The Instigator
Chrysippus
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Kinesis
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

Ignorance is Bliss

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Kinesis
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,496 times Debate No: 19412
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (4)

 

Chrysippus

Con

I thank in advance whatever hapless soul the Norns have fated to take up this debate opposite me. Perhaps no-one will. I don't know yet, and that fact causes me a certain degree of trepidation.

I do put effort into these debates, after all, and it would be most disappointing if after my work nobody thought this debate worth their time.


If I knew in advance that no-one wanted to debate this with me, I could avoid making it in the first place, sparing myself a great deal of disappointment later on and a certain amount of paranoia in the present.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ignorance, (a word which here means "to be tragically unaware of some fact pertinent to your situation" http://dictionary.reference.com... ) is most DEFINITELY not bliss, a fact which can be easily deduced. Allow me to present three situations which will demonstrate this.


1. Your "indigenous"* tour bus breaks down whilst on the "road"* between Caxito, Angola and Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. You and all the other passengers are forced to disembark and proceed on foot; and while the natives are accustomed to passing lightly through the forest without attracting the attention of large native-eating carnivores, you are not. You bumble and thrash through the underbrush, causing a great deal of noise; and even you realise that this is hardly an ideal situation.

You begin to fear for your life, under the false impression that lions might jump out at you from behind any tree. This laughable misconception you gained from your misspent childhood, where your primary extra-curricular activity was watching re-runs of old George of the Jungle cartoons. You become quite panicked at the thought of being gobbled alive by fierce tawny predators, and spend the last terrified hours of your life running blindly through the jungle.

If you had only known that lions live mainly on the savannah, and that you had more to fear from the flesh-eating bacteria in the water you just drank, you could have avoided spending your final moments in dread and despair. Ignorance was not bliss in this case.

*(a word which here means "broken down and unreliable.")



2. You are a honest international arms dealer with a regrettable habit of selling harmless nuclear secrets to Third World nations. Because you are jealous of your privacy, and do not wish to be disturbed by masses of your fans seeking autographs and that sort of thing, you maintain communications with your clients via a system of drop points and hidden letterboxes. It is while you are surreptitiously checking one of these that you notice a large man in shades taking a picture of the shrubbery you are emerging from; and by reason of coincidence, you.

It is regrettable that you are unaware that that man really is Hermann Grusenvater, termnial tourist, and not a government agent as you think. If you knew, you probably would not fly into a paranoid rage, leap from the bushes, stab the man fifteen times overhand just below the clavicle, and steal his camera; you would also have most likely not turn to run from this crime and land in the waiting arms of an understandably upset policeman, and by due process of law (a phrase which here means "A S&W 45 caliber and an eight-pound nightstick, duly wielded") a life sentence in a maximum security prison.

Ignorance betrays you in this case, and most certainly is not bliss for you.



3. You were the inoffensive harmless kindly executive head of a major energy company; one so famous, I can only allude to it here as beginning with the letter "E" and ending with "-ron." You lived with the sad suspicion that your company was intrinsically corrupt, but did not have any idea who could be responsible for the situation. You had no idea, for instance, why corporate memos instructing the company accountants to be more creative in recording liabilities kept ending up on your desk, nor why your name was usually appended. You did not know why every time you asked for a file more than two days old, your secretary reported that it had been carelessly destroyed. You did not know why everyone in your office acted so nervous when a police car drove by - but you suspected there was something wrong, and it saddened your entire life.

If only you knew that there was a perfectly legitimate explanation for all this, and that you had no reason at all to be worried. You could have enjoyed your forty-foot yacht in peace of mind, knowing all was well. Your ignorance of the true situation caused you untold emotional turmoil, undue ulcers, and an early grave; all because you didn't know your employees were playful ex-con practical jokers.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


It is indeed a sad world.


I am, in fact, totally unaware of anything worth living for, any unspoilt beauty left in this earth, any harmony among men. As far as I know, this world is full of only sadness, darkness, and despair; ours being an unfair existence eked out among the ashes of what might have been.

My girlfriend left me, my family dumped me in this nursing home (with Nazi attendants whom I am convinced use the inpatients as experimental subjects in their tests of human endurance), and I lost that Mafia game. All is gloomy, as far as I can see.

If only I knew of anything happy, or kind, or wonderful; even if it only happened to someone else, it would make my life better to know about it - but no, I'm stuck here in my wheelchair wishing this apartment (a word which here means "a 4x8 cell without running water in which people stick their aged relatives when they wish to forget about them") were a little less dark. If there is anything worth knowing out there, my ignorance certainly isn't bliss for me.


Ignorance is not bliss. I used to think it was, but that was back when I was young and knew everything. Now that I am old and ignorant, I am simply miserable.


To my opponent, then; if he even exists.

-C.
Kinesis

Pro

I thank my opponent for his amusing yet mildly depressing first round. This debate shall, unfortunately, turn into a debate about lexis and definitions quite shortly - this is inevitable, for reasons I will shortly explain.

What is the phrase "Ignorance is Bliss"?

The phrase "Ignorance is Bliss" is an idiom. As wikipedia explains, an idiom is: "an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made" [1]. For example, take the idiom "To Kick the Bucket". There is no bucket. There is no kicking of said bucket. The reason is that the whole phrase means something different from the definitions of its constituent parts: in this case, to die.

What does "Ignorance is Bliss" mean?

In the case of "Ignorance is Bliss" the meaning is somewhat closer to the meaning of its constituent parts than the meaning of 'Kick the Bucket" - however, there is a highly relevant difference. The idiom originally comes from the concluding lines of Thomas Grey's poem Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College [2] which states:

"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"

As we can see, in its original setting, the phrase "Ignorance is Bliss" is part of a conditional statement. In other words, it means that it is foolish to learn the facts when doing so would cause misery and suffering, and where ignorance would be blissful. Now, if we take this to be the meaning of the phrase, then all Con's counterexamples are nullified - for in those counterexamples, ignorance is the thing causing suffering to the people so the Idiom no longer applies.

Now, it means that in its original formulation: but refer back to the definition I gave of an idiom. It states that the meaning of an idiom is given "in regard to a common use of that expression". Now, language is fluid - it changes constantly and sometimes it is difficult to pin the down the way in which an expression is generally used. I believe that the phrase is generally used now as follows: "If one does not no about a problem or unpleasant fact, one will not worry about it". This seems to be the consensus amongst the dictionaries I have looked the phrase up in, and in my own experience. Take The Free Dictionary [3], which gives the example "I wish the newspapers would stop telling us about the dangers of eating meat. It seems to me ignorance is bliss". The statement is specifically saying that if one is ignorant of something worrisome or fearful, one will not be troubled by it - and this is the case even if one will come to harm through ignorance.

Is the phrase correct, given this meaning?

I think that in the vast majority of cases (which is really all one can reasonably hope for with proverbs - they are intended to be general guides or wise insights, not logical axioms or laws) the phrase does hold. It seems obviously true that if one does not know about a worrisome thing, one will be be happier off. This happiness might be delusional or ill advised, but it will be real. If I do not know that I will die in three days time, I will likely be happier than if I had known (until I die of course).

Now, let us turn to Con's examples:

1. The lions in the jungle.
2. The nuclear arms dealer.
3. The E-Ron executive.

In these cases, the fear is caused by the positive presence of a false belief, rather than ignorance of a true belief. Given the above, the phrase refers to things which one does not know, rather than things one believes but are false. Thus, in these cases the phrase "Ignorance is bliss" does not apply and so cannot be mistaken about them.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikisource.org...
[3] http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Chrysippus

Con

I thank Kinesis for taking this debate, and posing such a challenge; this looks to be a fun debate.

Ignorance is bliss: an idiom?

I trust we all know what an idiom is. When someone refers to a "cool car," it is usually safe to assume they do not mean this: http://www.instablogsimages.com...

Likewise, if I say my opponent is "hip," I am not saying he is this: http://upload.wikimedia.org...


Idioms have meanings that are not obvious from the words themselves. People attempting to learn a second language often have difficulty learning the idioms, because each one has to be explained; they can not be translated literally.

For instance, I lived in Germany for a few years, back when I was young; and the constant refrain from my German teacher was "You must not translate literally." So many phrases made little to no sense when I took them at face value; even after they were explained to me, they still sound strange. When Bavarians greet each other, it sounds to me like they are swearing at each other. "Gruß Gott!" really just means "Hello," or "Good day," but it sounds like they are going around saying "Great God!" at each other. Similarly, "Macht schnell!" doesn't mean "Make fast;" it means "Hurry up!"


However, a foreigner with a good dictionary could probably determine the real meaning of the phrase "Ignorance is bliss;" none of the words actually mean anything different when in the phrase than they do otherwise, and the phrase itself is pretty much literally the sum of it's parts. Not knowing something makes you happier.

The phrase may be a proverb, or a cliche, but it does not seem to fit the definition of an idiom.

Ignorance is bliss: correct?

On the surface, at least, it is intuitively correct. If we don't know how miserable we should be, we will be happier. If I don't know that my wife is planning to leave me for someone with better table manners, I can enjoy my last few days with her without sorrowing about her imminent departure.

On the surface, I say, there seem to be some cases in which this proverb applies. Obviously it is wrong in all of the cases I put forward last round; in the first three, the characters were doomed to a life of sorrow and an early grave because they did not know something very important to their situation. In the last case, I would be happy if I knew anything to be happy about. In all four, ignorance was misery, not bliss. But on the whole, there seem to be many cases in which life is unfair, and we would be happier if we were unaware.

The fact is, in the vast majority of those cases, we could avoid the misery by knowing enough at the right time. Ignorance may be (comparative and temporary) bliss in those cases, but it won't last; sooner or later we learn the truth about our situation and our false happiness is gone.

Better to know beforehand what is going wrong and how to remedy the situation. If I knew that my wife despises the way I inhale my food and use the tablecloth to wipe my mouth, I could have taken steps to apologize for my behavior and act better at my meals.

And one can be ignorant of something good, which would have made you happy if you only knew about it. Ignorance of your girlfriend's true feelings about you may allow to to remain in self-doubt and uncertainty, when she has been waiting forever for you to pop the question. Not knowing about your rich uncle's last will, in which you are named his sole heir, may mean he dies intestate; the State takes just about everything, and you get nothing.


Contrariwise:

So ignorance does not always cause happiness. It gets worse, though; ignorance usually causes unhappiness.

"Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been." -John Greenleaf Whittier

"If I only knew." Everyone says this, right? "If I only knew x were about to happen, I could have done y."

"If I only knew the road was icy there..."
"If I only knew you were allergic to peanut butter..."
"If I only knew you had AIDS..."
"If I only knew the gun was loaded..."

Many, if not most, of life's tragedies are caused by ignorance on someone's part, or (if done deliberately) were allowed because the right people didn't know it was being planned.

If the right people knew where that iceberg was, the Titanic needn't have sunk.
If you knew your son put a bucket of water above the door, you could have avoided soaking the contracts you brought home to work on.

If one learns early about the dangers of eating meat, one can change one's diet and avoid having to undergo a dangerous quadruple bypass surgery down the road.



Conclusion:

If ignorance brings happiness, which I have demonstrated is not always the case, it appears to be a shallow and temporary kind. I contend that it is far better to know what you are dealing with and how to avoid the unpleasant consequences of your choices and circumstances, rather than to blindly go on making those poor choices and remaining in those dangerous circumstances out of ignorance.


Ignorance is not always happiness. It does not usually bring happiness. Ignorance usually causes unhappiness.


The statement, "Ignorance is bliss," is usually false.


Kinesis

Pro

There are a number of crucial considerations that bear on this debate. They are:

1. Is 'Ignorance is Bliss' literal?
2. Does 'Ignorance is Bliss' have to be true in all situations to be considered true?
3. What does 'Ignorance is Bliss' actually mean?

I do not believe that any phrase has a 'correct' or 'essential' definition: I take the view of Ludwig Wittgenstein, which is that definitions have 'familial relationships' with one another, that overlap and evolve over time. Nonetheless, we can tell the rough, current meaning of a phrase by its general use: and I do not believe that this general use is the use Con is claiming that it has.

1. Con claims that "'Ignorance is Bliss' is not an idiom, and claims that "the phrase itself is pretty much literally the sum of it's parts". I found the phrase on several dictionary sites listed as an idiom, but in any case this is untenable - the phrase is far too vague. Indeed, even the oversimplified definition Con gives: "Not knowing something makes you happier" is in fact a large elaboration on the original phrase. For the 'it makes you' in that sentence elaborates the information that it means people are causally affected by ignorance to be happier - information not available from the mere phrase by itself.

Even if we agree that the phrase is not sufficiently different from the sum of its parts to be considered an idiom, its meaning is still highly interpretable - which means we should pay careful attention to its use to determine its truth status.

2. I believe that this is obviously not true - proverbs are not intended to be logical principles in the same vein as axioms or mathematical truths. They only have to be largely true insights to be considered true. Take 'a penny saved is a penny earned'. This proverb is not undermined by the fact that it is possible that someone will steal all your saved pennies, thus rendering your earnings void - it only has to be generally true.

3. This is where the most important argument lies. Con did not respond to my documentation of the original source of the phrase: remember, I pointed out that in its original setting the phrase was a conditional statement that meant "it is foolish to learn the facts when doing so would cause misery and suffering, and where ignorance would be blissful". Con's arguments simply do not apply to this interpretation.

I claimed that the phrase typically was used to mean "If one does not know about a problem or unpleasant fact, one will not worry about it". I do not intend this to become a dictionary battle - and indeed, different dictionaries seem to give subtly different interpretations of the phrase. However, I believe this to be a more plausible interpretation than the one Con gives - which is just that "Not knowing something makes you happier.". This is obviously not true unconditionally. It does not even seem insightful, which makes me think that it cannot be the intended meaning - if it is not even intuitively plausible, why would people believe it?

In fact, I think Con gets it more right somewhere in his round. He says "If we don't know how miserable we should be, we will be happier". Note that this is different from saying that "Not knowing something makes you happier". The latter is a very general statement, wheras the former is conditional. It equates to "In situations where knowing something would make you miserable, not knowing that thing will make you happier" - and that seems true.

Con's various counterexamples.

Con gives a number of examples to try to prove his point. There is an initial problem I would like to raise with this approach - it does not seem to prove the resolution. For, just as in the case of 'a penny saved is a penny earned' exceptions to the phrase are not enough to negate the resolution - rather, one would have to show that the phrase is generally wrong, which I do not blelieve Con has done, or even attempted to do.

But even so, are his examples sound?

Some of them seem to be negated by the mere fact that they do not seem to rely on ignorance - the examples in his first round are not examples of ignorance - i,e, the lack of knowledge about something, but rather the presence of a false belief which is something different.

As far as I can tell, the suffering caused by the example at the end of the first round of Con being miserable is due to various misfortunes in his life, rather than ignorance. But in any case, the ignorance of happy or wonderful events simply does not apply to the proverb - for we have seen, it is not a general statement but rather a conditional one. It is only when the knowledge in question would have made you miserable that it applies.

The other examples all have a common theme - the person is happy at the time, but eventually his ignorance catches up with him and he is made miserable. Someone slips on ice and crashes, or shoots someone jokingly not knowing that someone else had loaded the gun.

Right away, there is a problem - in most of these examples, it is not true that knowing would make you unhappy. If you knew the road was icy it would not make you unhappy, but you would be more careful. If you knew the gun was loaded you would simply not shoot. However, there is another problem - the phrase obviously does not mean that you will be permanently happy - that's obviously false. Rather, the phrase more likely means that at the time of being ignorant you are happier than if you had known. Ignorance was indeed bliss when you had sex with the girl who had AIDs. That bliss, of course, did not last - eventually you found out that she had AIDs. But at the time the proverb was true, even if it did not last forever.

Debate Round No. 2
Chrysippus

Con

It's the last round of a fun debate, and I don't want to make this so long you will all skip it. Let me see how concise I can make this, without adding any new arguments.


Idom or not?

"Even if we agree that the phrase is not sufficiently different from the sum of its parts to be considered an idiom, its meaning is still highly interpretable - which means we should pay careful attention to its use to determine its truth status."

This statement is self-contradictory. If it is literal, if the meaning of the phrase is exactly or almost so the same as the sum of its parts, the meaning is not "highly interpretable;" the meaning is obvious.

If it were an idiom, far removed from its literal meaning, the meaning would require a lot more context to understand; but it is not, since anyone from just reading the phrase without any context can gather the meaning from the actual words. This phrase is wrongly labeled an idiom.


The point is not whether it is an idiom, though; the point is whether my opponent is allowed to fudge on the literal meaning to prevent it from supporting my argument.

The phrase, "Ignorance is bliss," is an incomplete thought in English. Whose ignorance? Of what?

We obviously use this in a human sense; we use it to refer to us. We now have:

(my) Ignorance is bliss.

As mentioned in the comments, when we use the phrase we do not mean absolute ignorance; that's a different debate. We mean it in the sense of not knowing something pertinent to our situation:

(my) Ignorance (of something that applies to my current situation) is bliss.

Is this a fair meaning that reflect current usage? Yes. Consider a time we might use the phrase:

"I was able to enjoy the party because I didn't know someone was stalking me. Ignorance is bliss, after all."

The literal interpretation works perfectly well for everyday usage.

When she finds her stalker in her bedroom, though, she will wish she knew that he was there so she could have called the police in time. Was ignorance bliss? Maybe temporarily. Could vast amounts of pain and danger been saved through knowledge? Absolutely. Which woman is happier: woman A who didn't know and was raped and maimed because of it, or woman B who knew ahead of time, had the guy locked up, and went on with her life unharmed?


Counterexamples.

To disprove this phrase, I cannot be expected to provide every possible example of a situation in which knowledge of a bad situation leads to happiness. I will not allow my opponent to hoist such a ridiculous burden onto my side of the debate, ESPECIALLY in the penultimate round. It seems reasonable that if I can demonstrate how this phrase is wrong in several instances and show how these are representative of a general principle, I will have upheld my side of this debate.

These instances I have given, and can continue to provide as long as I can type, are ubiquitous. I appeal to the common sense of the voters: How much of your life would have been happier if you had the knowledge you needed to avoid the everyday tragedies, disappointments, embarrassments, and failures that we all go through? How many situations have you been in where having complete knowledge would have saved you pain? How many everyday accidents happen, costing time, money, and sometimes lives, that just knowing (what the other diver was doing, that the roller skate was on the stairs, you fill in the blanks) would have prevented the whole thing?

I don't have to provide every example in the world to show this phrase is generally wrong; you can each do that for yourselves.


My worthy opponent attempts to characterize my initial examples as not being ignorant, but having a false belief. This is not an "either/or" situation; the two are linked. If the characters in my R1 examples had known the truth, they would not have jumped to the false conclusions they did. Since they didn't know the truth about their situation, they made conclusions that were completely wrong and were miserable.


"The other examples all have a common theme - the person is happy at the time, but eventually his ignorance catches up with him and he is made miserable. Someone slips on ice and crashes, or shoots someone jokingly not knowing that someone else had loaded the gun.

Right away, there is a problem - in most of these examples, it is not true that knowing would make you unhappy. If you knew the road was icy it would not make you unhappy, but you would be more careful. If you knew the gun was loaded you would simply not shoot."

Their ignorance made them unhappy, not blissful. This is exactly the point I am trying to make. In these cases, and so many like them, incomplete knowledge of the situation caused unhappiness.

The theme is obvious, I hope: Ignorance is not usually bliss; it is usually the opposite. Ignorance is what allows us to get into situations that cause unhappiness in the first place.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hardly know what more to add. I grow repetitive, so I should close here.

Kinesis, thank you for a fun debate. If I had known how enjoyable this debate was going to be, I would not have fretted over starting it. :P


-C.
Kinesis

Pro

Props to Con for a fun debate. I will also endevear to make this round brief.

Idiom or not?

Con claims I am contradicting myself when I say that even if we conceded that the phrase is not an idiom, we should still pay close attention to how it is used to determine its meaning. The problem is that 'not an idiom' does not mean 'completely literal'. It is obviously not completely literal because the phrase is not extensive enough to understand in itself - although perhaps one could deduce the meaning.

Con correctly identifies the issue (although he phrases it so as the favour his position) as this: "the point is whether my opponent is allowed to fudge on the literal meaning to prevent it from supporting my argument". We must uncover the correct way to understand the phrase to work out if it is true or not.

Con claims the following interpretation of the phrase is this: "(my) Ignorance (of something that applies to my current situation) is bliss.". Compare to my original interpretation: "If one does not know about a problem or unpleasant fact, one will not worry about it". I have already argued for this interpretation, and Con never directly addresses it.

Is Con's interpretation correct?

Let us look at the example he gives: "I was able to enjoy the party because I didn't know someone was stalking me. Ignorance is bliss, after all.". He argues that any bliss is temporary. Here we see that the interpretation is absolutely crucual - on my definition "ignorance is bliss' is correct - for the girl does not worry about the stalker as long as she does not know about him. But I think a case can be made that the phrase is correct even on his interpretation. For it is only false if we make the assumption that the phrase means said person will be blissful permanently - which seems absurd. Why would the phrase mean something so obviously false?

Counterexamples

I agree that Con's burden is not to "provide every possible example of a situation in which knowledge of a bad situation leads to happiness" and that rather it is to "demonstrate how this phrase is wrong in several instances and show how these are representative of a general principle" - for that would demonstrate that the principle is generally false. But does he succeed?

He appeals to common sense, and asks if people's knowledge would have helped them avoid "tragedies, disappointments, embarrassments, and failures". Again, this example fails given the interpretation as "if one does not know about a problem or unpleasant fact, one will not worry about it" since people do not worry about the things they do not know about. But I actually think there is a broader point to be made here even if I concede this - would our lives really be happier if we always avoid misfortune and sorrow? Surely part of what makes us stronger, more resiliant and interesting people is the hardships that we go through. Would we really be better off if we avoided all misfortune?

It is true that ignorant and false beliefs are often links - but this does not save Con of the charge. For those people's sorrows were not caused by ignorance, but its close cousin false beliefs. If they have been ignorant alone, those misfortunes would not have befallen them.

I shall stop here, and props to any voters who have read this far.

Thanks for the great debate!

Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jon1 4 years ago
Jon1
Interesting debate!
Posted by PeacefulChaos 5 years ago
PeacefulChaos
For some reason everyone is ending their posts with exclamation points ever since you posted 5 days ago, Chrysippus. Thus, for the sake of it, I'm going to end this one with an exclamation point as well, lol!
Posted by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
Nice RFD's, people. Thanks for reading and voting so carefully!
Posted by PeacefulChaos 5 years ago
PeacefulChaos
I agreed with Con from the beginning, since I have the tendency to disagree with any famous quote that comes along my way. At the end, however, I felt myself agreeing with Pro.

All of my reasons are the same as Maikuru's-- that is, until we reach the point of arguments. I believe that Pro did a better job, and this is because some of Con's examples were not correct. Let's take the girl who was being stalked and didn't know about it as an example. When Con explains that the outcome of the situation is not bliss (the girl getting raped, AIDS, etc.), the outcome of the situation is not ignorance. The outcome is the realization part of the scenario, and the ignorance part is the only time the girl is happy. Thus, ignorance is bliss. At least, it's bliss compared to the outcome of the situation.

I thought this was a really good debate, and I especially liked Con's pictures such as a "cool car", lol. Nice job guys!
Posted by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
This was an interesting, fun debate. Well done, both of you.

Spelling, Conduct, & Sources: Non-issues on both sides.

Arguments: A good deal of the discussion focused on how one should interpret the phrase at hand. The original interpretation, which Pro summarized as "it is foolish to learn the facts when doing so would cause misery and suffering, and where ignorance would be blissful," is circular and can be ignored. Pro's modern interpretation of "If one does not know about a problem or unpleasant fact, one will not worry about it" disregards the "bliss" aspect entirely and replaces it with emotional neutrality, which seems to go against the spirit of the phrase.

So, we're left with Con's interpretation: "(my) Ignorance (of something that applies to my current situation) is bliss." Though Pro stated that temporary bliss can be experienced from withheld information (even if misfortune follows), he was still working from an emotionally neutral viewpoint; one does not become happier because they aren't aware of some inevitable harm, they simply don't feel worse. Again, this definition seems too far removed from the literal phrase to be appropriate.

Con concludes with numerous examples of ignorance-based misfortunes, many of which are common enough to act as a generalized argument against the accuracy of the phrase. Arguments go to Con.

Great debate!
Posted by Kinesis 5 years ago
Kinesis
You as well!
Posted by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
And may the best man win. It's been good matching wits with you!
Posted by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
Hopefully I can have my last round ready tonight.
Posted by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
I'm rather glad you didn't, actually; I don't think I could have responded to that. There is the side of complete ignorance which is terrifying, but even then, you probably have to know that you can be in danger and can be hurt before you can be frightened by unknowns. Someone who knew absolutely nothing would have no reason at all to be unhappy (counting pain and hunger as experiential knowledge).
Posted by Kinesis 5 years ago
Kinesis
I would like to note another approach I might have taken that could have been interesting - I could have argued that ignorance is indeed bliss if we take this to be TOTAL ignorance - i.e., the ignorance of a newborn child who knows nothing about the world. I kinda wish I had, that might have been interesting.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
ChrysippusKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Well-debated by both, but the logic is more sound on Pro. Basically, the same reasoning as PeacefulChaos.
Vote Placed by Chuz-Life 5 years ago
Chuz-Life
ChrysippusKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: There is a certain topic that I struggle with almost daily in my life that I would would be more "blissful" not knowing anything about. With that in mind, I lean towards Pro in this debate. Con skillfully presents a good case for the likelihood of the fact that ignorance will not always be "bliss" and that it may even be in most cases quite the contrary... eventually. However, I don't feel it can be honestly denied that "ignorance in many cases is 'bliss' for hower long it may last." Pro
Vote Placed by PeacefulChaos 5 years ago
PeacefulChaos
ChrysippusKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Reasons in comments section.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
ChrysippusKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: See comments.