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stanleybmanly's avatar

Is ignorance really bliss?

Asked by stanleybmanly (23814points) 1 month ago

Is there any truth to the adage that “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”? How about its opposite—“knowledge is power”? Or is that its opposite?

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16 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Ignorance is bliss within reason. Sometimes knowing too much can be paralyzing. At the same time knowing too little can mean making an uniformed decision that can get you into trouble. There needs to be a balance.

I guess some people can have all the knowledge and decipher what is really worth worrying about and what isn’t and just handle all the information well.

Take politics. I think a lot of people I know would do much better turning off the TV and the social media and ignoring politics for a couple of years until the next election.

In business and careers people who are persistent and ignore some of the risks or even unaware of the risks and push forward are usually successful. At the same time you need to have some knowledge about what you are doing and risking to not spin your wheels at something impossible.

rebbel's avatar

“Oh, I had no idea that that red thing on the wall was a fire extinguisher”, said the employee after the garage burnt down.

“I’m the master of the animal kingdom, I’m knowledgeable on all creatures, big and small, I know them inside and out”, said Steve Irwin, before he jumped into the ocean.

mazingerz88's avatar

As long as not knowing something and whatever its consequences were didn’t bite me in the end, I think yes, I would consider it a bliss. I waste too much time thinking and worrying about things I don’t have the power to change.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It depends.

AK's avatar

No. Lack of information can lead to anxiety and affects decision making. If a person is ignorant and doesn’t care about it, maybe then it could be ‘bliss’ to them but if the person is self aware, it is a nightmare scenario. Take our latest pandemic as an example. All of us were ignorant about how and when the virus was going to affect us. (we’re still largely ignorant about what the future holds but at least we have some info). Some of us were anxious about the situation and tried to learn as much as possible about it, to take better precautions. Some of us didn’t care about it and were happy to waltz around the city mask-less, laughing at people who were anxious. So, the waltzers were in bliss I guess….but the rest weren’t, despite being equally ignorant.

KNOWITALL's avatar

That’s a deep question.
How do we ever smile knowing babies are raped every day or someone is being murdered every few minutes?
We each have to find a balance that works for us.

Honestly I feel bad sometimes telling people actual news, like Germany voting against the waiver or Covid destroying India.
Real life can be hard to process but ignoring it isn’t an option, for me anyway.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@rebbel and your point is…?

The Steve Iwrin example is more about narcissism than knowledge, which doesn’t seem related to the matter.

Zaku's avatar

Simplification tends to omit information.

If ignorance is bliss, it is an ignorant bliss. And it doesn’t last forever.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I think in some instances where great leaps of Faith occurred to spur on a person with a new idea that eventually worked.

In that vein I think that people wouldn’t venture out to challenge things to promote change for the better.

If they knew ALL of the things that could go wrong I would that would prevent them going forward perhaps?

The Wright Brothers attempts at Flying maybe one example, plus other inventors kept trying until they got it right.

kritiper's avatar

Because Murphy’s Law is ALWAYS in effect!

Dutchess_III's avatar

If there isn’t a damn thing you can do about the fact that your favorite aunt was a Nazi sympathizer in WWII, what’s the point of knowing and irreparably harming your relationship.

ucancallme_Al's avatar

Consider the humble wildebeest.
It has no idea of the neon sign plastered across it’s arse alerting all predators of the EASY MEAL on offer.


filmfann's avatar

I used to say I’d rather be a farmer, because all their worries are their own.
They don’t worry about India.
Or China.
Or Russia.

They worry about the weather.
And soy bean values.
And how long the tractor will run.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If some government imposes sanction and restrictions on the importation of the farmer’s produce then they worry.

elbanditoroso's avatar

One person’s ignorance is another person’s selectivity.

What is ignorance? I think it is so amorphous as to be undefinable.

anniereborn's avatar

I miss being ignorant of so many things. Like when I was a kid. Damn, do I ever miss that.

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