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Author Topic: The Worth Of A Mind  (Read 693 times)

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Offline NadirTopic starter

The Worth Of A Mind
« on: February 02, 2009, 06:22:47 PM »
This came up when me, my sister and my father were discussing alzheimer's.

After a few minutes of nattering, my sister said the it had to be worse for some people than others - like, Terry Pratchett would suffer more from alzheimer's than an average Joe, because Terry Pratchett uses his mind more than Joe. 

My father agreed, but I didn't. I can understand how someone would say the loss of a 'brilliant' mind is worse than the loss of a 'normal' mind. Surly both would suffer equally - Joe's mind might be more mundane than Terry's, but why are his thoughts, memories, personality less important?

Needless to say I wasn't listened to, but I'm curious to know how such things are seen by other people, and if I'm ridiculous for thinking people who don't have a series of popular books or great thesis would feel as great a loss.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 06:23:59 PM by Eden »

Offline Jag

Re: The Worth Of A Mind
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 06:54:37 PM »
The loss of a great mind saddens the world. The loss of an average mind hits close to home and saddens the people who knew that person. Either way, both will be mourned for their losses. I see no difference. A loss of a great mind will be more well known, but the sadness of the loss is felt just the same.

I don't think the loss of a great mind to any disease is anymore important than the loss of a family member's mind or someone I don't know. My great-grandmother had Alzheimer's. I cared more about her situation than anyone else. Why? Because she was my only great-grandmother. At the time of her going through it before she died, I would of gladly given up my own mind to spare her's. I would of taken the chance to lose a great minded person in the world, just for her to remember my name again.

The loss of a great mind is no more important than the loss of anyone else's.

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Worth Of A Mind
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009, 07:08:50 PM »

Any mind fading into obscurity because of a debilitating disease is a tragedy; I'd place Alzheimer's far down on the list of ideal ways to go out. If I knew I had it, I'd likely consider taking myself out before I got to the point where I couldn't.

Brilliance is one of the few things that can earn my respect. Position and title seldom do it. If you're a 7-foot 300-pound dunderhead, a job supervisor, a site admin, a judge, a lawyer, even the 43rd president of the United States; if you haven't demonstrated your intelligence to me I'm not impressed.

That being said, I'd mourn the loss of Terry Pratchett's mind far more than I would Joe the Plumber's.

Offline Oniya

Re: The Worth Of A Mind
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 08:39:46 PM »
Just an opinion here, but I think it depends on how much the person whose mind is going misses what they've lost.  Be it a brilliant mathematician who is gradually unable to add two numbers without a calculator, the guy down the street who can't remember how to replace his brake shoes, or a grandmother who forgets how to bake her grandkid's favorite cookies.  The guy who never learned to read isn't going to be as upset about a copy of the New York Times looking like alien glyphs as the guy who used to do the Sunday Times Crossword in ten minutes.  In pen.

Now, this goes only for the patient's suffering.  I don't think there's any way to quantify one survivor's grief against another's.