If Ignorance is Bliss, What Should Intellectuals Do?

by phil on Saturday Apr 10, 2004 9:03 PM

I've been warned that the intellectual's life is somewhat disheartening because we know too much. We are too aware of the flaws in life that living loses its idealistic magic. For example, long-term atheists will always have trouble ducking their heads under the water of spiritual awakening--we are too rational.

Since ignorance is indeed bliss, but willful ignorance is unheard of, what is the intellectual to do?

I suggest complete acceptance of the dirty truth. When our expectations of life do not exceed its capacity, we will hopefully get the same comforts of the person in fantasy-land.

So, here are some admissions. Get ready to "suck it up" as they say:

- Nobody will ever understand you completely.
- You can only speak for yourself.
- There will always be a major distortion between what you know, what you will be able to communicate, and what people will then comprehend.

- There is no such thing as perfect trust.
- Life does have no intrinsic meaning.
- Much of my life is directed by things preceding me and therefore out of my control.
- Your mind will always be polluted by public discourse (superego*).
- We impact everything, but yet we are often powerless to control.
- Discursive opinion will often not match reality.
- Perspectives and living are ephemeral and temporary.
- There is no perfect truth (save for maybe Math)
- You will always be irrational.
- Your emotions will always interfere with your sense of truth.
- Life is composed of layers of visible and invisible cliche's and story lines
- We are ultimately subject to forces beyond us, natural selection, laws of accelerating returns, etc.
- There is no perfect break from some vaguely deterministic path.
- What ppl tell you or how others view you will inevitbly affect you.
- No event or action is completely beneficial.
- You will always be an agent of some evil.
- You will never be beyond reproach.
- You will be the vehicle of stupid actions that are equally as inane as the sins of others
- You will always have bias.
- Outside of science, nobody knows. like politics. etc.
- We will always have to act on incomplete knowledge.
- There is no absolutely good action
- You will never be able to do precisely what you want to do
- There is no true home
- You can never be truly authentic
- There will always be so much more beyond your awareness.
- Not everything is possible
- You will always be part of an existing process
- You can never truly break from the trajectory, maybe nudge it around, but that'll ultimately be part of that trajectory
- Your weaknesses will always be betrayed by your actions at some point
- You will always be in some nature fake
- No event or meal or situation or conversation will be completely satisfactory
- Nothing will every be completely satisfactory
- You will never be completely comfortable
- Something will always be itchy
- The gravity of life will always be subject to potential subjection of risk to utter, stupid, and simple anniilation. Like a car accident.
- You will never have total control
- You won't be able to win them all. Someone will always hate you no matter what.
- There is no perfect art
- There are other lives within you that will carry on their own
- You won't ever be beyond your own embarassment.
- You will never do the optimal thing
- There is no true external should.
- There will always be a kryptonite.
- You cannot escape your emotions.
- You cannot forget the past.
- Something will always haunt you.
- Nobody is beyond temptation
- Knowing and doing will always be different

Added 4/11/04:
- You won't ever completely understand yourself or others.
- Some things you will never be able to get over.
- You will never rid the world of evil and cruelty
- You will never reach your full potential

Added 4/12/04
- You will always be subject to the needs of your containing vehicles: physical body, relationships, family, house, nation, car, etc..
- Because of the nature of time, everything that persists requires maintenence.

I wonder, though, what this whole list-making process says about me and my current state.

My form of blogging, with its emotionally-charged, intellectual stabs into the air, is just a more complicated form of self-exposure.

* superego is defined as "In Freudian theory, the division of the unconscious that is formed through the internalization of moral standards of parents and society, and that censors and restrains the ego." (dictionary.com)


Bob said on April 10, 2004 11:07 PM:

Gotta say, "ignorance is bliss" always meant to me that knowledge doesn't necessarily result in happiness. Ignorance may not be bliss, but it usually doesn't keep anyone from it--a good thing for those of us less gifted with cranial capacity.

Brandon said on April 10, 2004 11:53 PM:

if these are ugly truths that we must face, must we therefore act based upon them - sort of a non-concept dogma?

Philip Dhingra said on April 11, 2004 12:54 AM:

it's hard to say whether we should act based upon these dirty truths.

perhaps, the proper way is to live in transcendence of these rules--i.e. to keep up with an idealistic conception of life.

the way I manage these truths is to just keep the rules in mind when making decisions. I waste too much time agonizing over the idea that life doesn't amount to how I wish. For example, it's been bothering me lately how slippery time is, how I wake up at various moments and my past has completely transpired, and how I am being shoved into the future until death (or some Eschaton). Or, in simpler terms, that "life is short."

My motivation for initating this list is part of my attempt to "marbelize" by fundamentally changing my character. The change I'm seeking is to install a sense of "self-acceptance" in me.

There's a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the strength to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

I've never been able to "accept" much about myself or life. I was raised and I perpetuated the notion that accepting any form of limit was a weak act of resignation.

I somehow ascertained, then, that self-acceptance was worth building into my character.

Plus there's so much good stuff I hear about "being yourself" or "knowing yourself" or "accepting yourself." One of the concrete benefits being confidence and higher self-esteem.

We'll see where this goes. I've been on the trippy notion of "accepting the fact that I cannot accept myself" which kind of throws me into all sorts of recursive, neurotic nonsense.

To Eudaimonia and Beyond!

Brandon said on April 11, 2004 4:11 PM:

"accepting the fact that I cannot accept myself" - indeed, this is where I have come to in most of my endeavors. It's old adage, that for every answer there are two new questions. No matter how deep we penetrate any issue, or what we do to improve ourselves, our environments, our existence, there will always be an infinite number of steps before us. The process is one that never ends.

one must accept this, and many other paradoxes in order to live both a satisfactory and an honest life.

A Distinction I Made that Might Help:
A pardox is that which contradicts itself, and nevertheless is true. Hypocrisy is a man-made paradox, something that contradicts itself and is false. The task - to distinguish paradox from hypocrisy in all things.

Iro said on April 17, 2004 8:35 PM:

Do we really want such things?

Are this truths really that ugly?

Or were they just constructed by our need of drama, of excitement?

Our need for the emptyness that drives our lifes in attempt to feel it.

As much as we hate to admit it, we love this game, and in those ugly truths all that it is reflected our wish to let it go on and on.

The only ugly, banal, truth is that happiness is boring.

Michael said on April 21, 2004 11:04 PM:

The 20% rule -

20% of everything you do will be pointless and useless
20% of people you meet will despise you
20% of what you (think you) know is false
20% of your sense of self is deluded


20% of what you do will be worthwhile
20% of people you meet will quite like you
20% of what you think will be well-founded
20% of your sense of self will be reasonably honest


the 20% rule applies to everything

and there is nothing you can do about it

Kelly Thompson said on May 8, 2004 6:32 AM:

It's funny that you think you're an intellectual.

Kelly Thompson said on May 8, 2004 6:35 AM:

Michael, sweetheart, your 20% rule is 100% stupid. Wanna a rule? Don't make rules.

Kelly Thompson said on May 8, 2004 6:37 AM:

And as a last thing: ignorance is not bliss. Wake up.

Ameen Malhas said on May 18, 2004 7:53 PM:

I found this list quite amusing and at times I laughed out loud at my own disillusionment.

This is my personal belief. The more you analyze, dissect and experience, the less things seem to impress and bedazzle you. And one often loses their sense of wonder.

All I can say is that it's a delicate balance, like everything, too many questions = too few questions.

Entallec2all said on February 12, 2007 2:41 PM:

Kelly sweetheart his rule doesn't means that not everything you do turns out like you want it to do so it isn't "100%" stupid. He is actually correct. Everything you think you know is not right, not everyone likes you, and you're not always right. This would be one of those times.

Cindy Lou said on February 20, 2007 10:00 PM:

Life has delt me many blows... You have got to have humor, you have got to be light, you have to believe that the government will not get you, even if you have(in your mind)done nothing wrong,they will try to get you and yours.
Hold on to the people you love with strong arms and never let them go.

Aqua Lizard said on March 1, 2007 11:02 PM:

Ray Bradbury~Fahrenheit 451~Page 157

"I hate a roman named Status Quo!' he said to me.'Stuff your eyes with wonder',he said,'live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any made or paid for in dream factories. Ask for no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to a sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day, every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,' he said,'shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.'"


Ignorance -i-s- MAY be bliss,

but knowledge IS divine.

Ayed Shweihat said on March 5, 2007 12:46 PM:

If you apply J. Krishnamurti's idea's about knowledge. The fact that Knowledge is merely a past occurance, a memory from the past, and that freedom from the "known" is essential for human progress and creativity. Then yes to "ignore" to reject the known to be free from the known is "BLISS" and Knowledge being a past experience can never lead you to freedom, because freedom is the present, the now, the what is, not the what was or what should be. Therefore, in actuality "Knowledge IS the key to sorrow" and "Ignorance is bliss"

Dave Walker said on March 12, 2007 7:39 PM:

I agree with an earlier post that more or less said focusing on all of these "truths" creates more negative experiences. Focus on all the simple, beautiful things in life and the magic will flow ever so abundantly.

"To waste the mind is a terrible thing".

Read some Emerson, Thoreau, or W. Clement Stone Maybe do yourself a favor and see the movie "The Secret".

Terry King said on March 14, 2007 8:53 PM:

It doesn't matter, some people would rather be ignorant and just like the pretty colours that the Television displays and others want to know that the tube shoots electrons at the screen making certain electrons light up in different colours. The same thing applys with life itself sure we could look at life and say that there is no point and that everything we ever do is a waste as we know what happens when we die, we die.
However others as you would all call the "ignorant" will go to school, get a job, make freinds, buy a house, a car maby even have children and just not care (be ignorant) that everything will end one day and there is nothing they can do to prevent it. Life is short don't sit around doing nothing because your going to die oneday and it will have all been a waste. If you enjoy life and make others happy then your time will not have been a wasted.
Enjoy life and do anything you ever wanted to do. Accept yourself and that death is inevitable that is the true meaning of life.
to sum up what i just said Ignorance can be bliss you just need to know when and how to be ignorant.

Jason said on March 15, 2007 7:24 PM:

The phrase 'Ignorance is bliss' is normally intended to apply to situations where being ignorant of something is better than having knowledge of it. It is not normally used as a maxim or absolute truth - to entertain it that way seems beside the point. I don't think that a lot of people believe something along the lines of this: 'Being ignorant of most everything is blissful.' At least, not to the extent that it effects their life or the belief causes them to act on it and try to be ignorant. So, the author says 'If ignorance is indeed bliss...' - but I don't think this is relevant at all. People use the phrase, but this is different from believing it outside of context or living by it. (This is just an example, incidentally - the paragraph represents how one loses their sense of wonder.)

Brian said on March 20, 2007 12:15 AM:

Everything in moderation.
Knowledge, and ignorance included.
Alcohol may or may not apply, depending on your capacity.

Rodrigo said on March 26, 2007 1:21 PM:

“Ignorance indeed is a bliss”.

Recently I moved to a small town, I’m used to listening radio stations from home to work. Music radio stations are the worst I’ve ever heard, so I turned to news radio stations in a period where politics in my country where the top stories. I usually don’t like to hear/watch any kind of news programs. And politic related news are the worst as I think of it as pure gossip. Must of them are gossip of another kind of celebrities… so I find CNN and E! to be basically the same.

Getting back to my point, I was “hooked up” in all this political gossip. Some days I had to stay in my car long after I got to the parking lot just to hear all this gossip. I argued with the radio, I felt shame of the country politics, get angry out of the car, etc, etc. All that worries because of some knowledge I didn’t have about politics. It was a bliss to not know about all that. And it is bliss now that I turn off the radio and hear music from my MP3 player.

Ignorance is a bliss. Knowing about stuff is frustrating, and it is more when people don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ll keep getting frustrated with my knowledge on technology, but I’ll also keep my bliss of not knowing anything about politics.

Amanda said on March 27, 2007 5:34 PM:

ignorance is bliss. why do you think little children are happier than older children and adults? because they dont know all of the troubles of the world. they dont know when theyre at the park with their families they could be kidnapped or that their parents will one day die. they are ignorant of the troubles of the world and therefore blissful. ignorance frees you from worry. if you dont know something could be bad you have no reason to fear it and that presents the state of bliss and fearlessness. we must face the logical truth that knowing the truth of the things entails knowing the faults and unhappiness of things. thereby taking away any blissfull state. thats the truth.

Bob said on April 1, 2007 6:32 AM:

Inconsideration is the general existential flaw.

Remaining ignorant is lazy and selfish, two of human beings most pronounced and common traits.

It is however, the duty of the ignorant to be at the very least, informed enough to stay clear of having a negative impact.

If you drive slow, know enough stay in the right lane. If you don't understand politics, don't vote, etc.

Misery is contagious.

Knowing your place in society goes a long way towards creating a pleasant existence for all.

Paul Z said on April 5, 2007 5:44 PM:

Ignorance is bliss means to accept that which is held true by the majority or party in authority. You can never be wrong when in agreement with the previously mentioned groups. Truth is only true when validated by the whole. Even math is not a definitive truth as you mentioned in your list.

Alot of people think that between democracy and communist rule, democracy is the more free of the two. If you adopt the ignorance is bliss philosophy, you'll see that both offer equal amounts of freedoms just of different types. But democracy does offer the better of the freedoms (a subjective view).

Also adding to your "you can't change trajectory" is my saying "No one finishes life ahead, better off, or richer than anyone else. There are just different measures of wealth."

Sorry, my post is so cryptic but there is not way to explain it all in just a comment. Suggested readings: 1984 & Animal Farm both by George Orwell

sabbah said on April 7, 2007 10:01 PM:

its simple :P ....balance the equation ppl (for some hidden reason life is about Balance) ...too much ignorance is bad too much knowledge is bad/too fast for us To fully understand or rationalize...thats why we are too obsessed to live Normal life "balanced" prescribed by our ancestors which growing up I find their Prescriptions wiser everyday. Hmmm I smell bull :P. moving on, im still trying to balance the level of my ignorance/denial which turns out i have no control of ....unwillingly my mind for some hidden reason keeps analyzing almost every thing it stumbles upon and tries to rationalize it and link it to logic which itself along with my existence are illogical and unproven, combined with a lot of unsolved critical questions renders me confused and makes my head about to burst from frustration.

plz i need the black ignorance pill.

" There will always be a major distortion between what you know, what you will be able to communicate, and what people will then comprehend "

100% true… I like I really like……its one of major reasons im frustrated.

Lane Lowe said on May 3, 2007 7:33 AM:

"Ignorance is bliss" is only a portion of the entire statement made by Thomas Gray in his poem. In fact, he clearly states WHERE ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise. The reduction of the entire phrase to "Ignorance is bliss" completely alters the meaning of the phrase and places it in a context of absolute fact, versus one of conditional status.

Yes, I agree with many things the poster has stated on this page. I have often pondered many of the same enigmatic issues upon which much of life seems to be based. I know the urgency which the writer feels as they pursue the answers to all these questions. And I know the one question which sums up the real search by the writer. WHAT IS THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF MY LIFE??

Unfortunately, that answer must be found by each and every one of us - and until we find it, most of us cannot go forward in life. Those who never reach this point of self-discovery apparently are practitioners of Gray's philosophy - WHERE ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.

samantha said on September 4, 2007 1:14 AM:

is it better to live in truth or in happiness?
in emotions or rationality?

by accomplishing truth, what's next? what do we ultimately personally benefit. afterall we only have one life and one chance to live. its apparent that there isn't an established truth for anything. truth is what we make it. intellectuals are empowered yet cursed with the inability to extend a knowledge into the realms which only we know exist.

how do you know if its your conscience thats leading you or if you percieve only what you want to see?

Philip Dhingra said on September 4, 2007 1:18 AM:

you pose a false dichotomy. Nozick talks about the human need for reality. So I think a happiness instructed with reality is happier.

You could knock out part of your brain so that you ignore the infidelities of a lover. But the true knowledge that there is no infidelity would make you even happier.

samantha said on September 4, 2007 1:44 AM:

then is it better to choose no happiness over false happiness?

Philip Dhingra said on September 4, 2007 1:53 AM:

yes, I think "false happiness" is asking for the feeling of happiness without any real reason to be happy. The felt qualities of happiness, i.e. the symptoms of happiness, are not actual happiness. They're just symptoms (elation, passion, pleasure, enthusiasm, etc.) of underlying true happiness.

I once took to measuring and manipulating my happiness levels by smiling more, by dating a girl that I only partially cared about simply because studies showed that you're happier with someone, etc.. and 99% of the time, in my diary-entries, I reported feeling "happy." But it was that 1% of the time, when I reflected on my condition (I was not in love, and I was smiling over nothing), that I felt suicidal and wishing to throw the whole lot away. Now, in that moment, I could've chosen to smile, and keep my mind busy so as to whisk away that feeling. And while I could've continued to feel happy, my body inevitably rebelled heavily against me and said "screw happiness (the feeling), what matters most is doing something meaningful!"

So, I think the thing to do is to understand what exactly IS happiness. It isn't just a feeling. It's a feeling that things are right and good.

ayouthofvalour said on October 12, 2007 7:09 PM:

very good post, i've wondered about the same thing and whether it is true or not. I believe however, intellectuals are safe because the more I learn the more I realize that I don't know. Every man is ignorant they are just merely at different stages of their ignorance.

Daniel said on October 19, 2007 9:33 PM:

I think we the intellectual are suffering from too much thinking because we haven't gotten rid of ignorance completely.we've traveled a path that we thought had answers and have been overwhelmed by its problems and gotten stuck.so in other words what happen is we come across something unsettling, we think about it, we investigate it,we find no answers so we become over whelmed by it,and as a result we feel sad.and at the same time we maintain interests common with the "normal/ignorant"person like having a good job a girl friend etc.but because of our vulnerable precondition that we have created we fail at those aspects and venture further and further in sadness.

If we are to seriously find answers then we must be critical of everything including our logic.or otherwise we must simply pursue our basic worldly desires of wealth,family etc..

To me as an atheist it was the second option that looked good after years of misery.for it had the most justification.as following that path meant that I will be working to satisfy my desires.despite this I couldn't help but continue my habits of thinking. so I had to seek some justification for it.This was made worse as one of my friends put it "don't take life too seriously....no one gets out alive". this was troubling because he made an excellent point.why make your life sad by taking on such hard questions when you are going to die anyway.why is such a quest important and does it have any significance left at all when u consider the aspect of death. even after this I still felt like finding some justification because I felt that my pursuit isn't as stupid as people would assume.because if we are to understand life we must question it.even things that seem obvious.

In my country Buddhism is quite popular so I decided to study their scriptures to get a different angle on the problem.The first thing I realized was that they share the same goal as me.however unlike me they had justification for it.while there methods of meditation were certainly impressive they had to believe in "reincarnation".With out this the pursuit of eradicating ignorance is irrelevant for we are all simply subject to death.this is my dilemma as theres no way of proving reincarnation. so no way to justify my goal.

so In conclusion I have to say this about the topic.I think ignorance is NOT bliss.The ignorant is unaware of the complete processes of pleasure and pain.The reason we so called "intellectuals" find ourselves sad is because we are STILL ignorant of these processes.Therefore reasons for the apparent difference in happiness between the so called "ignorant" and the "intellectual" is a facade.because both groups share the same fault. The reason for why the "ignorant" is more happy is simply because they are mentally more capable of pursuing their desires.as the intellectual sometimes find them selves in a sad cycle of mental complexes that undermine their potentials.Note this is not because the "intellectual" thought too much but because their pre-existing desires are not as well fulfilled.i.e desires not properly or relatively fulfilled = less pleasure felt. a process somewhat exclusive from the act of thinking.

So as I have mentioned earlier as an atheist, with out any scientific evidence it's hard to justify things with pure belief.Unfortunately uncertainty is inevitable! Even the Buddhist monks who pursue a life of ultimate truth(Buddhists question the most basic thing we take for granted which is the self personality) leads to justification for their means through faith(reincarnation). Until science takes its next large leaps as atheists all we have is the pursuit of our simple worldly desires.unfortunately still ingrained in ignorance this life style too is unjustifiable.without knowing everything we cannot have 100% conviction.even in something as conventional as the normal life or desires.What therefore needs to be done is an act of acceptance.We must accept our sad circumstances and chose the life style that has the best compromise.

for like my friend said

"don't take life too seriously....no one gets out alive"

sure the above comment despite appearance of obvious truth is still full of uncertainty due to preconditioned ignorance and lack of complete understanding.but that is the best compromise for today.But I for one do not regret a moment of my past horrors because this has been a learning experience and I believe that I have matured a lot from this.This whole experience has taught me how to cope with inevitable sorrows that exists and have over all made me a better person.well thats just my opinion.by the way very sorry if my comments don't make sense but trying to be logically consistent after staying up for a whole day is hard.lol. also thanks for all the people who made comments.

Philip Dhingra said on October 21, 2007 11:18 AM:

I'm interested in this idea of taking a philosophy and turning your life into an experiment for that philosophy. For example, you mentioned that you considered two paths: 1) be critical of everything including our logic 2) we must simply pursue our basic worldly desires of wealth, family etc. And you then said you lived the second choice out for a while. And from that experience you learned something. I think this process is something coherent and different. I know other people get caught onto various cults or become zealots for ways of thinking. But this idea of sitting back, considering philosophical paths, and then making a choice, is something I think is rarer. Perhaps, it is even more ascetic.

walid said on November 7, 2007 4:40 PM:

Philosophy is beautiful. Knowing you self is Important. Becoming a Doctor is beautiful an "Examined life", or a Ignorance Bliss? Becoming a firman is Ignorance Bliss, or an "Examined Life"? What is Philosophy? What is the point of Philosophy? Why is Philosophy Relevant to our daily life? For those who believe in God, did god give us the power to sit and think every move?(Examined life) or (Ignorance Bliss) and the same goes for Athus? My Belief, Philosophy is just a to waist your time and Mental Neutron, have you brain run around in circle so it can accecpt some basic fact about life. Wisdom should a term used in Philosophy, Wisdom is the Key over time you learn form your mistakes. Example If you give a needle and tell them to poke them self after the First time I doubt any of us would do it again. But if they do it again then its a mental Issue or a Mental Disturbance. The Ray Bradbury(157) quote up on of this Page I like it.

michy said on December 22, 2007 10:53 AM:

"what you dont know wont hurt!"

Michael said on December 27, 2007 5:40 AM:

really? in that case why dont u share ur home address? so I can............ Mwhahahaha
meanwhile stay ignorant.lol

mash said on February 5, 2008 11:14 AM:

Surely intellectuals desires are more complex than the ignorant?

John Bailo said on March 31, 2008 1:09 PM:

Your focus is on Man vs. Man.

I think most intellectuals assume that relationships between people are relative.

However, true intellectuals are always searching for Truth in Nature and the Universe.

In that case we are never in fear of "knowing too much" as there is so much to know.

However, one can imagine that it can be lonely at the top of the Knowledge Heap where almost every other person's viewpoint sounds tired and retrograde...

Kelly Jackson said on April 20, 2008 10:13 PM:

We are all ignorant, maybe this is bliss

family guy said on April 23, 2008 12:24 AM:

"ignorance is the key to happiness because the more you know you are screwed." let's do a deep dive on this just make sure we are all clear given that philosophy, just like law, was made to be interpreted shall we?

Before getting started let me clarify that ignorance in my argument is defined as the simple fact that we will never know everything, and therefore we are ignorant of those thing that we don’t know, and those things that we know that we don’t know. all agreed? That being said… let's begin.

KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM. Socrates asserted that the highest good for any human being is happiness. (I think we can all agree with this given that my argument is simply stating that ignorance IS the key to happiness and not happiness itself which is the highest good for humans) Whatever action a man chooses is motivated by his desire for happiness. (Clearly here Socrates identifies individuality and the freedom to choose your own key to happiness. In this case my argument is that ignorance is the key to happiness - i.e. my motivation is happiness, therefore as my action I choose to accept ignorance given that I will never know everything there is to know) Knowledge, virtue, and wisdom are all the same, since man chooses an action according to what he thinks will bring him the greatest happiness (yet again, a man chooses what he wishes to bring him the greatest happiness… ignorance being one of the choices). Therefore the more a man knows, the greater his ability to reason out the correct choice (this is simply the second part of my argument the more you know you are screwed and hence you choose ignorance or not knowing more than is needed to be happy or as Socrates puts it you have a better ability to single out ignorance as a choice or not knowing everything there is to know to be happy) and to choose those actions which truly bring happiness to him. (finally, it is clear then that with a man's individuality and freedom to choose and according to Socrates, the more we know the greater our ability to reason out the correct choice. Therefore, we can continue learning for the rest of our lives, as we should, but we must simply adopt ignorance or the fact that we do not know EVERYTHING and will never know everything and be content with what we have and what we know and find true happiness that way. To conclude then, if we adopt such measure, we would have accepted the argument that ignorance, or the fact that we will never know everything, is the key to happiness. You can also choose knowledge or wisdom or the ability for continuous learning but reality dictates that you will most likely die and never know everything there is to know in order to be happy. The moment you realized that you know enough and are now happy you become ignorant of everything else that is out there to be learned. Therefore, you are choosing ignorance or limited knowledge and have by default agreed and accepted my argument. (All according to Socrates)
The next point is just too easy to argue based on my comments above but I will anyway…

SELF-KNOWLEDGE. The highest knowledge is possessed by that individual who truly knows himself. This knowledge constitutes ultimate wisdom. (Given that the highest knowledge is possessed by he who knows himself, once we realize that we will never know everything there is to know, and hence become ignorant to the rest and accept ignorance as the key to happiness we would have achieved ultimate wisdom… yet again according to Socrates) It enables man to act in a virtuous manner at all times, because he knows what will bring him true happiness. (Once we accept ignorance as the key to happiness and achieve such ultimate wisdom, we will then act in a virtuous manner at all times because we now know what brings us true happiness…IGNORANCE)

Ma Weston said on May 1, 2008 4:22 PM:

As children we are happy. This is due to our ignorance of the harsh and unforgiving world. As adults we become more enlightened, and inevitably more disappointed. This childhood innocence, comes from the rose-tinted picture of the world, which is caringly painted to us by our parents, by out teachers and by our aquaintances.
Our grandparents tell us that there is a loving and forgiving God. When these grandparents die, our parents will tell us that they are happy up in heaven and that we too will join them there one day. Father Christmas and the tooth fairy are also part of the enchanting world of childhood. If, as I believe, happiness is based on comparison to the past, how will I ever be happy again? What can be better than a jolly man in red who jumps down my chimney to give me presents every year? Or what more comforting that if I put my hands together every evening and appeal to someone called God, I can get whatever I want. With this magnificent myriad of myths parents are blindly leading there children down the path to future disappointment.
This universal method of parenting, consisting of kitsch stories, an all loving God, and no eternal death, is very old. Its foundations lie in a religious and not-so-enlightened society. Perhaps in the modern age, we should re-look at effective parenting, in order that our children have the opportunity for lasting happiness. By commencing life at a compartively lower level, in terms of materialist possessions and expectations etc, they would have much more room to expand into in terms of happiness. Maybe if out parents had not painted such a wonderful picture of the world, when we were young, we "enlightened" beings would have a much greater chance of bliss now.

daim said on May 12, 2008 2:17 AM:

dear mr. Philip Dhingra i wanna believe ur list but u hav a slight hitch.
u said that those r the dirty truth. but u also said that and i qoute: "There is no perfect truth (save for maybe Math)" and unless my 14 years of education is mistaken, those r not math.
then u urself had contradictd ur statements.
but i do believe most of ur statemetns, conditionally.
ur statement dat "There is no perfect truth (save for maybe Math)" is descartian. it is a preferd method of deducing truth
regarding the subject of your blog, ignorance is bliss. i think it related to the existential angst/pain. accordingly the more we know about the world, the more we feel free and alone. we are responsible for our actions as there is no more "omnipotent, divine, panacea."
lastly about your: "You will always be an agent of some evil." statement, i find it a hard to believe concept considering my morality has evolved from "dogmatism" to "relativism" as it is hard to base good or evil upon pre-ordained dogmas or popular social norm.

Mr.Jack said on June 17, 2008 6:54 AM:

You = blank paper
Knowing = coloring

to ignore everything the paper will be colorless to know something the paper will be colored.

So does ignorance is indeed bliss?

The answer is depending on one who choose their path.

open eyes said on June 23, 2008 1:29 PM:

hmm wow..after i read ur post..its just a simple word that saying comes out of it said "imperfection".
and yet the nature is always perfect.

ur context is just define the word meaning of God itself.


JT said on July 8, 2008 2:49 PM:

Atheists are too rational just like spoiled fruit is too ripe.

M. Glover said on July 17, 2008 8:56 PM:

If ignorance is bliss, then I see a lot of bliss walking around.

Jonny Jon Jon said on August 7, 2008 9:18 AM:

Stop thinking so much and start fooling around. Make the ignorant people around you participate, then sit back and watch them do stupid things. It's funny.

It doesn't matter if ignorance is bliss or not. You ultimately have control. So stop crying like an emo puberty kid. Smoke some crack. It helps.

Katelyn said on August 9, 2008 7:20 AM:

I agree and disagree with the "ignorance is bliss" philosophy. I have only recently come across many of the dirty truths you listed since I am rather young. Before I discovered this "intelligence" and life from this "intelligent" point of view. I used to be ignorant. I was happy, I had expectations, I seemed to live life to the full and smiled alot. Now that I am an intellectual I see life differently. I refer everyday life to these dirty truths and to be honest it depresses me. When talking about philosophy and the meaning of life and that the truth is no human being has a choice and that we are not in control I do feel my life is rather pointless. Also now I over analyse everyday situations and my actions and this causes confusion and frustration. By this I do agree with ignorance is bliss. Because when ignorant life means more to you. However when ignorant you are subject to your emotions alot more than you would be being "intellectual" because they would sort of expect the worse since they are aware that life does not meet your expectations or wishes. An earlier post mentioned infidelity. From an intellectuals point of view it would be seen as the usual selfish act from another human being. A cynical approach which some how prevents them from being hurt that their partner has cheated. an "ignorant" person would feel hurt. dissapointed. believe in love and that they have lost something that was a big part of their life. I suppose it is up to an individual which point of view they want to live by. I am not great at expressing my opinions using words but I hope this made sense.

Ryan said on August 19, 2008 11:50 AM:

I’m a big supporter of being educated and agree with what Thomas Jefferson said: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Not so blissful when you become a slave to your own ignorance. I also agree with Christ when He said: “the truth will make you free” (John 8:32 KJV)

Hope this helps with this topic on ignorance and bliss!

Dillon said on September 16, 2008 11:03 PM:

I could type ten pages on ignorance and bliss alone but I will make this part simple: The only people who feel Bliss(Complete and total happiness) are those who are ignorant of not only problems in their own life, but the fact that bliss doesn't exist. But to those of us who are intellectual, we are indeed smarter than those who feel bliss, but our intelligence is nothing more than a burden.

mike said on September 25, 2008 9:29 PM:

Ignorance is bliss refers to the notion that living in the present moment beings about happiness. The article above take it too literally and does not trace it back to the roots. A blissfully ignorant livleyhood would be that of a surfer bum. The very fact that you have a job insists on the notion that you are not ignorant, ignorant of responsibilities, as an example. The term does not necessarily mean ignorant of literal surroundings but instead ignorant of worries and suffering. It is pretty much traced back to the idea of living in the present moment, being unaware of everything surrounding you, everything that happened or will happen, unaware of one's own existence even. This is the goal of Buddhists, to be able to empty one's mind to the point of complete separation from the world, a lack of suffering and worry and other similar entities.

I understand the intellectuals may balk at this notion, that they will never be happy, that everything they have held dear will never bring them happiness and that, in fact, they have been going in the opposite direction. They have a hard time accepting that, and thus come up with arguments like those in the article that have an interpretation too mixed, too involved with the real world. They place these ideals in a capitalist country, in a capitalist, survival of the fittest world. Of course those examples wont work, half of him is ignorant while the other half is aware. True happiness comes from complete ignorance.

But the intellectuals must realize that they have meaning on their side. What the surfer bum gains in happiness he loses in meaningfulness of life. He contributes nothing to society, in fact, he might feed off of society. But the doctors, the intellectuals, the authors, the philosophers, the historians are constantly confronted with unpleasant truths. People die, life isnt always a party, there is no god. They suffer for their work and in the process contrubute to humanity. They suffer and toil and present meaning into their lives, something the bum can never have. The suffering they endure means they will never be happy, but, excuse the cliche, no pain no gain. They become a sacrifice for whatever cause they choose, influeincing the world in which ever way, they become significant.

And so the intellectual should not be appalled at the idea that ignorance is bliss, but accept it and realize they live for more than themselves, but for humanity.

charles said on November 4, 2008 7:06 AM:

We cannot escape the basic human emotions of fear, anger, hatred. Sooner or later,there will be a point where we will have to face them. Being ignorant of our own struggles only leaves us to fend for themselves in their most desperate hours.
Ignorant = shallow minded = respond drastically and immaturely when things go wrong

better to be prepared

charles said on November 4, 2008 7:09 AM:

*themselves = ourselves
*their = our

Adam said on November 11, 2008 5:55 PM:

I think 'Ignorance is bliss' varies in what way you are trying to use it. Almost all of you make really good points in this blog and have brought me to some new views on things (which I really like) but some of you are just a little off.

Okay, being ignorant also means being uninformed or the lack of knowing. Well do you think that the victims that were killed in the Columbine massacre were living blissfully before they were killed? Was it really blissful that they did not know where and what the shooters were doing?

These arguments can be ranged widely by many forms of paradoxes which most of us agree to disagree, and a lot of us chose otherwise. I think that ignorance is bliss to a certain extent and nothing greater.

ShADoW said on November 12, 2008 9:25 PM:

I am 16 years old.

I have come to various conclusions in life where i find no purpose in our lives. we live constrained to social rules that not only diminish us, but impedes us from reaching our maximum potential. Mankind is egocentric beyond comparison, always thinking about themselves and not caring that their actions will hurt others and not realizing that they in turn hurt themselves. someway or another we are connected, our lives are weaved in a never-ending circle, yet our ego blinds us so much that we can not see that with one broken strand we all fall apart. Nations divide people, and when we realize this, we will understand world peace. How are we free if social boundaries hold us down, if social rules define our personalities and our lives our decided without our consent. I've seen evil beyond imaginable, how people go out of their way to hurt others, how drugs murder intelligence, how war is fought over materialistic items and is excused by lies. Ignorance may be bliss, but how are we suppose to know how to advance and progress if we arent prepared. Life is not something we should take for granted. It is short, yet i still ask myself why are we here? i see no hope, i see no chance of survival and maybe mankind was destined to destroy itself, but what is the point of killing for money, lying, cheating, stealing? this materialistic items are not carried on. they dont last yet we strive to sink others, to diminish others, for something that will ultimatley destroy us. So i ask again, what is the purpose of life? Why are we here? Our time is short and our names are forgotten, I do not know anything about after this life, and my beleifs have been doubted, but i hope that our "journey" in this world will not affect our next.

Teeny said on November 22, 2008 5:19 AM:

Is depression a more common illness amongst those with a higher intelligence?
Perhaps that would lead to a rational answer, if that's what we're all so desperately looking for.

Me said on December 13, 2008 2:29 AM:

A saying of my own creation gained from the experience of college,

"Ignorance is bliss, understanding is ecstasy, and everything inbetween is pure hell."

And as a random note, depression may be more common among the higher educated, but fear is more common among the less educated.

Which reminds me of an interesting statistic that you're more likely to drown in your own bathtub than die in a plane crash. So either you should quit worrying about flying if you're one of those afraid of it, or you should stop bathing. I suggest the former.

Adrian said on December 14, 2008 8:27 AM:

18 years old. Intellectual all my life. Got into my scriptures a year ago. Being an intellectual from a very early age I just thought it was only me. Then I realised there are more like me. Now I realise there is a step above an intellectual. No not a genius, But an intellectual with no frusteration about life. Because I have realised the meaning of life,why we are here, what we are meant to do in this life, and what will occur afterwards.

Im not some bible freak. But I have realised we are all confused and frusterated because we know too much without a true answer,because scriptures are the basis for life, yet we look to them and are confused and dont quite understand them.I have your answer. The scriptures have been manipulated,changed,added to, and taken away from(which is against one of the 613 laws listed in every scriptural reference) The plain truth is...there are 613 perfect laws we were given in scriptures to obtain perfect piece,without crime,aids and diseases, murder,etc. They were made by the creator of our Universe whos name was removed from scriptures and replaced with the words "God, Lord, Baal, Elohim and a few others". Truth is the real name of our creator is Yahweh. Yes it soudns weird at first praising god ..or no one all our lives, but thats the true name that are in all the ancient hebrew bibles, also are in the older roman catholic bibles, and Yahweh is not a god, but gods were spoken of in scriptures and they are (as you can se in an encyclopedia) anything or anyone that is worshipped, a god can be made out of anythin, like how people pray to wood statues of what they think is "Jesus" all not the real name of the messiah because the letter "j" wasnt even made into language until the 14th century.

Anyway, long story short, the meaning of this life is to prove to Yahweh we can follow the 613 laws he has given us, and try to become perfect as He.It is possible not to sin, breaking these laws...is a sin. Those who make it into the kingdom by following these laws will be apart of the the kingdom of heaven where we dont just sit around in a perfect cloud. We actually go through out the universe, becoming like our creator in power and ability, spreading his world, and first cleansing this earth. because it will be destroyed by nuclear war (which will occur soon, within the next few years) because we as a world will destroy ourselves,and thats when the mesiah will come and thats when we get judged. Ignorance is bliss...and all those who follow these common religionss just because they seem like an easier answer to salvation are the ignorant, which includes those who are intellectuals, because your ignorant to the truths of scriptures, and instead will just listen to these people tell you that sinning is inevitable, so go ahead. If youa re interested in trying to be less ignorant, and learn the truths, and that there is a place on earth that practises the truth, that tries to keep themselves away from the sinful people of the world. I invite you to email me.

Being intellectual is only frusterating when you have so much knowledge of the world, but dont have htat final link to connect it all together with perfect understanding. That frusteration comes from being so close to the truth lol. Im open to people asking questions. I can give you the name of where you can find these "truths" and really learn the knowledge of this world,life and scriptures(before they were changed). The world is against the truth and knowledge of Yahweh...but then again, thats exactly what scriptures state. My email is adrian.g.weber@hotmail.com, I invite anyone to email me with questions. If you email me just to criticise it will be ignored, unless you are asking a question. Thanks fellow intellectuals. Enjoyy

ShADoW said on January 4, 2009 5:13 PM:

I have lost all definition of faith, i know there is something greater than us, something that seems to know what to do, but the only thing i can conclude is... religion separates people, and somehow what ive been taught seems so unreal, so made up. i see what weve been taught through church and its what humans have written, and something written by humans can always be corrupted. mankind is so vulnerable to evil and lies, how can the bible, a book that goes back sooo manny years not be changed and lies put into, anything that is human, to me, is a possible lie and very hard to beleive, i doubt my religion but i dont doubt my creator. just some thoughts of mine...

adam said on January 7, 2009 3:37 PM:

I typed Ignorance is bliss into Google and this is what i got. I'm just about to do my A-Level exams and the pressure of succeeding is driving me close to insanity. Basically everything that was listed above i can relate to in some way. A lot of really does make a lot of sense. Don't actually know why I'm writing any of this to be honest. Just nice to let somebody know when somethings wrong, even if they can't necessarily do anything about it.

Hulda said on January 11, 2009 7:31 AM:

It is wonderful to know that there are so many out there thinking! Isn't that the bliss of ignorance, you don't think as much?
The energy that all of you have put into your words must be draining at some point.

Ignorance is a bliss but it will never lead to anything.

Writings such as these just might lead to something. The Enlightenment is proof of that.

Knowledge may edge away at our Biblical religion but it should also provide us with something else instead. We all need to believe in something.

I believe in the Mother. It is an ancient concept of many cultures and I find it amazing to come to the same conclusions. I guess we are not that different after all.

Fernando said on January 20, 2009 11:35 PM:

Attention all intellectuals! after reading several comments i have come to a(my) conclusion that you must stay happy and let the nature of life carry you...All your knowledge should continue to pass to others but please.....maintain inner peace...rely on God...just stay happy and continue your process of knowledgeable diffusion between one another

Dee said on January 29, 2009 9:57 AM:

Ignorance is bliss; to me it means that the less insight and knowledge you have in life, the less you worry about. The intellectual man is always looking for answers, the ignorant man doesn't know he is supposed to be looking...

Michael said on January 31, 2009 1:47 AM:

You people seem to thrive on these petty excuses for nihilism. I see it all the time, someone gifted with above-average (and don't fool yourselves, above average is a few orders of magnitude below far-above-average) intelligence clings to these little half-truths about the 'ugliness' of the world and how horrible it all is. It's a waste of intellect and it's juvenile. Having been through this when I was 15-16 and thinking it was petty THEN, I can tell you that you, my friends, are still here. You think Nietzsche discovered what it was he was looking for? He didn't, he broke under the weight of his own convictions and spent his final years insane. But he gave us a record that cannot be matched and he lived a full, passionate, tremendous life that noone can touch or surpass. You think Goethe came to a grand conclusion? Kant? Dostoevsky? You fight. You discover, you reach out to your ideals and pull them apart and have them remorselessly savaged by the things that happen to you and what they reveal, you change - you understand more and more, you develop as a person and a spirit, you continue on through the years. You experience. You love, and pray, and hate and spit and cry and brood and get back up and fight it all over again and change some more - and that is the process. That is what you must seek. Life, as I can't put it to any other word. Experience. Existence. What I see - this coming from someone who has just cracked 20, so duly it can be taken with a few takards of salt - is that people with an intellect lock themselves inside its' walls. They don't explore those walls very well, but they stay there, pitying their insipidity and how vicious and 'uncontrollable' - I say 'beautiful' - their emotions are, pondering senseless nothings and muttering worthless platitudes about this nihilistic concept or this one. I see great men and women lost in their own juvenility, potential untapped. These things do not MATTER. Some of them are truths, some of them aren't, but you cannot hold yourself to this and writhe around bemoaning it. Get UP. Get UP. Get UP and FIGHT it. See the world, seek something greater, something awful, something that will shock you and wound you and challenge you to overcome it, get out of your goddamned comfort and EXPERIENCE. You will see how invalid it all is, I'll tell you. You'll witness the blossoming of personality, you'll see the horizons grow to levels you've never thought possible, you'll see the hidden depths of your character you never knew existed come to the fore and hit you in the face - another pain, another complication, another challenge, another difference, another interest, another level to explore. Instead of wallowing around you'll FIGHT your thoughts and you'll discover some truly profound things, you'll see the inadequacy of this kind of contemplation, your opinions will shape and harden and expand and become infinitely more complex, and at the end of it you will witness you as you could be, can be, might be - and that is all you can ask for. Gah, it's just the cement your pounding your fists against. It's this shit like "we live underneath constrained rules and I can see no purpose" - YOU'RE NOT GOING TO FIND ONE. You will just discover, and discover, and discover some more, and that is all mankind has ever done throughout all the eons of human existence, nothing is more beautiful and nothing more can be achieved. Discover and grow, and pass it on. And your discoveries will be written for the future generations, so they can share all the elation and horror, all the passion and understanding, and use it to make their own discoveries, so that humanity may do nothing but continue to grow, endlessly until the universe falls and is reborn, stepping on all the knowledge of the previous generation and the one before that, so that the process can continue. Perhaps we are just a sovereign lifeform formed in isolation on a lonely little heap of rock drifting through the nothingness. Perhaps no purpose exists as to 'why' we are here - but I've abandoned all that a long time ago. It used to frighten me and now it is nothing but a fact. Perhaps you're looking for the wrong kind of purpose. Perhaps the purpose eludes you. Perhaps the purpose isn't what you're expecting, and when you discover it you might see it in all its' horror and its' limitless, inimitable beauty, for that is the nature of truth. If you aren't humbled before it you haven't discovered it. I am here to live. I am here to grow, to savour with every breath the life that has been given me, to fight my daemons and work through the issues I have uncovered in my mind - to pass that onto others and see their thoughts on it and lie for hours discussing things in this very way - just to live. To LIVE. And none of you are doing it. Noone seems to know what the word means anymore. Filling ourselves with this puerile angst - for that is all it is and the greatest men of this world have overcome it in the earliest periods of their life - and shivering and hiding underneath it, unwilling to push against, and you all use it as an excuse to be complacent and apathetic towards everything you do, everything that you've been given - have you any idea what you've GOT? - nothing escapes its' embrace, love, sex, pain, anguish, you profane everything with your carelessness, and you hit 40 or 50 with the same weakness, the same problems you developed in your early teens which you never dealt with. It's a disease. A pop culture version of nihilism which has overtaken almost everything and everyone I've ever met, only a few souls have had some spark within them to remedy it. Just get up. It won't go away, but you'll be better accustomed to deal with it. You'll understand it better, see that some of it was bullshit and some of it was right, find out how to deal with the truths that remained correct, and find meaning in other places. Find your own place within the world, your own validity - because you have it, each and everyone of you, none of you are worthless. You'll look back on it within the next five years as a trivial amusement, the screeches of an untamed and immature mind. Stop whining. Get up. Get up and fight whatever it is you need to fight, push and push into whatever corner of your personality you want to discover, grit your teeth and mercilessly attack those weaknesses - social anxiety, lack of willpower, procrastination, faithlessness (in the world, not in God) - I don't know, they're all there and you all know what they are within yourselves. They are the key to your awakening. Fight them. Travel, experience, love, allow your emotions to overtake you JUST for a moment to see what happens, have faith in the worlds' ability to live up to what you think it should, GIVE IN for that slightest of seconds. Get up. Get up and BECOME something.

Michael said on January 31, 2009 2:02 AM:

Reading a couple more comments, I saw someone state "intelligence is a burden" and most of you seem to have some kind of derision for your own intellect, which is a goddamned travesty. Where have we ended up if intelligence is viewed with bitterness? Use that one, too. Use it to discover, for it is your tool. Something as much of an asset as intelligence is only a burden if you refuse to express it. It lets you see things, and you're hating it for that? Confront the things you see! Use it to find out more! And I'm done. You can go back to your existences.

Athena said on February 12, 2009 5:31 PM:

That was refreshing Michael...Live and learn! Learn and Live!

J Mankin said on April 20, 2009 1:30 PM:

Great thoughts. You all seem like kindred spirits to me.
I grew up in an intellectual household, and have been an analytical left-brain all my 54 years. Frankly, although I've been programmed to analyze everything, the analysis hasn't improved my life or my pursuit of happiness. It's actually created depression, anger and despair and false-ego-momentary-gratification.

So now I use my analysis for number crunching and other activities that require the "calculator." I'm happiest when I'm playing my saxophone, meditating, or otherwise letting the thoughts and analysis go- like a cloud drifting by. I no longer believe that there's an "inherent truth"- so I don't waste my energy seeking it.

J Mankin said on April 20, 2009 1:45 PM:

There is a reasonable middle ground between over-intellectualizing and willful ignorance. You can be observant, become skillful and wise. At the same time, if you understand the nature of thinking and ego, you can avoid the suffering that we often create for ourselves- when we rely on and believe everything we think. I highly recommend the book, The Power of Now, by Ekhart Tolle. (this is not a religious thing...)

J K said on April 27, 2009 11:49 AM:

Ignorance am I

There is one thing that I know and that is, I KNOW NOTHING....a truth is a tested conclusion beyond criticism and debate. to have knowledge you have to assume that we know the truth and that every scientist making theorys are right and every historical event was truthfully recorded warts and all, when really we are like the religious having faith that their word is correct, is what we know, what we are taught, the truth, schools teach the same stuff generation after generation children grow up to be teachers and so on teaching things that they learnt but how do we know everything is the truth, someone further up the page said that an intelligent athiest could not bring him/herself to become religous because of the need for proof, but what i'm saying is that our opinions and views, beleifs and knowledge about everything have been shaped since the day we were born by our family and schools and media without them ever having to proove one of their teachings, for example we all are taught about evolution as a child, that we all started as small creatures that crawled out of the water, but how do you know that it happened did they prove it to us, no, have they even got proof, no. so what is it fact or opinion or what?
even the history books were written by someone, meaning a man wrote them, a person, by definition they are biased,lyers who cannot be trusted, you are taking someones word for it, exersizing trust, having faith and you cannot varyfy it, now re-think your whole understanding of everything because everything you know is second third or even thirtieth hand and has been told originally by a person, History is written by the victors, and it is true the ones who won the wars were allways the virtuous because they are the ones around to tell the tale, and the opposition are allways evil,
the moral to all this is keep an open mind to everything , see everything, say nothing, and belive it when you see it,
And until you see it for yourself you know nothing

Rick Tan said on April 28, 2009 1:01 AM:

Only an ignorant person believe that ignorant is a bliss. For those who find themselves being lazy to work on their mind, I really pity them. I'm bless for the quest of knowledge and wisdom, by pursuing the truth and wisdom makes me feel alive and happy.

I choose not to agree with cliches. I feel sorry for people who does. Always remember, material goods and money can disappear in many circumstances, like fire, quakes, robbery... but no one can actually rob you from your intellect while you are still alive.

Skiu said on May 4, 2009 5:10 PM:

Its fun to see many of the "intellectuals" here over thinking this, maybe there is more to say about the complete quote “Where ignorance is bliss, Tis folly to be wise.” . "Ignorance is bliss" cut out by "intellectuals" for "intellectuals" is not about the concept of knowledge and wisdom or ingnorance , pure and simple its just about ignoring the every day facts (the long list at the begining), facts that could knock you down from your fragile "golden perch of bliss".
So stop analyzing a simple 3 word statement, read, think , maybe learn something then get up as michael said a few posts up, move your behind, there is a big world out there to challenge you, your intelligence ,your present and influence your future.

Skiu said on May 4, 2009 5:52 PM:

Reading the comments i mainly agreed with michael extended post and point of view, but at the end i found myself thinking at another short and meaningful post...maybe you analyze this :))

We are all ignorant, maybe this is bliss

Fanel said on June 4, 2009 3:54 AM:

'Ignorance is bliss' is just a poor way of excusing ourselves. Because,though it is a curse to aknowlodge the meaning of this phrase, it doesn't force you to live by it. I mean ofc life is pointless, short, paradoxal and we are never given the answers we are looking for and ofc we will all die sooner or later, but with a little self determintation we could beat any challenge innit. See me including in the worst part of the intelectuals. The ever-thinking barely-acting allways-loosing the self-destroying part of us. I know this thread for a cupple of years now. Will try not to come back here again. More debating means more thinking about this subject. Ohhh and btw Ignorace is Bliss doesn't reffer to have knoledge of science, maths, biology, etc. it's now about exact sciences. It's about philosophy, religion, ideology and not trying to answer stupid no-answer questions (where do we come from? where do we go? what is the meaning of life? is there really a god out there?(bet phil-original poster- thinks there is non like i do) and the list goes on). I'm 22 now and for the last 5 years i only thought of this and it got me nowhere (and trust me i've been on all sides of this - religious, philosophy even got me to quantum phisics). Only things i discovered were more paradoxes, more questions, and some false-claimed truths that i dismanteled and saddly found out that those truths would be of no concern(use) for the majority of humans. ATM preparing myself for a radical change. A test of will for the reminder of my life. Keep doing things. Keep my mind ocupied. If IiB pops in my mihead again means i'm losing time. it's really not that hard.

Chris said on June 7, 2009 2:37 PM:

You have eyes. Use them.
You have ears. Use them
You have brains. Use them.
You have a body. Use it.
Be happy.
Acceptance and commitment.
Every person is a universe.

James said on June 13, 2009 2:57 PM:

This is fucking retarded. This is just cynical existential bull shit. Ignorance is bliss is a statement on our nature, if we don't know something exists: we can't want it, we can't hate it, we can't dread it, we can't do anything with it. You can't do shit with nothing (0 x 1?, 2 - 0?, 4 / 0?), and when you can't do shit you're happy--ever heard of a vacation?
I'm glad some people were able to pull out the stupidity and lack of validity in all these statements. Just a bunch of relative words defining relative states of mind and with relatively fucking retarded conclusions.
One of these, "love doesn't exist" assholes. You sound worse than a moody teenager. Go back to reading Nietzsche and thinking you understand it.

mirdije said on August 15, 2009 10:13 AM:

I personally think that this kind of 'intellectual' is really going nowhere. What are you trying to do? showing off on your IQ-s. The first thing that worries me after reading all of your beautifully constructed lines is that I didnt find one person who was thinking of the happiness of others rather than their own. Is it bliss to be living happily and ignorantly in a world where people are starving and dying in wars created by your own governments, that you have voted for?

You all seem to want to be intellectual for the sake of being intellectual. Is it all about yourself? Are you all so ignorant about what surrounds you? Drowning in your petty sorrows?

I guess ignorance is bliss, because you do like it, dont you?

ZXFXZFXZ said on August 24, 2009 10:39 AM:

In my ignorant and blissful opinion all of you are idiots

marcus aurelius said on January 4, 2010 8:48 PM:

@ Ryan said on August 19, 2008 11:50 AM

I agree, Christ made a very valid point there. Where can i find more of his work?

jus playin'. I'm really glad i stumbled upon this blog. I've red some very helpful and eye-opening comments. Thanks!

Ragz said on January 8, 2010 6:33 PM:

Everything is relative. There is no truth. Feel free to debate however the statement "everything is relative" is relative, or the truth in "there is no truth."
Anywayway, my comment on your list and the comments (the ones i could be bothered to read atleas) is that everything is relative and that none of you speaks the truth.

Sean said on March 23, 2010 11:26 AM:

The "ignorance is bliss" thing; people have always been afraid of knowledge because of the perceived problems that come with it - I think here of the Fruit of Knowledge (or whatever it is) in The Bible, and vocal opposition to the pursuits of Science (from 'scientia,' Latin for 'knowledge').

The saying is the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "LALALALAIMNOTLISTENING!! -" for people who would genuinely be happier not knowing.

I'm happier with the knowledge; I've always been a bit curious anyway.

Ace said on April 4, 2010 5:53 PM:

Uhm ignorance is not bliss, so far from it..What if you stay ignorant your entire life, and when you die you regret it soo much, but you can't do anyting about it. You regret that you never spent a minute contemplating your life, why you'r here etc..the ignorant people will say there's nothing greater than us, but the smart one will know that it is, and believe me will be so much happier when the'y've moved from ignorence to intellect (at least when it comes to finding out your purpose in life)..

ShADoW,and everyone who think that there IS something greater than us, and who are brainwashed by medias explanation of religion (cause relly that's what has happend), really for your own sakes, wisit

www.quranexplorer.com, and press "launch quran explorer".

I recomend you cut out the translation (there's a button), and read the translation for your self. I also recomend choosing "As-Sudais-Shraym" as reciter. Really,if you'r sincere with your self and want to find answers, then wisit the website.

Aleksander W. said on November 21, 2010 8:05 AM:

This will be true till intellectuals take psychedelics and see through the layers of everyday-life :)

resume writing service said on November 22, 2010 11:16 AM:

the smart one will know that it is, and believe me will be so much happier when the'y've moved from ignorence to intellect

myiuki said on November 28, 2010 10:05 AM:

I found myself plagued by these questions relentlessly as a child, because my innocence was stripped from me early. I developed decision-making tools to cope.
Situations can be handled by considering a few things:
* the chess concept of time (how many moves you make/how efficiently you can complete your objective) (your goals are achievable if you are certain they are correct)
* developmental psychology (attempt to emulate the virtues of a stage slightly beyond your comprehension)
* be willing to change your answer as more information arrives; conversely, assume that the fault in your reasoning is insufficient data (and seek that data)
* knowing which information is most pertinent is more valuable than having more data--this is known as experience. If, being young, you do not have this advantage, you can emulate those around you who are the best at what they do.

I found that picking goals that statistically bring me happiness and then working towards those goals while simultaneously trying to be happy sometimes leads to a compromise between happiness and effectiveness. however, I am of an age range where such inconsistent behavior is met with fewer negative consequences(only because I keep redefining negative). I am taking advantage of that, and I won't stop for a few years--i'm not ready to settle down and choose a reality.

In my life, I've found some things really are "slippery slopes", where one ambiguous decision will lead to circumstances conspiring to keep you where you are. I make it my general practice to avoid habits, but i've found too good an antidepressant. Don't rob yourself of the darker half of the spectrum of emotions in an attempt to be happy. Actually, why try to control emotions? why not try to control results instead, and enjoy the roller coster ride.

Of course, i'm crazy, but i'm sure that's unrelated.

Person said on December 3, 2010 3:25 PM:

I don't believe all of this as fact. Life is life and no matter how much arbitration you can state, you experience solely through your own biased perspective. It's funny to say that, because that merely comes from my biased perspective as well. However what my biased perspective also tells me about this post is that many would consider these, as they have been called, "dirty truths" but it can be interpreted differently. In fact many of these negative "facts" (or whatever you choose to call them) are rather comforting, don't be so repulsed by this. These statements are merely a different rendering of several widely accepted philosophies humans have gathered through life. Ultimately it's what you make of them. You may find happiness in knowing that these "facts" apply to many if not all people, and that you can understand life is perfect for nobody. Some may look at it in a sad way. The truth is I can't fully express what it is I'm trying to say, but if I were to sum up what it is I am trying to convey is that you experience life your own way. You will interpret this your own way, if you don't like it, you can tell people in your own way. If you denounce whoever posted this, I will tell you that it was wrong of you to do. Then you can promptly tell me to fuck off in your own way. So ultimately all of this post this guy put up doesn't necessarily have to dictate your life, so please for the love of whatever god you chose, calm down people.

dewel smith said on December 19, 2010 9:57 AM:

I beleive GOD of humanity and the morning star left. we have not acceped this fact.the fact is that human do shit other humans that make the GODS puke. no elohim/saton fighting for us, there gone. it been us the hole time.

WILL THE GODS of GOOD AND BAD return -no they found a better loveing human race faraway from this shitpile. Man saton left,thats fuck up.

we will go on till we destroy our self in the name of GODs/SATONs ( good or bad gods by ever dogma YOU do) yes the shells of there tempals,books are here but they got off the boat along time ago. HUMAN/man 12/18/2010 AD

King of Fools said on December 27, 2010 4:00 PM:

Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is slavery.
Knowledge is our emancipation.
Willful ignorance is traitorous and should not be condoned under any guise.
We will always be slaves, forever seeking emancipation from the constraints of our ignorance.
While we may never be completely liberated, our perseverance will ensure greater and greater freedom for all.
So, I implore you, do not deny, accept, or, revel in, your ignorance. Instead, endure in the pursuit, and, sharing of knowledge, and, know that, even though some knowledge can be painful, you are serving the greater good.

Jfreeman said on January 7, 2011 10:42 AM:

It's really, REALLY hard to pay attention to any article that lets grammar atrocities and Internet abbreviations into its weave.

No intellectual should pay any sort of attention to this.

gertrude said on January 27, 2011 7:35 PM:

in re the phrase "ignorance is bliss" -
in the ideal, this phrase would come down to this:
the fact that the existence of a "god" or "gods" is unknown, and unknowable frees one from the constraints of theism, [ poly and mono,] and allows/forces ones own internal "god", [ the superego/conscience,] to actualize its capacity,
not relying on the fatalism of theism, and the preface phrase, "I AM AGNOSTIC, [ one who accepts that since there is no knowledge of a "god", and since that knowledge is unattainable, it therefore becomes pragmatically irrelevant,] I DO NOT PRETEND TO KNOW WHAT IGNORANT MEN ARE SURE OF", allows one to accept the higher philosophical and critical thinker levels version, to wit:
"the acceptance of ignorance of theistic existence allows the previously manufactured burden of the superego to be released,
ergo "ignorance is bliss"
- transcender

Jake said on February 8, 2011 5:27 PM:

I think all these people screaming 'Nihilism!' and saying that this blog reveals juvenility are looking a bit too deep.

He/she's MUSING! Most of these musings that he/she's collected can serve to remind that your perspective isn't the top or the bottom of the scale. Most of these little 'truths' are the reverse of concepts that many use to become dangerously biased (by dangerously I simply mean that their bias can cause negative impact in their own life).

I don't interpret any of this as negative 'woe is me' idiocy. I read it as a simple reminder to not be overconfident, as that's the core meaning he/she received while pondering the phrase 'ignorance is bliss'.

opt in email marketing said on March 7, 2011 10:13 AM:

I heard a story on NPR this weekend. It was about this guy who had a brain injury and, as a result, had lost connection to his emotional self. He was perfectly rational and was able to function, but lost his ability to have emotional reactions. His life had fallen apart after the accident and the point of the story seemed to be that our emotional side is more powerful than our rationality. I disagreed. Our emotions are a natural extension of our rational state. Events make us happy or sad or angry because of our core beliefs and the way the we think about them. I don't know if this blog actually relates, but it reminded me of that story...

Allyn said on August 10, 2011 1:00 AM:

I mostly agree with you on the whole ignorance is bliss thing. sometimes you get to the point when you know to much your mind begin to bleed.

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