Metaphysical

Although laughter appears to be associated with happiness and joy, some have taken the position that laughter arises precisely from the experience of suffering. The philosopher Nietzsche, for example, argued that humor was invented precisely because of the extent to which humans suffer. This view is echoed in existentialist philosophy. For the most part, though, humor has not been taken seriously in classical philosophical thought in the Western tradition, which has tended to regard it as irrational, irresponsible, and frivolous. In contrast, Eastern traditions, such as Hindu, Buddhist, and Sufi worldviews, regard humor as an appropriate reaction in the face ofthe vicissitudes of death, disease, and aging; humor here is seen as an insight that all human aspirations are ultimately comical and that wisdom ensues from that insight.

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