06 February 2014

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: Does humour make us human?

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Does humour make us human?

In the meantime Ruel has sent us a link to his essay and I have also
pened a few ideas on the subject:

Hi Lawrence,
I wrote something for Sunday´s topic. Here´s the link:

Thanks and see you on Sunday.

Does humour make us human?

We come across humour in many aspects of our life; we might have a
fertile sense of humour and therefore see the funny side of situations
more often than others. Humour can also be dependent on the culture we
live in, especially when we come across situations that happened in the
country way back in time.

A good part of what we call humour belongs to the entertainment
industry, comedians have existed since recorded history and today we
have easy access to videos and text that have all sorts of humours
content. But what are the limits or boundaries of what is acceptable
comedy and going over the top? Today jokes that might be interpreted as
racist or chauvinistic are not usually welcomed by many audiences. And
jokes about unfortunate people are also beyond what we are prepared to
accept. The question here is where does humour stop and offensive, if
not psychologically aggressive behaviour begins?

It has also been demonstrated that laughter, the causal effect of
something we perceive to be humorous or funny, can of course be too much
and can be dangerous to some. The physiological effects of humour, and
laughter, can be as deadly as say drowning in a lake of crystalline pure

Finding someone humorous can also be socially delicate, especially when
we laugh at the expense of their bad fortune. While other peple do not
take kindly to humour related to their religious and political beliefs.
The question is whether these people are so insecure that they cannot
take a joke, or so aggressive and oppressive that they interpret someone
laughing as a sense of freedom and self expression?

Indeed having a sense of humour can be a character trait of a happy
personality or an ability to defuse some of the tension from a serious
and complex situation. But the ability to laugh is indicative of a free
spirit. Firstly, because humour is spontaneous and, it is indicative
that we are not constrained by social norms (at least not too much) and
secondly, humour exposes a sense of interpretation of a situation beyond
the facts. Being able to laugh at a Freudian slip is an ability to
recognise a virtue in linguistic slip up.

The scope of humour as a human activity is beyond our imagination, but
surely what makes humour human is when we laugh with someone and not at

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.__com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every Thursday from 19:30 to 21h at
Irish Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: Does humour make us human?

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