Friday, October 31, 2008

to have and not hold

"Sadder still to watch it die than never to have known it..." That's a line from a song I heard recently, and it instantly turned on my phylosophical instinct. Is this true? Does it hold for all people and all 'its'? Having given birth to eleven kittens at the age of 1, I can tell you I do not at all miss my fertillity. But I can't compare to never having had it, now can I?

If I were to ask it to an economist -like the Camabs guy-, he'dd rattle on about time preference of consumption. He would totally loose me and ten come to the conclusion that it's not true. If having something yields utility, having had it yields more utility than never ever having it. Sounds simple, that's how economists think. But now for actual people.

What if one has a talent and looses it? Say a painter gets arthritis and can no longer paint. Sad, yes, but the paintings remain. Would it be different for an artist that has no materialized work? Say a musician that never recorded her work. True, that's pretty sad allright. But what about the memories and all the people recieving joy from that music in the past?

And how about love? What if you have love and loose it? Would it be better than to never have known love at all? Damn sure it wouldn't! Yes, it hurts when it's over. For a while. Then it fades. But the memory remains (now isn't that some song too?) and the good things lasted a lot longer than the grief. For most loves that is, some peeps just can't do anything right.

Now hold on, lets get real serious. No, I mean it. A real tough one. What about loosing a kid versus never having had one. Which one is worse? No doubt about it, loosing someone dear is tough. Loosing your kid is about as tough as it gets. That's what I think, I am lucky enough not to know for sure. But it's damn hard to imagine anything tougher than that, y'all agree. So, is this the case were it is sadder to have had than never ever had? No, wait. What does it imply? It implies that the life of the deceased kid did not have any positive value whatsoever. That can not be true. If its life, however short it was, is less important then the loss of that same life, then it was worth nothing. That's simply not right, and inconsistent on top of it. Therefore, logic tells us that it is never sadder to have had than to never had at all.

A bit too heavy for you, this one? Go here to cheer up, and I'll promise a lighter blog next week.

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