What exactly is "invincible ignorance"?


I see this term thrown around a lot when discussing salvation of non-Catholics, so what exactly does it mean?




It means that a person does know or did not have the possibility of knowing something. It must include that the person did not have the ability of knowing. It does not include a person who made a choice not to know or learn something when it was possible for them to do so. It also does not include the person who had knowledge of something, but rejected it

  1. Lack of knowledge for which a person is not morally responsible.

  2. What you feel like you’ve encountered after a couple of hours posting at CARM.


LOL! :smiley:

Are you sure what your feeling is not commonly called a “headache”?


My general impression was that rejecting it might fall under invincible ignorance if they had been so prejudiced against the truth before learning it that they were incapable of learning the truth. For example, it would be very difficult for a muslim living in Saudi Arabia to accept the teachings of Christianity because they have grown up being instructed that the Christian beliefs are false.



If you were my two-year-old (dang, it’s been 32 years since I’ve had a two-year-old), and I don’t tell you not to touch the stove, because it’s hot, and you touch it and burn your grubhook, that’s not your fault, because I didn’t tell you. That’s invincible ignorance.

If you know to reach out and feel the air around something before you touch it, to get a sense of what the temperature is, but you don’t–you just reach out and touch the stove and burn your grubhook, that’s vincible ignorance (you didn’t know how hot the stove was, but you knew how to find out, and you didn’t). That is your fault.

If I carefully point to the stove and say, “That’s hot! Burn the baby!”, and you reach out and touch it anyway, and burn your grubhook, that’s purantee rebellion, and you might well get a spanking, besides a burned grubhook.

Don’t you just love being my two-year-old? :smiley:

DaveBj (who has touched or grabbed his share of hot things)


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