David Fang

02 May.

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, It’s a great honor to be here today and to have the opportunity to deliver my speech about knowledge and ignorance.

We're living in a world where there are so many phrases that praise knowledge. We began to receive knowledge, understand knowledge, learn knowledge since the day we were born. We generally become better people both physically and morally by acquiring knowledge. As Socrates succinctly put it, “knowledge is virtue.” Yes, knowledge has taught us to be smart, to be righteous, to be brave, to be honest, to be distinguished from others, to behave ourselves under different circumstances.

With proper knowledge, our society, our life can be improved in general. The more knowledge attained; the more advantage occurs. For instance, our knowledge of sicknesses and diseases has aided us in improving our health. The more we know about it, the more we can cure it and improve life. Not to mention so much convenience in our life provided by all kinds of knowledge. So as for this saying, we don't seem to have too many arguments about that.

But don’t forget the latter part of what Socrates said. The ignorance is evil. When it comes to that, people would argue, no no no ignorance is not always evil, ignorance sometimes is good! If we didn’t know how the nuclear works, we wouldn’t have had the knowledge that has given rise to evils like nuclear weapons in our preoccupation to cause massive destructions, assert dominance over our fellow beings. Similarly, the knowledge of power has created chaos for centuries. The thrive for absolute control continues to disrupt individuals and society today.

However, from my standpoint, knowledge is not the cause of such phenomena. It is the use of knowledge where most become lost. The atomic bomb is only destructive if it is used. Power only creates chaos when used improperly. Besides why not neglect the fact that the nuclear powers are generating a tremendous amount of electricities for millions of families, factories, facilities around the world.

See, the reason for their use is not from the mere knowledge, but from human emotions creating an affirmative action. These emotions are caused by instincts that are incorporated into the mind at birth. It is the improper use and instincts that cause the mind to act inappropriately. Knowledge is not an emotion, but rather an instinct to collect information and understanding. In my defense, knowledge cannot force an action upon an individual, but an individual can force knowledge upon an action.

Knowledge acts as a guide to enable people to take ethical decisions. On the other hand, lack of knowledge leads to ignorance and we may not be able to evaluate our actions in the light of ethicality. Thus, goes the saying – Knowledge is virtue while ignorance is evil.


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