignorance that can occur when the cost of educating oneself on an issue exceeds the potential benefit that the knowledge would provide