Love, or survival.
A question of supreme value.
Nigelthebold once asked me this question:
Think of the society in which you would like to live. Is it the one in which everyone is selfish, greedy, and without compassion or empathy? Or is it the society in which everyone cares about everyone else, where generosity is the norm, and consideration the rule? I believe the first society will not stand for long. I believe the second will stand for a long, long time. (Assuming they aren't invaded by the selfish society.
Now, here's the difference, I would rather live in the latter society even it weren't going to last long. I rather live amongst a disenfranchised and poor community, with it's toils and suffering, but with a pervading sense of love and community amongst it's people, than Denmark.
If what I longed for was a society that last long, I'd vouch for groups of individuals with the same sort of goal in mind, the same "ends", regardless if they were selfish, compassionate, greedy, or whatever else it would matter little as long as "living long" was of their ultimate concern as mine. They chose not to rob from me, not because they weren't greedy, but rationally perceived robbing from me to be detrimental to their well being. One does not have to operate from a framework of empathy to be as such. A company may not hire child laborers not out of any moral compulsion of their own, but just because it's not good business.
So here's a question for you. Would you rather live in a society that will last for long, that offers a good degree of material comfort and well being, but was dominated by individuals who cared very little for their fellow human beings, where empathy and compassion hardly ever reveals itself in human interactions, or just felt so faintly, for the rest of your life, or a society whose material possession were abysmal, who shared whatever little they had, who endearingly loved each other, and yet whose circumstances made them a society not long for the world?
Would you rather be the family who hid their Jewish neighbor during the holocaust out of compassion and love, who end up being caught, and having their lives cut short, and yet never regretted their decision of love? or the family who witnessed the fate of this one, and refused to shelter their Jewish neighbors, for the sake of prolonging their lives?
Nigel never answered the question, but I was curious to hear how others would answer this.