I like this word ignoranthropite, which appears to mean something like “a person who dwells in ignorance”. Of course, that’s pretty much all of us, and I don’t really see it as a synonym for being human, so what else might it mean?
As a rule I’m opposed to gratuitous ignorance-shaming. I strive to accept the fact that we are each of us more ignorant than knowledgeable, and I really think that of all the nasty ways to luck-shame someone, I think one of the nastiest is to shame someone for having failed to learn something yet. Examples of this sort of interpersonal cruelty abound:
- You should know how to manage your own finances!
- What? You mean you can’t even cook a souffle?
- Don’t you know better than to give your credit card number to someone who just calls you up and asks for it?
- You idiot!
- You moron!
- You dolt!
- You’ve never read The Great Gatsby! Did you even finish high school?
- Holy cow! When are you going to learn to drive?
- This is America, dammit — speak Navaho!
So I wouldn’t want this neologism to become a term of insult or disparagement, which suggests it should refer to some sort of temporary status. It is simply a word meant to convey a particular way of being human under particular sorts of circumstances. More specifically, it should probably describe a particular way of being ignorant, until such ignorance has been replaced with a particular kind of knowledge.
An ignoranthropite is a person who dwells for the time being in the specific and hopefully temporary ignorance of his or her own more general and utterly Human state of Ignorance.
In this sense, it appears to have an antonymous relationship to some kind of enlightenment. To the extent that enlightenment is an awareness of one’s own ignorance, then an ignoranthropite is one who has yet to achieve that type of enlightenment.
What do you think?