This conversation is closed.

If you had to lose one of your 5 senses, which one would it be, and why?

I was wondering about how people with "perfect" senses felt about this question and how they would answer. (I am Deaf.)

  • thumb

    Lejan .

    • +2
    Jul 19 2013: I would choose for 'smell', even though it effects the sense of 'taste' as well and this to a very high degree.

    The reason for this choice is emotional in its nature. I have seen, heard and felt and was moved to tears of joy or pain by it. I have never smelled or tasted anything alike and of this magnitude.
    • thumb
      Jul 22 2013: It's estimated that about 70% of taste is the sense of smell... But still, there's still the other 30%.

      I would also go for smell, using public transportation would definitely get more tolerable ;-)
      • thumb
        Jul 22 2013: Knowing about the limitations of my cooking skills, and accordingly to your numbers, losing my sense of smell would gain me 70% more pleasure over it! What a deal! :o)
  • thumb
    Jul 22 2013: I read this question and realized that the answer is so clear for me, because the decision was not mine to make. It would be smell. I lost my sense of smell almost ten years ago when I had tumors removed which were wrapped around my septum. The entire septum was also removed as well as much of the cartilage and bone, leaving me with a giant hole in my face. Since that time, I have undergone many reconstructive surgeries and look a little bit better but the sense of smell never returned. In stead, it was replaced with scar tissue which cannot function in any way to help smell. When I close my eye and think of not being able to see, I am scared. When I put in ear plugs and cannot hear my husband say I love you, I am sad. When I think about not being able to taste a meal that I have spent two hours preparing, I would be frustrated. And if I think about not being able to feel the soft fur of my little puppy, I could just cry. So for me, although it was not my choice, the answer is smell. I live with a man who likes to work in the yard, and go to the gym and sometimes not being able to smell when he comes in is not so terrible!
  • Jul 21 2013: Michael,
    this is one of those questions I fear being asked, which is why I am taking a risk to myself by answering it.
    If there was one sense I would never want to lose, it would be my hearing. I have learned so much about cochlear implants, and amazing people like Charles Limb who say that hearing is the sense that can be best restored these days, thanks to medical technology.
    But as a musician, I can't imagine my life without it.
    I can sing without seeing, I can sing without smelling, I can sing without touching or tasting. So if I could choose, I'd say: take any one of those, but leave me my hearing.
  • Comment deleted

    • Comment deleted

  • Jul 20 2013: Smell for the simple reason I rely on it the least for my day to live life. Taste also isn't near as crucial as sight, sound or touch.

    By the way, there are significantly more than five senses.
    Its just that its hard to describe complex concepts to kindergartners, and the educational system doesn't bother going over and fixing all the gross oversimplifications in later years.
  • thumb
    Jul 22 2013: I want to have control over all my senses so that i can practice equanamity.

    I can loose taste , to taste success

    I can loose hearing, to hear my inner voice

    I can loose vision, to see the truth

    I can loose smell , to smell love

    I can loose touch to keep in touch with every one.
  • Jul 21 2013: Still having all my senses, though lessened, makes this a difficult question to answer. But turning the question upside-down, I would be most upset at losing my sight for all other senses can be compensated for but not so with eyesight.
  • thumb
    Jul 20 2013: That question is a bit easy, most people would choose smell or taste.
    Let's change this a bit. If you are losing all of your senses and you can only keep 1, which one would it be and why?
    • thumb
      Jul 20 2013: The sense of touch, without which it would hardly be possible to survive.
      • thumb
        Jul 20 2013: Why would it be difficult? The fact that you won't feel anything when you touch something doesn't mean your hands won't be able to move.
        • thumb
          Jul 20 2013: You could touch a cup, but without being able to feel the correct amount of force how could you pick it up? If you drank from it how could you tell when the liquid poured into your mouth?
          How could you tell if you drank too much and were choking? When chewing food how would you know when it's ready to swallow? How could you walk without being able to feel your feet touch the ground? Looking to see yourself not falling? How could you know when you were sick, in pain, or otherwise threatened with physical damage? All of these things require the sense of touch.
    • thumb
      Jul 20 2013: In respect of all senses we know about, and assuming those losses were permanent, I would choose the one most necessary to be able to commit suicide, to spare my conscious mind the resulting torture ...

      Sensory deprivation in combination with isolation is known as 'White Torture' (because it leaves no visible marks and comes without the physical 'dirty work') and would almost be perfected if reduced to one 'sensation' only:
      • thumb
        Jul 20 2013: Well you have logic and wise. And thanks for the article I have never heard of white tortue before
    • Jul 21 2013: A friend of mine lost her sense of smell when she fell on her head after being hit by a car. She told me that cooking dinner, making love were drastically different without her sense of smell. She told me she feared the dangers of not being able to smell something like gas in her house, or paint fumes. I had severely underestimated the value and importance of smell before that.
  • Jul 20 2013: Smell but I hope i could still taste so I don't poison myself on bad food.
  • Jul 20 2013: Definitely smell.
  • thumb
    Jul 20 2013: my common sense..

    but seriously, smell/taste. i like my food plain anyway but I would be devastated if I couldn't listen to music.

    sight is an obvious one to keep and touch is the only sense that lets us know we are not alone.
  • thumb
    Jul 20 2013: This sense has brought me as much distress as delight and I would not be functionally diminished by its loss. Smell.
    • thumb
      Jul 22 2013: Yes, Edward, I agree. In fact the bad smells out number the good smells on some days. I cannot smell and when I see people cover their noses when driving behind a garbage truck, I actually giggle a little bit.