Ignorance is Bliss Persuasive Essay
Ignorance can be defined as a deficiency in self-monitoring skills. Both competent and incompetent individuals tend to suffer from this ‘disease’; something researchers say is killing our generation. Majority of people have an above average rating of themselves on a wide array of abilities, which begs the question, are we, really the best who know how little we know?
People’s lives are negatively affected in that, we miss opportunities and our assumptions are to blame for this (Donovan, 2012). We try and come up with excuses to cover up for our ignorance but, are we that dumb? Most people argue that our religious, cultural and political beliefs contribute immensely to the way we take things and for this matter, our ignorance (Goode, 2000). Members of different religions discover their common beliefs and so do the people from different backgrounds. The reason as to why other people judge us and treat us inhumanly due to our differences is therefore unacceptable.
According to an article in the New York Times, Dr. David A. Dunning, a professor at Cornell concludes that there exist many reasons why people tend to overestimate their competency. “This points out that an awareness of one’s own inability is inevitable”, he says. There are no justifiable limitations to our thinking capabilities and this is our strongpoint when it comes to how we think of other people (Goode, 2000). Dr. Dunning’s research leads him to conclude that those who do things wrongly or make many errors are usually super confident of their abilities than those who do things well.
Among the values to be considered when addressing ignorance are self-assessment and intelligence. Self-assessment involves rating ourselves just as Dr. Dunning recommends. It is a fact that the skills required for competence are often the same skills required to recognize competence (Goode, 2000). College students scoring lower grades guess they are above average and estimate their overall skill to be almost perfect. Getting to analyze our inner selves helps us avoid such assumptions which can be termed as ignorance.
Intelligence is termed as a value as far as psychological issues are concerned. This deals with determining our possible limits and using them to our advantage (Donovan, 2012). For instance, an individual has to determine where he or she comes from before he can proceed to look at others. If the check is positive, well and good. The person has the bragging rights considering his or hers is a perfect background.
Ethical theories are the foundations of ethical analysis. This is so because they are the viewpoints from which the necessary guidance can be obtained along the decision pathway (Rainbow, 2002). The utilitarian ethical theory is based on the abilities to make predictions of an action. The choice that benefits most people is the one that is ethically correct for a utilitarian. There are two types of utilitarianism: act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. In act utilitarianism, a person performs what is beneficial to most people regardless of personal or societal obligations. In contrast, rule utilitarianism benefits most people but the most just and fairest means available is chosen.
By use of utilitarianism, a utilitarian chooses what benefits most people justly. Ignorance, a social issue has to be avoided at all costs for this ethical theory to apply (Rainbow, 2002). By this, minding others is the first priority and thus utilitarianism is exercised.
Whereas the deontological theory requires people to adhere to their duties and obligations when analyzing an ethical dilemma, act utilitarianism requires putting aside the societal obligations. Upholding one’s duty is considered ethically correct in deontology while benefiting the majority is what matters most as far as utilitarianism is concerned (Rainbow, 2002). Thus this makes up the difference between the deontology and utilitarianism ethical theories.
Allan, L, G. (1999). World of philosophy; ethical theories. Oxford University press.
Donovan, G. M. (2012). The Science of Ignorance. Retrieved from:
Goode, E. (2000). Among the Inept, Researchers Discover, Ignorance Is Bliss. Retrieved from:
Rainbow, C. (2002). Descriptions of Ethical Theories and Principles. Retrieved from: