Welcome to episode 10 of The Better Self Show!! It is incredible for me that I got to this point so let’s celebrate for this episode and hopefully many more to come! And thank you so much for the support you have been given me throughout this journey
Today to celebrate we are going to talk about a philosophical topic that occurred to me sometime ago which is appealing to ignorance. If you have been following the podcast you probably know by now that I really like Socrates and this episode is inspired in him.
Ignorance, Socrates and the maieutic method
One of the most famous quotes of Socrates says, “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing” to which I refer in a sense as appealing to ignorance. It is also the first step in the maieutic or Socratic method.
But first let’s talk about the opposite, appealing to expertise or wisdom.
Nowadays on the internet, especially in the oversaturated world of ‘coaching’ or ‘online marketing’ you may find hundreds of experts and gurus telling you about their magic formula for sales, happiness or any topic whatsoever. Most of them are appealing to wisdom or expertise.
In Spain we have a meme, the brother in law or the ‘cuñao’ meme. It makes fun of that person who sits at the dinner table or in any situation and seems to know everything about any topic. You probably found many of them throughout your life.
I’m sure that you’re not one of those… but probably sometimes in life you may have positioned yourself as an expert and that can be a double edged sword because it can be easy to trust and believe at first someone that seems to be an expert in a topic.
For example, if you go to the doctor because you have a headache or any other health issue, then you may believe what they say that it is at first. But just because someone is a doctor it doesn’t necessarily means that they know everything on their field.
Back in Socrates time, those experts or gurus could be called the sophist. But we’ll talk more about them in another episode.
Appealing to ignorance is the key
Part of the purpose of this podcast is for you to make up your own mind about things, and that I believe will bring you closer to a better version of yourself, you know, to train the brain muscle a bit.
When someone appeals to expertise people may believe that person but he may be wrong. However, if you appeal to ignorance and you say that you know nothing about something then you’re never gonna be wrong, because you are already saying that you are wrong 🙂
It exonerates you from any mistake you may do so that you can freely philosophize about any topic. Then the other person is the responsible for making their own mind and believing your or not.
Empowering other people
A direct consequence of appealing to ignorance is that you are making people responsible for checking with themselves if they wish to believe whatever you’re saying. In a way it feels like giving the power or the responsibility to the others and by doing that you’re definitely helping them.
But just saying that you know nothing and freely talking about anything is not the trick here. The trick is to actually believe that you know less that you do, that you can make mistakes and that whatever you’re saying is not the absolute truth about the world.
Anyways I hope that you have a listen to the episode and that it brings you value in any shape or form. For me if the episode makes you think than I can’t ask for nothing else as with thinking you are already working on a better version of yourself.
So thank you so much for being there one more time, for celebrating the episode 10 with me. And if you wish to help me going in this adventure it would be great if you could support the show, send me a message, a comment, or give me feedback as any little action greatly helps me to keep going.
See you in episode 11!