There are two kinds of of people that the writer of Proverbs describes as fools. There are those who are merely ignorant but willing to be teachable, and then there are the ones who rebelliously deceive themselves because they refuse to acknowledge their own guilt. The first kind are worth spending time with in order to help them leave their folly behind. The latter type will typically waste the time of those attempting to help them. It is this second type of fool that Solomon warns us to avoid.
7 Stay away from fools,
for you won’t find knowledge on their lips.
8 The prudent understand where they are going,
but fools deceive themselves.
9 Fools make fun of guilt,
but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.
Proverbs 14:7–9 (NLT)
This type fool is very often highly educated, and intellectually quite gifted. This is in part what makes it so difficult for them to accept any kind of correction from anyone else. Ultimately, the obstacle for this type of person is an unwillingness to accept anything that they do not fully understand. This seems like a very rational approach to life but it eliminates the possibility of accepting the existence of God for two reasons. The first being, that there are many things about God that are impossible for us to fully understand, and the second, and possibly the greater hurdle, is that if they acknowledge the existence of God they would have to humble themselves and admit their guilt to Him. Perhaps this is why King David writes, “The fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God’” in Psalm 14:1. Interestingly God allows us to choose to reject Him in this manner, honoring our desire to not experience His presence. Only a fool would make that choice knowing the ramifications of it.