What is the difference between innocence and ignorance?

Our lives are essentially a series of decisions. From beginning to end we’re make decisions that affect our life. I’ll dropout of college after this first semester. I’ll move into a new apartment with my girlfriend. I’ll invest in this new cryptocurrency thing I don’t really understand. All of these decisions mold the lives we live.

Every decision is a big decision because it drastically changes your life. The butterfly effect is an active part of our lives. So one decision like not brushing your teeth can lead to losing your job that same day. It all sounds crazy but we aim to make good decisions. And when we’re informed we can make innocent decisions. Not knowing things can lead to uninformed decisions.

But what’s the difference between being innocent and being ignorant? Here’s my what I think.

The difference between innocence and ignorance is a major one. Ignorance is not knowing something and essentially being uninformed. Innocence is being clean, doing the right things, and not being guilty. The important difference between them comes when we apply them to people’s actions.

When you make a decision to stop at a red light because you know the law says stop at red, that is an innocent decision. When you have no idea what the law is but you happen to stop at a red light, that is an ignorant decision. The results are exactly the same. But the difference is one action was deliberate.

We are innocent when we go out of our way to make the right choices. When you gather all the relevant information and ultimately decide to do the right thing, you’re acting in innocence. Ignorant people can’t make informed decisions and therefore are not acting with innocence. It’s simply a question of intentions.

This becomes tricky and really more critical when we speak on crimes. When someone does something wrong and they were informed they were breaking a law, they are guilty. They made an intentional bad decision. But how do we treat the people who do criminal actions like running a red light, but were never truly informed of the law to stop at red lights.

It’s important to stay informed with things in life so this doesn’t happen to us. But we won’t be able to know every little thing all the time. So ignorance happens to all of us sometimes. The most we can do is try to always use common sense, act with good intentions, and seek out information. This is the best we can do because it will always be an intentions versus actions situation.

When we talk about being innocent versus being guilty it’s a question of character. It’s a question of a person’s decision making process and how it led to their actions. We can’t have innocent decision making and thinking if we’re uninformed. Essentially, you can never be uninformed and genuinely guilty or innocent.

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