General Question

KalWest's avatar

The basis of optimism is sheer terror?

Asked by KalWest (1389points) April 25th, 2009

That’s Oscar Wilde’s take on optimism. I like Oscar. Do you agree with the quote?

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16 Answers

cookieman's avatar

I’d say the oposite of optimism is despair.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t really have anything terribly insightful or intelligent to say about it, but I agree about Oscar and the quote. It reminds me of this one, A pessimist is what an idealist calls a realist. I think it sort of says the same thing from the opposite direction.

Yep I reckon I am terrified to consider what could happen so I will think positively that happy things will occur instead.

upholstry's avatar

@cprevite maybe he means that people are only optimistic because they’re terrified of the present? That sounds about right to me, and a funny way to look at it :)

DrasticDreamer's avatar

It definitely brings a smile to my face. For some people, I’m sure it’s true. For other people, not so much.

@rooeytoo I’m an idealist and I definitely think pessimists are realists. :D

TjHare's avatar

Terrible quote…He could have just said there’s a link between acceptance, denial, and cognative plans for the future.Optimism can be faith or an illusion, so why the absolute? @cprevite I’m pretty sure that the opposite of Optimism is Pessimism.

KalWest's avatar

“He could have just said there‚Äôs a link between acceptance, denial, and cognative plans for the future.”
Yea – but that wouldn’t have sounded as good. lol
Here are a few of my favorite Oscarisms:
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
I am not young enough to know everything.
I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

mattbrowne's avatar

There’s also a quote by Oscar Wilde about a pessimist: ‘One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.’ Now what is the opposite of that? Choosing the lesser evil, but still feeling terrible about it.

TjHare's avatar

Haha so true, but those Oscarisms still need to be interpreted correctly for intended value… . . . @mattbrowne that’s an interesting one, concept slipping me, sometimes I have to think about it first and get refocused. (Plus it’s 4:20 am) (worst sentence ever)

mattbrowne's avatar

@TjHare – It’s past noon where I live ;-) I guess you need to get some sleep then…

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

The basis (the root) of optimism as terror makes sense to me in that I view terror as being in a position of no control.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Oscar was a gifted writer but was also a cynical, self-important egotist, which came out in his writing frequently. He is incorrect in this particular assessment. Optimism isn’t blind faith in waiting for things to get better. That’s denial and delusion.

It’s about knowing good things happen when people have good attitudes and right minded action.

KalWest's avatar

“Oscar was a gifted writer but was also a cynical, self-important egotist,”
Yeah – but that – to me – is part of his charm. Also – I’m not so sure everything he proclaimed was meant all that seriously – more like food for thought. I’m with you on the people with good attitudes – but I think there’s some truth to the sheer terror assessment too.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Oscar Wilde never thought very highly of people. I think he was in error on that one.

TjHare's avatar

Agreed. The delivery of his quotes reeks of matter-of-fact thinking

KalWest's avatar

lalalalalalalallalalallalala (covers his ears – not listening)
Well OKAY = but he still one of my favorite peoples!

rooeytoo's avatar

In my life I have met people who were very worthy of admiration and respect but I have know as many if not more, who, in my humble opinion, were not!

So if Oscar never thought highly of people in a general sense, I tend to agree. Better to make judgements one by one.

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