The purpose of humor

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manored
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 01:36 pm
One of the things that intrigate me about human nature is the purpose of humor, that is, why do we laugh? It seens for me that it is a form of estimulating us to seek knowledge and new experiences, because we usually find the strange or different, or the new connections we had no seen, comic. I dont fell sure about that, but cannot find another plausible explanation... comments?
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 08:52 pm
@manored,
manored wrote:
One of the things that intrigate me about human nature is the purpose of humor, that is, why do we laugh? It seens for me that it is a form of estimulating us to seek knowledge and new experiences, because we usually find the strange or different, or the new connections we had no seen, comic. I dont fell sure about that, but cannot find another plausible explanation... comments?

What purpose??? Humor is like sugar... People go after it for it, and the more you have to think about the less you enjoy it...

Let me give you an example: A man jumped out of an airplane, and his parchute did not open... Half way to the ground he meets a guy coming up; and he yells to the guy:Hey...Do YOU know anything about parachutes??? NO; the guy answered... Do you know aanything about colman stoves???

There might be a purpose concealed within the humor... All I know is that for years I would chuckle when some one asked if I knew anything about this or that.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 09:59 pm
@Fido,
Humor is a way for us to enjoy and appreciate life, especially other people, without having to consume something. Humor is free, and better than most things you can buy.
 
Joe
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 11:33 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I find Humor the most intriguing when it is substituted for fear and anguish. What a great use of an emotion.
 
AWohlfarth
 
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 01:15 am
@manored,
Well... because it's late at night and I can't think philosophically quite well anymore, and though I still feel a need to respond to this I'm just going to give a more technical viewpoint. The body has receptors on the cells that determine emotion, and that was discovered rather recently because there were never before microscopes that could detect them, at any rate tens of thousands of these cell receptors that perceive emotion die every hour and a re-grown. The body is therefore more thought of as a "body-mind" whereas in the past it was believed that the mind alone determined mood, reaction, ect. Whatever mood the body is feeling at the time, whether that be happiness, sadness or anger the new cell receptors that are created are formed to call for that emotion.
Though in a side note, humor is oftentimes used more by the dominant one rather than the more submissive ones a group as a means to control the others. The one who is the most dominant normally controls the emotion atmosphere. Also, people are 30 times more likely to laugh when they are alone rather than in the group setting.
At any rate, it is really a primitive instinct as well, all animals have it. The idiocracy of those who say that animals feel no emotions are incredibly super-permeated in their own delusions. Along with this it relieves stress and relaxes the body. Any number of common studies would show that a person becomes more relaxed after taking a few minutes to even just watch a short video and laugh.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 06:48 am
@Joe,
Joe wrote:
I find Humor the most intriguing when it is substituted for fear and anguish. What a great use of an emotion.

What do you think people laugh at but their fear... Look at all the comedy devoted to queers... How about all the jokes about jews and blacks... People fear blacks... Jews make jokes about Arabs... Does it make sense that each of these sorts of jokes, against Blacks or Arabs rest on the stupidity of each... How many jokes can be made about stupidity??? When you fear to see people as equals there is no limit...

Look at a joke as a pocket comedy, and look at comedy as re-enforcing the sense of community. As one prof I had said: every comedy has a marriage, and every tragedy a funeral... It is a lie, but a good one... But the police story as a form of comedy is illustrative, because community is made strong by the exclusion of the bad man, but we all know the bad man is still there, so there is a community made strong only by making two communities... And you can see it in people watching a comedy where a villon is finished off from three cameral angles all played one after the other, and he blows through a plate glass window and falls 17 floors to a bloody finish, -and no one is happy... It is possible that many identify with the powerful criminal instead of the fortunate hero, but we are actually improved when we are allowed to improve ourselves and see ourselves improved by forgiving the tragic figure -because we are forgiving ourselves with him. Who is improved by nword joke??? We might laugh at our fear that the Jews are taking over the world a penny at a time, but when we are done laughing, the fear remains...
 
manored
 
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 09:52 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Interesting ideas, thought none really threw a light on its purpose... maybe its one of those things accidentally created by evolution Smile

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Humor is a way for us to enjoy and appreciate life, especially other people, without having to consume something. Humor is free, and better than most things you can buy.


What is the point of enjoying and appreciating life, tough? Smile
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 04:38 pm
@manored,
manored wrote:

What is the point of enjoying and appreciating life, tough? Smile


That is the point - to enjoy and appreciate life. It's a little clumsy, but that's the end of all ends. If you do not want to enjoy and appreciate life, I cannot imagine why you (or someone in that situation, I'm not trying to single you out) would not kill yourself.
 
Joe
 
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 04:39 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
What do you think people laugh at but their fear... Look at all the comedy devoted to queers... How about all the jokes about Jews and blacks... People fear blacks... Jews make jokes about Arabs... Does it make sense that each of these sorts of jokes, against Blacks or Arabs rest on the stupidity of each... How many jokes can be made about stupidity??? When you fear to see people as equals there is no limit...

Look at a joke as a pocket comedy, and look at comedy as re-enforcing the sense of community. As one prof I had said: every comedy has a marriage, and every tragedy a funeral... It is a lie, but a good one... But the police story as a form of comedy is illustrative, because community is made strong by the exclusion of the bad man, but we all know the bad man is still there, so there is a community made strong only by making two communities... And you can see it in people watching a comedy where a villon is finished off from three cameral angles all played one after the other, and he blows through a plate glass window and falls 17 floors to a bloody finish, -and no one is happy... It is possible that many identify with the powerful criminal instead of the fortunate hero, but we are actually improved when we are allowed to improve ourselves and see ourselves improved by forgiving the tragic figure -because we are forgiving ourselves with him. Who is improved by nword joke??? We might laugh at our fear that the Jews are taking over the world a penny at a time, but when we are done laughing, the fear remains...


hmmmm\

I think it is easy for people to make a joke out of fear. What is not easy is taking the bit of honesty from a joke. What i mean by the honesty is the underlying current that crosses into an individual's morals and logic.

When a white man remarks a joke about a black man, it is his attempt to understand why he feels different. He uses this joke and looks at his feelings and thoughts. This is fact. But, most of the time we move on from the joke because the fear battles those thoughts and feelings. Thats why i think Humor is groundbreaking everyday. What we call "Dark" Humor, tends to indulge deeper into what is fearful. For the sake of Humor, Jokes represent the most direct feelings with the most indirect thoughts. Vocally speaking from an individual.

So I dint think you can take a healthy look at a joke and place it on a see saw of useful, un-useful, good, bad, etc... It is a human tool of language that is used in different situations for different reasons, whether you like them or not, and so jokes are absolutely deep and philosophical. Is that good or bad? I would say neither.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 04:37 am
@Joe,
Joe wrote:
hmmmm\

I think it is easy for people to make a joke out of fear. What is not easy is taking the bit of honesty from a joke. What i mean by the honesty is the underlying current that crosses into an individual's morals and logic.

When a white man remarks a joke about a black man, it is his attempt to understand why he feels different. He uses this joke and looks at his feelings and thoughts. This is fact. But, most of the time we move on from the joke because the fear battles those thoughts and feelings. Thats why i think Humor is groundbreaking everyday. What we call "Dark" Humor, tends to indulge deeper into what is fearful. For the sake of Humor, Jokes represent the most direct feelings with the most indirect thoughts. Vocally speaking from an individual.

So I dint think you can take a healthy look at a joke and place it on a see saw of useful, un-useful, good, bad, etc... It is a human tool of language that is used in different situations for different reasons, whether you like them or not, and so jokes are absolutely deep and philosophical. Is that good or bad? I would say neither.

Dya think??? Because I never see anyone thinking much about humor, but using humor to escape thinking...Its like the story about George Burns and Opra Winfry, where he was braggin and saying I told you what a man I was... And she said: well I helped. and he said they only reason I had you do that was because the last time I slept with a Nword, she stole my wallet.
There might be some underlying philosophy to it...I saw the same thing in a poem once where a black guy thinking he was passing for white, denied his black-ness, became educated, and successful, and lived only around white people and when it was over and he was dead everyone said he was a credit to his race... Clarence Thomas hates blacks, goes to nascar races in a camper, hangs out with hillbillies, and votes white...Do you think anyone sees him as white???

I think people justify their prejudice toward blacks by making jokes about their intelligence, sexuality, anatomy, or thievery... If the have a choice of looking at the person or the characature of the person they will take the characature every time... There is a lot of things I don't like about black culture, no joke about it... But when it got to be my turn to pull one out of a river because he was drunk and jumped in after a basketball, I did... But when I told my girlfriend what had happened, because she had been raped by a black guy (Oh, another joke...Ghetto fore play: Stay cool, bich, I got a knife) with a knife; She said: Great, let's get a dumptruck full of basketballs and dump it off the grand river bridge... The thing is, I looked the guy up later after he was released from the hospital, and it turned out this average looking black man had very pretty white wife, and a very nice half white daughter; and I thought how awful it would have been for them to learn that a white man had stood on that dock and watched their husband/father die without so much as getting his feet wet... He said he never saw my face, but he knew I was white... He must have thought God had sent a white angel to pull him off the bottom of that dirty old river...

Whatever the joke, and no matter how demeaning it is to them, You cannot let it prevent you from seeing them as human beings and as entitled to their lives as ourselves...
 
Joe
 
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 04:44 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Dya think??? Because I never see anyone thinking much about humor, but using humor to escape thinking...Its like the story about George Burns and Opra Winfry, where he was braggin and saying I told you what a man I was... And she said: well I helped. and he said they only reason I had you do that was because the last time I slept with a Nword, she stole my wallet.
There might be some underlying philosophy to it...I saw the same thing in a poem once where a black guy thinking he was passing for white, denied his black-ness, became educated, and successful, and lived only around white people and when it was over and he was dead everyone said he was a credit to his race... Clarence Thomas hates blacks, goes to nascar races in a camper, hangs out with hillbillies, and votes white...Do you think anyone sees him as white???

I think people justify their prejudice toward blacks by making jokes about their intelligence, sexuality, anatomy, or thievery... If the have a choice of looking at the person or the characature of the person they will take the characature every time... There is a lot of things I don't like about black culture, no joke about it... But when it got to be my turn to pull one out of a river because he was drunk and jumped in after a basketball, I did... But when I told my girlfriend what had happened, because she had been raped by a black guy (Oh, another joke...Ghetto fore play: Stay cool *****, I got a knife) with a knife; She said: Great, let's get a dumptruck full of basketballs and dump it off the grand river bridge... The thing is, I looked the guy up later after he was released from the hospital, and it turned out this average looking black guy had very pretty white wife, and a very nice half white daughter; and I thought how awful it would have been for them to learn that a white man had stood on that dock and watched their husband/father die without so much as getting his feet wet... He said he never saw my face, but he knew I was white... He must have though God had sent a white angel to pull him off the bottom of that dirty old river...

Whatever the joke, and no matter how demeaning it is to them, You cannot let it prevent you from seeing them as human beings and as entitled to their lives as ourselves...



Well said. But still not based on true emotions of the joke. These are the warped thoughts that the words provide. The joke, emotionally, has revealing qualities, even if people recognize them or not.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:02 am
@Joe,
Joe wrote:
Well said. But still not based on true emotions of the joke. These are the warped thoughts that the words provide. The joke, emotionally, has revealing qualities, even if people recognize them or not.

What people find amusing is certainly revealing... I laugh about a lot of nonsense, but everything makes me think... It is a curse, I swear, to never be able to take anything at face value, to always look through stuff, and beyond things, inside, upstairs... Like that Cat, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, never being able to resist looking under a scab... There is a lot of scab in humor...
 
Joe
 
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:23 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
What people find amusing is certainly revealing... I laugh about a lot of nonsense, but everything makes me think... It is a curse, I swear, to never be able to take anything at face value, to always look through stuff, and beyond things, inside, upstairs... Like that Cat, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, never being able to resist looking under a scab... There is a lot of scab in humor...


Absolutely, and revealing to themselves is what a joke conducts philosophically. anyways I'll end my humor posts with the greatest simplest joke ever spoke..

Two fish are swimming up stream. One fish runs into a wall, looks at the other fish and says.."damn".Laughing
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 11:11 am
@Joe,
Joe wrote:
Absolutely, and revealing to themselves is what a joke conducts philosophically. anyways I'll end my humor posts with the greatest simplest joke ever spoke..

Two fish are swimming up stream. One fish runs into a wall, looks at the other fish and says.."damn".Laughing

This man walked into a bar and said "OUCH"

Two peanuts met on the street... One was Spanish, the other was a salted.
 
socrato
 
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 11:51 am
@Fido,
xkcd - A Webcomic - Friends

There is no philosophy of humor. It is just a sign of positive thinking.

Most of the time:rolleyes:
 
AWohlfarth
 
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 07:59 pm
@Fido,
I don't get the "man walked in a bar and said ouch"...I got the fish one...."damn" meaning he ran into a "dam", if that was a pun off you not getting it ok then.
 
manored
 
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2008 10:25 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
That is the point - to enjoy and appreciate life. It's a little clumsy, but that's the end of all ends. If you do not want to enjoy and appreciate life, I cannot imagine why you (or someone in that situation, I'm not trying to single you out) would not kill yourself.
What I meant is: If enjoying and appreciating life is something that exists just for the sake of itself, it means it is biologically useless (We could have some other thing to block suicide, like a computer), so it doesnt quite explains the purpose of humor. Well I guess then humor is something evolution ended up creating at randow for no specific reason, like that thing in the end of our intestines that serves no purpose except exploding and killing us Smile
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2008 02:29 pm
@AWohlfarth,
AWohlfarth wrote:
I don't get the "man walked in a bar and said ouch"...I got the fish one...."damn" meaning he ran into a "dam", if that was a pun off you not getting it ok then.

All right... A man walked into a dam and said: Ouch! What do you say when you walk into things???
 
AWohlfarth
 
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2008 05:39 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
All right... A man walked into a dam and said: Ouch! What do you say when you walk into things???


Um...there are a number of things that you can say. That's beside the point...I just meant that he referred to the fish saying "damn" because it ran into a dam =p This is silly to argue over :poke-eye:
 
manored
 
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2008 07:42 pm
@manored,
If anyone here wants good comedy go read some Douglas Adams books... they are not just absurdly fun, they will also open your mind to new manners of thinking.
 
 

 
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