What makes an optimist?

Discussion in 'Existentialism' started by Andy73, May 26, 2004.

  1. Andy73

    Andy73 Member

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    Who is more likely to be an optimist - the physiologically well constituted or the chronic sufferer? the powerful or the disadvantaged?

    Certainly there are pessimists among them all. I don't think there is a clear cut answer as to what makes an optimist.

    I tend to think that one who has come down the ladder in terms of social position is more inclined to pessimism then one who is born low on the ladder. One could say that some very poor people are the happiest people on earth, however their happiness is not necessarily synonymous with optimism. Some pessimists could be said to have found happiness.

    As a general rule, I would think that pessimists might be more affected by injustice - real or percieved - than optimists are.
  2. Antimatter235

    Antimatter235 Member

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    Yeah what makes a person optimist or pessimist depends largely on the environment. People who grew up is a harsh environment and didn't assimilate it well will have their attention focused on the bad things.
    Someone with successful and good parents (success as a way of life, not nescessarily being rich) will take up on their mentality.

    I think it's up to the individual. People are naturally opt. or pess., ok. But a pessimist still have the choice to focus his/her attention on the opportunities then their subconscious will learn it so it becomes second nature.
    There is "bad optimists" though, you know, too much expectation. A failure or accident can send them on the downward spiral quickly.
  3. Autentique

    Autentique wonderfabulastic

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    I agree that the enviroment influences a lot if you are a pessimist or an optimist. But I think people should be in the middle of both.. to create balance. I would say I'm an optimist but something is bad.. you keep looking at the brighter side of things even where there's none to look at, and you keep wishing for the best to happen sometimes leaving reality behind only to end dissapointed with the outcome.
  4. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

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    "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds,

    the pessimist fears this is true."

    James Branch Cabell
  5. rain_in_summer

    rain_in_summer Member

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    Another two quotes:

    "As an optimist you never get to know those pleasant little surprises."

    "The optimist fails as often as the pessimist, but he's got a lot more fun!"

    (I've got a picture for the latter one, I'll see whether I'll be able to post it some time.)
  6. insomniac

    insomniac Guest

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    "An optimist goes to the races and comes home broke."

    "A pessimist never goes to the races in the first place."

    I don't remember where I read those. Another quote I can't remember where I read is "If you expect the worst, all your surprises are pleasant". I'm not sure if that one could really be called pessimism, but its always intrigued me.
  7. MrRee

    MrRee Senior Member

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    Pessimists fail to see any good that can come from any situation.
    Optimists fail to see any bad that can come from any situation.

    Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har
  8. Zion

    Zion Member

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    Buddha left his palace for the first time and never reurned again. For he found life.
    Optimism allowing things to happen. As well as know everything And I maen Everything that happens to you will always be all to the good.
  9. Lights

    Lights Member

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    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. -William Somerset Maugham
  10. Spyder

    Spyder La dah de dah

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    pessimism is the realisation of the tragic, chaotic nature of the world, and finds comfort in it, there is nothing terrible about this, the pessimist merely embraces truth.

    the optimist, the socratic optimist, places his life in a veil of illusion, to sheild himself from the truth of the world, that it is doomed and that no religion, or idiology will protect him from it.

    im a pessimist and happy
  11. Art Delfo

    Art Delfo It is dark

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    some one who has not seen turth that bad things happen and some times dont get better in a few years.(Im a pessimist cant ya tell!:p )
  12. Spyder

    Spyder La dah de dah

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    pessimissm is a wonderful thing

    read nietzsches birth of tragedy, pessmism sets you free from lies and illusion that are set upon life to stop it.

    pessimism was killed by socratic optimism!
  13. StonerBill

    StonerBill Learn

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    I dont think optimism or pessimism is simply a matter of seeing the good or seeing the bad.

    i think it has to do with courage, ambition, and potential as well.

    "The optimist fails as often as the pessimist, but he's got a lot more fun!"

    i think this sums up a lot of why im an optimist.

    you can be happy or sad. why be sad?

    optimism doesnt mean seeing only the good and pessimism doesnt mean seeing only the bad.

    optimism is about aiming for the good when people say youll hit the bad

    and pessimism is not aiming at all because you recon youll miss

    you will never hit it if you dont aim but youll be comfortable; but youve got a chance if you do aim, and when you do, its all the better.

    you might, and often will miss and then get the 'i told you so'

    but lifes more interesting and has more purpose and direction that way.

    plus confidence is hot. confidence is optimism as well. unless your confident youll lose. but then you probably will.

    though theres differnet types of optimism. theres like my going 'i can jump over that trash can'. then theres a poster on the wall saying 'you can do it'. blind optimism will get you nowhere. that is the poster on the wall. courage however will. that is taking the leap over the trashcan. youve assessed the situation and youve decided to take the optimistic route. even if you chose optimism in every case, its going to be more productive than simply labeling everything optimistically.

    i hope that makes sense.

    if you see a problem and then assess it optimistically, this is good, but if you just see a problem and go 'optimism!' this is bad. caus if you plant the seed of optimism in your assessing then you will see the good things and they will be there. but if you just say everything good wihtout actually looking for the good bits then you wont. you know?

    there is good and bad in almost everything.

    but someone is a fool to be optimistic about every single thing in life and same to be pessimistic. imo its just better to get the most optimism out of life as you can.
  14. Zion

    Zion Member

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    Noting something as extreme as life even can happen gives me all the faith in the world
  15. Jedi

    Jedi Self Banned

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    You see , something is only hurting if you really perceive it that way, if you don't think something hurts , then it won't. Majority of our reality is based on our perceptions. An optimist is one who looks and thinks at things positively. Once one does that, his/her life is filled with joy and happiness. On the other hand, we are not all happy buddhas running around, and until we get to that buddha level, we are all a little pessimistic.
  16. Rodent

    Rodent Member

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    Most optimists I know are really pesimists in disguise.... who feel it weak to show theyre true feelings.... Im happy to have both my optimistic and pesimistic thoughts
    Pesimism was put in us out of nesecity from nature to allow us to survive.... you might say that little robin in the tree is a pasimist because its scared of everything.... i think its beautiful.
  17. Occam

    Occam Old bag of dreams

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    To start with a preconception....
    "tragic, chaotic, nature of the world."
    Is hardly impartial.

    Occam laughs at your 'poor me' philosophy of life.
    And can tell you why.

    What did YOU DO to deserve to exist?
    Then how did you end up with the greatest treasure
    in reality...Self aware existance?
    Sheer luck...[a wasted luck it seems]

    You think being a human is tragic?
    Try being an elephant that lies half dead in the dust
    as we saw off it's teeth.
    Try being a seal clubbed to death to provide some human female a bit of ego reinforcement.

    If the world is cruel my friend.

    It's because WE MADE IT THAT WAY.

    We can make the human world

    Occam is an optimist, BECAUSE he is a doubter...not a skeptic....
    But a questioner....
    The answers he gets from the questions...
    Indicate that the 'veil of human tragedy' is a thing humans infict on them selves.
    As agent smith says...humans seem to define themselves with there pain and suffering.

    This is a result of millions, and now billions....all living by ego.
    Placing individual over others.
    Placing 'i' over 'us'

    Irrational no?


  18. Spyder

    Spyder La dah de dah

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    occam...ever read a great deal of existentialist thought? nietzsche for instance?? no? didnt think so, because if so then maybe you'd have a vague grasp on what i have been stating

    this is a "philosophy" forum, but it doesnt supprise me that most people here dont have even a basic grasp of the background of existentialism, or the work of relevent thinkers.

    the great debate between apollonian optimism and dionysian pessimissm

    im not pessimistic in the tradition "ooh everythigns awful" sense, its purely philosophical
  19. pansy

    pansy Member

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  20. pop_terror

    pop_terror Member

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    I've seen firsthand how we're all walking corpses, our dead eyes lolling about in our feeble, fragile skulls. How one knock to the head displaces all of our hopes and dreams into into a pool of sticky red blood that no one wants to clean up. We are a flesh horror show, singing to the blindly swaying masses of death, in the rotting pits of their own personal vomit Hell, of a land of light and love. But they are all dead men. We are here and we are dead.


    But it's all right! It could be that way, and I can appreciate its beauty if it is. Or it could be another, more sensible way, in which that land of light and love actually exists, and we aren't merely trying to fool ourselves.


    O friends, no more these sounds!
    Let us sing more cheerful songs,
    more full of joy!

    Joy, fair offshoot of the Gods,
    Daughter of Elysium,
    Blindly we step, drunken with fire,
    Into thy Heavenly sanctuary.

    Your spell reunites
    All that convention has so rigorously parted.
    All men become brothers
    Where thy gentle wing tarries.

    Whoever has created
    An abiding friendship,
    Or has won a true and loving wife,
    All who can call at least one soul theirs...
    Join in our song of praise!
    But any who cannot must creep tearfully
    Away from our circle.

    All creatures drink of joy
    At nature's breast.
    Just and unjust
    Alike tast of her gift;
    She gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine,
    A tried friend to the end.
    Even the worm can feel contentment,
    And the cherub stands before God!

    Gladly, like the heavenly bodies
    Which he set on their courses
    Through the splendour of the firmament;
    Thus, brothers, you should run your race,
    As a hero going to conquest.

    You millions, I embrace you.
    This kiss is for all the world!
    Brothers, above the starry canopy
    There must dwell a loving Father.
    Do you fall in worship, you millions?
    World, do you know your Creator?
    Seek Him in the heavens!
    Above the stars he must dwell.

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