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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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The want of knowledge or instruction. It is often used to denote illiteracy. Mr. Locke observes, that the causes of ignorance are chiefly three.

1. Want of ideas.

2. Want of a discoverable connection between the ideas we have.

3. Want of tracing and examining our ideas.

As it respects religion, ignorance has been distinguished into three sorts:

1. An invincible ignorance, in which the will has no part. It is an insult upon justice to suppose it will punish men because they were ignorant of things which they were physically incapable of knowing.

2. There is a wilful and obstinate ignorance; such as ignorance, far from exculpating, aggravates a man's crimes.

3. A sort of ignorance which is neither entirely wilful, nor entirely invincible; as when a man has the means of knowledge, and does not use them.

See KNOWLEDGE; and Locke on the Und. vol. 2: p. 178; Grove's Mor. Phil. vol. 2: p. 26, 29, 64; Watts on the Mind.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Ignorance'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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