TOK Debate Reflection

The debate that we had in Monday, October 26th was on the topic of the statement “Ignorance is bliss.” The debate was whether  Ignorance IS bliss or Ignorance IS NOT bliss. I was arguing for the Ignorance is not bliss side.

The main argument that the opposition side made was that not knowing aware of something can be beneficial for one’s mental health. The main evidence they used was a study about economic decisions, and a story of a child who grew up with a mental trauma due to sexually explicit situations. Our side of the argument used a similar format; we had many examples in which ignorance has caused many atrocities, and argued that the statement “Ignorance is bliss” could not be established if it is the main cause of such events as the anti-vaxx movement, many wars, and the holocaust.

I think that there is truth to both sides of this argument. Both sides were arguing if ignorance can or cannot be bliss, not if ignorance is or is not bliss, which are two different statements with differing arguments. The statements “Ignorance is bliss” or “Ignorance is not bliss” are unconditional statements. They are 100% correlated or they are not correlated at all. But the examples that was used in the debate were supporting the conditional varient of the statement: Ignorance could be bliss or Ignorance could not be bliss. Both of these statements have their evidence to back it up through historical examples, and can coexist as both true statements. But the unconditional variant cannot coexist. If one is true, then one immediately becomes false. This also means that if there is a single counterexample to the claim, the argument becomes invalid, which is why both sides had struggles proving their side while trying to explain the counterexample. So, the debate could not come to a resolution easily. Both side had some valid arguments, without realizing that the unconditional statement made it impossible to prove with a counterexample existing.


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