Only the Ignorant Say "I Know"

Okay, first off please don’t take the title literally. I am not saying anyone is ignorant, other than me. The title is just meant to be something catchy. Did it work?

Second, I’ve found a new podcast that I enjoy listening to. It is called “Philopsophize This” and it has been quite good thus far. During one of the episodes it mentioned what is known as the Socratic paradox. The paradox is that Socrates said that he knew one thing that others around him didn’t and all of his wisdom came from that one source of knowledge. What was this knowledge? According to Plato Socrates constantly described it this way.

“I know one thing: that I know nothing”

If you think about his Socratic method of learning through constant questioning this makes perfect sense. Acknowledging how little I know is a great starting place, no matter how much I actually know. In fact, the people I know who are really experts on a subject usually are the ones who seem to acknowledge how little they actually know about the subject they are an expert in.

It always scares me a little when a person constantly responds with “I know” during a conversation. It concerns me even more when I find myself wanting to respond with “I know.” Why do I feel the need to say that? Saying “I know” kills conversation. Saying “I don’t know” or even better nothing encourages conversation. It encourages learning. It opens doors rather than shutting them. Pride pushes for me to try and prove to someone that I know something. Humility encourages me to learn from everyone and assume that I don’t know as much as I think I do.

I think this is just as true of faith as it is anything else. Admitting how little I know produces reliance upon Jesus, whereas thinking I know a good bit produces pride and self-reliance. I hope today I realize that I know nothing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.