“Ignorance Is Bliss”, this statement can be true or false. Take an ignorant individual with a below-average lifestyle, although that person is in need of money he or she can find happiness. Being ignorant has many downsides such as not being aware of the current economy, being unemployed, or not being aware of a hazardous disease in their area.
Being knowledgeable brings a variety of qualities such as success along with happiness. An individual that has plenty of money, a steady job, obviously successful finds happiness. Anyone can be bliss, no matter how much money they do or don’t have. It is completely up to the fools or knowledgeable individuals whether to be happy or miserable. Happiness can be found in any person, for example, happiness can be only food to eat every day and a loving wife for an ignorant person.
Ignorance is unwanted because it only takes one uneducated loser to cause a disaster. The more ignorant people that just don’t care, and are not knowledgeable about anything the worse society will become. Unemployment is a common plight found in ignorance that does not bring happiness to anyone including the successful people.
Obtuse individuals are completely unaware of the economy or even who they voted for. A candidate for presidency can simply say “vote for me because I will fix the problems that America is dealing with such as the economy” ignorant people can easily figure that this guy knows what he is deliberately planning, which is to fix the economy.
Barack Obama is a good example because what has he fixed…… nothing but he is the United States of America’s current president because many ignorant people votes for him. Less and less great minds have been seen because the majority of our population is ignorant. Bad presidents, unemployment are all caused by not caring individuals who does not bring happiness.
Successful money-makers undoubtedly find happiness, the New York Times did a survey that proved that knowledgeable people are…
In my paper, I explain the reasons that the phrase “ignorance is bliss” is true. I also explain how “knowledge is power,” and why this is also true. I elaborate on why I believe the second part of my paradox is the truest and how other philosophers might agree and disagree with me.
Isn’t it strange that we say “ignorance is bliss” and “what we don’t know won’t hurt us”, but at the same time ignorance is looked at as being a bad thing and “knowledge is power?” The men in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” were tied up in a cave for their entire lives. They were not upset or angry that they were tied up because they were ignorant of the world outside of that cave. This wasn’t tortured to them; it was life as they knew it. What was in front of them was all that existed. But once one of them saw the real world and learned more of the truth, he realized how bad it was before. This scenario can be related to today using the aforementioned phrases.
The men in Plato’s fictional cave were happy with their lives before learning the truth of the outside world. Bound up since childhood, their arms and legs had grown accustomed to the restraints and were not sore and their eyes were well adjusted to the dark environment of the cave. To other people, these men in the cave were prisoners but in the minds of the men, they were not. These men are similar to infants in that they also do not have the ability to move well and their eyes are not fully developed.
Infants have similar perceptions of the world: dark, shadowy figures, and unclear, echoed sounds. Their idea of the world would have been monistic. According to Palmer (2011), “Monism [is] the view that there is only one reality or only one kind of thing that is real” (p. 113). What you see is what you get, so in their case ignorance really was bliss.
These men that spent their lives in the cave had been seeing what Plato refers to as images. What they were seeing wasn’t the real object, but having only seen these shadow figures, in their minds they were the real object making the movements and noises they were experiencing. “Shadows and reflections are the examples Plato offers us of images.
They are dependent on the sensible objects of which they are images. The shadow of a tree is for Plato less real than the tree because the tree lasts longer than the shadow and because the tree can exist without the shadow, but the shadow can’t exist without the tree” (Palmer, 2011, p. 44). Clearly, Plato felt that shadows were only images.
In another part of “Allegory of the Cave” Socrates tells Glaucon that maybe the men in the cave have a game to which the players tried to most accurately guess which shadow would appear on the wall next. “Do you think [the freed man] would want what they have, and envy them their honors and positions of power?” (Republic, Book VII, 516d). The chained men in the cave would have been very proud of their shadow guessing abilities, but the freedman after returning to the cave would not have cared about knowing what the shadows really were.
The status of the prisoners to themselves would have been high and the freedman would be lower than before his release. The opposite is true from the perspective of the freedman. He would have thought that the men in the cave were lower than him. The ignorance of the prisoners would have brought them bliss. The very same goes for the freedman. Even though he has moved up a level, he is still ignorant of many things that he does not know.
This brings up another question: Would the prisoners even be able to comprehend what the freedman was trying to tell them about the outside world? If the freedman had the chance to share his experiences with the prisoners, I don’t think the men would even recognize the freed man’s voice. His dialogue would have changed so drastically that he might as well have been speaking another language.
On the other hand, ignorance is not a good thing. This is what I believe Plato is trying to communicate to the reader. As we grow and age, we also become educated through our own perceptions of the world or through revelations. It helps me to think that everyone has a certain level of ignorance, and the higher the level a person achieves (higher level for less ignorance), the better life seems as it is now, and the worse it seems as it was before. The freedman from the cave saw the outside world and realized how empty his life was before…
He moved up a level of knowledge and was no longer happy with his life before freedom. From that point on he can never go back to his original blissful state chained down inside the cave. He then started to wonder what else is out there and his need for knowledge compounded “Suppose he was to recall his first dwelling place, and the wisdom there, and his fellow prisoners then. Wouldn’t he think himself happy in the change, and pity them?” (Republic, Book VII, 516c). This is why I believe the saying, “knowledge is power,” is true.
In my opinion, without being able to see the truth of the real world, the men are unable to think beyond what is directly in front of them. Their world is not only literally, but also figuratively, two dimensional. “Allegory of the Cave” never states clearly whether or not the men can see each other, but I believe that Plato meant for them to not be able to see anything but the shadows cast upon the wall.
I believe that if the men were to see a three-dimensional object (a person, a tree, etc.) they would have obtained enough knowledge through reason to deduce that the shadows aren’t objects, but merely images of objects they cannot see. Eventually, they would be able to presume that there are more real objects to experience, and from that, they would move up a level and become prisoners in their own minds.
“Allegory of the Cave” reminds me of Descartes’s evil genius hypothesis. The hypothesis states that the evil genius is the person or people casting the shadows on the wall of the cave and never revealing the truth about the world to the prisoners. The prisoners only see what the evil genius shadow makers want them to see. I feel like the only thing keeping the men in the cave from thinking like Descartes and creating a scenario about an evil genius is that they cannot see each other. The very minimum these men need to start rationalizing is to have a glimpse of something three dimensional.
After much debate in my own mind, I believe that the second part of my paradox is truer than the first part, especially in the case of the prisoners in “Allegory of the Cave.” I would think that in life it would be better to know as much as possible and to continue to strive to gain more knowledge than it would be to always believe that there is nothing more in existence than myself, the wall in front of me, and the shadows moving on the wall. I believe Plato would agree with me here. “Do you think [the freed man] would want what [the prisoners] have, and envy them their honors and positions of power?
Or would he feel, as Homer has it, that he would much prefer to be the slave of a landless man and suffer anything at all, rather than believe those things and live that life? Yes, [Glaucon] said, I think he would suffer anything rather than accept that life” (Republic, Book VII, 516d). In this passage, I believe that Plato is really inferring the importance of knowledge.
Is ignorance really bliss or is ignorance a bad thing? In a way, it is good to live a life believing everything in front of you is all that exists. You have all you need and nothing more to bother your mind with, like wild thoughts of truth and existence.
However, I think to truly have a blissful life, one needs to be able to see some truth and strive for more knowledge. Obviously, Plato believes that knowledge is the essence of life. But what do I know? Maybe we are all tied down with our heads restrained watching a wall of shadows and we are not even aware of what is going on around us.
Would that be such a bad thing? According to Plato, yes, it would be. I also think it would be a bad thing, and I do believe that “knowledge is power.” Who wants to spend their existence chained to a wall, seeing only what someone wants you to see? The prisoners, however, did not know that these were the circumstances they were living in, and I would imagine they knew there was nothing more and maybe even enjoyed their life. Perhaps this is why ignorance truly is bliss.
They say that it is better to not know certain things as they will only give you more hassle. But what is that proverb ‘Hope for the best, prepare for the worst’ then for? Has ignorance ever given a person something that he could have gotten by knowing? Take Hurricanes for instance: hurricanes are dangerous, they destroy everything even humans.
What the government does is that, in order to make people aware, they declare the state of emergency or ask people to start packing and leave the place in advance. Now it is definitely not easy to evacuate your house and find another place to settle. It absolutely gives you pain thinking about leaving your house and everything behind and not knowing where to go next. A different thing state can do is stop warning people of hurricanes and let them live their normal life without thinking about the future.
Which one would have been better? Of course, the first one because a person’s safety and life are above everything. Ignorance is a lie that will give you pleasure but only for a short period of time whereas true knowledge of things is like the truth that might upset you at times but will make life easier.
An ignorant person does not fit in this 21st century. We live in an era totally different from our ancestors’ age. We, humans of this globe, are connected to each other. Even our countries run through interdependency. No person can imagine living without having knowledge of his neighbor or friend.
From the past few months, Jerusalem has been in the news. President Donald Trump of America some weeks ago in his speech in Washington declared Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel. The president of America made this statement ignoring the consequences. The decision of president trump seems only to damage the Israel-Palestine relationship more. 128 countries in the UN voted in favor of the UN General Assembly resolution draft rejecting America’s President Decision.
Also, the University of Maryland Critical Issues released a poll on December 1st according to which 63% of Americans opposed moving the embassy to Jerusalem, including 44% of Republicans. Had the world and countries been ignorant of this matter, the consequences would have been different and the conflicts would have been deadly.
Similarly, it is our ignorance towards the matter of Syria that children are dying of hunger there on a daily basis. Syria is paying the cost of the world’s lack of understanding of it. Stephen Shepherd of the University of Waterloo and Aaron C. Kay of Duke University in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that ‘Ignorance breed more Ignorance and that Ignorance about a certain issue leads to dependence on other which in turn leads to higher trust in government, during which the subject avoids the information about the issue’.
Ignorance can either be intentional or unintentional but both stand dangerously in terms of health. According to the agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s report ‘In America from 2006-2010, excessive alcohol use resulted in “approximately 88,000 deaths’’. This is the alarming result of intentional ignorance as even the educated and intellectual people turn blind eye to the perils of alcohol. Now consider a person with diabetes- a threatening disease, if not measured, can, in turn, cause more diseases like heart disease, kidney failure, eye disorder, etc.
What would be better for that person? To become alert to all the facts of the disease, adopt measures to stabilize his health or stay ignorant and save himself from the heavy pills, insulin, and injections? Apparently, the former!
In short in terms of health, not Ignorance but Information is bliss.
Perhaps ignorance of a thing can sometimes save us from the pressure of a particular thing but knowledge itself can prevent that particular thing from happening. Be it towards a disease, an issue, religion, race, or people, ignorance is never bliss but a curse in today’s world. Instead of closing our eyes and rejecting the situation, we should reflect on it and work to turn it into an opportunity.
Example #4 – Ignorance is bliss. Agree or disagree?
“As hunger is cured by food, so ignorance is cured by study.” said a Chinese author.
Some people might think that being ignorant will bring happiness because they will have a peaceful mind by doing nothing to their circumstances. But I do not agree with the statement “Ignorance is bliss”. Being human, we have to realize that there is always room for improvement. As we strive to be a better person, we could make things better for others too.
For example, Jonas Salk, the scientist who conquered Polio was worried because, in 1916, there were 9000 people suffered from polio (polio attack people muscle, making and walking difficult). Because Jonas was not an ignorant person, he was determined to stop the disease from harming more people.
He runs a fundraising program called March of Dimes to fight polio. Less than two years after he got the grant, he had a vaccine that protected Americans against polio. From his story, I learned that if we care enough about others and willing to advance our knowledge, instead of being ignorant; we could make a positive effect not only on ourselves but also on our community.
Another example would be the story of Nelson Mandela, the first Black President of South Africa. Nelson was frustrated by how he and other blacks were being treated. They were paid low wages for working in dangerous gold mines and other hard jobs. In 1942 Nelson studied hard and become a lawyer.
Nelson fought hard for equal rights. He was put in jail for 27 years and finally black South African gained more rights. In 1994, Nelson was elected president of South Africa. Nelson Mandela had shaken the tree of South Africa and changes the world. Studying about the Mandela story, I am assured we should gain knowledge instead of being ignored in order to help people.
Ignorance is simply insensitivity or lack of education and can be cured only by the study. Both Jonas Stalk and Nelson Mandela have compassion and studied hard to make other people live better. The dream of Jonas Stalk came true when polio was conquered and Mandela’s dream came true when blacks have equal rights. I am assured that when their dreams finally came true they had true happiness or bliss.
Ignorance is certainly bliss. Oedipus had been living a lie his whole life. He was raised by people who weren’t even his real parents and didn’t know of his origins. Maybe that was a good thing. When Oedipus invites Treaties over to talk about Alias’ death, Treaties refuses to tell Oedipus anything.
Treaties then say “This day will give you a father, and break your heart. ” (Sophocles, Peg. 24) Because Oedipus doesn’t know anything about his true family, he curses at Treaties. Oedipus sends Treaties away in a fit of rage.
Why won’t Treaties tell me anything? The less Oedipus knows the better. Oedipus soon finds out the information needed to continue with the curse he put on the man who murdered King Alias. When Oedipus realized that he may have committed the very crime he is trying to solve, he says “l think that I myself may be accurate by my own ignorant edict. ” (Peg. 40) Here, he even finds himself ignorant. Oedipus was unknowing of many things prior to this discovery; one which was who did it. Who killed Alias? When he found out it was himself it all fell into place.
Oedipus killed his father and was sleeping with/had children with his mother. Ignorance was the only way for him. Ignorance was the best way. “It was said that the boy would kill his own father,” said the Shepherd. (Peg. 64) Here was where Oedipus knew that he was the killer of his own father and that the prophecy had come true. If Oedipus had not known about the prophecy, this would’ve never happened. He would’ve never left Corinth. He would’ve never kill King Alias. He would’ve never gone to Thebes and taken over asking.
This whole book was based on f knowing too much and that is why ignorance, for Oedipus, would’ve been bliss. Ignorance is certainly bliss. When you said in class that we, as students, were in this book, didn’t want to believe it. But too was ignorant. And it was bliss; at least at first.
I didn’t know what this book had to offer and how it relates to my life and the lives around me. It shows me that we all are Oedipus in some way. Some are leaders. Some are full of questions. And some, like me, are ignorant Though ignorance is bliss, so is knowledge. And having a little bit Of both is better.
Whether or not ignorance is bliss will depend upon a number of factors? Firstly the definition of ignorance is lack of knowledge. If you are about to walk into an exam room this is definitely not a state of bliss. It can refer to choosing to be ignorant of something, as when one partner in a marriage ignores signs that the other has embarked upon a relationship with a third party. They convince themselves that all is well.
They have no real proof that it isn’t, but the facts are there and they nag at the back of their minds. There is certainly no bliss in such a position.
If however you have tucked your skirt into your panties or, in the case of males, failed to tuck everything away after a visit to the bathroom, as long as no one tells you will be quite happy, but the embarrassment when you discover the truth makes up for the peace of ignorance.
Yet as the song by Living Colour says:-‘You see…Ignorance is bliss. Problem solved with just one kiss’ The same writer goes on to say ‘Ignorance is no excuse’ – the reference is to crime. Ignorance of the law is not a valid reason in court – They’ll still hang you, as they used to say. So in legal terms, ignorance isn’t bliss.
There will be occasions when it is better not to know something perhaps – the bad news that is put off for a while. But then there are other occasions, such as when you see a bargain in the sales and ignore the fact that it was created by children working in a sweatshop. This though isn’t true ignorance – it is in the papers, it soon the news such as the 2007 report about children in Thai sweatshops from Mark Osborn of Ethical Threads – but the dress or trainers or whatever look really good and the price is amazing, so it’s convenient to be ignorant. That, however, does not make it right.
Example #7 – Interesting Ideas
The new, critically updated, all-inclusive, final definition of ‘Knowledge’;
“‘Knowledge’ is ‘that which is perceived’!”
That which is perceived by the unique individual Perspective is ‘knowledge’.
All we can ‘know’ is what we perceive, Now! and Now! and Now!!!
‘Ignorance’ is that which is NOT perceived, at any particular moment, by any particular unique Perspective!
Now that you know what Knowledge and ignorance are, class, we know that;
When we do not perceive the truck bearing down upon us, we are ‘blissfully ignorant’.
The moment we perceive the truck, like when it comes into a range of perception, or hits us, ‘blissful ignorance’ becomes very painful ‘knowledge’! A whole new Perspective!
There is great value in Pain, so I’m not talking about it as if it were ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ or ‘wrong’…
I think a lot of religious people find comfort in their willful ignorance of responsibility. This is why you inevitably hear people saying they give it up to Jesus, or they thank god when something good happens or say that God has a plan when something bad happens. But religion has always hinged on fear of death, and the ability to reason away that which cannot be.
False. Ignorance is dangerous. Ignorance counts for a great deal of stupidity and that in turn leads to many forms of pain, suffering, and misery.
That said, knowledge could also lead to the same end.
Remember that Ignorance is conjoined with Awareness, which is directly related to Knowledge. The definition of ignorance is lack of knowledge. With Knowledge, one acquires more Awareness of self, others, and the environment. For example, Tarzan of the Jungle was from a developed white civilization yet was not mature enough to have developed his education, etc. and grew up in a “foreign environment” having no knowledge/awareness of his origin.
Then he crosses the path of Great White Hunters from which he learns about the world outside of The Jungle, which was his ONLY frame of reference. He travels to New York and finds a completely different ‘world’ than what he knows, yet he is aware that this is where ‘his people’ came from. It’s not all the materialism that entrances him, it is the Advancement of Human-Technology that blows him away.
Sure, it was blissful to be King of The Jungle, but not after having a newfound Awareness of his own Human Potential. ~ Another example; Most have seen the video of the Tsunami and the person walking on the beach who has no idea(ignorance) that they are to be swept away as they stroll the beach blissfully. Wouldn’t you rather know the wave is coming and have a chance to fight to survive?
Sometimes not being aware of danger can make an activity very appealing and highly satisfying when it is carried out successfully.
e.g. A prank: Throwing rotten eggs at people on the last day of school. It can be amusing to the individual pulling the prank who most probably does not know that there is a danger associated with it. What happens if the egg hits someone in their eye? A person can lose sight in the eye which was hit. However, if the danger was never known beforehand and if the prank is successful and no one gets hurt then you can say ignorance is bliss.
A stunt: Watching someone perform a stunt and not realizing it was done in a controlled environment than going out and trying it on their own. It can have serious consequences if it goes badly however if the person pulled it off successfully they are very pleased with their actions even though they were unaware of the hidden danger.
A challenge: Let’s see who has the fastest time roller-blading down a hill. Without thinking everyone starts off together down the hill at a furious pace without analyzing how they will be able to stop at the bottom. If by some chance they are successful then ignorance is bliss.
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