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ignorance or enlightenment ? posted 15 Mar 2006, 11:03 by Edge of Certainty, Subdidact

Would you rather: --be completely content with being completely ignorant of the world and it's sufferings and the frailty of men? or --be constantly conscious of these things and always in despair? and why? NO HAPPY MEDIUMS PLEASE! view post


posted 15 Mar 2006, 15:03 by unJon, Auditor

Ahh, the old JS Mill question. First I would submit that your choices are not exhaustive. That said I suppose that a wise fool is better than a content ignoramus. Why? I don't know, I'm a martyr at heart I guess. view post


posted 15 Mar 2006, 18:03 by Edge of Certainty, Subdidact

[/quote]First I would submit that your choices are not exhaustive.[quote] Oh well, apparently the basic idea is superfluous enough that you knew what I was talking about :) view post


posted 15 Mar 2006, 19:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

I would rather be constantly conscious of these things because I almost enjoy the fraility of men and the sufferings of the world I mean sure some of its sad and cruel but hey its life and its the fraility of men that made it the way it is. I guess what im really tryying to say is i think I'd rather be conscious of these things because we caused the suffering due to our own frailities, does that make sense? view post


posted 16 Mar 2006, 11:03 by Sokar, Auditor

We have a saying that goes something like this: Bless the fool and the smile on his face! view post


posted 16 Mar 2006, 14:03 by Edge of Certainty, Subdidact

I like that. Would that be followed by "curse the philosopher and spit in his face?" :lol: view post


posted 16 Mar 2006, 20:03 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

good question. i always wondered if i would be happier if i were dumb. my thoughts are that, is it not possible to be concious of all the suffering of man in the world, and still be content? or am i just a deranged sicko who takes pleasure in bad things? view post


posted 16 Mar 2006, 21:03 by Edge of Certainty, Subdidact

*shrugs* I've never been concious of all the suffering and frailties ect. But I know some of it and I don't have a hard time sleeping at night...well I do but it has nothing to do with the rest of the world. most of my dread and worries stem from whether or not I can support myslef tomorrow. even then, I'm pretty content to let the rest of the world rot in its misery... :lol: view post


posted 17 Mar 2006, 13:03 by Randal, Auditor

I'd rather have the knowledge than the ignorance. But conversely, I'd rather not be depressed either. Hmm... If I was certain the knowledge would make me depressed forever and it wouldn't help me do anything about the problems, I think I'd opt for ignorance. Fortunately, for me having knowledge of how the world sucks doesn't lead to depression. (I just don't care enough, I guess. Too distant a pain.) The person who gets depressed forever when he knows how bad things are isn't me. So, in real life I'd chose knowledge, and deal with the consequences. view post


posted 21 Mar 2006, 03:03 by Zarathinius, Auditor

No happy mediums? Well then, screw awareness, I'd rather be dumb as a box of rocks if being depressed was the only other option. view post


posted 12 Jul 2006, 03:07 by Tilldusk, Commoner

To know everything is to know life is no longer a mystery. And the truth is always more mundane, than that great shadow that is the mystery of life. Having chosen knowledge over ignorance, I can only despair at my choice. For any of you who blindly choose knowledge because then least you'd know, I say do not! Ignorance is a much greater peace, and a much grater thing it allows, it allows life. For life should be an infinite mystery, not one whose factors have been defined like an age-old science. -Tilldusk the Coddigus Poet view post


posted 12 Jul 2006, 12:07 by Sokar, Auditor

Do you actually choose to be ignorant or to be enlightened? I doubt it, the choice is probably made in the years where you have no idea what choice is. view post


posted 12 Jul 2006, 16:07 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

still, even if ignorance and enlightenment are only effects, you can still choose to enlighten yourself, or to remain ignorant. or vice versa. view post


posted 13 Jul 2006, 07:07 by alhana, Auditor

I would rather not despair for my enlightenment. :lol: But I can not imagine ever being so complacent that I no longer understood or concerned myself with the afflicitions of others. To be completely ignorant of humanity's fralities would almost be sub-human......or non-human....primative on the level of the animal mind. Or perhaps it would be like having the mind of a machine--completely detached from the reality of suffering and seeing only the data that marks the existence of the human race. view post


Ignorance is bliss... right? posted 13 Jul 2006, 16:07 by Mahajanga Mordecai, Auditor

[quote="gierra":1bkqlp53]still, even if ignorance and enlightenment are only effects, you can still choose to enlighten yourself, or to remain ignorant. or vice versa.[/quote:1bkqlp53] Maybe, but something in me balks at that idea. If you're talking about someone choosing to be ignorant of the conflict(s) in the Middle East or the energy crisis then yes, one can choose ignorance over "enlightenment" or vice versa. But I was under the impression that when we say "knowledge of the world" we aren't speaking with regards to those trivialities but rather to an awareness of the "nature of man" itself. I'm not so sure that such awareness of the world is a choice, per se. Those kinds of people have always struck me as being inherently aware of the world around them (the nature of man); after a certain age that is. It's as if observation is a gift given them that can't be returned or disregarded. Their ability to see the truths of human nature seem more a curse-from-birth than a quality honed through years of education and contemplation; that stuff comes afterward... if they're lucky. Does that make any sense? OH, and I've contemplated this a few times before already... I choose awareness/knowledge. view post


posted 14 Jul 2006, 13:07 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

enlightenment, definitely. Ignorance may be bliss but it isn't the type of bliss I want for myself. I'd rather know the ills of the world and still find a way to be happy. view post


posted 15 Jul 2006, 17:07 by Primal, Peralogue

Well, if you were always despairing, then I'd choose blissful ignorance. But if you were aware and had faith you could find a way not to despair, then of course. view post


Re: Ignorance is bliss... right? posted 17 Jul 2006, 13:07 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

[quote="Mahajanga Mordecai":3v7x93fh][quote="gierra":3v7x93fh]still, even if ignorance and enlightenment are only effects, you can still choose to enlighten yourself, or to remain ignorant. or vice versa.[/quote:3v7x93fh] Maybe, but something in me balks at that idea. If you're talking about someone choosing to be ignorant of the conflict(s) in the Middle East or the energy crisis then yes, one can choose ignorance over "enlightenment" or vice versa. But I was under the impression that when we say "knowledge of the world" we aren't speaking with regards to those trivialities but rather to an awareness of the "nature of man" itself. I'm not so sure that such awareness of the world is a choice, per se. Those kinds of people have always struck me as being inherently aware of the world around them (the nature of man); after a certain age that is. It's as if observation is a gift given them that can't be returned or disregarded. Their ability to see the truths of human nature seem more a curse-from-birth than a quality honed through years of education and contemplation; that stuff comes afterward... if they're lucky. Does that make any sense? OH, and I've contemplated this a few times before already... I choose awareness/knowledge.[/quote:3v7x93fh] that makes sense, and you;'re totally right. but i think, like anything, there are people to which things come naturally, and people who must make a concious choice to be that way. view post


posted 17 Jul 2006, 22:07 by vercint, Peralogue

Choosing ignorance or enlightenment is really somewhat of a paradox, since if you are aware of the choice you are not entirely ignorant, and hence it is not, in fact, a choice: you are enlightened. Well, at least a little. Conversely, if you are entirely ignorant, you don't know there is a choice so you can't make it. view post


posted 18 Jul 2006, 13:07 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

[quote="vercint":1t9spvuq]Choosing ignorance or enlightenment is really somewhat of a paradox, since if you are aware of the choice you are not entirely ignorant, and hence it is not, in fact, a choice: you are enlightened. Well, at least a little. Conversely, if you are entirely ignorant, you don't know there is a choice so you can't make it.[/quote:1t9spvuq] good point! view post


posted 29 Jul 2006, 08:07 by Iago, Candidate

[quote="gierra":325xgylf] my thoughts are that, is it not possible to be concious of all the suffering of man in the world, and still be content? or am i just a deranged sicko who takes pleasure in bad things?[/quote:325xgylf] it sure is possible! remember, our nature determines how we percieve fulfillment. if you are one of those rare few who achieve contentedness or even happiness from the suffering of others, then rock-on sister! solid! it sounds like all you ever need to do, if you are feeling down in the dumps, is log on to Human Rights Watch (hrw.org) or corpwatch.org and read all about what a great time it is to be alive on planet earth. a minor suggestion, if I may: you might want to dump the negative label that THEY foisted upon you (deranged sicko) and just take pleasure in (whatever you like or amuses you) things. drop the "bad" label too, that also comes from them. didn't the Bard mention something about the "mind making it so"? perhaps knot... the next step, of course, is contributing. unless you went to business school and are working a trading desk in a tier 1 bank, there probably isn't a deep impact you can make, but like the wise Jacko once crooned, it all starts with the "man in the mirror" or in your case, woman. buying World Bank Bonds is a good place to start. Those SAPs are killers! if you are serious, feel free to email me for more ideas. i probably won't respond, but you never know, i just might! and whatever you do, have a great day! view post


posted 31 Jul 2006, 13:07 by Randal, Auditor

I hope that was sarcastic. But even if it was, it's quite the misreading of Gierra's statement. Thinking some more about it, I suspect what she says is true of everyone with some knowledge of world affairs who's not chronically depressed. Does reading about war and deaths of innocents in Libanon spoil your day? Or does it make you shake your head, reflect on the sorry state of the world for half a minute, and move on with your day/life, like I do? And if so, does it have anything to do with lack of empathy, or is it just a matter of setting your priorities straight? view post


posted 31 Jul 2006, 18:07 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

yes, i too hope that was sarcastic, cos i laughed my arse off at it.. and to clarify.. it's not that i take pleasure, or even find happiness, in the suffering of others, it's just that i don;t let it get to me. i don;t watch the news anymore, cos it's just one sad story after another.. i'd rather walk down the street and see that people are generally good to eachother. -ahem- but i hope that was clear beforehand. view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 06:08 by Iago, Candidate

[quote="Randal":3lce68gg]I hope that was sarcastic. But even if it was, it's quite the misreading of Gierra's statement. Thinking some more about it, I suspect what she says is true of everyone with some knowledge of world affairs who's not chronically depressed. Does reading about war and deaths of innocents in Libanon spoil your day? Or does it make you shake your head, reflect on the sorry state of the world for half a minute, and move on with your day/life, like I do? And if so, does it have anything to do with lack of empathy, or is it just a matter of setting your priorities straight?[/quote:3lce68gg] Oops! I seem to have misread a statement! crap, I hate it when I do that... Lets look at it again just to make sure: [quote="Gierra":3lce68gg]my thoughts are that, is it not possible to be concious of all the suffering of man in the world, and still be content? or am i just a deranged sicko who takes pleasure in bad things?[/quote:3lce68gg] if it weren't for the second part of the statement, I might be inclined to agree that it was "quite the misreading", but since the implication was that there was actual pleasure to be had from an awareness of suffering, I think that my interpretation (given the available info at the time) was.... SPOT.... ON.....BABY!!!!! now, Gierra has since "clarified" the meaning of her post, but that (unfortunately for you) came AFTER you and I had posted. I guess it's possible that you have been active on the board for a while, and have read other Gierra posts enough to be able to have an insight above and beyond the literal text, but to just come right out and claim an incident of "quite the misreading", well, thats just downright mean, man. mean. (and.... well, wrong) later gator view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 10:08 by Randal, Auditor

Well, I still state you misread Gierra's post. After all, I derived another meaning from it, that was later on confirmed by the original poster as being right, so of our two readings mine would seem to be, to the casual observer... the correct one. From Gierra's statement it is clear that she is generally content even though she is aware that many other people in the world are suffering. She asks whether that is normal, OR whether that makes her a sicko who takes pleasure in bad things. You interpreted her as saying "I take pleasure in bad things, does that make me a deranged sicko?" That is a misreading. And a severe one, I might add. The second sentence is a question. "Does being content equal taking pleasure in bad things?" Had your reading been correct it would have been a statement. I'll also dispute it's mean to draw attention to a (possible) misreading of another person's statement on an internet messageboard. Many are the flame wars that have started over such inconsequential things, and I for one am always grateful if mistakes on my part are pointed out. view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 17:08 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

you;re probably both right. sometimes i don;t know if i'm mean spirited or just sarcastic. :lol: view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 17:08 by Mahajanga Mordecai, Auditor

Well said, I read it as it was intended as well. view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 17:08 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

seriously tho.. i get mad when i see old people standing on the subway and no one will offer them their seat.. but when i see informercials with starving children, i think 'ya, whatever. there's more where they came from.' am i just desensitized, is that normal, or am i cruel? view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 18:08 by Iago, Candidate

since she is no longer even sure of the precise meaning of her post, claiming that we bot hit a part of it, labelling my interpretation as severely wrong, is..... wait fot it..... wrong and as far as the mean thing goes, I would have hoped by my posts up to date that you all could have guessed how much I care about how "mean" something is. I doubt I would even notice it at all in that regard. If you pulled off a clever burn on me that I somehow didn't deserve, I would think that is more funny than anything else. It probably would get stored in my mental database for future use. Mean = funny, even when directed againt me. The REAL reason I used mean, and I probably shouldn't have, is in reference to the movie "Payback" when mel gibson is shooting holes in the guys alligator luggage. He said that was just downright mean. Get it? shooting holes in my interpretation, me saying later gator, blah blah blah you get it now. flame wars? isn't that a passtime of slashdot-reading 14-year-olds? Years ago me and my current GF at the time both took an online EQ test. I scored somewhere in the toddler range, and she scored marginally higher. I guess that means I have the emotional make-up to get into a "flame war" but I am done with this thread unless something more substantial then my interpretation of a post gets brought up. view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 18:08 by Iago, Candidate

[quote="gierra":1779d6cr]seriously tho.. i get mad when i see old people standing on the subway and no one will offer them their seat.. but when i see informercials with starving children, i think 'ya, whatever. there's more where they came from.' am i just desensitized, is that normal, or am i cruel?[/quote:1779d6cr] crap, didn't see this while I was bragging about how emotionally immature I am. without knowing you, my guess is desensitized. A birds-eye (or t.v. screen) view of human suffering is easy to "get used to" for a lot of people. Were you to be brought up close and personal with their suffering, and the causes behind it, I suspect you might have a more pronounced reaction. my HOPE though, is you are cruel. It is a lovely word, and I am as fond of it as Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons. Great movie if you haven't seen it. and finally, you are right, there ARE lots more worthless eaters. You can't swing a cattle-prod in sub-saharan africa without shocking one of them. view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 18:08 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

i'm quite fond of the word cruel, myself. and i'm not really being serious about anything here. i'm a notoriously unserious, funny, mean bitch. woooo! view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 19:08 by Mahajanga Mordecai, Auditor

[quote="gierra":gya90gkb]you're probably both right. sometimes i don't know if i'm mean spirited or just sarcastic. [/quote:gya90gkb] Sarcasm is - almost always - mean spirited; that's half the fun of it! Master practioners of jnan have no problem interpreting the meaning of such statements... :P view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 19:08 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

ahh -phew- view post


posted 06 Aug 2006, 18:08 by Randal, Auditor

My guess is you are normal, Gierra. The guy on the subway being treated badly is near, it involves you directly, and it is something you could change if you wanted to. Therefore you are affected. The people on the infomercial are far away. You don't know them, you have never seen them. You can't even be completely sure they are what they appear to be. They've probably been selected by the makers of the infomercial to appear as pityful as possible, in an attempt to manipulate you into feeling guilty and sending them money. They're also quite likely beyond your ability to help. Even if you do send money to whatever charity they're endorsing you can't be sure it will arrive, or that it will do any good even if it does. You will not get any reaction if you try to help, you will never see these people again. Moreover, you know that these people on the infomercial are a couple amongst hundreds of millions living in poverty or distress. You can't get worked up about all of them and have a life left of your own. So, why not pay attention only to those you are close enough to affect? This would more or less sum up my feelings on similar matters. The latter part perhaps reeks of cynicism, but it certainly doesn't make me a sadist. It's normal. People care about spouse and children first, friends and family second, people in their neighbourhood/town third, countrymen fourth, people in similar countries fifth, people in exotic countries far away last. I don't know if your feelings on seeing infomercials resemble mine, but I strongly doubt they're informed by cruelty. Not caring isn't cruelty. It's a survival tactic. Desentisation of course plays a role, but only a slight one, because as you yourself said, you do care about injustices and suffering closer to home. view post


posted 08 Aug 2006, 13:08 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

that's what i love about this board. i make jokes, and people rationalise them. it rules! view post


posted 11 Aug 2006, 09:08 by Edge of Certainty, Subdidact

[quote="gierra":2mg7n2ln]that's what i love about this board. i make jokes, and people rationalise them. it rules![/quote:2mg7n2ln] you're more tolerant of this than i am view post


Re: ignorance or enlightenment ? posted 24 Aug 2006, 23:08 by rycanada, Peralogue

[quote="Edge of Certainty":33tgbgpv]Would you rather: --be completely content with being completely ignorant of the world and it's sufferings and the frailty of men? or --be constantly conscious of these things and always in despair? and why? NO HAPPY MEDIUMS PLEASE![/quote:33tgbgpv] To be effective in doing good, even towards oneself, one needs to have clarity about what suffering and happiness are, how happiness and suffering are created in the world, and what forces are now in play that are creating happiness and suffering. The corollary of this is that those who remain willfully ignorant of suffering are likely to sometimes stumble and create suffering even when they seek to create happiness. An example of this might be a person voting in a federal election based solely on the tax incentives offered in their own district; ignoring the impact of your government in the international realm. The person may be genuinely seeking happiness - or to relieve the suffering of the friends and family they know. But if this leads to a needlessly warlike nation, then suffering has been created unintentionally, and that suffering often reflects hardship and suffering back onto the originators (regardless of their good aims). That's what eastern philosophers would call Karma. Now if Karma is effective, then suffering will be fully returned to its creator. But it's possible that Karma is not effective; that someone can do harm but not have it returned upon themselves, or receive the suffering only in part. That said, I'm certain that it would be better, for example, to be wise, just, and compassionate, than unwise, unjust, and indifferent. The latter is a kind of blithe sadism, but - and perhaps just as importantly - it's as close to spiritual self-mutilation as we can get while granting that the nature of the soul may be completely unknowable (i.e., it might not even exist!) Back to the point: When we do choose to act (to better ourselves or for the betterment of others), our muddied perceptions can lead us to create suffering even if our intentions are good. Furthermore, even if a kind of happiness could be achieved in a state of willful ignorance / injustice, we couldn't talk about it being "better" because of the suffering it caused. Through this we can see that [b:33tgbgpv]a compassionate, wise, or just person must seek a clear view, in order to make their compassionate, wise, or just actions effective[/b:33tgbgpv]. view post


posted 25 Aug 2006, 04:08 by Harrol, Moderator

[quote:3oz3t5tq]Now if Karma is effective, then suffering will be fully returned to its creator. But it's possible that Karma is not effective; that someone can do harm but not have it returned upon themselves, or receive the suffering only in part. [/quote:3oz3t5tq] I believe the law of what goes around comes around is in full effect. view post


posted 25 Aug 2006, 10:08 by rycanada, Peralogue

If what goes around comes around, and you're with me on how willful ignorance can become willful injustice, then the happily ignorant scenario dissolves entirely. It's not just a false dilemma (i.e. not exhausive of our options) - one of the options doesn't really exist. view post


posted 25 Aug 2006, 13:08 by Harrol, Moderator

Agreed view post


posted 04 Dec 2006, 00:12 by Sorcerous-Words, Auditor

[quote="Warrior-Poet":htvj4aiu]I would rather be constantly conscious of these things because I almost enjoy the fraility of men and the sufferings of the world I mean sure some of its sad and cruel but hey its life and its the fraility of men that made it the way it is. I guess what im really tryying to say is i think I'd rather be conscious of these things because we caused the suffering due to our own frailities, does that make sense?[/quote:htvj4aiu] I agree with this in many ways. knowledge brings the power to change. however, just because you dont know of the suffering does not mean that it is not there... view post


posted 04 Dec 2006, 01:12 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Some would argue otherwise. view post


posted 04 Dec 2006, 02:12 by Sorcerous-Words, Auditor

I aptly await those arguments view post


posted 04 Dec 2006, 02:12 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

You wont hear any arguments from me. view post


posted 04 Dec 2006, 02:12 by Sorcerous-Words, Auditor

most likely because on the grand scale i believe that we think a lot alike view post


posted 04 Dec 2006, 02:12 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Well it would appear that way at this time but things could change very quickly such is the world. view post


posted 04 Dec 2006, 02:12 by Sorcerous-Words, Auditor

good enough for me, for now anyway ;) view post


posted 06 Jan 2007, 23:01 by avatar_of_existence, Peralogue

I don't think anyone who is enlightened is angry and I don't think anyone who lives in ignorance is happy. So of course I would chose enlightenment. CHOOSE ENLIGHTENMENT! view post


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