February 4, 2010

On How You Cannot Argue With an Ignorant Person (St. Isidore of Pelusium)

By St. Isidore of Pelusium 
(Letter 322 - To Timotheos)

Just as it is not safe to travel through an uninhabited land with a belligerent person, so it is not very easy to have an educated conversation with an ignorant person. The former will unleash his full force on you when you are alone if something is said or done not to his liking, while the latter, unless everything said is dumbed down to his lack of education, will single out for disgrace and ridicule everyone intelligent in the world, including learned philosophers and virtue-loving men. Frequently, people’s lack of letters tends to spread and at the current time you will find it preeminent everywhere. Even the Church is not without its share of it as well as the State and even the Empire itself cannot be governed without it. Because of this, our troubles grow and the spirit of slavery has taken hold through the empire. So be very patient with the unlearned person, because you gladly abstain from the mindless, being mindful of our Lord.