So comes a conclusion to another unit, however unlike the last, I still feel more confused yet fine with it than before. Last unit on my Time vs Change, I was really lost in time and had no idea what to make of it all and just scrambled myself to the end, while here, in epistemology, I find myself with answers that fit me, and I’m strangely happy with them. Through the time I spent researching this topic on Knowledge and how it leads to blissful ignorance, I hit many road bumps, yet overcame them all I think.
I started off with a reading, as most would. It was tough, all the readings I’ve done throughout Philosophy haven’t been easy to read and digest like most articles I might come across. But this one kinda stood out to me, I could really understand it and indulge in it further than I would have thought possible. So when I started everything, when I found that blissful ignorance is knowledge in sorts, I started with the idea of that knowledge was a weakness, a weakness of will in fact. From a paper I read here, they said that;
Joseph did A rather than B, even though he was convinced that B was the better thing to do all things considered.
That really stood out to me because, when put into my mind, I can see that Joseph ate cookies rather than an apple, even though he knew apples were better all things considered. That right there was where all this started. I will mention later how I’m not totally answering the question as many others may have, because I state that it’s a weakness, but how do we get it? I’ll explain that at the end, in the discussions. So I couldn’t figure out how to state that knowledge was a weakness of will because they can’t really work as one, they are separate from one another. So while talking with some friends, they told me I was thinking that knowledge was blissful ignorance, and I was really. Explained further, Joseph was happy that he knew apples were healthy, but those cookies tasted to good, so he ate them. He knew that eating cookies, even though they taste good, they would eventually lead to something negative, while eating apples, wouldn’t. So Joseph was blissful, or happy to ignore his knowledge of how apples are better than cookies. Sure that’s a really simple one, how do cookies and apples lead to everything about our knowledge you might ask, well, it might. The saying that ignorance is bliss, states from here that;
Not knowing something is often more comfortable than knowing it.
Note: This proverb resembles “What you don’t know cannot hurt you.”
However that may be comforting in the short run, long-term that will hurt you more than anything. Because back to the cookies, I may have never known that cookies were bad for me, or any food was bad for me, and I just ate based off of my childhood taste buds of pure chocolate and sugars, however long run, I wouldn’t last. So my own adaptation to “Ignorance is bliss” goes more like this, found here;
Knowing that something is harmful, yet ignoring it for personal or a greater gain in blissful ignorance
So put simply, knowing that driving a car is bad for the earth, or leaving the lights on during daylight, or letting the water run while you shave, some things we all might do everyday that we know are bad, but put those bad thoughts behind the fact that yes, driving a car to school is so much easier than walking, and that leaving a light on makes me feel comfortable and safe, and its too much work to keep turning off and on the tap while shaving, because in reality, without me, there is nothing; so why not pamper myself and skip some things and be happy about it.
So where did that knowledge come from? How did I know that eating cookies is bad for me, and how letting the water run while shaving is bad? Experience through my senses. If I didn’t eat a whole dozen cookies in one go, and realize, “hey that doesn’t feel good anymore” I would probably still be eating cookies by the dozen. Sure I could have read something online how cookies aren’t good or that eating a dozen is bad, but that comes down to that writers senses and stomach, because everyone is different, and our senses are flawed. Everything we do is based on what we can see, feel and touch. Because if I was blind, I wouldn’t be able to see as much as Joseph might be able to, thus making him more knowledgeable than I am. So everything we know and learn for sure would be through our senses. Yes we learn history through textbooks, but the textbooks are written from the victors, if the textbooks were written from the defeated they would be written differently teaching us something totally different. So that just comes down to trusting in something or someone that they are telling a partial truth, because somethings we will never be able to sense; like history. But this still left somethings unanswered, like where does faith fit in, or where can something we need an object to enhance our senses like, glasses or a microscope fit into our experiences through senses?
I don’t have the answer, and I can say whole heartily that I’m perfectly fine with it, I can go tomorrow and the day after not knowing, and that’s how I like it, why stress over something I’ll never figure out. I figured out over this unit that Knowledge is gained through our senses, but it can be ignored for our own greater good to make us happy, and just knowing that makes me happy.