• Robert Lockhart
    170
    It’s always struck me as sounding a bit paradoxical whenever I hear an outstanding looking person being described as ‘ridiculously good looking’, inasmuch as the pejorative term ‘ridiculous’ would seem ostensibly to be a rather odd type of designation to use in such a context. The term is of course similarly employed in many other instances – like for example how good a pizza might happen to taste – and is intended to mean ‘extremely’, but the paradox in the usage seems to me to be at its’ most blatant when occurring in the context of describing physical beauty – and also possibly at its’ most interesting. Perhaps of course it’s ‘just me’, but why - when I hear the term being used in the latter context - do I frequently get the irresistible impression that what is actually being subliminally expressed is the idea, ‘Somehow this just should not be.’?

    Suppose everything constituting our human situation were descended exclusively from logical causes. Such a reality would then entail that every phenomena that was logically possible would in principle be manifestable to its’ logical limit in the abstract – including for example, within the context of human physionomy, every degree both of physical beauty and ugliness – and thus that in practice a state of absolute inequity in terms of personal situation would prevail among human beings. Of course, many types of inequity are not immediately obvious, as in for ex the extremes of variation which exists among individuals regarding personal ‘IQ’ level and, in that respect, variation in personal beauty could be considered as being merely the physically evident ‘tip of the iceberg’ regarding general inequity.

    Would it then be overly fanciful to speculate that the common use of the word ‘ridiculous’ in the context of the singularly obvious inequality referred to concerning personal appearance might be a behavioural example symptomatic of our subliminal recognition of the nihilism of the inequity which in practice would inevitably characterise our situation were it in fact to be thus exclusively descended from amoral logical causes?
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    It’s always struck me as sounding a bit paradoxical whenever I hear an outstanding looking person being described as ‘ridiculously good looking’, inasmuch as the pejorative term ‘ridiculous’ would seem ostensibly to be rather an odd type of designation to use in such a context.Robert Lockhart

    I like the use of "ridiculous" in this way. The first time I heard it used, I knew exactly what it meant. It's a replacement for "amazing" or "fantastic," but it has a different tone.

    Would it then be overly fanciful to speculate that the common use of the word ‘ridiculous’ in the context of the obvious inequality referred to concerning personal appearance might be a behavioural example symptomatic of our subliminal recognition of the nihilism of the inequity inevitably characterising in practice a situation which in fact is thus exclusively descended from amoral logical causes?Robert Lockhart

    "Overly fanciful?" I think the answer to your question is "yes," although, admittedly, I don't really know what your sentence means.

    Suppose everything constituting our human situation were descended exclusively from logical causes. Such a reality would then entail that every phenomena that was logically possible would in principle be manifestable to its’ logical limit in the abstract – including for example every degree both of physical beauty and ugliness – and that in practice a state of absolute inequity in terms of personal situation would prevail among human beings.Robert Lockhart

    I have no idea with this means either. Forgive me, but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between posters who are caught up in knots of words and those who are satirizing them.
  • Nils Loc
    797
    It's about the resentment that folks have for an unfair distribution of traits. The ridiculously good looking are the same as the ridiculously ugly in terms of not having earned their lot (whatever that means). There is the possibility that no lots are really earned as much as casually determined unfoldings of preceding conditions.

    See Ressentiment

    Nihilism is an outgrowth of ressentiment, which is has its roots in displacement aggression.

    There is an anecdote I heard on the radio about the chimp who ripped the face off his keeper. His keeper was giving another chimp cake and this threw him into a violent rage, either from jealousy or envy. Maybe that is like a man's wife having intercourse with another man in front of him.

    Imagine a ridiculously beautiful face eating an ridiculously expensive cake on ridiculously cool plates, in a ridiculously fancy house, among ridiculously intelligent friends. We might as well be watching a television commercial. It must be a failure on my part as a human being but seeing such a spectacle makes me bitter, angry and resentful. I'm forever being reminded what I am not and what I don't have that is preferable to what I am and what I do have. I must be part chimp.
  • Robert Lockhart
    170
    Nils Loc: Well, I’m sure we could all agree that the inequity of the distribution of talents and advantages among human beings hardly corresponds with what we might expect to find in a situation resulting from ethical design. In fact, the more you witness in reality the degree of such inequity the more bizarre I think, regardless of whatever may be its’ ultimate cause, our situation strikes you as being, and therefore I’d say there is in fact some scope for the extraordinary speculation that sometimes in certain contexts our linguistic usage, allowing for its undoubted ambiguity, nonetheless may actually be representative of our subliminal sensing of the nihilism in fact characterising our condition!
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