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Would you rather be deaf or blind?

  1. Apr 7, 2012 #1
    Would you rather be deaf or blind? I'd rather be deaf. It would be extremely terrible not be able to see where I'm going. Though I'd hate to be deaf as well.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
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  3. Apr 7, 2012 #2


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    If only given those two choices I'd pick deafness. I'm pretty sure most people would. We receive a very large portion of our input from the world visually.
  4. Apr 7, 2012 #3
    They say the best marriage is between a deaf husband and a blind wife.
  5. Apr 7, 2012 #4
    I'd rather lose my sense of hearing, taste, and smell than be blind.

    That's how important I think vision is. So yes, I'd definitely rather be deaf than blind.
  6. Apr 7, 2012 #5
    I'm practically half-deaf, because my left ear doesn't work. It's annoying, and I suspect being completely deaf would even be much more annoying, but it'd beat being blind any day. I can't even begin to imagine how much I would miss out on if I were blind.
  7. Apr 7, 2012 #6
  8. Apr 7, 2012 #7


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    Ya kill me! :rofl:
  9. Apr 7, 2012 #8
    Deaf. I'd likely commit suicide if I was blind.
  10. Apr 7, 2012 #9
    Sick question...
  11. Apr 7, 2012 #10
  12. Apr 7, 2012 #11
    Truly it is not the eyes that are blind ...
  13. Apr 7, 2012 #12
    I'd have to choose deafness if I had such a choice.

    It would suck quite a bit since I'm a musician, but there are some up sides to being a musician as well. I can sit down and read a conductors score of a symphony and have it play in my head so I still believe I would be able to experience new music (or at least music I haven't been exposed to) and still hear it ... at least in my head. Yay for decades of theory and ear training.

    I think I would have to almost give up on my current career path if I were blind, but I'm not sure how much being deaf would really matter, especially since I'd still be able to talk as well as I do now. I don't have a car anyway since I live in a city, so not having a license wouldn't be that bad, and I still could drive in an emergency ... not like you forget how. I imagine the main issue would be having to learn to read lips and sign, which isn't much worse than simply learning a new language anyway.

    Heck, even with modern cell phones / texting and all that, if Debra couldn't yell to me if she were in another room she could just text and it would vibrate and all that.

    Going down that technology road even more: with all the developments in smart phones and even companies working on building smart phones into eye glasses with voice command, I wouldn't be surprised if within a decade, there would be a simple pair of smart eyeglasses that could take sounds around you and display text (assuming it's language) on the display for you to read ... even translating it into your native language. There could easily be an app for showing deaf people the direction sounds are coming from to alert them to their environment.

    So yeah, overall I'd gladly choose losing my hearing over losing my sight if I were posed with such an awful choice.
  14. Apr 7, 2012 #13


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    I would choose blindness.
    Not being able to talk to people, hear what they say??
    Going around in complete isolation from warm, rude, courteous and impudent human voices??

    THAT is a nightmare..
  15. Apr 7, 2012 #14
    Deaf, easily.
  16. Apr 7, 2012 #15
    Deaf. If you are blind you would lose much of your independence.
  17. Apr 7, 2012 #16


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    rather than what?
  18. Apr 7, 2012 #17


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    I'd say neither, but I think it's easier to be blind than being deaf, IMO.
  19. Apr 7, 2012 #18


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    If you do go deaf, arildno, I'll try to drop by every now and then to give you a hug and show you the finger =)
  20. Apr 7, 2012 #19


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    I'm with Arildno and Gad on this. Two of my nieces and a nephew are blind due to hereditary retinitis pigmentosa, and get along very well.
    I personally have been temporarily deaf and temporarily blind (not at the same time) due to various medical conditions. As much as I love doodling and sketching and whatnot for my mechanical or make-up designs, I could probably do both without vision, using 3D media. Deafness completely disoriented me, even with my vision intact.
    I could still partake of PF, since my Mac will talk to me.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  21. Apr 7, 2012 #20
    I'm surprised to see that anyone would choose to be blind over deaf. It seems like being blind disallows you to do a lot more things than being deaf does.
    If you watch the movie See No Evil Hear No Evil, you can tell that the blind guy was by far more disabled than the deaf guy.
  22. Apr 7, 2012 #21


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    I repeat that I have been in both conditions. I would choose blindness over deafness.
  23. Apr 7, 2012 #22


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    At least with blindness you have the pleasure of music.

    I would have to say though it would be such an extreme environment especially for adjusting to this from either birth or even at a later date.

    I remember watching a documentary which involved technology that gave blind people a way to see through converting visual data to sound data. They didn't have the kind of resolution in terms of information that we see, but I still found it amazing how quickly many of these adapted to using the sound data to see. It was interesting watching this woman discover what we take for granted known as perspective. It freaked her out at first because as she put it 'the lines are doing something weird' (paraphrasing).

    Also there is a case of a blind person who used the same technique that dolphins used to not only see things but to know where they were. Basically he sent out sound clicks and with his absolutely sensitive ears was able to discern where objects were. Absolutely amazing watching this guy do his stuff.

    Also I've noticed that a lot of blind people whether they be born blind like autistic savants or otherwise pick up music very rapidly and become very very good at it. I'm glad that in that kind of extreme environment, these blind people have something to latch on to given how we take for granted the amount of stimuli from our eyes not thinking about what it would be like to just cut that off.
  24. Apr 8, 2012 #23
    For practical reasons, I had preferred being deaf. But are blind people really unhappy?

    Once (long ago, so I don´t remember exactly) I read about a man who was born blind.
    People described the visual world to him, how beautiful everything was and so on. He
    growed up to maturity as blind. But one day he suddenly got eye vision - by help from surgery, medicine or something. He had expected discovering a "paradise" - but what he
    saw made him depressed. He experienced the world as ugly, especially people. After some
    week or so he commited suicide.

    I can understand that after a summer job in youth at a film reel developing laboratory,
    where part of the time was passed in a dark room. Strange rich feelings arose in the dark
    and rather quickly I could work with the reels as well as if I could watch what I was doing. A kind of mental vision arose - and the dark surrounding appeared richer than at daylight. I was sad when the light was lit after the sessions - how poor and pale everything looked, compared to the "fantasy world" in the dark. I clearly understood why blind people seldom appear unhappy.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  25. Apr 8, 2012 #24
    I've heard that people who get vision after being blind their whole lives still can't really see in the same sense that we see. Apparently seeing things your whole life builds a database in your brain of how everything looks. Without that database, you're seeing into a world where you have no idea what you're looking at. I guess that would be like living in a Jackson Pollock painting or something, but I can't imagine what it would really be like.
  26. Apr 8, 2012 #25


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    My greatest fear concerning blindness is the loss of control of "what happens" around me.

    However, my inability to communicate with others as a result of deafness and with the resulting isolation seems to me a more gruelling experience.
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