Author Topic: Ignorance=Happiness?  (Read 468 times)

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Offline orpat

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Ignorance=Happiness?
« on: July 11, 2012, 02:21:37 PM »
Are ignorant people happier? People who don't know or don't want to see the reality, are they happier? And are they justified in their happiness?

Also those people who know the reality, but still prefer to ignore the truth, are they justified in their stance?

From my personal opinion, the answer to all the above is yes.

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 02:33:54 PM »
Ignorance is bliss, but so is knowledge. That's my view.
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Offline Boots

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 02:36:09 PM »
Interesting question.  I say that I agree with the OP re: 'happiness.'  Howver, I believe that knowledge/wisdom leads to fulfillment.  This will probably include happiness (but not necessarily).

An ignoramus may be happier than me, but I doubt he's more satisfied.
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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 02:46:25 PM »
According to the Bable, all of Adam & Eve's problems started when they gained knowledge of good and evil.  Seems pretty definitive to me that ignorance is bliss.  ;)
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Offline Nick

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 03:08:25 PM »
At 1st I thought you were describing Republicans but then you said "happy" and that won't fit.

I guess like dogs.  They are happy and glad to see you even when you are unappreciative of them.
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Offline boobatuba

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 03:27:52 PM »
At 1st I thought you were describing Republicans but then you said "happy" and that won't fit.

I guess like dogs.  They are happy and glad to see you even when you are unappreciative of them.

Aw. There's a few happy Republicans. Just not the batshit insane fundie ones. Which, I suppose, describes most of them.

Offline oogabooga

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 05:17:13 AM »
I don't know. It may depend on the 'knowledge'. Choosing to be ignorant about actual information on disease treatment can lead to severe unhappiness, when it turns out it's too late to treat anything. In certain personal cases not knowing something might lead to less unhappiness, but not happiness as such, at least in my opinion. Would you be happier in a marriage not knowing your spouse is cheating on you? I think the answer to that is no. You'd be just as happy as you'd be if he or she wasn't cheating. Not knowing wouldn't increase your happiness, it would just decrease unhappiness - and even that is only in potentia. Since you can't possibly predict what's going to happen to you even in the near, let alone distant future, knowing something that would make you temporarily unhappy could lead to increased happiness later on. And vice versa, of course.

The same goes for a lot of knowledge out there. Not realising something is wrong may make you happy now, but when shit hits the proverbial fan it could make you far more unhappy.

Then there's a problem with happiness. Some people are actually happy when they're seemingly miserable, some are happier knowing stuff, even if it's bad, some feel happy sticking their heads in the sand. I believe happiness is far too subjective to reduce it to 'ignorance is bliss' or its opposite. 
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Offline stuffin

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 12:53:15 PM »
According to the Bable, all of Adam & Eve's problems started when they gained knowledge of good and evil.  Seems pretty definitive to me that ignorance is bliss.  ;)

Maybe you're onto something there.

"Stay ignorant and you will stay happy" could just well be the message the bible is sending.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 02:10:47 PM »
According to the Bible, all of Adam & Eve's problems started when they gained knowledge of good and evil.  Seems pretty definitive to me that ignorance is bliss.  ;)

It is if, like Adam and Eve, you live in a place where you are immortal and everything is provided for you. But in reality if you are ignorant you are reliant on intelligent people to take care of you. That's the problem, ignorant people don't see it that way. They see themselves as independent and self reliant and yet their entire world is propped up by the paraphernalia that intelligent people have provided for them so that they can exist in relative comfort. Cars, central heating, TV, medicines, etc.

If these things were taken away they would soon discover that ignorance is not bliss at all.
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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 02:27:30 PM »
Isn't the entire world of intelligent people also is propped up by the paraphernalia that low intelligence intelligent people have worked on production lines so as to provided for them so that they can exist in relative comfort. Cars, central heating, TV, medicines, etc?

I live for a while in one of the poorest countries of the world. The people were basically just in the Bronze Age. One day, a friend of mine stopped and said, "You know? If there were a complete disaster, 90% of these people would survive. They have nothing and they have nothing to lose. Think of any major city in the West, "Electricity and fuel stop; water stops; the shops have no food, housing collapses... how would you survive? These people would survive."

He was right.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 02:36:19 PM »
Isn't the entire world of intelligent people also is propped up by the paraphernalia that low intelligence intelligent people have worked on production lines so as to provided for them so that they can exist in relative comfort. Cars, central heating, TV, medicines, etc?



Yes. But intelligent people know it and don't see intelligence as a bad thing and don't think that being ignorant is a good thing.
"Atheism is not a mission to convert the world. It only seems that way because when other religions fall away, atheism is what is left behind".

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2012, 11:43:09 PM »
This question reminds me of the book "Flowers for Algernon" and how Charlie's perspective changed as his IQ increased.  If I remember right he seemed much less content as he became more intelligent.
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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2012, 12:27:21 AM »
This question reminds me of the book "Flowers for Algernon" and how Charlie's perspective changed as his IQ increased.  If I remember right he seemed much less content as he became more intelligent.

On a lower-brow level, relevant Futurama clip:

Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Offline Astreja

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2012, 12:29:29 AM »
I prefer a more proactive approach to happiness, as spelled out in the research of psychologist Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi.  Apparently the secret is to become deeply involved in an activity, so much so that the hours fly by.

Gaining knowledge might initially make one unhappy, and perhaps also bored, frustrated and indecisive because so many possibilities open up all at once.  If you move beyond that by discarding superfluous interests and concentrating your efforts on things that you care passionately about, the happiness starts to return.
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Offline oogabooga

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2012, 03:10:03 AM »
This question reminds me of the book "Flowers for Algernon" and how Charlie's perspective changed as his IQ increased.  If I remember right he seemed much less content as he became more intelligent.
I do understand what you mean, but I'm not really sure it's relevant. Charlie was retarded, not ignorant. He was incapable of understanding new and complex information, something that changed with his increasing IQ. Here we're actually talking about people with 'normal' IQ who are simply ignorant or unaware of certain things. I'm not sure Charlie falls into that category, but it could certainly become the foundation for a completely new path for this discussion. 

Love the book, though, and I'm glad you brought it up, since I haven't read it in ages. I guess I'll have to rectify that.  :)
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Offline Humanoid

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Re: Ignorance=Happiness?
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2012, 05:15:22 PM »
Are ignorant people happier? People who don't know or don't want to see the reality, are they happier? And are they justified in their happiness?

Also those people who know the reality, but still prefer to ignore the truth, are they justified in their stance?

From my personal opinion, the answer to all the above is yes.

This reminds me of a time when I was christian. I wrote to first page of my bible "Truth will set you free". And I was totally happy with the truth I had there. Knew nothing better and ignored the whole bunch of evidence and reasoning. So yes.. it is more easy to be happy if you don´t quite see the whole picture.

Then again. The truth did finally set me free. And now I am happier when I see the whole picture. I guess it is about where and in which context you feel yourself safe. Church can be the most safe place.. inside that tight group you will never face the doubt alone. Of course to me now it is a lie.. but at those times being inside church it didn´t feel as a lie.