Is willful ignorance evidence of maliciousness?
I think that in law, if you create harm due to ignorance, you can be accused of negligence, but you are not usually considered to have committed willful harm. I struggle with this idea because sometimes I think that ignorance is willful. It sometimes seems like people deliberately avoid learning about things that would prevent them from negligently creating harm.
Probably unfairly, there are times when I don’t want to consider willful ignorance of consequences to be an acceptable excuse. In such situations, I think a person is malicious, even if they can’t see it.
But who am I to decide if a person is willfully ignorant? And if they are ignorant, how can I hold them responsible? So if I really care about the consequences of their ignorance, is it my duty to try to educate them?
What, then, am I to conclude if they do not accept any information I try to provide them with? Should I conclude that I am not persuasive enough? Should I conclude that maybe my position is not as correct as I thought it was? Should I conclude they don’t want to learn due to reasons having nothing to do with the truth?
I use myself as an example, but please, I am not looking for any personal attacks or judgments. It’s just a starting point for the discussion. Please be kind. These are issues I struggle with. I am not malicious. I just don’t know what to do with issues I care passionately about where I believe people are willfully or negligently committing harm.
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.