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Many have me, yet none own me,

though I am never truly eliminated,

I am rid of through knowledge.

More widespread the more things are known,

What am I?

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  • $\begingroup$ "I am ridden of through knowledge," is not a typo, you get rid of it through knowledge. $\endgroup$ Mar 28 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ Ridden does not mean "got rid of". It's the past participle of ride (as in riding a horse). $\endgroup$
    – fljx
    Mar 30 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for pointing that out. I will change that to be grammatically correct. $\endgroup$ Mar 31 at 22:47

4 Answers 4

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You are...

Doubt.

Many have me, yet none own me,

It is common to have doubts, but the nature of being unsure means you can't even be sure of your doubt.

though I am never truly eliminated,

No one is omniscient; even the best-accepted scientific theories in the world can change if new evidence arises, and no one can truly know that none ever will.

I am ridden of through knowledge.

The more you learn, the more sure you are.

More widespread the more things are known,

Every new fact/discovery is another chance for someone to be unsure about it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for answering, and welcome to Puzzling Stack Exchange! $\endgroup$ Apr 1 at 0:09
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking more of along the lines of 'questions' but this answer is close enough/has the same meaning, so I would say that it is valid. $\endgroup$ Apr 1 at 0:35
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Are you

ignorance

Many have me, yet none own me,

You can have ignorance but no one can own ignorance.

though I am never truly eliminated,

You can't eliminate all ignorance in the world.

I am ridden of through knowledge.

Once you know something, you're no longer ignorant of it.

More widespread the more things are known,

The more things that are known, the more things there are to be ignorant of.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not quite, but that could also be a decent answer, if the wording of the riddle was slightly altered. $\endgroup$ Mar 28 at 4:01
2
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Maybe you are a

prejudice?

Many have me, yet none own me,

Many people have prejudices but they don't own them.

though I am never truly eliminated,

It may be hard to overcome a prejudice, especially an old one...

I am ridden of through knowledge.

...but the more you know the less you assume.

More widespread the more things are known,

There are more prejudices the more things you know.

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Are you a ...

rumour?

Explanation

Many have me, yet none own me,

Many people have rumours, but no single person actually "owns" a rumour

though I am never truly eliminated,

Despite clarifications, rumours cannot be 100% eliminated

I am ridden of through knowledge.

When awareness is available, rumours are set to rest

More widespread the more things are known,

The more widespread rumours are, the wilder they get (sometimes they change completely from the original message)

What am I?

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  • $\begingroup$ That's close, but not quite. I'll add a hint soon. $\endgroup$ Mar 28 at 13:54

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