Thousands of people are dying every day. It would be no trouble to help them but few do. I don't.
There is always a war going on on this planet, usually several. Many species go extinct each day.
Microsoft dominates the OS market and has the largest market share for web browsers.

Don't you wish you'd never read this node?

Let's just pretend nothing bad ever happens. That way we'll always be happy. To quote somebody I know, "the Devil is a bad thing so you shouldn't believe in him." (but he says you should believe in God) Great. Do you also deny the existence of murderers, rapists, &c?

Learn to handle the truth.

On January 21, 2000, Reuters reported that Justin Kruger and David Dunning had released the results of a study that answered a question many of us have asked ourselves: do the incompetent (or conceptually retarded) realize that they are?
They found that people who are ignorant in a given area (they tested things like logic, grammar, and sense of humor!) tended to over-rate their abilities, while people who actually had some competency or knowledge in the field of inquiry tended to much more accurately assess their skill level. In other words, "Incompetents lack the basic skills to evaluate their performance realistically."
So the next time you wonder, "Does that guy really think he's funny?"...

Pity him. He doesn't know.

Or envy the unselfconcious. And hope your ego doesn't deceive you.
Don't worry about me. I'm in the know more often than not. No, for me, ignorance is embodied by my little sisters than their crowd of brainless teeny bopper brat friends. Middle schoolers, high schoolers, heck, almost the entire nation's youth, are ignorant and proud of it.

Seriously, what other age group has ignorance so far saturated into it that the people can actually be proud of their negligible state of existence? Ignoring little kids (for they are kids), these middle schoolers and high schoolers demand rights and respect, and yet that act like a bunch of fools, denying responsibility. Rights come with responsibilities, and these teenage dimwits, ignoring the fact that they're already probably more privileged than 90% of the world's youth, complain about their parents, comparing them to the Gestapo, and all the while ask for pocket money from their "Nazi parents" and a later curfew.

All this while they are sunk into some inane notion that their life is "real life", and they are "adults". The more spoilt the brats are the more they think that they deserve the rights of adults and the carefreeness of a child. It cannot happen. While my little sisters and their pseudo-friends gossip all day long about boy bands, makeup, plastic surgery and sex, the guys at their pathetic school (which I had to endure for two years) brag about their imagined sexual and drug exploits. Do sensible adults do this? I think not.

Thus convinced that their meaningless existence is what the real world is like (it is all MTV, MTV is evil), they demand all sorts of impossible demands on my parents. More money. 3am curfew. Why can't I do drugs, I am a responsible adult?!? What kind of evil hellspawn has MTV created this time?

I'm sure parents here like dannye know what I'm talking about here. My parents are both too exhausted dealing with half of my sisters' stupidity, when they give up they foist them both off to me, and really, the idiocy of these teeny bopper fools is pretty amazing sometimes.

Real life? Real life is about being popular and making lots of friends!

College is for stupid people who think too much.

This is, IMHO, stupidity and ignorance in its worst form. Mixed with peer pressure and childish delusion. If this keeps going on, I'm leaving them my sisters out to rot in the real world, a place much less sugar-laced than high school.

nocodeforparanoia: Note that this is an issue I am particularly angry about, considering that I had to go to a freakin' bar at 2am last week to drag their asses home. My parents were asleep and told me to make sure they get home. I'm usually not that angry, but that incident made me so pissed off I proceeded to beat the crap out of one of their guy friends with a beer pitcher when he called me a "party pooper". All of my sisters' friends think I'm a total psycho.

One of the Big Lies.

Acceptance of this idea implies quite a lot about a person's total outlook on life.

The idea behind the phrase is simply that we can't control what happens around us, so why worry? It's basically saying that, because we cannot better our lot in life, so any knowledge we acquire about our position in this terrible world can only depress us, and could do no possible good.

Even the assumptions even here are terrible. We can't do anything to change the world around us. The knowledge we can painfully acquire is of no use. Supposedly 'rational' decisions have no such basis, and cannot do any real good.

Essentially, this idea states that the only way to be happy is to be ignorant. Some of my more pessimistic friends might agree with that, and say that, indeed, bliss is ignorance. I disagree with that.

The other side of the coin is people who believe that the more we know, the better off we are. Instead of denying that which is before us, we quest for knowledge and understanding in everything, especially ourselves. We believe that the better informed one is, the better the judgements one can make.

There is a real, important difference here. One type of person believes that things happen to her, that everything good or bad that happens to her is dependent on 'luck', or 'karma'. The other type of person believes that she happens to the world, that her actions and thoughts matter. There is a world of difference here.


I think that the intention of the quote isn't what most people in this node are calling it. Ignorance is Bliss refers to how we think as children, our imagination running wild, thinking of things that couldn't possibly happen. Then those dreams are crushed, as we are forced to learn, rules, boundaries, and constants. However, it is sad that many fail to realize that those dreams are still attainable, they're simply harder to get. To return to bliss you don't need the ignorance you started with, only the dreams that were the result of it. Create those dreams, break the rules, crush the boundaries and rules and controls, change the constants. There, you will find bliss once again.


The expression "Ignorance is Bliss" is best known from the classic work "A Theory of Justice" (1971) by the moral philosopher John Rawls, although its origin is much older.

The central idea of "A Theory of Justice" is the "veil of ignorance". Rawls asks the reader to imagine that representatives from a fictional society are taken behind the veil of ignorance, which hides their race, gender, class etc. In this way, they are deprived of their defining characteristics. They view each other as free and equal persons, rather than rich or poor, male or female, etc.

When these ideal and ignorant people have to bargain, the veil of ignorance will make them impartial, even when they bargain out of self-interest. Rawls proposes two principles that all bargainers will agree on out of self-interest. First of all, all participants will agree on the greatest liberty possible, to maximize their chances. Secondly, the bargainers will want all social and economic inequalities to be adjusted to the benefit of the least well off, because each one of them may be the poorest of the poor when the veil is removed.

This second principle, known as the difference principle, was revolutionary. It would be irrational, Rawls reasoned, for people behind the veil of ignorance to permit gross inequalities of income, because they might very well be members of the least advantaged classes. The result of the difference principle, Rawls concludes, is that liberty must be limited to provide the greatest benefit to the poorest classes of society.

Nowadays "Ignorance is bliss" has become a catch-phrase that is quoted in very different contexts. E.g. in the movie "The Matrix" it is quoted by Cypher in his discussion with Agent Smith.

While philosophers such as Mill and Rawls no doubt discussed the phrase, it dates back to at least Thomas Gray, a British poet and professor who used it in the final lines of the poem "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College" in 1742. Lines 91-100 read:

To each his suff'rings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan,
The tender for another's pain;
Th'unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! Why should they know their fate?
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies.
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.

Special thanks to Prof. Rebecca Ammerman.

Is ignorance a good thing? Sometimes, perhaps. Sometimes a piece of knowledge is useful, others might be inherently useless and serve no practical purpose. Sometimes being aware of certain fact might leave you in an overall worse position than not knowing it. When the later two (useless and harmful) are true, perhaps you are better not knowing it.

So yeah.

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