Pollyann and optimism.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 Comments Off


Optimism is just denial. Every day I come closer to actually believing this. If, as Zizek states, particular things only appear as the balance of the void (universe) is upset, then "progress" comes at a price and satisfaction is fleeting.

Peter Singer writes about David Benatar's book "Better never to have been: The harm of coming into existence.":
"Benatar also argues that human lives are, in general, much less good than we think they are. We spend most of our lives with unfulfilled desires, and the occasional satisfactions that are all most of us can achieve are insufficient to outweigh these prolonged negative states. If we think that this is a tolerable state of affairs it is because we are, in Benatar’s view, victims of the illusion of pollyannaism. This illusion may have evolved because it helped our ancestors survive, but it is an illusion nonetheless. If we could see our lives objectively, we would see that they are not something we should inflict on anyone."

Pollyannaism is an unconscious bias towards the positive.

I like this. Ultimately, there is only failure but I rejoice at the comforting notion of:
"It'll be alright. You'll see."

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