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July 11th, 2004


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06:25 am - i just read a fascinating insightful artistic story about unfathomable torture
too much of everything is sad. there are so many beautiful stories out there; why do i read about awful things happening to miserable people? there is rapturous joyous music; why do i listen to depressed people sing about depression?
of course, there is some satisfaction in having something echo your feelings and experiences. if i'm sad i listen to sad music. i don't feel happier, but i feel a little better. who would want to watch a romantic comedy when they are weeping over lost love? and sad art often seems deeper and more meaningful, somehow.
poetics (written, i believe, near the end of highschool)
despair is a farce in writing
sad men with sad thoughts say they are sad
and it is art
happiness is for fools and simpletons
'tis noble to suffer the slings and arrows
to bleed upon the page and choke the reader
and it is art

but imagine if we spent our lives surrounded by beautiful happy things. if sculptures all smiled and every show had a laugh track. probably it wouldn't work for us, but would someone raised in that sort of environment be better off? or would they be an emotional cripple? if they are a happy emotional cripple, what have they lost? some famous person said some famous thing that i forget now, but i will paraphrase it as "it is far better to be a sad man than a content pig". personally, i don't buy this for a second.

in philosophy classes, we have discussed the idea of a happiness machine. basically, it is like the matrix-- you get plugged into a computer and it gives you a splendid fake world for you to splendidly fake live in. or you could stay in the real world and probably spend a lot of time dreadfully badly. would you go with the machine, or real life? most people said real life because just by knowing their life was fake, they would not be able to appreciate it. so what was my answer? i would want to be in the happiness machine, but only if i was put in it without my knowledge. if someone were to break into my room in the middle of the night and plug me in, and i spent the rest of my life in a wonderful computer limbo, i should be very grateful to them.

or maybe this just means i'm a pessimist. instinctually i think i am, but consciously i am an optimist. so i end up spending a lot of my time irrationally convinced things will turn out how i want, but terrified that they won't. such is life.

as a sidenote, i will tell you that, while sometimes it is just idle questions, often when i post my silly pseudo-philosophical whatevers, i am seriously invested in them. these ideas honestly bother me. this is how i think. i won't be satisfied until i have no unanswered questions.
state: apprehensive
np: birds are chirping outside my window. that probably means it's bedtime

(12 shots upside the head | en garde!)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:danoot
Date:July 11th, 2004 04:57 am (UTC)
(Link)
http://www.wireheading.com/
http://www.utilitarian.org/wireheading.html
http://www.hedweb.com/

your position seems utilitarian, as I understand it. reduce suffering, increase pleasure, for the most people possible. reasonable!
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:July 16th, 2004 12:36 am (UTC)
(Link)
utilitarianism definitley has a lot going for it. you can use it to justify some very fucked ideas though

those sites are really cool! also really insane. i wish i lived in the future so i could see what happens
[User Picture]
From:danoot
Date:July 17th, 2004 02:24 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, they are a bit weird.

Utilitarianism often doesn't take into account non-material things. Stuff like, murdering someone is bad, because it removes their potential happiness, and it makes other people creeped out that they might be murdered too - but it doesn't normally take into account the people who knew/were related to the murderee's feelings, which are more urgent, I'd think. There are other, actual serious problems with the philosophy but I can't remember them offhand. I need to read me some philosophy soon.

I, too, wish to live in the future. I hope it gets here soon...
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:July 31st, 2004 01:16 am (UTC)
(Link)
i dunno man, it seems to me like if the best point utilitarianism can make against murder (and as far as i've seen, it is) is that it might make other people sad, then that is a serious flaw in their theory
[User Picture]
From:danoot
Date:August 1st, 2004 12:43 am (UTC)
(Link)
well, since their entire philosophy is dedicated to maximising happiness and minimising unhappiness, making people sad is about as immoral as you can get. It's a fairly damning decrial of murder if you accept their position.

but it sure does sound dumb.

Actually, the main reason you shouldn't kill someone under utilitarianism is that it limits their potential for happiness severely, even if they are unhappy at the time you kill them it may well change (however, it lets things like euthenasia for people with terminal cancer and a lot of pain, etc, be alright).

Why is murder wrong?
[User Picture]
From:crawl27
Date:July 11th, 2004 05:55 am (UTC)
(Link)
excessive happiness makes me cranky.
[User Picture]
From:feste
Date:July 11th, 2004 08:09 am (UTC)
(Link)
If you had no happiness, ever, you would be less cranky. Occassional happiness throws sharper shadows on the unhappy bits, which let us better see their outlines.
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:July 16th, 2004 12:32 am (UTC)
(Link)
i dunno, eternal unhappiness would be kinda sucky too. i don't think you need to feel comfort to know that being on fire feels bad
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:July 16th, 2004 12:33 am (UTC)
(Link)
hmm. i don't know what to say to this, so i will poke you instead. *poke poke*
[User Picture]
From:crawl27
Date:July 17th, 2004 02:59 am (UTC)
(Link)
*pokes back*
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:July 19th, 2004 01:01 am (UTC)
(Link)
scandalous!
[User Picture]
From:crawl27
Date:July 20th, 2004 02:02 am (UTC)
(Link)
oh i know!

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