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Ignorance Is Bliss

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/14/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,925 times Debate No: 65154
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




A popular term used when referring to apathy, the statement "ignorance is bliss" can also be applied to wider contexts. Ignorance in this debate refers to a general lack of knowledge or a shallowness of thought in regards to complex philosophical questions. Is ignorance truly bliss? In this case, is ignorance to be desired?


Ignorance cannot be considered bliss. Ignorance is the absence of knowledge, absence of intelligence even. People who are ignorant don't understand, they can't feel empathy, they can't even sympathize with other people. Ignorance is not just the blind fold, it is the ropes that bind your mind. A person cannot be truly happy if they can't understand and they don't have knowledge.
Debate Round No. 1


Very few people can be considered truly ignorant in the manner which you have discussed. You seem to be discribing emotional ignorance, or complete self-engrossment, which would be considered either narcissism or sociopathy. Although it does not pertain to the original debate, I will address your argument. You offered no evidence, or even theory, to support your claim that a lack of knowledge and intelligence constitutes unhappiness. Are you claiming that there is an intelligence threshold that must be reached in order to be happy? You failed to consider individuals with genetic or cognitive disorders such as down syndrome. While considered unintelligent by society, men and women with down syndrome are often characterized by their joy.

In regards to the second half of your argument, "A person cannot be truly happy if they can't understand and they don't have knowledge." If a person is truly unable to understand and does not possess knowledge, then they do not know that they lack these things, and are, therefore, unaffected. The only case in which your claim could be true is if the person knows that they are not understanding a concept that they truly desire to understand, and experience distress as a result. The knowledge of not knowing is knowledge in itself, and it is knowledge that causes distress. Knowledge that one does not have cannot affect a person because it has not come into a person's consciousness. It does not exist within that person's world.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe you have missed the essence of the debate. Ignorance in this case, as I described in my first argument, is referring to philosophical ignorance, not fundamental ignorance. For example, is one who frequently questions the meaning of life happier than one who does not? My argument is that the one who does not delve into the unanswerable questions of life is happier than the one who does.


Well since my opinion is apparently not good enough, here is my response. I still believe ignorance is NOT bliss, in any way whether it be philosophical or fundamental.

If someone does ask themselves those questions, I would still say they have a different happiness from those who don't. Say the question was "What is the meaning of life?" Say someone asked themselves this and found the answer. It was an answer that was relevant to them so it made them happier. It's not going to make someone else happier by knowing that information because it doesn't matter to them. So I guess what I'm trying to say in a roundabout way is that people who ask themselves questions like that can be happier because they can find the things that will have a big impact on their lives and maybe find what "completes" them. People who search for the meaning in their own lives are happier because they may find the meaning and the importance and worthiness of themselves. I'm sorry if you don't think that's an adequate response. I don't really care.
Debate Round No. 2


Easy tiger.. this is not a personal attack on you or your opinion. However, you are correct. I do not view your opinion as good enough. I respect that it is yours, and you are entitled to it, but this is not a mutual sharing of opinions. We are debating. It is not a serious or important debate, so I can see why you would view your opinion as valid reason for believing something. But it is a generally accepted rule that when posing an argument, if you wish for your position to be seriously considered, it is crucial to provide evidence. "It's my opinion" does not count as evidence. In fact, the definition of "opinion" is: a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

So since this is a debate, and since debates are two-sided by nature, I'm going to continue to counter your argument.

First, a person searching for the meaning of life and an individual searching for their own purpose in life are two different things. The meaning of life is not something that is different for each individual. The purpose of life, on the other hand, is specific to each individual. I agree with you. Finding one's purpose in life brings happiness. But I would not classify that question as one of higher thinking. Almost everyone must eventually ask themselves that question in order to progress in life, and the answer is not always hidden or complex. It is the questions that follow the answer to that question that I believe vex the human soul. Questions like, "what happens when I achieve my supposed 'purpose'?" or "what is the significance of living for this happiness?".

In addition, the question is not "does knowledge bring happiness?" Obviously multiple bits of information can bring happiness. When creating this debate, I was curious to find if anyone could persuasively argue that ignorance is not bliss. You have provided a form of evidence to support the idea that knowledge can bring happiness, but you still have not given evidence to support your main idea.

You argue that "ignorance is NOT bliss".

This implies that ignorance is the opposite of bliss (misery).

You have not once discussed how this is so.

Since this is the last round, your reply will need to be detailed and conclusive. In order to consider your stance valid, I need more evidence that is focused on the true question.

I ask for one of the following:

1) you provide evidence supporting the idea that ignorance is misery
2) you admit that you can't argue that claim (which would end this debate with my victory based on a fallacy)

You will most likely think that I am referring to a fallacy in your argument, but this is not so. I am referring to the false conclusion that would be drawn if you were not able to provide evidence for your argument. The false conclusion is this: because Con could not provide evidence for their claim, Pro's argument is true. This is an appeal to ignorance fallacy.

Lastly, I would hope that you would care, considering you entered this debate by free will. I do not want to debate with someone who does not care to refute and be refuted. I will accept any rebuttals you care to make, and I will happily respond to your arguments against my claims. That is what we are both here to do. Did you expect differently?



First of all.. "What is the meaning of life?" Can be considered a question of higher thinking. Who are you to say it's not? Higher thinking depends for all individuals.

Secondly.. Ignorance is misery. When you are a child, you don't really understand the world. You only understand and know what's directly around you. When you get older, if people retain the same sense, that is ignorance. That is miser, even if a person doesn't know it. Their subconscious is miserable because they don't seek out information. Their human desire to be curious remains unsatisfied because they don't seek out new information. They sit there in a world that they have created in their own minds. So yes it is misery. It's misery because they don't know what they are missing. To an extent, yes I see why you may think ignorance is bliss. It can make a person feel better if they suffered an emotional trauma. But philosophically, they way you insist on discussing it, no. If a person doesn't push themselves to find out their purpose and their own personal meaning in life, then that will give them happiness to know what they are meant to do.

And no I don't really care because it is a debate about "philosophical 'ignorance is bliss'" with a person I will never meet. It is a debate that is pretty irrelevant to real life. If you wanted to debate fundamental "ignorance is bliss" then yes I would care a little more because that has something to do with reality a little more than philosophically. Not many people actually ask themselves what they are supposed to do after they find their purpose in life. Stop commenting on my other debates. I did not ask for your input on them. I understand that you see yourself as very intelligent and abstract and profound. I know you see me as someone you need to instruct and show what I'm doing wrong. But you aren't smarter than I am. I just have no interest in philosophy. I don't care if you don't think my response is good enough or profound enough. I don't. Stay off my other debates.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by sjrrj 3 years ago
The reason why I said something to you at the end of the debate was because I couldn't private message you. I stated my view on the topic. I completely understand what a debate is. It allows me to state what I think about the subject. Which is what I did. And you were condescending at times so yes that is why I called you out on that. Have a good night.
Posted by cibro 3 years ago
since I didn't get to respond, I'm just going to post my response here.

My opponent took MY debate and turned it into their own.

This is a debate about ignorance and happiness in a philosophical sense, which I specified from the beginning. So yes, I insist on talking about it in that sense. I made the debate. I get to specify. You accepted it and became indignant when I tried to disprove your arguments. Bro that's why we are all on the dang site.

Secondly, you made it personal. Your final argument was a rag on my personal character, which was completely appropriate for a debate. And yes, I was trying to be intelligent and point out how your argument was lacking. That's how you win a debate. I don't think I am smarter than you at all. But I am most definitely going to try to outsmart you and any one else who I get to debate. It's nothing personal.

You misunderstood a lot of what I said. And since the debate is over I'm not going to correct you. Because I get the idea that you wouldn't listen anyways.

I didn't realize that other debate was yours. You had that purple circle that 75% of the other users have as your picture, and it was just the most recent debate. Plus, you ARE asking for people's input by POSTING A DEBATE. DEBATE. DEBATE. Do you understand what that means?

I expected a civil debate about the topic I chose and am interested in. That is not what I got. Don't accept a challenge if you aren't emotionally detached enough to finish without making it personal.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: slowly, but surely, con manages to pull off a good argument and show how ignorance in the face of searching the meaning of life would not bring bliss at all.