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Philosophical question for you thinkers out there...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Blackbird, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    What is worse: A long but tragic life or a short but happy one?

  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    What is worse is a long but tragic life.

    No matter how you look at it, we die someday, so you might as well live every day to it's fullest, not worry about the future, and not worry about which one of these categories you fall under. I'm an extreme optimist. Smile :)
  3. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Tragic is relative...what you might call tragic, the actor may find usual or even happy.

    However, if the actor thought their life was tragic, then perhaps they may prefer a short happy life.
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    So, your answer to the question is...?:D
  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000

    Bah, that's your answer for everything!
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Besides, I think I got the answer.

    It's best to have a long, happy life than a short tragic one.

    Catch 22. Very good book.
  8. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    If I were being serious for a second, I would want to know what is a long life and what is a short life? I mean "life" in the context you have used it is almost self referential. Ie would a child born with horrible disfigurement who died after 2 weeks of pain have had a short or a long life? You might be inclined to say it was short but for the child it may have been extremely long (if they could communicate).

    Likewise an elderly person who dies in their 90's might feel their life was too short because they did not achieve all they wished....anyway..I digress...

    Sadowsky! :D
  9. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Catch 22 is a brilliant book. :D
  10. What seems like a tragedy now, and you'd rather die than suffer through it, could be tolerable if you were really in that situation.

    Take paralysis. You wouldn't want to live like that, right? Everybody says "I'd rather die than be paralyzed". Then you find yourself in that situation, and you focus on what you can still do rather than what you can't, and find that life is indeed still worth living.

    Being 90 and losing control of your bodily functions sounds terrible, then in comes the pretty nurse to underess you and give you a sponge bath, and life is suddenly worth living.

  11. dying on the can would be the worst, either way
  12. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    My all-time favorite! :D

    And what's the point of living if your life is nothing but tragedy and misery? Even if it's only for a short while, you might as well enjoy your life.
  13. Taking the question on face value? Long tragedies suck.

  14. Well, If you had a crappy life... you'd kill yourself, thereby making it a short life. So, you've got a short tragic life, or a short happy life.

    I'd prefer to be happy. :smug:
  15. I probably live more like i agree w/ this than most people do, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Even before I had bothered thinking about the downfalls of this ideology, I still had some amount of refrain. There was always a small amount of "what if I don't die tomorrow," thrown into the equasion.
  16. Yeah. That'll really hit home when you wake up and realize that you haven't saved for retirement.

  17. The answer to this question depends soley on what you definition of tragic is. I mean, while you can't define happiness, its pretty self-explanatory. This might entail a loving family and good friends. (Eurika! Maybe THAT is the definition of happiness.) Tragedy is more complicated, though. I think tragedy would be a result of the kind of person you became, not in what life did to you. The story of an Eboneezer Scrooge that was never visited by the ghosts, would be a perfect example.

    By these standards, any life that entailed more happiness would be better.
  18. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    pretty sure "tragic" is being defined by the guy living the long "tragic" life. Let's not get needlessly philosophical here. Simple question, woudl you rather live a long time, despite your life sucking, or woudl you rather die at 21 after having a blast. Numero dos por favor!
  19. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca

    long and tragic.

    that's just no way to live, there.
  20. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    The poverty of philosophy...

    Is the question really worth considering? It seems a little artsy and overly self absorbed to me. But that's philosophy isn't it?

    I guess that's why I'm majoring in Political Science. :p