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is ignorance bliss?

Would You Rather Know?

Or is ignorance bliss?

Think of one of your most fundamental beliefs.

Perhaps it’s a religious one, spiritual one, political one. Something that informs and guides many of your other beliefs.




If it were to turn out that this belief were not true*, would you rather know it or not know it?

is ignorance bliss?

* I realize it may be hard to Go There; we tend to hold our religious, political, spiritual, and other views so very tightly.

Take This Poll

In addition to explaining your answer in the comments section below, I invite you to take this very brief (and unscientific) poll. Results will be revealed in a future post.

If you’re unable to see the poll, click here.


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Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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14 Responses

  1. I’d want to know, but… would I believe it? I mean, of course, if I was offered incontrovertible proof, I would have to believe it. But that’s the thing about some of our beliefs: they’re already based on unprovable ideas.

  2. I don’t think I would want to know. I found out, as an adult, about an infidelity between my parents. Even though it was well after the fact, it still affected me negatively. It still makes it hard to find grace with the offending parent. And, it makes me feel sorry for the other parent which is also damaging. Did knowing this make my life better in any way? No, it did not. If I could go back and somehow un-know it, would I? Yes, I would.

      1. My parents separated briefly while I was a baby, and then got back together. During that time, my father initiated a divorce, and began a relationship with my aunt(my mom’s sister).
        I spent a lot of time with my grandma. She was very upset to see the family torn apart.
        I did grow up learning about this sad story, although my parents did get back together. I always knew “something” had happened, and learning about the whole thing later on while still in childhood, helped to explain the anger my mother had at times and other insecurities. I also had a fear of abandonment while still a very small child, so I think that not knowing might not really be possible. Somehow we know something has happened. And we feel it.
        I know that I did.

        1. That sounds very painful.

          Your comment is making me think. I wonder if not being told ≠ not knowing. Because as you say, not knowing might not even be possible. Even if no one TELLS you, you feel a vibe. Knowing the reason behind that feeling that you KNOW exists might actually help you understand that permeating sensation.

  3. When it comes to beliefs, I can’t think of anything that would be better to not know than to know.
    When it comes to food, otoh, I don’t really need to know how many insect parts are in my ketchup or how maraschino cherries are made. Some things are better left a mystery. 😉

  4. I would absolutely want to know. If the evidence doesn’t support the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is incorrect.

  5. I’d definitely want to know. I hate the idea that I might be operating under false information – and would want to stop asap!

    Though I agree with Robyn’s comments about insect parts in our food. lol

  6. I’m with Mel – she wrote exactly what I was thinking. Also, at the stage I find myself in, where all my beliefs have been challenged, I hope that in the future I’m able to handle the challenge with grace.

  7. I want to know. If there’s the opportunity to know, if “the truth is out there,” I don’t want to be in the dark. Especially if there’s a hint in the dark, and I am left wondering and torturing myself with the not-knowing.

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