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Materialist Ignorance

December 30, 2014

There are several other kinds of ignorance that are not inherent in our nature but come instead from weakness of character. Paramount among these is the willful ignorance that refuses to honor as knowledge anything not subject to empirical proof. We could just as well call it materialist ignorance. This ignorance rejects useful knowledge such as traditions of imagination and religion, and so it comes across as narrow-mindesness. We have the materialist culture that afflicts us now because a world exclusively material is the kind of world most readily used and abused by the kind of mind materialists think they have. To this kind of mind, there is no longer a legitimate wonder. Wonder has been replaced by a research agenda, which is still a world away from demonstrating the impropriety of wonder. The materialists conservationists need to tell us how a materialist culture can justify its contempt and destructiveness of material goods.
– Wendell Berry, The Way if Ignorance

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