Proverb It is preferable to stay unconscious or ignorant about things that may otherwise create tension; if you don't know about something, you don't need to be concerned about it. Thomas Gray's 1742 poem "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College." contains the now-famous line "ignorance is bliss." The poet was referring to the belief that the less you know about something, the better off you will be. He was also saying that people who are ignorant about certain matters may simply not care enough about them to find out more about them.
Another proverb with the same meaning is "the happiest of men are those who think they're wrong". This shows that even though knowledge may not always be bliss, at least in this case it seems like it is.
The word "bliss" comes from the English verb "to blink", which means "to close one's eyes for a short time". So, bliss is literally "being in a state of being closed-eyed". Perhaps this tells us that knowledge can be blissful when we make some kind of intellectual investment in it.
Some philosophers have argued that there are two different kinds of happiness: hedonic happiness and eudaimonic happiness.
This adage is similar to the saying "What you don't know can't damage you." It appears in a line from the eighteenth-century English poet Thomas Gray's poem "On a Distant Prospect of Eton College": "Where ignorance is joy, /Tis folly to be wise."
Its origins are uncertain but it has been attributed to several people over time. Some have claimed that it was written by Confucius or another Chinese philosopher named Mencius (372–289 B.C.), but this is unlikely since they were living more than 1,000 years before Thomas Gray was born. Others have suggested that it was written by Aristotle or Plato, but again, these were not common names at the time so they too could not have been very popular.
Finally, some have tried to attribute it to other writers but none of these suggestions has gained much support. One suggestion comes from the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos (c. 556 B.C.-468 B.C.), who is said to have written: "Bliss is it on a winter's morn to wake with hoar-frost on one's beard/And ice around one's window pane" (from "A Fragment"). But this quotation is sometimes misattributed to Gray.
"Ignorance is bliss," as the adage goes, is derived from Thomas Gray's poem "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College" (1742). "Where ignorance is bliss, it is foolishness to be smart," the saying says. You were probably better off not knowing that, weren't you? Ignorance is a disagreeable state of mind in general. Being ignorant means you are unaware of something or have forgotten what something is called.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first written record of the phrase is in 1772. It has been attributed to many people over time, including John Milton (1608-74), Samuel Johnson (1709-84), and Robert Heinlein (1907-88).
Why do people say this? Blame your parents for teaching you at an early age that knowledge is power. If they had only taught you something else...
People say this because they believe that if you don't know anything about something, it can't hurt you. This isn't true! For example, if someone throws a rock at your head and misses, it could still cause damage by hitting another person or thing instead. Or, if someone shoots you when you're not aware of their presence, your body might still react even though you didn't see it with your own eyes.
In conclusion, ignorance is bliss because if you knew what was going on around you, you would be in trouble often!
"Where ignorance is joy, 'tis foolishness to be wise," says Thomas Gray in his poem Ode on a Distant Prospect at Eton College. We commonly hear the abbreviated phrase, "ignorance is bliss," which may be used as an excuse to be lazy with one's thinking and be happier. However, closer examination of this saying reveals that it is actually a critique of such ignorant happiness rather than an endorsement of knowledge as misery.
If we examine the original Greek text, we find that it is not automatically true that "ignorance is bliss." The word translated as "bliss" is eudaimonia, which means "happy life." So, "Ignorance is bliss" as far as being happy is concerned, but not as far as having an excellent life is concerned. There are two ways to have an excellent life: by being virtuous or by being intelligent.
If we examine the context of this quotation, we find out that it comes from a poem by Thomas Gray called "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College." In this poem, Gray compares Eton College -- then known for its schoolboy poets -- to a distant prospect. He claims that although you cannot see Eton from outside the town of Windsor where he lives, it still has the power to charm him thanks to some former students who now hold high positions in the government and army.