why does humor exist

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Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 07:18 pm
I just thought of this. Why did we event humor? Why do we laugh? Why do we understand the concept of comedy? I would like to hear some of your views on this.
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 02:07 am
It could be a coping mechanism to deal with painful/uncomfortable issues in our lives. If you think about the things that most often come up in comedy routines, it's quite often hardship, fears, painful experiences. Comedians quite frequently suffer from depression. Perhaps humor has an evolutionary benefit when it comes to dealing with psychological discomfort.

I think of Chris Rock talking about how everyone has a "molester uncle". Now, pedophiles are normally our worst fear, but that bit was hilarious. "Walk it off!" lmao
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 02:16 am
I remember watching a documentary about jon stewart, and in it, and it reflects that sad fact that a lot of comedians had painful childhood. According to it, Jewish comedian is aways funnier than a non-jewish white guy, because they had a tougher time in their youth.
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 02:17 am
Well, if you ask that, you'd also wanna ask about sadness, and why its there, why we react to it, why we cry etc. They are what make us humans.
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 02:25 am
actually it is a much deeper question than many realise. I did study it at one stage, and all I recall is that it has something to do with cognitive dissociation - in other words, you are expecting something to happen, or think that you understand something, and then suddenly it turns out to have a completely different meaning. This is how many jokes work, anyway. (Although slapstick humour is a bit different, there is something about that which makes almost any human laugh, just because it is so silly. I have also heard it said that horses, monkeys, and elephants have been known to show behaviour which many think is laughter.)

Also note The Act of Creation, by Arthur Koestler,
It is a study of the processes of creativity and imagination in which Koestler explains that humans are most creative when rational thought is abandoned during dreams and trances.[1] Koestler affirms that all creatures have the capacity for creative activity, frequently suppressed by the automatic routines of thought and behavior that dominate their lives. Koestler's basic idea is that the creative act is a "bisociation" (not mere association) which happens, if two (or more) apparently incompatible frames of thought ("matrices") are brought together by an ingenious mind.[2] In jokes and humour, these conceptual systems are reversed, in the arts and in ritual, they are juxtaposed, in science, they are fused into a new larger synthesis.[3] This corresponds to a "self-assertive" tendency in humour and a "self-transcending" tendency in art, while in science both tendencies are balanced.
From Wikipedia.
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 03:08 am

It would have something to do with releasing some hormones right, because you feel better right after you laugh.

There are many enigmas about the human body that are yet to be explained. What an amazing system, ha?
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 04:18 am
well perhaps, but something has to trigger the hormones, does it not? And surely this is cognitive rather than biochemical. I mean, I suppose there are chemicals that can make you laugh, nitrous oxide is called 'laughing gas'; but laughing on account of a chemical stimulant is hardly the same as humour, is it?
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 04:54 am
Is it illegal to sell laughing gas?
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 08:41 am
TuringEquivalent;169495 wrote:
Is it illegal to sell laughing gas?

Laughing I think it is. Nitrous Oxide, isn't that like doing whippets?
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 11:19 am
Sigmund Freud wrote a book all about humour called something like 'The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious'. He says that through humour we express our unconcious desires (in much the same way as he said that we do through dreaming, slips of the tonuge etc). The book is a bit tricky in parts and it can be very dry in the way that it analyses jokes but it's worth a read if you're interested in the subject.

From a biological/evolutionary point of view there've been various theories prosposed but as far as I'm aware there's been nothing conclusively proven.
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 04:02 pm
Psephos;169591 wrote:

From a biological/evolutionary point of view there've been various theories prosposed but as far as I'm aware there's been nothing conclusively proven.

Nor will there be 'cause existence is no joke!Laughing
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 06:11 pm
I believe it has A lot to do with the equilibrium of everything. There has to be some sort of imaginary balance between all things. The opposite of comedy is drama or horror right? Obviously if everybody were sad all the time, there would be no room for the mind to constantly germinate. When we think of comedy, we mostly think of positivity and when we think of positivity, we usually think about moving forward. We would be much less of a race mentally,physically and emotionally if we were always sad. We would be behind so many more years then we are now in terms of innovation and imagination if we were to succumb to being sad.
Reply Sun 20 Jun, 2010 02:29 am
A quote from Hesse's steppenwolf that I kind of like. I removed a lot, but I think I got the essence:

An imaginary and yet a sovereign world, humor. [...] Humor alone (perhaps the most inborn and brilliant achievement of the spirit) attains to the impossible and brings every aspect of human existence within the rays of its prism. To live in the world as though it were not the world, to respect the law and yet to stand above it, to have possessions as though one possessed nothing, to renounce as though it were no renunciation, all these favorite and often formulated propositions of an exalted worldly wisdom, it is in the power of humor alone to make efficacious.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Sep, 2016 12:51 am
Humor exists for longevity. You know that old saying, laughter is the best medicine.
manfrom atlantis
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2016 05:30 pm
because none wants to cry forever.
Reply Sat 5 Nov, 2016 05:31 am
I don't know, but most of what we naturally do is designed to have some protective effect on ourselves and our species, so you might start there.


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