Is knowledge depression?

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Is knowledge depression?

Postby XxBrutalMusicxX on December 5th, 2008, 2:57 pm 

A question that is in my mind frequently has been bugging me. Is knowledge depression? or does knowledge cause depression frequently?

Please comment, I would love to hear what people have to say.
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Postby Ryan on December 5th, 2008, 3:23 pm 

I think that acquiring knowledge is pleasurable, and acquiring philosophical knowledge isn't really as easy as acquiring other types of knowledge. Philosophical knowledge is so pleasurable when deprived you might feel empty. I have a philosophy teacher at my school who agreed with me 100%, saying the more philosophically inclined you become the more saddened you will likely become. I haven't made my mind up 100% on this issue but am leaning towards my philosophy teachers opinion.
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Postby Forest_Dump on December 5th, 2008, 3:28 pm 

I would say absolutely not to either possibility. In my own experience, pretty much the exact opposite - the more I learn the more viable and interesting possibilities there are. it is like the old cliche that opening doors of knowledge opens up new vistas to explore, etc. That being said, there are some doors of knowledge that are more dark and dim than others. Some might be what you could call overly judgemental, etc., such as from some intolerant religious or philosophical perspectives. Others are just depressing. Some people seem to be overly attracted to these, for reasons of their own, but I simply prefer not to follow these. Granted, I do sometimes decide to explore some of these for a while, if for not other reason that to bring in some measure of intellectual balance but I generally find I have to many other useful and interesting topics (read positive) to choose to explore so I prefer to go there. Why waste your time doing or thinking negative things if you don't need to?
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Postby wuliheron on December 5th, 2008, 5:12 pm 

I would say the oposite is more true, depression can cause knowledge.

In a study done on this subject it was discovered that happy people tend to be somewhat out of touch with reality while depressed people access situations much more accurately. In studies of vietnam vets and others it has been repeatedly demonstrated that people under prolonged stress also see a marked increase in IQ. This makes sense if you consider depression to be a survival characteristic. However, it also comes at a price. Depression causes a weaker immune system, lack of sleep, fewer chances to mate, etc.

The best example of how depression evolved as a survival characteristic, that I know of, is that of a wounded or sick animal. When sick or wounded an animal will seek out a quiet hiding place where they can lay still for days on end and lick their wounds. Depressed people do much the same thing, laying in bed for days at a time and having little appitite and difficulty sleeping. Chronically depressed people will relive their nightmares repeatedly in their dreams and their memories. Their brain can actually change as well to adapt better to constant stress and increase their fight-or-flight response. As well as the increase in IQ, their memories tend to decrease.

I could go on and on describing depression and its effects, but you get the idea. For all the wonderful things about depression its costs are equally steep.
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