The Many Faces of “Ignorance is Bliss”

Ignorance Is Bliss (album)

Ignorance Is Bliss (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have all heard the maxim that “Ignorance is bliss”. Whether you believe this philosophical mind twister or not is a personal choice, but I present you with eight different “takes” or opinions on this very subject from

1. A pragmatic view and my personal favourite comes from the wisdom of Thomas Gray, who said: “Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.”

2. A comedic view expressed by Kim Hubbard: “Where ignorance is bliss, it’s foolish to borrow your neighbour’s newspaper.”

3. I agree with Adam Pascal. He said “Ignorance is bliss. I wish I still had some.”

4. Poetically, Jackie DeShannon probably sang: “Ignorance is a kind of bliss.”

5. Victoria Principal was being honest when she said: “Ignorance is not bliss, but in my case, (it) was.”

6. Tongue firmly planted in cheek I suspect, Carter Burwell said, “If not bliss, ignorance can at least be fun.”

7. Julianna Margulies felt that it needed no dressing up, she said simply: “I’m a believer in ‘Ignorance is bliss’.”

8. And my least favourite, but possibly the most true are these words from Philip Wylie: “Ignorance is not bliss – it is oblivion.”

What is your favourite take on the question of ignorance and bliss?


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57 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ignorance may be bliss… but I would like it rather not be..

  2. Can you define ignorance for me 🙂 I’m off to replace my neighbor’s paper.

    • ha ha ha–nice ignorance is when you do not know you are doing something wrong

      • According to this definition the ignorant don’t know they are ignorant, which could equal bliss.

      • I agree — that is how we feel on mystery photo day–ignorant–though I do not find it all that blissful

      • She needs to give out candy to help the bliss feeling.

      • a good ploy

  3. I often say, ignorance is bliss, and sometimes it is.

    • sometimes it most certainly is–as long as it is not active ignorance in that you know you are being ignorant

  4. Ignorance surrounds me daily…… retiredruth

    • is that good or bad or sometimes good and sometimes bad?

      • I guess sometimes… it depends on where I am! I spend many days alone, so am I surrounding myself? oh dear…

      • you are not alone–your blog buddies are just a comment away

  5. Ignorance is the never knowing…bliss is the best part thinking we do.

  6. Innocent beings such as babies and animals can be ignorant so I like being in that company. Ergo, I must like ignorant so I must be filled with bliss. (am I using Ergo correctly? I always wanted to. That and vis a vis).

    • it is a pain that there is no spell check in the comments isn’t it? Sounds good to me though.
      I like you definition of innocents–I would not mind being in that company either–though so many expect so much more

  7. I remain blissfully ignorant of the point of football (soccer) so I’ve never been beaten up for wearing the wrong team’s colours, and have never had a heart attack at a missed penalty.
    I’m with Thomas Gray here.

    • me too- and I remain blissfully ignorant of football in particular, soccer slightly (two different sports in Canada)

      • I get the point of American football. But soccer? Gimme a break. Don’t know, don’t want to know, don’t care because knowing more isn’t likely to improve my life. My head’s already full of garbage; it’s getting crowded in there

      • my son played soccer when he was about five, and sat out in the middle of the field with some buddies and talked–I knew then that soccer was not his game (kicking a ball around bored him) –is this more than you needed to know?

      • Sounds a sensible little chap.

  8. It’s good to know that each of us can bask in bliss about something.

  9. Once you have an understanding of things you are then accountable and responsible for your actions. I’d much prefer living without accountability and responsibility! haha! (Back to Brigitte’s comment – isn’t that how children feel, unencumbered by too much knowing?) From this angle, I think we can agree that ignorance is slightly blissful.

    • accountability and responsibility – two big adult words! none too blissful–unencumberance would be blissful

  10. Love #6.. gonna remember that one 😉

  11. To me the word ‘ignorance’ kind of speaks for itself ..but in the context of ‘ignorance is bliss’ ….I am the sort of person unfortunately or not..I ‘want to know things’….I would not be happy to not know what was going on…Diane

    • but sometimes you do not know what is going on–and are happier for it

      •’re likely right in that aspect…Diane

  12. “The triumph of the uncluttered mind”-Blaine Nye

  13. I’m with Diane, I hate to be ignorant of something, I have to “know”.

    • sometimes I do not have to know right away–been involved in a lawsuit for eight years and it is extremely stressful–sometimes you have to take a break

      • That is way too long, I’d be exhausted working through that. Good luck to you.

  14. Phillip Wylie’s quote- i like his. Just be oblivious to things around you and you will be blissful. I just reworded that. But I have encountered that so many times in other people or at least they pretend to be oblivious. If that is the case then one can just sit back and do nothing about any given situatiion and remain what appears to be bliss.

    • some people have oblivious down to an art–I unfortunately am not one of those people

      • No, you are not for you would not be where you are today with your writing and blogging, a good marriage and wonderful sons. I say “you done well” dear lady.

        I like all that you write even though I don’t convey it in this most tactful manner.

        My referral was to poeple that I have worked with on my job of 35 years. It was mind boggling to observe the things that people didn’t seem to notice and could get away with acting “plum dumb.”

      • I took no offence–but I do know the kind of people you are talking about and they make the environment toxic for those around them

  15. #3 for me

    I sometimes say – Ignorance is no excuse.

  16. When I was ignorant of how much stuff I needed to pack, it was bliss. Now that I know the full scope of it – no bliss.

    I’m considering a big bonfire. That’d once again bring bliss.

    • Oh I have missed you–are you moved yet or still in the process–I assumed we had not heard from you cause you have been uber busy. So nice to hear from you–I was going to send a personal email but now you are back! The blogosphere is not the same without you! – LouAnn

      • We’ve just moved my inlaws to a smaller home and are still cleaning out the farmhouse so that we can move in next weekend. I have next week to get it cleaned out and my house packed up. I’m partway there. Hopefully the farmhouse will be empty by this weekend and I can start moving over small items during the week next week. It’s a much bigger undertaking than I first thought it would be. But we’ll get there..

      • So busy to start 2013, but if I remember correctly you are looking forwad to the farmhouse. I can be there in a few hours – want some help? (really wish I could)

      • I really wish you could too – I have some hard cider chilling in the fridge right now. Fortunately, we have enough volunteers that come for the chili and beer (a repeat of last week’s moving day) and my mom is a force to be reckoned with – she was here today packing up the china cabinet and bookshelves. Lovely offer – I’ll try to show before and afters, providing a can keep tabs on my camera thoughout the process.

      • Hard cider, chili and beer–now I really wish I was there. Aren’t moms great–I still miss mine–but she was like yours–always there when you need her.

  17. I’d like to think that unintentional ignorance is bliss. If you’re consciously making a decision to remain ignorant though, does that mean you’re just indulging in bliss?

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