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Although it is frequently heard that to be ignorant is to be stupid...once again, this equation doesn't hold up. One could say that stupidity has more to do with an absence of abilities (either in an absolute sense or in a relative sense of being uneducated).

Ignorance, however, has more to do with not paying attention to something which could be paid attention to...its root word is ignore. To ignore something has little to do with the ability to understand it. Therefore, the opposite of ignorance isn't intelligence...its awareness.

Lack of or diminished awareness can have its roots in just not knowing about it, being trained/conditioned to not pay attention, or simply the lack of desire to know. Whatever the source...the result is the same, ignorance (even though ability may be present or may be developed). One can never understand something that one ignores. Awareness can lead to fact, it is its prerequisite...but without any guarantees.