Ignorance Is Bliss Analysis (“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin)


Ignorance is bliss, “People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”-Friedrich Nietzsche.The topic ignorance is bliss, is a modern time problem in the idea of not being educated on certain topics. In simpler terms, being unaware of something or lacking the knowledge and information makes a person ignorant to that problem,yet can also be a blissful thing.In the short story, “The One Who Walk Away From Omelas” By Ursula K. Le Guin uses the theme of, “Ignorance is bliss”, to point out that if a group of people do not know true happiness or misery, they will never have to worry about it.

In the short story “ The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin. She talks about society which is a dream utopia where everybody has anything they could ever imagine without feelings of disgust, anger, outrage, and pity.This includes everyone except one child that lives in Omelas under a library in A little broom closet with little to no light, and no Social interaction.“It could be a boy or a girl. It looks about six,but actually is nearly ten. It is feeble-minded. Perhaps it was born defective, or perhaps it has become imbecile through fear, malnutrition, and neglect. It picks its nose and occasionally fumbles vaguely with its toes or genitals, as it sits hunched in the corner farthest from the bucket and the two mops. It is afraid of the mops. It finds them horrible. It shuts its eyes, but it knows the mops are still standing there; and the door is locked; and nobody will come. The door is always locked; and nobody ever comes, except that sometimes—the child has no understanding of time or interval—sometimes the door rattles terribly and opens, and a person, or several people, are there.” ( Ursula K. Le Guin ).This quote shows that the child is ignorant to the idea of happiness, joy, and love. Towards the end of the “it talks about that several people visit the child in the little room. This is because Around the ages eight and 12 in Omelas the existence of the child in the little room is explained but not everyone visits the child.  They tell them that the happiness of Omelas depends on the misery of the child.The ones that do visit the child in the little room get feelings of disgust, anger, rage, and pity; which none of them have ever experienced in their life.Once the people of Omelas visit the child they go home or walk away.“At times one of the adolescent girls or boys who go to see the child does not go home to weep or rage, does not, in fact, go home at all. Sometimes also a man or woman much older falls silent for a day or two, and then leaves home. These people go out into the street, and walk down the street alone. They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the beautiful gates. They keep walking across the farmlands of Omelas. Each one goes alone, youth or girl, man or woman. Night falls; the traveler must pass down village streets, between the houses with yellow-lit windows, and on out into the darkness of the fields. Each alone, they go west or north, towards the mountains. They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back.”( Ursula K. Le Guin )This quote shows that some are willing to accept the bargain of happiness of Omelas by letting the child live a life of misery in exchange for the Happiness of their city. Although the ones that do walk away from Omelas leave because they can't live with the terms of having someone suffer for their happiness and would rather find a different way that wouldn’t cause someone to suffer. In the end their moral and ethical decisions help them choose to walk away.

The teaching of right and wrong and the blueprint for moral education in a pluralistic age. A professor pointed out the problem in American colleges.That when teaching ethics they didn’t focus much on the idea of moral virtues of what’s right and what’s wrong. Instead the class focused more on the ethical beliefs. Which is what a religion says is right or wrong.“Some time ago, I published an article titled "Ethics Without Virtue," in which I criticized the way ethics is being taught in American colleges. I pointed out that students taking college ethics classes debate abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, DNA research, and the ethics of transplant surgery, while they learn almost nothing about private decency, honesty, personal responsibility, or honor. I argued that the current style of teaching ethics, which concentrates so much on social policy, is giving students the wrong ideas about ethics. Social morality is only half of the moral life; the other half is private morality.”(Sommers, Christina Hoff ) This quote points out that when educating people in the idea of ethical and moral virtues in choosing right or wrong. That when they are being taught they are not being shown the idea of personal responsibility in making a decision and the overall position they are in when making this choice. Instead they were just basing it off of ethical beliefs without any moral virtues that that person had.The overall idea is that if one just uses ethics and not moral values; they are truly not using emotions.There was a professor that learned about the views of his students in the idea that no one is to blame for world problems.“A few years ago, a Harvard University professor, who annually offers a class on the Second World War and the rise of the Nazis, was stunned to learn that the majority of his students did not believe anyone was really to blame for the Holocaust. In the students' minds, the Holocaust was like a natural cataclysm: It was inevitable and unavoidable. The professor refers to his students' attitude about the past as "no-fault history."(Sommers, Christina Hoff ) The professor explains that the kids are ignorant to the fact and logic that someone has to be blamed for the actions of the Holocaust, like the fact that Hitler made a choice to kill all Jews. Even when he made the choice to kill all of the Jews the student believed that it would happen no matter what and no would be blamed. Although it is a fact that an effect of something is caused by an action of someone or something that is to be blamed.

The trolley problem and the choice of utilitarianism.The trolley problem is one of the most ethical and moral questions asked of us, when making crucial life decisions.“Imagine you're watching a runaway trolley barreling down the tracks straight towards five workers who can't escape you happen to be standing next to a switch that will divert the trolley onto a second track here's the problem that track has a worker on it too but just one what are you do do you sacrifice one person to say five this is the trolley problem version of an ethical dilemma that philosopher Philippa Foot devised in 1967 is popular because it forces us to think about how to choose when there are no good choices do we pick the action with the best outcome or stick to a moral code that prohibits causing someone's death.”( TED-Ed )In this quote it shows a trolley situation in which the person can change the tracks to save one person or five and that it depends on their moral and ethical beliefs in what they think is right or wrong. Although there are no good choices because death is the outcome no matter what but there is the idea of saving more people for a better outcome. Then instead of killing five people to save one life.

In a similar study.People were recorded on how they would act during the trolley situation.“In one survey about 90% of respondents said that 90% of respondents said that it's ok to flip the switch letting one worker die to say five and other studies including a virtual reality simulation of a dilemma that sounds similar results these judgments are consistent with the philosophical principle of utilitarianism which argues that the morally correct decision is the one that maximize his well-being for the greatest number of people the five lights away one even if achieving that outcome requires condemning someone to death but people don't always take the utilitarian view which we can see by changing the trolley problem a bit.”( TED-Ed )The quote talks about the idea of taking the utilitarianism side, which would save more people. In the idea of the greater good for a greater number of people. Which we can see by the results of the 90% that they would choose the greater number of people over a smaller number because it would have a greater outcome of good.

Overall the idea of “Ignorance is bliss” is pointed out in the short story “The one to walk away from Omelas” By Ursula K. Le Guin. In the idea that if  a person lack knowledge or understanding in something they do not have to worry about it which is content.Throughout this paper it pointed out the idea of people being ignorant in the idea that they lack knowledge or information ,which led to them ignoring the problem or not knowing about the problem at all.The idea of “ignorance is bliss” applies to the real world in the fact that if they do not educate somebody on a certain matter they are never going to have to worry about it. Which would be good for them because they never have to stress about it. Although it would affect society in a bad way because that means people would ignore it or not be aware about the problem. Which means the problem can stay the same or get worse if neglected.

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