Thursday, December 16, 2010

A very brief rebuttal ...

... to the philosopher in the 2nd floor bathroom stall of the Kelley Engineering Center, who wrote:

Happiness is a pause between 2 moments of suffering.

I assume this sentence is intended to elicit a sense of despair by marginalizing happiness as the temporary lack of suffering. However, it fails on several counts.

If my assumption is correct, our philosopher presumably believes that there exists more than two moments of suffering. Therefore, suffering is equivalently a moment between two pauses of happiness. In other words, our philosopher's insight is little more than trite pessimism of the glass-half-empty variety. In fact, it is actually a weaker pessimistic observation than the half-empty glass, since a moment implies a briefer period of time than a pause.

Consider yourself owned, bathroom philosopher. Now back to this proposal I'm supposed to be working on.

1 comment:

  1. Eric, I got here by chance. I think there is a minor issue with your reasoning :D. Say, life begins with suffering, we can have the following pattern of emotion:

    suffering (birth) - happiness - suffering - happiness - etc. - suffering (dead)

    In this pattern, each happiness is a pause between 2 moments of suffering, but the first and the last suffering are not surrounded by happiness. Therefore, suffering is not always a moment between two pauses of happiness.

    Lastly, the above pattern reveals that everybody has more number of suffering than happiness. In other words, "life is suffering" (quote Buddha) haha