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Too Smart to be Happy?
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33 / F / Montreal
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Posted 7/17/07
The question is rather simple, but let me explain so it becomes more complicated!

I have a book : How I became stupid by Martin Page, witch was excellent by the way, and his theory was : to be too smart will cause a lot of trouble, of pain, endless night thinking over and over about questions without answer.
And the guy decides to become stupid to get rid of his troubles (of the problems in the world that he always makes his own). After attempting to become alcoholic, to get a lobotomia, (both failed), he decides to become stupid by taking drugs (anti-depressors and tranquilizers) and the plan works. He can sleep again, buy clothes that are made by children in africa, eat platified food that pollutes more than it feeds, he even finds a job and eventually get rich.

So the question is : is it better to be blind - ignorant and happy, than to see - understand the ugliness ?
Posted 7/17/07
I don't think that makes sense...But I would rather be...neither. =3 Truely I still don't see how you can be ignorant and happy or intelligent and unhappy...Can you please explain it into further detail?
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Posted 7/17/07

is it better to be blind - ignorant and happy, than to see - understand the ugliness ?


Um Plato's Allegory of the cave anyone?
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35 / F / Monterey, CA
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Posted 7/17/07
That's where the saying Ignorance is bliss,
Esilabet, you might enjoy reading the short story "The ones who walk away from omelas" Excellent short story, and it highlights a similar philosophical idea.


Edit: http://www.twinoaks.org/members-exmembers/exmembers/center/omelas.html
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26 / M / Home of SeaBiscuit
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Posted 7/17/07

mauz15 wrote:


is it better to be blind - ignorant and happy, than to see - understand the ugliness ?


Um Plato's Allegory of the cave anyone?


UGH don't remind me of the Republic. I hate that book with a passion.
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20 / F / Here? There? Who...
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Posted 7/17/07
hmmm...good question. I would rather be smart than happy because if your happy than you can do stupid stuff to become happy. You can hurt yourself/other depending on how you become happy. And is that happyness really happyness? I would rather be unhappy than hurt more people than one.
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Posted 7/17/07
lol Mauz u took that idea right out of my mouth ^ ^
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31 / M / Cali
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Posted 7/17/07
yea. i wondered bout that before. and then i decided that the unhappy smart people arent really that smart... theyre smart enough to see the problem, but not smart enough to find a solution.

kinda like wut my professor once told me... u never want to be a B student. u either wanna be an A or a C student. A students will do well because of their skill, talent, hard work, etc. C students are usually the more eccentric types who dont follow the crowd, but somehow end up ahead. and the B students work for the A and C students. theyre smart enough to do ok, but not enough to do anything extraordinary.

so, if ur ignorant and dont see any problems and are happy, thats cool cuz ur happy. if u see problems and let them screw u over for no reason, then thats bad.. mite as well forget ur problems like that guy if ur not gonna do anything but whine about it. but dont be lazy like that. hopefully ull be smart enough to come up with a good solution.
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27 / M / US
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Posted 7/17/07
A common theme.

If I remember correctly there was a simpsons episode mocking "flowers for Algernon", where it is discovered that homer has a crayon in his head, so they take it out and he becomes a genius. Long story short, he ends up pushing another crayon up his nose.

A related issue is that ignorance may more often beget confidence then learning.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect

Also, I'll just note that what may cause more happiness may not be the best outcome overall. Like I pointed out in another thread, there are things more important than happiness, but some may disagree. Many of the most productive and creative people are those who are continually unhappy with the world- and thus strive to change it. Good!

^thing about a,b,c, is just a bunch of bunk, and not just saying that bc I'm a b student, ha.

And come now, the allegory of the cave is more about reality and our understanding of it. It does does not have a whole lot to say about happiness based on relative understanding.
Posted 7/17/07
oh okay I think i get you...I would be...neither like i said before...when I was ignorant lmfao
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27 / M / US
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Posted 7/17/07
Look granny, this is a situation in which you weigh the sides, so to speak. This is not really an either/or, though it could be taken as one, but only if one goes down while the other goes up. Not a bad starting question really - how intelligent would you want to be vs. how happy relative to one another. This is not one of those times to deny the framework saying you'd want to be neither. Your avatar fits well with your remarks. How hard is to to realize that intelligence and happiness do not go hand in hand. The unibomber was a genius and look what he did, etc.

Response to bellow: What are you doing in here, go look me up some music! mush!

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Posted 7/17/07

Eros wrote:

A common theme.

If I remember correctly there was a simpsons episode mocking "flowers for Algernon", where it is discovered that homer has a crayon in his head, so they take it out and he is a generous. Long story short, he ends up pushing another crayon up his nose.

A related issue is that ignorance may more often beget confidence then learning.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect

Also, I'll just note that what may cause more happiness may not be the best outcome overall. Like I pointed out in another thread, there are things more important than happiness, but some may disagree. Many of the most productive and creative people are those who are continually unhappy with the world- and thus strive to change it. Good!

^thing about a,b,c, is just a bunch of bunk, and not just saying that bc I'm a b student, ha.

And come now, the allegory of the cave is more about reality and our understanding of it. It does does not have a whole lot to say about happiness based on relative understanding.


-_- *bows to the wise one*
Posted 7/17/07
Why does life make my brain hurt? >.>
Posted 7/17/07
eros is totally correct. what's important isn't always your own personal happiness. it's about making a difference, creating change for the better, etc...

on that note. intelligent people can be very happy. i know plenty of very intelligent people who live only for themselves and are very happy. this is what you call "selfishness".
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23 / M / Canada
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Posted 7/17/07
Eros... I really liked that answer. On a side note, I also thought about that episode of The Simpsons too.

I'd have to say that it doesn't always seem to me the productive and creative people are necessarily unhappy. To me, it seems like these people aren't unhappy with the world, but are either optimistic, ambitious, or inspired. Then of course, there are those who feel fed up and want to change things.

To answer the question, I would choose intelligence... with apathy. I don't say it's selfish; that kind of sums me up, and I don't think I could be considered selfish. When an intelligent person is doing what they do best, getting a sense of personal fulfillment (and probably some moderate financial gain), wouldn't that be being happy?
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