it's a longshot.. but whatever.... (in Contests)


AdminNightStrike April 18 2006 1:28 AM EDT

I've never run a contest before, so if I screw it up.... sorry.

Ever take a course in philosophy and get a bluebook test with the only quesiton being "Why?" Ever take a theology final and get simple quesiton of "Why Christianity?" or "Why Catholic(icism)?" This will be similar. Answers of "Why not?", though slightly humourous, are old and not that funny anymore -- definitely not worth an A.

Here's a statement that requires answering (yes, it's not a quesiton):

A pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that no one wants has no value. A pot of gold that doesn't exist has no purpose for which to be sought.


Whoever wins can have whatever you want -- money, fortune, fame, power... I don't really care. Be creative. I'll scale it based on the effectiveness of your answer. And yes, this has nothing to do with gold. I just... I need an answer.

[T]Vestax April 18 2006 1:58 AM EDT

True and true. I do not object to either so long as it is gold we are talking about.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] April 18 2006 2:06 AM EDT

You're right the rainbow has no value but the pot of gold has value, and because of this value, and people have enough belief in this pot of gold being real, will goto the ends of the earth to prove it and keep this gold.

Sums it up quite well i think.

Xiaz on Hiatus April 18 2006 2:36 AM EDT

I'll try. :P

Worth, a concept that each individual seems to have, yet the magnitude of this worth is influenced by another common concept, that is 'want' or 'need'.

A pot of gold, gold has long been seen as a substance of the greatest worth, greatest _value_. Yet, only if one does not want, does not desire, then it has no value, but only to that individual. So, if no one, not a single individual wants, or desires it, it has no value to anyone. A pot of anything, regardless of it's content, in fact regardless of the vessel, has no worth, no value, if it has no being in need of it.

Existence is an odd concept, perspective is important here, a good example being:
1. You can see/hear/feel the world.
2. Yet no one can see/hear/feel you.
3. Nor can you, yourself see/hear/feel yourself.
Do you exist? Just because you can't be seen, does that mean you do NOT exist?

Pot of gold, here, represents an item, regardless of value/size/shape/colour and so forth. It's state of existence comes down to the individual, proving the existence of something is not possible, there is no RIGHT or WRONG. This is because we, nor any individual among us has the 'authority' to dictate what is or isn't in existence. As for the purpose, that also comes down to individual judgement, if this item, regardless of it's existence, has a use, then it does indeed have a purpose.

Religion! Religion! Religion! Gods, Goddesses, Heavens, Hell, do these exist? We can not prove we can see/hear/feel them, yet every individual contemplates their existence, and often come to the conclude there MUST be 'something.'

The pot of gold may not be seen, but it's existence comes down to belief. The question arises, just because I can't see it standing here, possibly I can see it over there? This is the seeking, the seeking isn't influenced by purpose in this case. One longs to find this 'pot of gold,' then assess it's purpose, because if it exists, it must have a purpose? No?

Tomoyoshi April 18 2006 2:56 AM EDT

The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, even if no one wants it, has value in and of itself.
When it was created it was given value by its creator.
Why create something with no value?
Worst case scenario its just a pile of trash left behind by some litterbug wanting to ruin a perfectly fine rainbow, but that still means it was once worth something.
When we throw a banana peel in the dumpster, it might appear to be trash, but in the past it served a purpose by protecting a source of food that helped to nourish our bodies. Rotting and undesirable as it now may be, it still holds the potential to feed other organisms and/or to help fertilize the soil.
And so this pot of gold, as unwanted as it may be, still has value (it was valuable in the past, valuable for the promise it holds for the future, and valuable at the rate of about $614.50 USD per ounce :D ).

Since I brought a little reality into this, it would probably be best to answer those critics that say "Pots of gold don't exist at the ends of rainbows, why think about or chase something that isn't even there?"

To them I say -

Sometimes we need something just to shake us up and draw our attention back to the rainbows in life :-)


(sorry...I could make a 5 page paper out of this if I kept going :-)

Tomoyoshi April 18 2006 3:07 AM EDT

nvm...looks like somebody else made a long response while I was writing :-)

if you're a Christian, you can add

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

100 pounds of gold (avg rainbow pot of gold size) = ~100k USD = ~20mil sparrows

even God puts value in that pot of gold :-)

/me quits writing now and gets some sleep

Maelstrom April 18 2006 9:15 AM EDT

There are so many things wrong with that statement that I don't know where to start!

First, how can you be so sure that rainbows themselves exist? When was the last time you touched one? Has anyone actually found "the end" of a rainbow?

Second, assuming for the sake of argument that a rainbow actually has an end, it should be natural to question why a person would expect to find a pot of gold there. Who's supposed to have put it there? Why? As far as I know, rainbows do not form in the exact same place more than once, so how would a person retrieve the pot of gold that they placed there?

Third, I question the existence of pots of gold in general, and not simply at the end of rainbows. It seems to me to be a rather poor choice of container for valuable goods. A pot would most likely not be very secure, it would be difficult to transport, and unless the gold were melted down, there would be a great deal of wasted space in the pot in between the coins, nuggets or whatnot. A safe would probably be the best choice for storing your gold.

Fourth, let's assume that rainbows have ends, that someone actually stores gold in pots, and that there is actually a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Why would no one want it? It's gold! It has value! If no one wants such a pot of gold, it can only be because everyone knows that it cannot truly exist.

It is correct that pots of gold that do not exist have no purpose for which to be sought, however there are many other things that do not exist which are still sought by people. Some examples include God, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, rainbows, and pots of gold in general. Since there are people who waste their entire lives searching for things that do not exist, then why not waste your time trying to find a pot of gold that does not exist?

AdminShade April 18 2006 11:46 AM EDT

A pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that no one wants has no value.
A pot of gold that doesn't exist has no purpose for which to be sought.


The pot of gold at the end of a rainbow is a metaphor for the true meaning in life. You will never truly know what life means to you until you finally found it.

It's very similar to this small 'conversation' between a person who believes in god and a very wise philosopher / monk:

The 'believer' comes to the 'wise man' and asks to be able to see God.
The wise man says that it's possible and tells the believer to follow him.
A day goes by before they finally reach a small lake and the wise man asks the believer to bend before the lake and deeply look into it.
The wise man then grabs the head of the believer and holds the person down for as long as he can, just long enough to prevent suffocation and then lets go.
The believer asks the wise man why he did that for and the wise man then answers with another question:
"What was it that you truly and only wanted when your head was in the water?"
"Air" said the believer, "I truly and only wanted air."
"Then only if you truly and only want to see god in the same way as you just truly and only wanted to see god, will you see him."

In my opinion if no one would want that pot of gold, it indeed is without value. So true.
But why would the gold be of no value? Gold is a means to pay for things and most of human life on this planet has means of trade with either gold or money (which can be traded from gold).
Imo that pot of gold will always have value to many people, regardless of true value or metaphoric value.



The pot of gold which wouldn't exist would still be sought after for, if even for the remote chance of still just existing after all. So false in my opinion.
It is very similar to the stories of various quests to Jesus' holy grail. Nobody truly knows IF it exists and if it does exist, WHAT it truly is. People who have read the Da Vinci Code will have read some things about what the holy grail could be and what it most likely isn't.
If you say a small child that there isn't a coin in the sandbox, the child will most likely still look for it anyway, just out of curiosity.



I myself have conversations about philosophy weekly with some of my friends, we have talked about the pot of gold quite some time ago but I still remembered some of the things we talked about then. One of those things was the talk between the believer and the wise monk which is based on truth.

I hope I have helped you some with your answer, or rather with a continuation in thinking about an answer because there can be many answers depending on how you look at it.
Both true and false can be answered at both questions, depending on if you are searching for a certain answer or not.


Kind regards,


Shade // Dennis

QBBarzooMonkey April 18 2006 1:04 PM EDT

A pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that no one wants has no value. A pot of gold that doesn't exist has no purpose for which to be sought.

A pot of gold at the end of a rainbow is merely a beautiful metaphor for the value of perseverance, a reason to not give up the effort to achieve a goal.
To try to give that metaphor tangibility by proposing, and then questioning the physical existence of an actual pot of gold, is to devalue it. In the sense that it does not really exist physically, is to say that it is worthless, as only a physically real pot of gold that one could see and touch would have worth.
Therefore, if it is not a real pot of gold, it is worthless, and need not exist, giving no purpose to seek it. This makes seeking a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow as a metaphor for never giving up, worthless.
An individual who places their desires upon items deemed worthy by virtue of their ability to see and touch them, would therefore not want a worthless pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that doesn't exist metaphor. If no one wants it, it has no value. If it has no value, there is no reason to seek it. Therefore, it is a worthless, useless metaphor.

However, I personally hold metaphors for perseverance with high regard, so I will continue to seek that pot of gold when ever I perceive the phenomenon of color spectrum light refraction that is commonly referred to as a "rainbow". But then that's probably why I've never liked philosophy much.

Here's a question for ya'll: If the spellchecker flags "tangibility", does the spellchecker really exist? :)

Maelstrom April 18 2006 1:14 PM EDT

tangibility = the ability to have tang?

Why not just tangy?

Of course, tangyness is not very tangible.

:p

QBBarzooMonkey April 18 2006 1:27 PM EDT

I like Tang, it's tangy. And it's an astronaut thing. :)

oldme [Time Out] April 18 2006 2:40 PM EDT

A pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that no one wants has no value.
A pot of gold that doesn't exist has no purpose for which to be sought.

from the first statement we find about a pot of gold which no one wants. but someone who doesn't want the pot of gold could be forced by somebody else that doesn't want the pot of gold to take the pot of gold. then the pot of gold has negative value and can be used as a punishment. it depends on what "value" means to you. Yes, it means something different to everybody. It's not the spoon that bends.

from the second statement we find out about a pot of gold that doesn't exist. but the trick is that our brain can't represent negative knowledge. what does this mean? "THERE IS NO PINK ELEPHANT BEHIND YOU!!!" - see... you just visualised a pink elefant instead of a not-pink-elephant :)
therefore we already see the pot of gold in our mind and we become interested in it. once again, it's not the spoon that bends, it's you, Neo!

note for the flagged spellchecker: :P

Maelstrom April 18 2006 2:54 PM EDT

"It's not the spoon that bends."

Are you saying that every time I bend a spoon with my mind, I'm actually bending my mind with the spoon? Whoa, man, that's heavy.

O_O

QBJohnnywas April 18 2006 2:59 PM EDT

The spoon bends Mael. But it's the Hypnodog that bends it. When you're not looking.

Maelstrom April 18 2006 3:13 PM EDT

Bah! That dog gets credit for everything! :(

{CB1}Lukeyman April 18 2006 3:20 PM EDT

Why?

Maelstrom April 18 2006 3:35 PM EDT

Lukey, read the instructions: Answers of "Why not?", though slightly humourous, are old and not that funny anymore.
I assume that the same applies to answers of "Why?"

Of course, if you're wondering about Hypnodog... well... you'll just have to wait until you're older.

:P

rufen April 18 2006 5:30 PM EDT

By science, a rainbow has no "end" and therefore a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow does not exist and thus has no value and the point is moot.

A pot of gold not in existence wouldn't be known of, and therefore can't be sought, with no regards to its purpose or lack there of.

char April 19 2006 2:10 AM EDT

Things are valued in meassure of peoples needs; no one wants it, it has no value. People don't want it, it doesn't exist, it just gets ignored, and there's no point for it to be seen.

QBJohnnywas April 19 2006 6:13 AM EDT

A pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that no one wants has no value.
A pot of gold that doesn't exist has no purpose for which to be sought.


Is the rainbow actually a full circle? Under certain circumstances you can observe it as such (if you don't believe me Google 'rainbow circle'. There are photos out there.) In which case it has no end. And if there is no end to the rainbow then there is nowhere for the pot of gold to reside.

But every pot of gold has a leprechaun who owns it. And most definitely wants it. So every pot of gold has value. Even if it doesn't exist. Just remember if you believe in the pot of gold you have to believe in the leprechaun.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 19 2006 6:29 AM EDT

1) A pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that no one wants has no value.

2) A pot of gold that doesn't exist has no purpose for which to be sought.

1: That depends on your use of 'value'. If value is used to mean monetary worth, a pot of Gold has value equal to its quantitiy of gold independant of wether anyone wants that gold or not. It might have value as a principle "Seek the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow" again independant of wether anyone wants to seek it or not. It won't have any value in terms of usefulness or importance if no one wants to be it's possesor.

2: That depends entirely on it's seeker. If the seeker still desires to find the pot of gold (wether or not they know it exists or not is irrelevant), it still hold purpose for them. If the knowledge that the pot of gold doesn't exists disuades the seeker from pursuing it, then it holds 'no purpose for which to be sought'.

QBJohnnywas April 19 2006 6:30 AM EDT

Do you think the leprechaun and the forge dwarf are related?

DD34isback(justkidding) [Severswoed Accounting] April 19 2006 6:31 AM EDT

they're second cousins twice removed

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 19 2006 6:40 AM EDT

Leprechauns are a version of elf from Irish folklore. Dwarves are a version of elf (oh yes they are!) from Norse folklore.

Both being a type of elf, I'd say there is a slight relation there! ;)

DD34isback(justkidding) [Severswoed Accounting] April 19 2006 6:41 AM EDT

I'm a leprechaun :)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 19 2006 6:44 AM EDT

Can't move my legs! Want to leave but can't!

AdminNightStrike April 24 2006 1:22 AM EDT

Ok, responses are forthcoming. I will respond to all legitimate answers.

AdminNightStrike April 24 2006 1:39 AM EDT

Carbon, you started off very nicely with your first sentence (ok, second.. after "I'll try.") However, you trailed off into the realms of making grandiose philosophical statements that say nothing. Go back to that first statement. Develop that, and you might have something.

Tomoyoshi, I, too, bought gold when it was low. I bought about $20k worth when it was about $200/oz. Yes, I'm very happy with that investment. But that has nothing to do with this. The gold was figurative.

Maelstrom, Most of your response does not apply. Your last paragraph, however, has some semblance of understanding the question. Can you elaborate on it?

Shade, though your answer is intriguing, and probably the most well-thought-out, it missed the mark. Your opening statement is viable... I could take it as the meaning of life... my life, at least... but again, the answer doesn't 'help' me.

Barzoo, ok, you're pretty on track in terms of understanding metaphors, but you don't describe any basis from which to derive a solution. I already understand the problem -- I wrote it. And it's good that you do, but you need to go beyond and actually produce something.

Pufus, "but someone who doesn't want the pot of gold could be forced by somebody else that doesn't want the pot of gold to take the pot of gold."
--> ok, that hurt. Mainly because it's true. I never thought of that. Well, I did.. I just didn't acknowledge it...... I like that statement. As painful as it is, I like it. Your second paragraph is off-track.


-----------------


Ok, maybe I'm being harsh, and maybe I expect too much. I saw useful beginnings of responses.... a first line, a thesis, etc., but nothing substantial to give me an answer, to give me more than what I already know. I wrote the question, remember?

Let me try to explain just what exactly the question entails. Is anyone familiar with the story of Samson? He was a very strong gent, much like Hercules. He was at a wedding, and posed the following riddle:

Out of the eater came forth meat,
And out of the strong came forth sweetness.

It's not much of a riddle, is it? The answer, as convoluted as it may seem, is "What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion?" See, at one point in his biblical life, as he traveled from point A to point B, he wrestled a lion, killed it, and ate its flesh. A week passed, and he went back from point B to point A. The lion's carcass was all filled with honey, as bees had made their home there. He took some to use as a wedding gift.

So, the riddle is more an evolution of a story that, if you are familiar with Samson and his life's doings, can be used to describe and answer a lot of his life.

Now, before I continue.... please don't let this thread devolve into discussions about Samson. I was just trying to illustrate the type of riddle... the type of philosophical question I was asking. I'll even go one more.

I'm looking for the answer, not the question. This isn't Hitchhiker -- I don't need to know that 6x7 will get me to 42. I need to know what to do... or, more accurately... I need to "know". Oh, and please remember my last line..... "This has nothing to do with gold." Gold is just a metaphor for something that should hold value. Across many different peoples, it can easily be recognized as such, so it's fitting. Also, the rainbow/pot of gold thing is fairly common knowledge. Perhaps chasing windmills would have been a better analogy...... though I doubt as many people would be intimately familiar with Don Quixote as they are with rainbows.

AdminNightStrike April 24 2006 1:40 AM EDT

GL, I forgot to comment on your post, although there isn't much different between yours and the average of all the other posts.

QBBarzooMonkey April 24 2006 9:36 AM EDT

Barzoo, ok, you're pretty on track in terms of understanding metaphors, but you don't describe any basis from which to derive a solution. I already understand the problem -- I wrote it. And it's good that you do, but you need to go beyond and actually produce something.

I did derive a solution:

However, I personally hold metaphors for perseverance with high regard, so I will continue to seek that pot of gold when ever I perceive the phenomenon of color spectrum light refraction that is commonly referred to as a "rainbow". But then that's probably why I've never liked philosophy much.

But, to elaborate, now that we have established that we both understand metaphors, and especially this one in particular, over-analyzing it becomes the item of no value. It is a metaphor, it doesn't "exist", so seeking the answer to your statement has no purpose. Instead, spend time and energy persevering to achieve the goal for which the metaphor was originally applied to, instead of wasting effort seeking the answer to a worthless statement. If the answer to the statement is the pot of gold that you are seeking, then you are stuck in an endless circle.

How is that? Any better? :)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 24 2006 9:57 AM EDT

:) NS, I dislike discussing metaphors, as interpretations are personal and of equal worth or relevance to each individual.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 24 2006 10:01 AM EDT

If I could only edit my posts...

:)

Sampsons metahpore is an example of what I'm trying to say. To Sampson the answer to;

"Out of the eater came forth meat,
And out of the strong came forth sweetness."

Was "at one point in his biblical life, as he traveled from point A to point B, he wrestled a lion, killed it, and ate its flesh. A week passed, and he went back from point B to point A. The lion's carcass was all filled with honey, as bees had made their home there. He took some to use as a wedding gift."

To another person hearing the his metaphore, but knowing nothing of Sampsons life (or maybe even bees, lions or honey) would not draw the same conclusion or 'answer', but draw something personal to themselves.

I'd say that you already know the answer you want to your rainbow metaphore, and I'm in no possition (or want) to try to guess it.

:)
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001mR3">it's a longshot.. but whatever....</a>