innocent ≠ naïve?

Select the correct answer.
a) Innocent ≠ Naïve
b) Innocent = Naïve
c) (Innocent ≠ Naïve) & (Innocent = Naïve) – an entire contradiction, I know

I was reading a Harry Potter fanfiction in which Hermione, along with 19 other virgins, sacrifice their virginity via this spell in order to create strong(er) wards to protect Hogwarts.

It just made me think about the whole innocence vs. naivety question. Are the two exclusive, independent? Or entirely co-dependent? Or, in fact, exactly the same?

It is obviously possible to be both naive and innocent, just as it is possible to be neither naive or innocent. But can you have one without the other?

I suppose it all depends on the definitions of ‘naive’ and ‘innocent’.

I think the definition of naivety is relatively straightforward: being inexperienced.

What about innocence, though? It seems to give an image of purity.

Is this purity virginity? If innocence is related to virginity, and to the absence of knowledge (and desire?) of sexual acts, than surely this innocence is simply a kind of naivety (or inexperience) with regards to specific acts.

Or is it purity on some kind of broader scope?

Maybe it is possible to lose all naivety of the world, yet still retain one’s innocence, since knowing about the world (both the joys and the horrors) does not necessarily elicit desires of any kind.

Yet surely, the knowledge itself already taints a person’s innocence. If a person who had never heard or thought of murder learnt about it, the action of murder already becomes more accessible to them even if they have no desire to kill. Is that not then a loss of innocence?

I have a feeling I’m just rambling pointlessly, and that this is one of those annoying questions in which there are only shades of gray.

I would, however, be curious to hear what you think. My conclusion is below:

Select the correct answer.
a) Innocent ≠ Naïve
b) Innocent = Naïve
c) (Innocent ≠ Naïve) & (Innocent = Naïve)
d) Innocent + hotdogs = ketchup on the floor – Naïve


About A.M. Harte

A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the post-apocalyptic Above Ground and the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.
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