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Thread: If I know nothing can I be responsible for anything?

  1. #1

    Default If I know nothing can I be responsible for anything?

    If I know nothing can I be responsible for anything?

    Hogan's Heroes was an American television situation comedy that ran from 1965, to 1971. The show’s stage, a fictional account of Stalag 13, is situated in a German POW camp during the Second World War. The program featured Colonel Klink as the commandant of the camp and Hogan as the leader of the prisoners; Sergeant Schultz was the somewhat loveable and ever bumbling individual who was in charge of the prisoners. The prisoners were a crew of American and Allied prisoners who assisted Hogan in running a Special Operations group from the camp.

    The prisoners were continually concocting a brew of shenanigans designed to fool Klink. Schultz seemed to constantly stumble upon these prisoner designs as they were being prepared and to immediately turn his back, cover his eyes, and say “I know nothing”; so as to position him self as ignorant and thus blameless for anything that might happen.

    Sergeant Schultz constantly sought to have the excuse of ignorance of everything going on so that Colonel Klink would not send him to the Russian front should some of the prisoners escape.

    I think that many American citizens follow the logic of Sergeant Schultz; they cultivate and embrace a veil of ignorance to protect them selves from having to accept responsibility for anything that might happen.

    If I know nothing can I be blamed for anything?

  2. #2


    We humans remain ignorant because we want to be ignorant. To be ignorant is to consider one's self to be blameless for whatever happens. We are fearful of freedom. We think that freedom is a state of irresponsibility and ignorance shields us from responsibility.

    I do not think that this is in our genes but it is a result of the society that we have created.

    I think that we can create a better society and we must start by becoming self-actualizing self-learners and Critical Thinking independent fair-minded citizens.

  3. #3


    We can be responsible for choosing to know nothing, which means we knew something to begin with. This nullifies the validity of the question as it presupposes a state of total insensibility.

    If we are conscious, we are responsible.
    "There is no god; there is only us. Savage and fragile."

  4. #4
    Active Member Array Poki's Avatar
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    Dec 2008


    I have to admit I am guilty of this. I have never realized it until recently, but I will intentionally avoid knowledge about certain situations or things to keep what I have. I know that I question things I figure out so I leave them as questions and never proceed to validate the question in my mind. I end up playing with what I know and what I dont know to maintain internal consistency with what I believe.

  5. #5
    Protocol Droid Array Athenian200's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    Know Nothing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The expression is older than Schultz, actually...

  6. #6
    Your time is gonna come. Array Oom's Avatar
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    Mar 2009


    I think it all depends on context of what is happening. If you see a person get shot and do not help them, and just act as if you didn't see it when the authorities ask you. Then you are responsible for that person's death in part.

    Now, if we have a colony of humans that has grown on another planet unbeknown to us that just happens to get annihilated, are we truly responsible?

    Feigned ignorance may make you responsible, but true ignorance never should. On the flip side, if you are pushing yourself into true ignorance by the refusal of dissipating your own ignorance then you are responsible and are also feigning ignorance.

    It's like hearing rumors of infidelity among a group of friends but not asking about it because you don't want to be the one who didn't tell the person that was getting cheated on. After all, you didn't know!

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