Would you rather be born blind or deaf?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 12:03 AM GMT
    I'm starting my doctorate in Audiology soon, Hopefully! This is always a curiousity of mine. Which sense would you rather go without if you had to choose?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 12:27 AM GMT
    As an artist I'd rather be born deaf. As much as I love music... i wouldn't be able to go without art. (my aunt is a teacher for the blind too and I've seen the struggles they have to go through.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 12:47 AM GMT
    As someone with an 80% hearing loss I would much rather be born deaf than blind. I enjoy reading, watching movies, scoping out cute guys (LOL). I get by with my hearing loss without most people even knowing I have this "handicap" but being blind -- I pray it never happens to me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 1:06 AM GMT
    Sight is the more important sense. I wear 2 hearing aids, and while I would hate to never hear music again, or just the sounds of everyday life, perpetual darkness would be much worse.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 1:38 AM GMT
    If I was born either way, it wouldn't matter. Never knowing what you're missing. Now if I had to lose one of them, after I have already experienced them both, I wouldn't know which one to choose. I guess deaf, there's too many things to see.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 1:41 AM GMT
    I've had this discussion with many of my Deaf friends. While the reviews are fairly mixed, I can't help but note that most of the responses here are highly superficial. While I too am grateful for the ability to see beautiful sunsets and to hear the lapping of waves on the oceans' shores, in truth, they are not the things that make my life functional or tolerable (albeit, they are highly enhancing to my quality of life).

    A friend and former colleague made an interesting point. Deaf, oral, and having gone to school at RID, he initially was mainstreamed into an oral program in the 60s, and then went to RID where he learned the Rochester Fingerspelling Method. A very proud Deaf man, he said he'd rather have been born blind than been born deaf. Why? Well, at least when you are blind you are still privileged to the way majority of the world communicates--oral speech. When born deaf (usually to hearing parents and family members), you spend the majority of your childhood without the ability to communicate efficiently with the world around you. At least when you're blind, you learn to hear and to speak and communicate. Imagine being isolated like a deaf child in a hearing world. Only being able to see people, and not know what they're trying to say to you.

    I thought it was an interesting point--and as much as I love to take in God's green earth (or brown, as it may be here in Texas), I was sold on his reasoning.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 2:05 AM GMT
    Deaf, if I was forced to choose. Tough choice.

    I would miss the unspoken communication through body language and especially eye contact.

    Eyes often speak volumes to me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 2:34 AM GMT
    i would rather be born deaf, couldnt imagine not being able to see, then again, if i was born with out sight and thats all i ever knew i wouldnt know what i was missing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 3:43 AM GMT
    how about neither... but to answer the question...

    deaf.

    music and sound is great and I LOVE it all, but i would want to see the person im kissing, see the sun rise, see the sun set, see my family, my friends and see all these great things that are being created and already exist in this beautiful world. sight is too much of a blessing to not want to have it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 4:15 AM GMT
    Both actually.

    I would love to experience just being able to feel around to communicate.

    Giving hugs go a long way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 27, 2008 4:23 AM GMT
    dirtsquirrel saidI've had this discussion with many of my Deaf friends. While the reviews are fairly mixed, I can't help but note that most of the responses here are highly superficial. While I too am grateful for the ability to see beautiful sunsets and to hear the lapping of waves on the oceans' shores, in truth, they are not the things that make my life functional or tolerable (albeit, they are highly enhancing to my quality of life).

    A friend and former colleague made an interesting point. Deaf, oral, and having gone to school at RID, he initially was mainstreamed into an oral program in the 60s, and then went to RID where he learned the Rochester Fingerspelling Method. A very proud Deaf man, he said he'd rather have been born blind than been born deaf. Why? Well, at least when you are blind you are still privileged to the way majority of the world communicates--oral speech. When born deaf (usually to hearing parents and family members), you spend the majority of your childhood without the ability to communicate efficiently with the world around you. At least when you're blind, you learn to hear and to speak and communicate. Imagine being isolated like a deaf child in a hearing world. Only being able to see people, and not know what they're trying to say to you.

    I thought it was an interesting point--and as much as I love to take in God's green earth (or brown, as it may be here in Texas), I was sold on his reasoning.


    An interesting view to read. I am a Sign Major (hence the name), and I'm learning all about the Deaf and their world. I wish I would have an oppurtunity to speak with him on his experiences. Back to the question, that's a tough one. How about both since there are Deaf-Blind people. Famous one Hellen Keller.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 28, 2008 9:34 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]dirtsquirrel said[/cite]I've had this discussion with many of my Deaf friends. While the reviews are fairly mixed, I can't help but note that most of the responses here are highly superficial. While I too am grateful for the ability to see beautiful sunsets and to hear the lapping of waves on the oceans' shores, in truth, they are not the things that make my life functional or tolerable (albeit, they are highly enhancing to my quality of life).

    I think this best describes it. The brain is an extremely powerful thing. If a person is blind they can still touch. By the sense of touch one can actually create a mental image of the object without seeing it. Think about it. Getting up in the middle of the night you can still feel your way around.
    What about sound? Can you actually feel sound. Frequencies less than about 250Hz sometimes. Think of Beethoven, all of those bass notes come from him being able to feel the sound (tactile method). Frequencies above that can only be processed by the brain through the cochlea to create a representation of them.

    The human auditory system is it's main means of survival and communication. We can hear such a dynamic range. If humans could hear just a fraction better they would actually be able to hear molecules in air bouncing off of each other in a silent room. Sure without sight we wouldn't be able to see color, but there is still a phenomenon that color can still be visioned by the brain. In sight none of the processing goes on outside of the brain. The light activates cones and rods and sends the message to the brain where it is then decoded.

    The auditory system begins decoding information immediately in the cochlea. Therefore the sound that is actually reaching our eardrum is put through a processor and each component of the sound is selectively sent through to the brain for decoding. This goes for even our own speech.

    Mother nature has not only designed our pinna (ears), head, torso, and ear canal to aid in auditory perception. She has also designed our cochlea to be protected by one of the densest bones in the body, temporal.

    My answer is I would rather be blind. I have a degree in music theory. I can study music all I want, but it can never make any sense unless I hear it. Objects you can touch, but how can you touch sound? How can you describe something being high in pitch or intensity?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 03, 2008 4:40 AM GMT
    Cool question. Hmmmmmmmm...

    Since it doesn't count, I'm going to say MAKE ME BLIND so I can stop being HOODWINKED by the way things and people LOOK.

    Sigh
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Nov 03, 2008 4:42 AM GMT
    Blind because I would want to be able to still hear music. Darkness isn't as scary to me as total silence
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 09, 2008 1:45 PM GMT
    Total silence over Darkness anyday. Dirtsquirrel really surprised me with his knowledge then his choice. I've been an interpreter in ASL and it thrills me how beautiful sign language is using the hands, body and face with the space around you to express life often times more fully than if spoken. It's fun to sign in situations like when your car window is rolled up in the winter. It has also given me Kung Fu like hand and eye coordination.
    Being blind is very unsafe. Can't drive, might not know what you're eating(ewwww), can fall down, get hit by a car etc ad nauseam. I had a blind dormmate in a dorm of several guys and he couldn't help but leave toothpaste spattered all over the bathroom sink and mirror and food droppings about when he cooked in the kitchen.
    CarlosGringo is funny and oh so true. We value aesthetically pleasing image before personality and lose out so much.
    No one has mentioned that we would most likely not be on RealJock reading forums if blind without special software but typing is a major form of communication for the Deaf with TTY phones and texting.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 09, 2008 4:06 PM GMT
    Our reality would change so it is impossible to ask someone who has both senses to know beforehand, which they would rather loose. Ask a blind person if they would rather have been born deaf or a deaf person if they would rather have been born blind and I doubt many would prefer the other. The capacity for the human being to adapt is something we all forget when we loose anything in our lives.

    My Aunt was a painter before her diabetes made her blind. I think it was harder on my mom than her. Not that my Aunt didn't miss her sight. When my niece at age five, met her, my aunt had a golden/sheppard seeing eye dog. "Do like being blind" my little niece asked? "Why would I like being blind" my Aunt respondsed. "Because you get your very own dog."

    My mom use to write pros and poetry before a stroke took away almost all of her verbal and written communication skills. We can still communicate with her but it is at a basic level. She has more memory than my dad and is an avid reader but when we have one of our typical intellectual family conversations she can only listen. Every now and then she tries to say something but she can only babble. I remember us talking about Balkan politics when she tried to say something. Before her stroke she had given me The Balkan Ghosts to read so I did my best to source as much of the book as possible into the discussion. She seemed to give such a sigh of satisfaction just knowing that what she had learned could be contributed to the conversation.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 09, 2008 8:46 PM GMT
    Deaf.

    We rely on vision for the vast majority of information. We are high helpless when blind; being deaf is simply a limitation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 09, 2008 9:57 PM GMT
    Deaf! I am Deaf all my life. I have no problem, except for several communication barrier.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 10, 2008 3:48 AM GMT
    Deaf. And according to studies it has a definite correlation with homosexuality too! icon_razz.gif

    Going blind is actually one of my biggest fears in life. I'm an artist and very visual and I probably wouldn't be able to cope with going blind. So many more things in life hinge on sight rather than sound.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 10, 2008 4:04 AM GMT
    I'd say blind over deaf. Being able to listen is such a necessity in my work and in my relationships. Most of the world communicates through oral speech and others have to learn to communicate with the deaf, whereas the blind aren't as limited in their communication styles, though not reading body language would be difficult as well.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 10, 2008 4:08 AM GMT
    Deaf. Being deaf you can still see and still communicate through sign language and other forms of nonverbal communication. Being blind would be a more difficult obstacle to overcome I believe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 10, 2008 4:13 AM GMT
    i'd rather be blind.

    that way i wouldnt care what people looked like and i wouldnt be so shallow.
    and i could get a seeing eye dog and name him sir benjamin stinky pants.
  • Parker817

    Posts: 359

    Mar 02, 2009 1:56 AM GMT
    Deaf. I think there's something sexy about a man who signs.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 02, 2009 2:03 AM GMT
    Deaf without question, I have to be able to drive
  • buzzman182004

    Posts: 76

    Mar 02, 2009 3:05 AM GMT
    Seeing as how I am deaf in one ear, I have no idea how I would be able to be completely deaf. Hearing what I am able to hear as of now, makes me want to be able to hear more fully with every sound. If I had to choose, I would choose to be blind rather than deaf because I love to hear music, and the sounds of nature too much to give up the chance to ever hear them again.