Friday, March 9, 2012

[PHI 3000] Aristotle vs. Cypher

Do you agree with Aristotle or with Cypher? Is knowing always better than being ignorant? Is it ever good to be ignorant?


  1. I agree with Aristotle that all men by nature desire to know. When people are kept in the dark but they know that there is something going on then naturally people will be curious to know what is going on. People seek knowledge on what their purpose is in life. Knowing is better than not knowing because knowing allows you to do many things that you couldn’t in life. For example, knowing how to cure people can save lives. People such as inventors and scientists acquire knowledge that make the world a better place to live in. For example, innovations are created that makes transportation and communication easier. Some people think of knowledge as strength. Knowing more allows you to make changes to the world. For example, doctors have a lot of knowledge that they are able to use to treat people. People all over the world are always seeking knowledge not only for the purpose of having a better life but also for the purpose of having a more fulfilling life.

    This quote reminds me of my previous philosophy class in which I studied about Plato’s work on Socrates. Aristotle was Plato’s pupil, which is why his thoughts were similar to Plato’s which were similar to Socrates’ thoughts. Socrates thought that knowledge is virtue. By knowing what the right things to do are you are able to decide to do the right things. This shows that knowing is better than being ignorant because it allows you to make righteous decisions. He also believed that by acquiring knowledge you are able to improve your soul. Socrates always tried to gain knowledge and tried to persuade people to do the same even when it was a risk to his life. This showed me that gaining knowledge is very important for people and many people view this idea in many ways.

    Being ignorant can cause destruction. For example, during the holocaust Hitler took over countries and gained a lot of power. At first the U.S. was ignorant because the country didn’t want to get involved. As Hitler’s imperialistic actions made the U.S. realize that he was gaining immense power that could threaten the U.S., the U.S. got involved. Being ignorant could have caused Hitler to be able to take over all the countries in the world. This is another example of why knowing is better than being ignorant.

    There are instances in life in which people might believe Cypher’s belief that ignorance is bliss. For example, some people think that not knowing when they will die is better than knowing. Some people think that if they had a illness that they knew to be fatal then they would rather not know that it will kill them in two months. They would rather live in ignorance because that would give them less frustration, tension, regret, and sadness. Others believe that it is better to know because knowing would allow them to make decisions to do things before they die. This shows that perceptions of people can decide if ignorance is bliss for them or not. This shows that knowing is not always better than being ignorant.

  2. There are times when people clearly desire NOT to know. What are the details of my death? Who is my wife's favorite ex-lover? How many cheezies did I just eat?

    The desire to know, when present, is usually trumped by other desires. Ultimately people desire things because those are the things which our ancestors desired and they were successful at reproducing. Knowledge is not a primary goal.


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