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SPetty
09-21-2005, 03:04 PM
I'm surprised that there are people supporting the position that people are basically evil. Am I in the minority in believing that people are basically good? Please help me out here.

Vapros
09-21-2005, 03:34 PM
This is tough. I think 'Both' would apply to nearly everyone, but 'Basically' makes it a difficult call. Most of us do some wrong, and would likely do more if it were not for the law (or fear of some other consequence), but not all wrong should qualify as evil.

I believe good is a fairly simple quality to understand and agree upon, but there will be a lot of different ideas about what constitutes evil. I don't think I am basically evil, but I'm not very good, either.

Results of your poll will be interesting to follow. Good on you.

catscradle
09-22-2005, 05:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> I'm surprised that there are people supporting the position that people are basically evil. Am I in the minority in believing that people are basically good? Please help me out here.

<hr /></blockquote>

People are neither "basically" good nor evil. They just are what they are!!! "Good" or "evil" relative to what? Please give an absolute definition of "good" and "evil" and an attempt to answer your question can be made.

Fasteddy7
09-22-2005, 06:37 AM
This is a good question and your answer, I think says alot about you. Without defining evil and from a pessimistic stand point I think that people are basically evil. In a world without laws and regulations how do you think society would act? I like the line from the matrix that states "people consume all natural resources, destroy the land and then just move to another area to start the process over. There is another organism that does the same thing.....A virus.

Deeman3
09-22-2005, 07:06 AM
I believe people are bacisally good. If they were not society would not survive even with laws. Pilots risk their lives to save the passengers under their care, firefighters run into buildings that are on fire to save strangers, people volunteer for charity work with little reward. That's the bulk of the world, the really evil people are a minority and the world would not survive if they were the majority. Most people will not steal even if they won't get caught.

Yes, there are bunch of bad people but I have to believe they are a small group overall.

Deeman
I do think that people who lay chalk on the table upside down are evil.

Sid_Vicious
09-22-2005, 07:38 AM
"I do think that people who lay chalk on the table upside down are evil."

You got that right!!!sid

JPB
09-22-2005, 08:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> I believe people are bacisally good. If they were not society would not survive even with laws. Pilots risk their lives to save the passengers under their care, firefighters run into buildings that are on fire to save strangers, people volunteer for charity work with little reward.


<hr /></blockquote>


Firefighters and pilots do what they do for different reasons than I think you impliedly ascribe to them. Charity work too. Would it surprise you if I said that if the pilot, firefighter, or charity worker acts out of true selfishness, that what they do is good, but if they act based on an altruistic philosophy that they act immorally? True selfishness involves a lot more than a 2 year old saying "mine" however. How about this possibility, to the extent people act altruistically they are evil, to the extent they act out of true and enlightened selfishness, they are good. Agree/disagree?

wolfdancer
09-22-2005, 09:24 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Would it surprise you if I said that if the pilot, firefighter, or charity worker acts out of true selfishness, that what they do is good, but if they act based on an altruistic philosophy that they act immorally? <hr /></blockquote>

I'm surprised that you said this, because I can't figure out what you are ascribedly implying (ain't no such word as "ascribedly"....that is,'till now).
If your line had read "....acts out of true &lt;selflessness&gt;, or disregarding their own lives to save others... and then you claim that disregard to be immoral......then it might make some sense to me.
However risking your life to save others, as a selfish act???....and you must have meant selfish, becuase you defined it with the 2 yr old, and state that charity workers are also selfish.....
Reading comprehension, next to writin' ain't one of my strong points.....and maybe, since no one else has challenged your "findings"....maybe everyone else gets your point....
My point is that I agree more though with Deeman1,2, and 3....folks are basically good.......
I think the real good ones are now Saints, in heaven, or going there......the real evil ones, have screwed up brain chemistry....or it's wired a little different.
But the "Dark Side" lures, and once you start down that path..."this way, madness lies"
The rest of us are somewhere in between the two extremes....basically good people until......you put the chalk upside down on the table, esp if it's our table, and then the Darth Vader side appears.

JPB
09-22-2005, 09:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
Would it surprise you if I said that if the pilot, firefighter, or charity worker acts out of true selfishness, that what they do is good, but if they act based on an altruistic philosophy that they act immorally? <hr /></blockquote>

I'm surprised that you said this, because I can't figure out what you are ascribedly implying (ain't no such word as "ascribedly"....that is,'till now).
If your line had read "....acts out of true &lt;selflessness&gt;, or disregarding their own lives to save others... and then you claim that disregard to be immoral......then it might make some sense to me.
However risking your life to save others, as a selfish act???....and you must have meant selfish, becuase you defined it with the 2 yr old, and state that charity workers are also selfish.....
Reading comprehension, next to writin' ain't one of my strong points.....and maybe, since no one else has challenged your "findings"....maybe everyone else gets your point....
My point is that I agree more though with Deeman1,2, and 3....folks are basically good.......
I think the real good ones are now Saints, in heaven, or going there......the real evil ones, have screwed up brain chemistry....or it's wired a little different.
But the "Dark Side" lures, and once you start down that path..."this way, madness lies"
The rest of us are somewhere in between the two extremes....basically good people until......you put the chalk upside down on the table, esp if it's our table, and then the Darth Vader side appears.

<hr /></blockquote>


Trust me I meant selfish. Just seeing if others have thought about or questioned the prevailing views about altruism, maybe spark a discussion. Risking your life to save others may be selfish or selfless. It depends. Doing so out of selfishness is good. Out of selflessness is bad. One is a rational choice based on values, becuase the person values human life, his or her own as well as that of others. The other is human sacrifice. A selfless person can't value human life, in fact the selfless person, the truly selfless person, doesn't value life. Think about it.

catscradle
09-22-2005, 10:03 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fasteddy7:</font><hr> ... In a world without laws and regulations how do you think society would act? .... <hr /></blockquote>

It would develop laws and regulations out of neccessity. Laws and regulations really exist to control the exception not to control the norm. There is no good and evil, we define as good that wish brings us a feeling of well being, we define as bad that which brings us a feeling of discomfort, we define as evil that which brings a feeling of extreme discomfort (be it physical or mental). These are arbitrary definitions, maybe there really is absolute good and evil, but it is well beyond our ability to comprehend. There is no evil, there is no good, there is no free choice; there is only what is. We and the cosmos are what MUST be and will become what it MUST become. If there is an ultimate purpose to it all (something I must believe for my own mental stability), then I say that by definition that is the good, and that finally purpose possibly may not include mankind's participation. We must accept that we cannot comprehend that ultimate purpose.

wolfdancer
09-22-2005, 10:21 AM
Actually, I kind of thought that was your idea....and I still have to disagree somewhat.......
Risking your life to save someone's else's would mean to me that you do value life, even though you may be sacrificing your own.....look at the stories of the many Medal of Honor winners, that laid down their lives to save many others.
My cousin was an heroic Firefighter, who was honored twice, once with a parade, for risking his life to save others.
He did save some fellow firemen, but on the other occasion, when he reached the trapped kids, and carried them out...they were already dead from the smoke. He cried at their funeral....hardly a selfish act.....and he had 6 kids of his own, when he risked his life.
Well, that may be off the point...explain please how a charity worker, may be doing that as a selfish act... seems to be a dichotomy there for me???
I kind of understand what you mean...but one can't be selfish, and selfless in the same act....or can they??

Deeman3
09-22-2005, 11:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> I believe people are bacisally good. If they were not society would not survive even with laws. Pilots risk their lives to save the passengers under their care, firefighters run into buildings that are on fire to save strangers, people volunteer for charity work with little reward.


<hr /></blockquote>


Firefighters and pilots do what they do for different reasons than I think you impliedly ascribe to them. Charity work too. Would it surprise you if I said that if the pilot, firefighter, or charity worker acts out of true selfishness, that what they do is good, but if they act based on an altruistic philosophy that they act immorally? True selfishness involves a lot more than a 2 year old saying "mine" however. How about this possibility, to the extent people act altruistically they are evil, to the extent they act out of true and enlightened selfishness, they are good. Agree/disagree?


<hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> I know what you are trying to say. However, I believe these are academic or philosophical arguments akin to "how many angels you can stack on the head of a pin" or "is Michael Jackson's attraction to children good, in the overall, because he has done some good acts for other kids."

Altruistic acts may be ascribed some selfishness certainly when you are rescuing your own kids but when you serve a larger humanity with a sacrifice, I think it's really poor to call these acts, in any manner, selfish no matter what a book by Jung may say....

I know some here would rather we have no heros or attribute their acts to something other than goodness. Face it, there are good Christians who do things for no other reason than goodness as there are also atheists who do the same. Among these and other groups there are some just plain bad people, just not as many as some of you think there are. I like having heros and thinking we are sometimes above base carnal drive. You don't even have to believe in goodness as something separate for evil but I sure think it helps.

I just bet, if a firefighter had just pulled your child out of fire, you would probably explain to him or his family how it was really a selfish act...Right?</font color>

Deeman

JPB
09-22-2005, 04:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> I believe people are bacisally good. If they were not society would not survive even with laws. Pilots risk their lives to save the passengers under their care, firefighters run into buildings that are on fire to save strangers, people volunteer for charity work with little reward.


<hr /></blockquote>


Firefighters and pilots do what they do for different reasons than I think you impliedly ascribe to them. Charity work too. Would it surprise you if I said that if the pilot, firefighter, or charity worker acts out of true selfishness, that what they do is good, but if they act based on an altruistic philosophy that they act immorally? True selfishness involves a lot more than a 2 year old saying "mine" however. How about this possibility, to the extent people act altruistically they are evil, to the extent they act out of true and enlightened selfishness, they are good. Agree/disagree?


<hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> I know what you are trying to say. However, I believe these are academic or philosophical arguments akin to "how many angels you can stack on the head of a pin" or "is Michael Jackson's attraction to children good, in the overall, because he has done some good acts for other kids."

Altruistic acts may be ascribed some selfishness certainly when you are rescuing your own kids but when you serve a larger humanity with a sacrifice, I think it's really poor to call these acts, in any manner, selfish no matter what a book by Jung may say....

I know some here would rather we have no heros or attribute their acts to something other than goodness. Face it, there are good Christians who do things for no other reason than goodness as there are also atheists who do the same. Among these and other groups there are some just plain bad people, just not as many as some of you think there are. I like having heros and thinking we are sometimes above base carnal drive. You don't even have to believe in goodness as something separate for evil but I sure think it helps.

I just bet, if a firefighter had just pulled your child out of fire, you would probably explain to him or his family how it was really a selfish act...Right?</font color>

Deeman <hr /></blockquote>

Well, this is an academic and philosophical argument, but most certainly not one like how many angels can be stacked on a pin. That is a non-academic, non philosophical discussion about unknowable nothingness. Morality is something that can be discussed philosophically and capable of being consiously known.

It isn't Jungian I don't think.

I hope if a firefighter saved my kid it was done out of selfishness so that it is a moral act, although I would care more that my kid survived. I do not think it is poor to call what most people call selfless acts selfish, if we are talking about the same selfishness. We probably aren't, and I admit I have not set forth my premises completely. In fact, I think it is a tremendous insult to call something a selfless act because it means the person doing it has no self. Rather, it is best that they have a knowledge of their self worth, and act because of moral values rationally held. This is not always possible, since many people act without deep reflection on morality or do so from a non-rational perspective.

I will explain a bit more, but admit I won't fully or adequately state the argument in this post. Altruism as a moral philosophy is wrong. What it means is that only selfless acts are moral; acts done for self interest are not moral. Thus, if you enjoy seeing children live, your act of saving one isn't selfless. Altruism is an impossible standard. The religions or philosophies that endorse it can use the impossibility of meeting the standard as a weapon against the person trying to be good. It turns what is best in the person as the menthod to control or destroy him because he can never meet the standard. It also gives the people taking advantage of the benevolent person a mortgage on him; the benevolent have some duty under an altruistic philosophy to sacrifice the best of themselves for the very worst in others. And the only criterion for the mortgage is some need or another.

So, the firefighter should do what he does because he values preserving lives and property. It should give him a living monetarily, because people he helps should be willing to pay for the service through taxes or other means. His service should also give him pride and self esteem. He should enjoy performing the service because it is the best in him. An altruist, a real altruist, would tell you that the act of saving the child is only moral if it is a sacrifice on the part of the firefighter, i.e. the firefighter must hate his work. Screwed up.

So yes, I think there are heroic and good acts. But I think the value of the acts springs from something different than the altruist. I am not really doing the critique of altruism justice. But if people are interested there is some fun reading on it out there.

Deeman3
09-23-2005, 06:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr>
Firefighters and pilots do what they do for different reasons than I think you impliedly ascribe to them. Charity work too. Would it surprise you if I said that if the pilot, firefighter, or charity worker acts out of true selfishness, that what they do is good, but if they act based on an altruistic philosophy that they act immorally? True selfishness involves a lot more than a 2 year old saying "mine" however. How about this possibility, to the extent people act altruistically they are evil, to the extent they act out of true and enlightened selfishness, they are good. Agree/disagree? <font color="blue"> Again, I only agree that an argument can be made for that perspective but I think it's really silly, on it's face. The example of a fireman could be replaced with a non-emergency worker but, still, they and others do things that are "much beyond the job description". I don't believe they devalue theire own life by a willingness to risk it. Indeed, they may have an appreciation for life some don't.</font color>


<hr /></blockquote>

[
I just bet, if a firefighter had just pulled your child out of fire, you would probably explain to him or his family how it was really a selfish act...Right?</font color>

Deeman <hr /></blockquote>

Well, this is an academic and philosophical argument, but most certainly not one like how many angels can be stacked on a pin. <font color="blue"> </font color> That is a non-academic, non philosophical discussion about unknowable nothingness. <font color="blue"> My meaning was that you can, in debate, make any number of arguments (based on academic or philosophical ideas) but it almost seems you, and perhaps me as well, are putting forth positions for argument's sake when we can't even agree on selffish/selfless definitions. </font color> Morality is something that can be discussed philosophically and capable of being consiously known. <font color="blue"> We both know morality is in the eye of the beholder. I think that was part of what you were saying. </font color>

It isn't Jungian I don't think. <font color="blue"> I think it is probably more humanist than Jung but I agree, he probably never scratched anything on a wall about it. </font color>

I hope if a firefighter saved my kid it was done out of selfishness so that it is a moral act, although I would care more that my kid survived. I do not think it is poor to call what most people call selfless acts selfish, if we are talking about the same selfishness. We probably aren't, and I admit I have not set forth my premises completely. In fact, I think it is a tremendous insult to call something a selfless act because it means the person doing it has no self. <font color="blue">Nope, selfless only means (IMHO) that a person does something with little consideration of self, not a disregard for his/het value. I think self value has nothing to dowith this except in rare cases and this is just, again, a philosophycal or maybe a sematics argument. </font color> Rather, it is best that they have a knowledge of their self worth, and act because of moral values rationally held. This is not always possible, since many people act without deep reflection on morality or do so from a non-rational perspective. <font color="blue">Therein lies the goodness/selflessness, a person without academic time to consider the possible costs /risks jumping in there regardless....heros, goodness, little rationalization, a brave act for the right (IMO) reasons.... </font color>

I will explain a bit more, but admit I won't fully or adequately state the argument in this post. Altruism as a moral philosophy is wrong. What it means is that only selfless acts are moral; acts done for self interest are not moral. Thus, if you enjoy seeing children live, your act of saving one isn't selfless. <font color="blue"> Sematics, again </font color> Altruism is an impossible standard. The religions or philosophies that endorse it can use the impossibility of meeting the standard as a weapon against the person trying to be good. <font color="blue"> Religions are not the only ones to define altruism, it is in our basic heiarchy of needs (Maybe the most mobile one on the list) and recognised for quite a long time in science. </font color> It turns what is best in the person as the menthod to control or destroy him because he can never meet the standard. <font color="blue"> This considers altruism to be an ongoing moment to moment standard when, in most cases, these are finite acts, at least as I am thinking about them. </font color> It also gives the people taking advantage of the benevolent person a mortgage on him; the benevolent have some duty under an altruistic philosophy to sacrifice the best of themselves for the very worst in others. And the only criterion for the mortgage is some need or another. <font color="blue"> I've never seen a person who was described as altruistic in every event of life unless they were up for sainthood, perhaps. Oops! There's that ugly selfishness of the forthoought to project altruism so you might one day become a saint. LOL </font color>

So, the firefighter should do what he does because he values preserving lives and property. It should give him a living monetarily, because people he helps should be willing to pay for the service through taxes or other means. His service should also give him pride and self esteem. He should enjoy performing the service because it is the best in him. An altruist, a real altruist, would tell you that the act of saving the child is only moral if it is a sacrifice on the part of the firefighter, i.e. the firefighter must hate his work. Screwed up.

So yes, I think there are heroic and good acts. But I think the value of the acts springs from something different than the altruist. I am not really doing the critique of altruism justice. But if people are interested there is some fun reading on it out there. <hr /></blockquote> <font color="blue"> I respect you but am really glad your not a fireman the next time I need one....

Deeman </font color>

wolfdancer
09-23-2005, 06:36 AM
What makes the debate somewhat pointless, is that people just react to situations, and don't make these self/selfless evaluations......an exception might be the other day on that Jet Blue airplane. The pilot had 3 hrs to decide if he should just bail out, or knowing that the front of the plane would take the brunt of any impact....he could have let the stewardess land the thing, and took a back row seat.....but he selfishly hung in there and did a great job on the landing

Deeman3
09-23-2005, 08:05 AM
Touche /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

DiddleESquat
09-23-2005, 10:55 AM
I don't know if people are basically good or evil, but I believe they would benefit from being bound and gagged while dressed in leather or rubber and having their bums flailed with a riding crop, just in case they are harboring any bad thoughts.

Ouch!! Oh sorry mistress, I'll get off the computer now. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

DiddleESquat

heater451
09-23-2005, 05:13 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr>. . .So, the firefighter should do what he does because he values preserving lives and property. It should give him a living monetarily, because people he helps should be willing to pay for the service through taxes or other means. His service should also give him pride and self esteem. He should enjoy performing the service because it is the best in him. An altruist, a real altruist, would tell you that the act of saving the child is only moral if it is a sacrifice on the part of the firefighter, i.e. the firefighter must hate his work. Screwed up. . . .<hr /></blockquote>I get what you are trying to say here, but wanted to interject, that it's possible to sub-divide the sacrifice rationality. I propose that the firefighter doesn't have to "hate his work", in order to fulfill the sacrifice requirement. What if he "hated" running in to flames, or having to carry 50 lbs of equipment, while trying to save the child? What if his underwear chafed, while he had to preform? What's the qualification of sacrifice?



===================================

heater451
09-23-2005, 05:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> What makes the debate somewhat pointless, is that people just react to situations, and don't make these self/selfless evaluations......an exception might be the other day on that Jet Blue airplane. The pilot had 3 hrs to decide if he should just bail out, or knowing that the front of the plane would take the brunt of any impact....he could have let the stewardess land the thing, and took a back row seat.....but he selfishly hung in there and did a great job on the landing <hr /></blockquote>I think what makes the debate pointless, is that "good" and "evil" cannot be quantified to exact measurements. . . .

But, I have to invalidate, on the JetBlue incident, since the pilot would be trying to save his own ass as well, and I highly doubt that he (or she--although I've never seen a female airline pilot) would leave that to a stewardess/attendant.



=================================

JPB
09-23-2005, 06:16 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr>. . .So, the firefighter should do what he does because he values preserving lives and property. It should give him a living monetarily, because people he helps should be willing to pay for the service through taxes or other means. His service should also give him pride and self esteem. He should enjoy performing the service because it is the best in him. An altruist, a real altruist, would tell you that the act of saving the child is only moral if it is a sacrifice on the part of the firefighter, i.e. the firefighter must hate his work. Screwed up. . . .<hr /></blockquote>I get what you are trying to say here, but wanted to interject, that it's possible to sub-divide the sacrifice rationality. I propose that the firefighter doesn't have to "hate his work", in order to fulfill the sacrifice requirement. What if he "hated" running in to flames, or having to carry 50 lbs of equipment, while trying to save the child? What if his underwear chafed, while he had to preform? What's the qualification of sacrifice?



=================================== <hr /></blockquote>

No, hatred doesn't mean hating working out at 5 AM to become a fireman or having underwear that chafes. It is something more.

Basically altruism only gives moral points if something is a sacrifice. To be a sacrifice you have to give up something of greater value for lesser value. That is the essence of it. So a mother "sacrificing" for her children isn't sacrificing. She is taking time and effort that she values and giving it to somebody she values as much or more. But giving your life savings to a crack whore so she can take care of her kids while your kids suffer is a sacrifice. You don't value her addiction or her children as much as your own. Giving her a trivial amount isn't a sacrifice, but giving "until it hurts", i.e. has a negative impact on you and your kids is a sacrifice. Strictly speaking altruism demands exactly that. You must give until it hurts to a cause you find less worthy than what you are giving up.

JPB
09-23-2005, 06:31 PM
LINKY (http://www.objectivistcenter.org/objectivism/faqs/jraibley_faq-virtue-selfishness.asp)


This is what I am getting at. I have been arguing from an objectivist point of view. There is some good stuff on these ideas out there. This essay is a brief summary and talks about the important works on what I have been arguing.

Gayle in MD
09-23-2005, 10:47 PM
You would enjoy the book, "The Art Of Selfishness" by David Seabury. He does a good job explaining these premises.
Also, The Art Of Loving, by Eric Fromm.

Gayle in Md.

Fran Crimi
09-24-2005, 09:40 AM
Webster's Dictionary: selfish

1 : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others
2 : arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others


I think the key in the definition is that the dictionary specifically states: acting with disregard for others, and not acting at the "expense" of others.

Everyone today equates 'selfishness' with 'the negative connotation of acting at the expense of others and uses that word in that context.

But in truth, 'acting with disregard for others' contains three subsets: 1)Actions that have no effect on others, 2)Actions that have positive effects on others, 3)Actions that have negative effects on others.

It seems to me that objectivism concerns itself with the first and second subsets, but conveniently ignores the the third. Oh, they do address the third, but they do it very shrewedly, by stating they know the third exsists, but that's not what they want to talk about, because along with the existentialist point of view, the negative connotations are not significant, because in the long run, nothing affects anything. It all simply just --- is ---.

The true objectivist objects to government interference of any kind. They believe that the government's role should be limited strictly to preserving the freedoms of the people. They do not believe the government should aid people in distress. Therefore they believe that hurricane victims should not receive financial or any other kind of aid of any kind from the government. No airlifts out of flood waters. Nope. Nothing like that. Do only what's best for you personally.

So, if you catch a bad break...well, sorry Charlie...you're on your own. That's what they believe.


Fran

JPB
09-24-2005, 02:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>

It seems to me that objectivism concerns itself with the first and second subsets, but conveniently ignores the the third. Oh, they do address the third, but they do it very shrewedly, by stating they know the third exsists, but that's not what they want to talk about, because along with the existentialist point of view, the negative connotations are not significant, because in the long run, nothing affects anything. It all simply just --- is ---.

The true objectivist objects to government interference of any kind. They believe that the government's role should be limited strictly to preserving the freedoms of the people. They do not believe the government should aid people in distress. Therefore they believe that hurricane victims should not receive financial or any other kind of aid of any kind from the government. No airlifts out of flood waters. Nope. Nothing like that. Do only what's best for you personally.




Fran

<hr /></blockquote>

No, objectivism doesn't ignore the third subset. But it does look it it differently than other philosophies. They do have moral positions which strictly forbid using force or fraud to gain an advantage over others.


The objectivist does not object to governmental interference of any kind. Objectivists are not against government and do not agree with libertarians on some important points. As you say, they do believe in a limited government, as the United States was supposed to be. They do object to welfare programs, as these programs are immoral. Welfare involves taking money from people by force and giving it to others based on the whim of the people taking the money by force. Airlifts out of a flood are different than ongoing welfare though. They do oppose welfare, social security, socialized medicine like medicare, farm subsidies, the minimum wage, and price controls. Objectivists believe in true laissez faire capitalism because of their moral philosophy.

Perhaps a simpler way to put it is that objectivists believe that a person has the right to exist for his or her own sake. An altruist does not. Again, I am speaking of true Kantian altruism.

Objectivists do not oppose benevolence, kindness, charity, etc... It is easy to oversimplify the philosophy to make it sound scary. And yes, I suppose it is scary to many people.

Also, I am not sure exactly what you are saying about existentialism in regard to the third subset. Objectivists are not existentialists - they oppose existentialists.

Fran Crimi
09-24-2005, 04:51 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr>

No, objectivism doesn't ignore the third subset. But it does look it it differently than other philosophies. They do have moral positions which strictly forbid using force or fraud to gain an advantage over others. <font color="blue">Yes, moral positions based strictly on logic. And as long as there are altruistic people in the world, the objectivist certainly has the upper hand, wouldn't you say? While they have no obligation to give without barter, they certainly can take from the altruistic fool who wishes to give without barter. If the objectivist is laying in the street with a broken leg, and someone offers to help, asking nothing in return, would they condemn his foolish altruism, or would they rationalize that his offer to help was purely selfish to make him feel good about himself? His end of the barter would then be in satisfying his selfish need to feel good about himself. This way, the next time the objectivist runs across someone in need, they can feel perfectly justified in responding with a barter proposition.</font color>

The objectivist does not object to governmental interference of any kind. Objectivists are not against government and do not agree with libertarians on some important points. As you say, they do believe in a limited government, as the United States was supposed to be. They do object to welfare programs, as these programs are immoral. Welfare involves taking money from people by force and giving it to others based on the whim of the people taking the money by force. Airlifts out of a flood are different than ongoing welfare though. They do oppose welfare, social security, socialized medicine like medicare, farm subsidies, the minimum wage, and price controls. Objectivists believe in true laissez faire capitalism because of their moral philosophy. <font color="blue">True, they aren't opposed to the government defending against specific attacks, or rounding up criminals, however, acts of nature are a different story. If the objectivist is stranded as a result of a hurricane, they have no right to expect government assistance, including an airlift from a flood, nor do they have the right to expect assistance from anyone else. Ah, but that's not how it works, is it? It's more about the right to NOT have to give than the moral decision to take or not to take. It's perfectly okay to take, even from someone who isn't offering a barter situation. That's THEIR problem if they offer to give without asking for something in return.

Ex: "Excuse me, sir, I'm in dire need of some food and water. Can you help me? "Yes, I can but you must agree to paint my house in exchange. "I'm sorry, but I'm not in any physical condition to paint your house. "Well, then sorry, I have no other need of your services so I can not offer you food and water."</font color>

Perhaps a simpler way to put it is that objectivists believe that a person has the right to exist for his or her own sake. An altruist does not. Again, I am speaking of true Kantian altruism.

Objectivists do not oppose benevolence, kindness, charity, etc... It is easy to oversimplify the philosophy to make it sound scary. And yes, I suppose it is scary to many people. <font color="blue"> No, it's not simple but it's clear. It's survival of the fittest. The best barterers would prevail. Those born with low intelligence or physical disabilities would eventually die off. A new type of race would emerge. The world would become a giant bargaining table. It would be looked upon as a foolish thing to give wihout getting anything in return. People would catch on to that part pretty quickly. A world of objectivists would eventually evolve to a society of bargainers. One giant flea market.</font color>

Also, I am not sure exactly what you are saying about existentialism in regard to the third subset. Objectivists are not existentialists - they oppose existentialists.

<font color="blue">Quote: "Objectivism" was actually a secondary choice for the name of her philosophy. Rand said that "Existentialism" is the more appropriate term for her philosophy, as the most basic axiom of the philosophy is the statement that "existence exists." However, Jean-Paul Sartre "corrupted" the meaning of the term "Existentialism."

web page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivist_philosophy)

</font color>


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JPB
09-24-2005, 07:32 PM
"The world would become a giant bargaining table. It would be looked upon as a foolish thing to give wihout getting anything in return."


I think the world is more like this than you care to admit. Including situations where the exchange is not simply a commercial exchange.

heater451
09-24-2005, 08:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr> No, hatred doesn't mean hating working out at 5 AM to become a fireman or having underwear that chafes. It is something more.

Basically altruism only gives moral points if something is a sacrifice. To be a sacrifice you have to give up something of greater value for lesser value. That is the essence of it. So a mother "sacrificing" for her children isn't sacrificing. She is taking time and effort that she values and giving it to somebody she values as much or more. But giving your life savings to a crack whore so she can take care of her kids while your kids suffer is a sacrifice. You don't value her addiction or her children as much as your own. Giving her a trivial amount isn't a sacrifice, but giving "until it hurts", i.e. has a negative impact on you and your kids is a sacrifice. Strictly speaking altruism demands exactly that. You must give until it hurts to a cause you find less worthy than what you are giving up. <hr /></blockquote>Hatred isn't really the word to use anyway. . . .

Also, a fireman going into a burning building is sacrificing--he's risking his life, by going into the building. He is sacrificing the sure thing of staying alive, to give someone else a chance to live (assuming that they wouldn't make it out on their own). You might argue that he "likes to save people" but that's semantics.

I think you could even reduce the example to a non-compatible one, if the fireman considers it "just a job". Much in a zen-like manner.

Anyway, throwing children into the mix skew the argument, IMO. A mother doesn't sacrifice for her children, period. You might have grounds, if it were a choice between her life or theirs, but the thing is, she chose to have the kids. She's attending her responsibilities. And, if one argues that she could do nothing for her kids, or say, give them up for adoption, then the issue of children is moot, as the kid(s) must not mean much to her.---Now that I'm thinking about it, a case could be made about a mother having to give up her child(ren), because she could not provide for him/her(/them). Again, however, if she is giving them up, she is not sacrificing for them--which might beg the question, can she be sacrificing for them, if they are the objects being given up?

Sorry, this has all skewed/gone tangent again, as these examples don't necessarily explain or really decry "altruism". However, if one considers it a guideline, as opposed to a rule, we could consider the fireman example, "altruistic-like". (To me, it seems similar to fuzzy logic.)

Overall, it's hard to write about things that are "-like", and much easier to set the rules for a philosophy like "altruism". If a definitive structure is created, then, yes, I can understand your arguments that "true" altrism differs from what is commonly consdered altruism. But, then we could broach an discussion/argument about whether altruism is truer "as written", or "as believed".

As you posted, with the "bargaining table" quote from the essay (which I haven't time to read right now, unfortunately), it would be foolish, to be altruistic. But, that relates to the "Happiness Trap", about how someone always gives up their happiness, if they assist someone else. I personally believe that the counter to that, is that "sacrifice is its own reward". Or, I could just throw up my hands and agree, that if one is rewarded, then it's not a sacrifice (per, your "til it hurts" argument). . . .hmmmmm. . . .By that definition, is their a statute of limitations? Let me posit this: Say a person gives up all--and I mean ALL that they own, to a family that was evacuated from New Orleans. This would count as a sacrifice, by your definition. Say it was a man, and he chose to be homeless--basically starting from ground-zero. Now, I've got to scenarios, 1) The man eventually works his way back to normal, as he has not given up his job--does this invalidate the sacrifice, since it didn't go as far as to cost him his actual life?, and 2) say the family that received the sacrifice manage to become well-off, be it by hard work or winning the lotto, and they find the man, and return everything to him--is the sacrifice now invalidated?

---Did Job truly sacrifice anything, since God gave it all back to him in the end?

My apologies, as I haven't formed a good idea of the argument, but have taken it in another direction. Going back to "altruism", in general, I think any sacrifice is still a sacrifice, whether it's considered "foolish" or not, is entirely in the perception of whatever self-appointed judge decrees it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif



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Fran Crimi
09-24-2005, 09:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr>

I think the world is more like this than you care to admit. Including situations where the exchange is not simply a commercial exchange.


<hr /></blockquote>

You underestimate me. I'm well aware of the degree of bargaining that goes on. It would be no surprise to learn of the deals that took place leading to the neglect of the New Orleans levee system. I believe it's called 'selling out.' Now that's a phrase that doesn't compute in the objectivist's mind.

I do think, though, that our society hasn't quite gotten to the point where we find it morally correct to barter with victims of natural disasters in exchange for our donations. Shall we ask them to clean our homes for us, perhaps a week for each $200 that we offer them?

Fran

Sid_Vicious
09-25-2005, 12:13 AM
I gauge my answer on my personal experiences while breaking down on the roadways during my life. I have been gifted in getting the nice people to stop and help maybe, but I tend to believe that people in general are good people. I've always helped those in trouble so maybe it is "what goes around, comes around"...I'll stick with the good outweighs the bad though...sid

CarolNYC
09-26-2005, 01:56 AM
Keep a good heart. That's the most important thing in life. It's not how much money you make or what you can acquire. The art of it is to keep a good heart.

/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

wolfdancer
09-26-2005, 08:46 AM
[ QUOTE ]
But, I have to invalidate, on the JetBlue incident, since the pilot would be trying to save his own ass as well, and I highly doubt that he (or she--although I've never seen a female airline pilot) would leave that to a stewardess/attendant.
<hr /></blockquote>
You took that a little too seriously.....
But there are female pilots flying passenger airlines.
Saw one the other day, with a sticker on her uniform
" you've seen us drive; now watch us fly"

wolfdancer
09-26-2005, 08:51 AM
Fran, I think you got pulled in to some freshman year philosophical discussion, where in the end it's not the idea, but the idea of the idea that is being debated.
Can good exist without evil? Is Johhny B. Good?

Fran Crimi
09-26-2005, 09:48 AM
You're showing your psychic abilities again, Jack. I did take a course in extistentialism in freshman year. At term-end the professor asked us to submit whatever grade we thought we should get. I thought he was kidding. I gave myself a 'B.' Wouldn't ya know it, we all got what we submitted.

Fran ~~~ still goin' after that 'A.' /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

wolfdancer
09-26-2005, 01:52 PM
You mean, you selfishly gave yourself a "B", when there were other more deserving existentualists taking the course?
I'll give you an "A" though, for your replies on this thread....

Fran Crimi
09-26-2005, 02:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> You mean, you selfishly gave yourself a "B", when there were other more deserving existentualists taking the course?
<hr /></blockquote>

Wait...it's even worse than that. The course was titled "Phenomenology" and I thought, cool---a course in psychic phenomena---I'll take it. What the heck did I know, being fresh out of Catholic high school...

So, first day of class, in walks this dead ringer for Leonard Bernstein and asks us to write an essay answering the question: Does existence exist? I thought it was a trick question. So I wrote this essay trying desperately to tie-in psychic phenomena with existence existing.

The next class, he hands back our essays, didn't grade them but mine had a comment written on the bottom..."very odd."

After 2 weeks of not knowing what the heck he was talking about and wondering when he was going to start talking about psychic phenomena, (not to mention fighting constant obsessive thoughts that any minute he would pick up a baton and lead us all in a chorus of "I'd like to be in Amerika") it finally occurred to me that I think I may have made a mistake. Everyone else around me looked somewhat confused so I decided to stick it out. Turned out to be pretty interesting. Bizarre, but interesting.

Fran

ras314
09-26-2005, 06:18 PM
I would have thought "Phenomenology" had something to do with smelling, possible with a sexual connation. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I did a similar goof signing up for "modern dance" once. PE classes where left last during the scheduling rush and that was all that was left. Good part was I went to the first class to discover 35 coeds and me had signed up. Bad part was you had to wear those silly little tights and hop around on your toes. Instructor refused to guarantee me a passing grade even though she really wanted a guy in the class so I managed to switch to tennis or something.

Hope to see you at the WPBA US 9 Ball Open.

Back on the thread subject....
I don't think of people in terms of good or evil. Some I think the world would be better off without, some a good thing they are around. Rest of us somewhere in the middle taking up space.

Fran Crimi
09-27-2005, 04:20 PM
Ras, that was a really funny story. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif But hey, you might have missed your calling. You could have been the next Baryshnikov.

I won't see you at the Open this year. Too much going on. Maybe next year.

Fran

Vapros
09-27-2005, 06:04 PM
Well, pal, I thought it was a good idea too, at the time. Who knew? Better luck with your next poll.