People are happiest when they are at peace with their inner convictions. The more complex your view of the cosmos is the more difficult it is to find your place in it.
The vast majority of people really don't want to dig beneath the surface.
Knowledge does not bring peace. Every thing we learn produces many more questions than it answers; the more we know the more we realize we don't know.
Considering that 2/3s of mankind life in hunger, squalor, and hopelessness and most of the lucky 1/3 live lives of quiet desperation as Thoreau observed does acquiring knowledge of the sad state of existence really make people happy?
It is very easy for the cognitive elite to look down their noses at simple provincal folks who tail away without pondering life's complexities but in the end we are all playing the same game. To find a little meaning and joy in a largely uncaring and humorless world.
While most psychologists study the mentally ill, Abraham Maslow studied people who healthy, happy, and effective. The term he used for these folks is "self actualized." He tried to figure out what makes people emotionally healthy instead of what troubles them..
He believed that people need to do what they are suited for. Musicians have to make music; authors have to write and artists have to paint. Once our basic needs are met (Maslow's hierarchy of needs) we need to do what we are suited for. A philosopher may have to ponder to be happy but that is just one of the many directions we might go. What makes you whole may not be the same thing that makes other people whole.
I do understand this, and am familiar with Abraham Maslow. He, or any other person for that matter, can study different areas of psychology, but they could never know why. Why do certain people need certain things to make them whole? And many more questions could be formed from this as well. Why do musicians love music? and so on. But none of these help with my original question. An author could be shallow, or choose not to be. An artist could be ignorant, or choose not to be. It takes a person's decision to want to be knowledgeable, whether consciously or not, to want to put an end to his or her ignorance and general blindness to parts of the world around them.
The definition of ignorant is - lacking knowledge or education. Most people do not choose to be ignorant, they are under educated about the topic being talked about or inexperienced and most of the time honestly don understand or know any different. Say you look at religious fanatics - most are brought up that way and only taught one certain way of thinking, its sad, but you can harldy blame a young person for lacking the knowledge or education of other religions or reality. Then theres the people that ignore anything that is out of their comfort zone or beliefs - in that case their ignorance is completely their own fault.
It is true that the more we know, the more we realize we don't, and that this often times is not something that would make one happy. I guess I should have restated parts of my question. The thing is that I know this, and they know this (somewhere down there), but still, why? I've always just come to the conclusion that people are just too complex to really understand, and that this is one of those things no one will ever know. I mostly just asked to see how many people would tell me things I already know, or to get something completely off-the-wall to amuse me. :)
The thing is, I'm not referring to lack of education. A person could have had no schooling whatsoever and still be knowledgeable from his of her experience, from finding things out on his or her own and learning about them. Even people who are brought up a certain way can change their beliefs willingly. It happens all the time. But some people just choose not to. Even then, a person could keep the same belief and still be knowledgeable and therefore not ignorant. As for being shallow, there is no excuse for that. That is a choice. Again, why make that choice?
Isnt that a little limiting? You're accusing people of having limited thought, and yet you do want to accept the possibility that perhaps people are truly happy in their ignorance? And again, with the shallow. Some people are fine with not analyzing things. Why insist that your version of being is the only right way to be? Could that not be termed ignorance?
I never stated that my way of living and thinking is the right way to be. I asked a simple question, not looking to put down the way other people are or start a debate. I know that lots of people are happy in their ignorance, and I apologize for not stating my question clearly for you.
It's true that most people don't know they're ignorant, but some do choose not to look deeper into things for fear of what they might find, or because they are afraid of changing their beliefs.
Exactly, but do you know why they refuse to be open minded, even when faced with different perspectives? That is what I'm looking for.
in fact most ignorant people are so sure they're right that they refuse to consider any other viewpoints or perspectives.
Ignorant people don't *choose* to be ignorant...the sad fact is that they don't realize they are ignorant.