What is Funny? | INFJ Forum

What is Funny?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by HaHa, Aug 20, 2009.

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  1. HaHa

    HaHa Community Member

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    This has been bothering me a bit lately. What is funny? Everybody laughs at certain things. My question is how did this possibly evolve? What sort of advantage could possibly be conveyed by having the reaction of laughter to laughter's cause? I'm totally in the dark on this, so I was wondering if anyone else has an opinion?
     
  2. smiffy

    smiffy Community Member

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    hmm maybe its like a communication tool used to diffuse tense situations, when out in town Ive seen potential fights diffused with humour/laughter? maybe its an evolved mechanism for diffusing violence?

    I dunno first thing that came to mind
     
  3. Orion

    Orion Strength through understanding
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    Sometimes things can be so soul crushingly awful, you just have to laugh to stop from topping yourself.
     
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    Laughter is the remedy for all my problems. There's nothing better than to cry because you were laughing sooo hard.

    so...
    :m146::m146::m146::m146::m146::m146::m146::m146:

    :D
     
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  5. slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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  7. Faye

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    #7 Faye, Aug 20, 2009
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  8. OP
    HaHa

    HaHa Community Member

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    #8 HaHa, Aug 20, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  9. Ophelia

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    I believe laughter came into being because we are social animals. Our minds need to be stimulated with things like games. So things like word play and whatnot are funny because they exercise thought.
     
  10. the

    the Si master race.
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    why does it bother you?
     
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  11. OP
    HaHa

    HaHa Community Member

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    Because I've been thinking about it and I can't figure it out despite my belief that it's something that man is capable of understanding. Although "interesting" would have been a better word than bother. Anyway, unfortunately the article doesn't answer all of my questions. I'm particularly interested in human laughter, which tends to occur when something reeks of absurdity.
     
    #11 HaHa, Aug 21, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  12. halicon

    halicon Regular Poster

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    laughter is an emotion much like sadness. i always struggle to understand why we evolved having emotions in the first place.
     
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  13. OP
    HaHa

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    Sadness makes a bit more sense too me, although not as much sense as happiness and anger. Sadness reasonably could have evolved as a reaction to loss, specifically the loss of a mate or a child. This would make the primitive "man" or common ancestor more likely to protect such people in the future, thus ensuring the future of his line.
     
  14. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Laughter relieves stress, naturally.

    One thing I laugh at is when people ignore or breech social norms and actway out of conduct. I also laugh at extremely grotesque and horrifying things.

    I laugh at the first, because it relieves stress of societal pressures and social customs that happen to make me feel unnatrual and restricted. I laugh at the second because extremely grotesque and horrifying things are stressful to think about seriously. Laughing about them makes them seem small if for only a moment.

    Cops have a certain type of humor that non-cops think would be callous just as people in the medical field laugh at certain things that would horrify most. My mom was a paramedic when I was a kid. I'd eavesdrop on her and her friends telling awfully insensitive jokes about injured people. But it makes sense. If you take everything so seriously all the time, it will only make you neurotic. There has to be a time to minimalize that which stresses us and reduce it to laughter. It's healthy.
     
    #14 acd, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  15. bamf

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    Yeah, that's what I was going to say.
    Stress is hard on any animal and laughter relieves that stress somewhat. It's for mental and physical health.
     
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  16. meanlittlechimp

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    I think the nature of human laughter deals with surprise as the main element.

    ALL comedy, written or verbal, has to do with deception (setting up the joke) and surprise (the punchline). GOOD comedy requires timing and assessing your audience (they have to get the joke).

    "A rabbi, a priest and a journalist walk into a bar...." The punchline is always going to be what you didn't expect. The more surprising or unexpected the funnier (it doesn't even have to make sense, it just needs to catch you off guard). Hate the kind of humor you might find in a joke book, but it's just to illustrate a point. Taking seemingly unrelated things and connecting them in a new way is also surprising. This framework is necessary for anything that is funny. Narrative humor, cartoons, or any kind of humor, works using the same idea.

    Woody Allen isn't funny because of self mockery but its' the way he does it. One of his lines was "with a body of mine you don't get jealous." The self mockery isn't funny in itself, it's the implication (the surprise) that he has a great body. If he said, "with a body like mine, I rarely get dates." That isn't funny - even if it's self mocking.

    This also applies to slapstick. A guy is walking down the street minding his own business and then "BLAM!" a safe drops on him, or he gets a pie in the face.... Surprise you weren't expecting that! Whether you find this funny or not is another question, but plenty of other people do.

    When I was high school I used to have this habit of calling random people squirrel, squirrel-boy, ferret face, rat-boy, weasel hair, whatever. It made no sense whatsoever, but made people laugh anyways because it was completely unexpected.
     
  17. Indie.J

    Indie.J Community Member

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    I'm pretty sure it releases endorphins as well as letting everybody know you're not grumpy today!! :D
     
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