Name: Kim
Age: 21
School: UCI
Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence --- whether much that is glorious- whether all that is profound --- does not spring from disease of thought --- from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. -- edgar allan poe

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July 26, 2005

Candide

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Do things happen for a reason?

In Voltaire's Candide the main character, whose name is the same as the book, begins his life with the belief that everything happens for the best in this best of worlds.  As the story goes on, Candide clings and grasps to his belief as one after another outrageously shitty things happen to him.  Half-way through the book I caught myself thinking "Man, things can't get any worse than this!"... and yet, they did.

So, through this social sattire, Voltaire smashes to pieces the ideals of the overly optimistic.

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My views

Personally, probably because I was raised buddhist, I feel that though everything may not be for the best, I cling to the belief that everything is equal.   It may not be equal to everybody -- people in poverty and people who are ridiculously fortunate, but overall in the large scheme of things, everything is balanced.

At least -- that's what I like to think.

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Things I'm reminded of because of this book (and if you like to think about this kind of stuff): Arthur Nerssesian's The Fuck Up, and the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie gets dumped by Burger via post-it.

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So tell me... what do you believe? 
Do things happen for a reason?
Are we all a part of a big pattern on the wheel of time?
Or is it all just bullshit that humans make up to make life more bearable?

Posted by Kim at July 26, 2005 12:49 PM

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