General Question

mehmetaydin3's avatar

Is ignorance really bliss?

Asked by mehmetaydin3 (112 points ) May 28th, 2009

It is said ignorance is bliss, in fact, knowing less than knowing more info makes you easier to please and happy in general. So what is your take on knowing more vs. being ignorant to actually feel happier?

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22 Answers

Grisaille's avatar

Of course.

I wish I had no idea of the great injustices of the world. I’d be a much happier person.

Is it beneficial to anyone but yourself, however? No.

dynamicduo's avatar

Ignorance IS bliss, in the sense that you’re so oblivious to the real way the world works that you can be satisfied with having the wool pulled over your eyes.

I was once oblivious. Very rarely, I wish I could go back to being oblivious, but only for a quick moment because I greatly prefer encountering the world with all of my tools (logic, rationality) versus ignorance. When you are ignorant, you have no opportunity to gain the upper hand in life. You can be controlled by others. You can be fed bullshit and not realize it smells bad.

AstroChuck's avatar

Duh… Yuppp.

mehmetaydin3's avatar

yes but when you are not ignorant, you can still be controlled by others, since the system itself does not allow upheaval. so what makes us be able to gain an upper hand when the system doesnt want us to? obviously not the truth itself (the truth will get you fired). so ignorance comes into role again i believe. some sort of twisted logic. which is not necessarily good in a truthful way.

cookieman's avatar

Absolutely.

I know many people like this. My friend “Bart” is the best example. He’s perfectly intelligent (an English professor in fact) but he chooses to not watch, read, or listen to the news at all. Will not discuss politics, religion or current events. Im fact, he’s mostly oblivious to current events.

He has his music and movies; plays basketball and hangs out with his wife. He is by far the happiest person I know. Nothing fazes him.

I’m sometimes jealous.

wundayatta's avatar

Isn’t ignorance ignorance?

Darwin's avatar

Ignorance is indeed just ignorance, but if you don’t know about something you can hardly fume over it or even try to change it.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know what some people do to children and elderly people. I would be happier. OTOH, since I do know I can try in my own small corner of the world to stop it.

oratio's avatar

@cprevite Me too. I’ve met people like that. Wish I would be like that sometimes. But it’s also quite egocentric though.

mehmetaydin3's avatar

I wish I could be like that. Instead I find that a lot of things, and the way life works really affects me in a way, where I’m constantly striving to be happy and having to force myself into ignorance, since I can’t save the world by myself.

Poser's avatar

For a while.

cwilbur's avatar

The entire quote is, “Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.” People (probably the ignorant and proud) remembered only the “ignorance is bliss” part.

zephyr826's avatar

I don’t think it is. I feel that, though I may not be happy all the time, I feel that my happiness, when it occurs, is far more genuine and deeper because I know about all the misery in the world.

mattbrowne's avatar

Sometimes, yes. The best example is the placebo effect.

oratio's avatar

@mattbrowne And the bad example is the nocebo.

ratboy's avatar

I’m happy.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Nope, I’ve tried dropping out and going deaf, dumb and blind but it didn’t bring any bliss.

Jeruba's avatar

Explanation of the quote in one of several prior threads on this topic is here, if you’re interested. A search on “ignorance is bliss” will bring up other similar threads.

Magnus's avatar

No, not at all.
It’s the proverb I hate the most.

I’ll give it to Dr. King on this one: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

YARNLADY's avatar

It can be. I’m reminded of the guy with headphones on, walking down the railroad tracks. They said he died with a big smile on his face.

Jeruba's avatar

@cprevite, lurve for spelling “fazes” correctly.

mattbrowne's avatar

@oratio – Yes, when it comes to the nocebo effect, ignorance is a curse.

OneBadApple's avatar

I never heard about this…..

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