Do we really only care about ourselves?

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Do we really only care about ourselves?

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/superfreakonomics-motivates-people-give-charity/Story?id=8893253&page=1

The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence is yes. With charity, there is always strings of self benefit involved. We praise people that are "unselfish" and punish "selfish" acts. All this does is create a reward and punishment for our "unselfish" motives.

I don't believe rational thought or atheism can be advanced until we drop the notion of morality, ethics and unselfish love. We're all selfish hedonists. If we start with this truth, maybe we can begin to develop alternatives to things like religion. Just drop the 'I'm more moral or more ethical than others" act and the phony liberal compassion and the phony conservative "I'll pray for you" compassion. You can't fool any thinking person.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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What makes you think your

What makes you think your belated realization that people get something out of doing something means that morality and ethics are 'notions' that need to be dropped?  Oh, and SuperFreakonomics is not a scientific publication.  Further, you might notice that there are exceptions to the rule you so blatantly tout as being 'truth'.  You don't seem very rational, you seem desperate to prove a point and its entirely self-serving.  It's not even honest inquiry you're doing.  You already have a conclusion that you want the evidence to lead to.  So, what if we're all hedonists?  I can see no way in which that impacts the fact that people do care for other people.

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"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Thomathy wrote:and its

Thomathy wrote:
and its entirely self-serving. 

 

 

 


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 Absolutely caring about

 Absolutely caring about yourself might benefit you, but too much of that and you cut yourself short because others may reject your self absorbed attitude.  Absolute giving at the cost of your own life is as absurd as the Jesus concept. Why make yourself a door mat?

Since you cant reach absolute zero it is not a matter of all giving or all taking. It is a matter of balance.

 

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Thomathy

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Thomathy wrote:
and its entirely self-serving. 

 

 

 

Yeah, I know.  If we're lucky he won't do the equivocation he could on that and save me any time in calling out the equivocation and, god forbid, explaining how it is an equivocation.


 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Brian37 wrote: Absolutely

Brian37 wrote:

 Absolutely caring about yourself might benefit you, but too much of that and you cut yourself short because others may reject your self absorbed attitude.  Absolute giving at the cost of your own life is as absurd as the Jesus concept. Why make yourself a door mat?

Since you cant reach absolute zero it is not a matter of all giving or all taking. It is a matter of balance.

 

 

Well put, Brian.


 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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:3

 There is a school of thought that follows everything people do is in their own self-interest, the more caring in appearance or even emotion the more enlightened the self interest. Basically it follows that all emotions stem from the instinct of survival.

 

I understand that, but when you start getting too deeply into enlightened self interest it begins to look too much like "karma". You do things for others out of self gratification and the expectation that in setting the standard another would do the same for you. 

 

While I accept that everyone is a hedonist and seeks their own pleasure...the area of what that is happens to be far too vague to make any kind of conclusion on. Sorry.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Is this just a fancy way of

Is this just a fancy way of saying "I got mine so fuck off"?


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Brian37 wrote: Absolutely

Brian37 wrote:

 Absolutely caring about yourself might benefit you, but too much of that and you cut yourself short because others may reject your self absorbed attitude.   

But by avoiding cutting myself short in social situations(i.e. acting unselfish), I'm still committing a selfish act. I'm just appearing to be cooperative and unselfish(i.e. putting on the act) to gain social acceptance. But I'm still a selfish hedonist. If I yeild to the preasure here to not be selfish, all I'm doing is putting on an act, right?

It's like a pack of animals can cooperate to kill the prey and share the bounty. But they are still all 100% self interested.

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I was under the impression

I was under the impression that most atheists were hedonists?  What else can you be without a higher power dictating morality?

 

Besides, morality to an atheist is just shorthand for enlightened self interest.  Are you just arguing that the language should be dropped?  I doubt we need another reason for theists to call us immoral baby rapers.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Even though we have selfish

Even though we have selfish motives to be unselfish, that doesn't mean they're our only motives.
I know from first hand experience that I've felt bad about things happening to other people.
Perhaps the easiest example is books and movies - we emphasize with characters who aren't even real, so there's nothing we can gain from our emotional investment in them.
We largely follow our own interests but there is geuine care and empathy too.

I think you're also equivocating on the word "selfish".
In economics, selfish actions means doing what's in your best interests.
In reality, this generally requires us to connect emotionally with other human beings and actually care for them.
When people accuse someone of being selfish in a bad way, they usually mean that the offender has followed an immediate desire at the expense of people around them.
From the "economically selfish" point of view, that "socially unacceptable selfishness" would have been irrationally short sighted.


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I agree. Perhaps "doing the

I agree. Perhaps "doing the right thing" does not bring you pleasure but it does allow you to avoid pain in the form of mental anguish. That being said I also think that, like free will, its better for society to "pretend" that things work differently. Or, instead of pretend, ignore the fact that people are only acting in their self interest.


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This seems like nothing more

This seems like nothing more than a converse accident fallacy. You take the facts that rich people in a nursing home are more likely to get visitors and beautiful people who collect money for charity are more likely to get donations, and from that you conclude that all actions are selfishly motivated.

 What about the people who gave to charity when the person asking for money was ugly? What about the poor people in nursing homes who receive visitors? What about the disconfirming instances?

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unless im very confused im

unless im very confused im sure some of you guys are confused about what a hedonist is. As I understand it it is part of consiquencalism. The moral act is the act that bring about the best consiquences. Further than that it is part of utilitarianism, the best consiquences are the ones that bring about the most well being. In hedonism well being is soley happiness. Happiness is the presance of pleasure and the absence of pain. Where I think you guys are confused is in hedonism the moral act is the one that brings about the most total happiness regardless of who gets it. If you do the act just to bring yourself happiness when greater total happiness could be brough about by a differant act that isn't the moral action. So if you do the act that brings yourself happiness when there are better alternatives that isn't morality at all, it is immoral. If you do actions just to bring yourself happiness you are not a hedonist. As for "selfish hedonist" it seems a silly term to me as you won't be a hedonist if you are selfish. Then again i could be confused

 

I object to everyone being a "selfish hedonist" when someone trips do you help them up because you wish a reward or because it is the decent thing to do? When someone has been hurt do you call the ambulance so you will be rewarded? Those are both moral actions. Sure some people will no doubt do things for rewards but not all.

 

lastly what would geting rid of the notion of morality even do? Seems the silliest thing i have heard of.

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mellestad wrote:I was under

mellestad wrote:

I was under the impression that most atheists were hedonists? What else can you be without a higher power dictating morality?

I think science is telling us that we're all egoist hedonists. But most people(including atheists) put on act of not being this way, it's part of our socialization. Even if you believe in a higher power, your still a hedonist. You just follow a strategy of delayed pleasure(heaven) and pleasing an invisible man to have him give you pleasure and take away your pain. Religion had to invent heaven and hell because we only motivated by the expectation pleasure or avoidance of pain.

 

Strafio wrote:

Even though we have selfish motives to be unselfish, that doesn't mean they're our only motives.
I know from first hand experience that I've felt bad about things happening to other people.

So then being 'selfish' would produce bad feelings in you, so you not 'selfish' in order to avoid feeling bad. And having empathy for others makes you fell good. So how are you not being an egoistical hedonist?

It's possible you could have a brain injury that could damage this reward and punishment system for being 'unselfish'. Then it would be obvious you were selfish even if your reasoning brain was still undamaged. Humans evolved a reward and punishment system in order for us to be social creature. But our core, our motives are always are own pleasure and pain.

 

Tapey wrote:

I object to everyone being a "selfish hedonist" when someone trips do you help them up because you wish a reward or because it is the decent thing to do?

Yes, you were conditioned by your parents and society to do the right thing. We're genetically progammed to want the approval of others. When we get this approval for doing good, we get a good feeling which is like a drug. If we don't get this good feeling or reward, we won't act. That's why autistic people have socialization problems, but it's not a moral failing on their part.

Tapey wrote:

lastly what would geting rid of the notion of morality even do? Seems the silliest thing i have heard of.

I think when people understand how things really work, they can design things that work based on this. When people understood the laws of physics and aerodynamics, we could design airplanes that don't fall out of the sky. Now people raise their children and we reform our prisoners based on this notion of 'morality' and unselfishness. We know these are inaccurate models for how humans behave and are motivated. So how can society be made better until we dump these false ideas which are closely associated with religious/superstitous thinking?

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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It doesn't matter so much

It doesn't matter so much that we're often concerned with our self-interest. Humans are social animals and it does matter what we do in groups. It's quite amazing that people in groups do things that they would not otherwise do. We defend our group, we work for our group, and we arrange ourselves in the group to defend it against outside harm.

(c.f. Eric Berne, The Structure and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups)

We have biological imperitives and those show up in bad times, like the Twin Towers where people did not hesitate to give their lives saving others, and did not hesitate to give their time and their health to try to go into the rubble and help them. We see nations helping nations during national disasters.

Maybe we want the story told about ourselves to be a good one. As self-serving as that is, it isn't a bad thing. Think about it this way: as bad as things are, they could certainly be worse if we cared about nothing but ourselves. Sometimes, having children teaches you about what love is, and what it means to give of yourself for another's benefit. Chalk it up to the selfish gene wanting to reproduce if you wish. It's being human.


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There's nothing wrong in

There's nothing wrong in caring about ourselves. But it should include as many of ourselves as possible.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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We are not 'selfish' in any

We are not 'selfish' in any colloquial sense of the word. Evolution is not sentient; it doesn't care if you actually benefit. There are things that we feel and do that evolution has selected for because they were good when we lived in small groups of migrating hunter/gatherers. We might have, possibly, benefited from helping other members of our group because they would be more likely to reciprocate the favor when we were in need.

Nowadays, a lot of people live in densely populated cities; if you help someone and then go your separate ways, you are unlikely to benefit because you'll probably never see this person again (what 'goes around' does NOT 'come around.'). However, we still feel good when we help someone because it is one of the instincts we have developed. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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There is good neuroscience that

 

shows acts of ultrusim lead to the release of large amounts of oxytocin in the brain and that people get more pleasure for longer when giving rather than when receiving.

I'm not sure you could describe this as selfish or self interested. I simply think humans evolved to live in small family groups where ultruism directly benefited their genetic line.

We no longer live in family groups now but ultruism is such a central part of what makes us human that there's no going back on it.

It is a good feeling to help others and a core human feeling we should enjoy. I'm not sure why the god botherers should be allowed to steal our innate ultrusim and trademark it

as some shit that was invented by their lame-arsed messiah a couple of thousand years ago. This is our integrity and our humanity the pricks are stealing. 

It's not selfish, it's not unselfish - it's just human. All the rest is labels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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butterbattle wrote:We are

butterbattle wrote:

We are not 'selfish' in any colloquial sense of the word.

I think what we do is act unselfish as a means to attain group acceptance. If you put on the act long enough, the illusion becomes your reality. But we only capable of doing what pleases ourselves even if that means acting unselfishly. I think we should drop the notion of selfish and unselfish and instead describe behaviors as being cooperative or individualistic.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Luminon wrote:There's

Luminon wrote:

There's nothing wrong in caring about ourselves. But it should include as many of ourselves as possible.

   Is it possible to be a compassionate misanthrope ?  I absolutely despise humans yet I cannot tolerate violence against old people, children, animals, etc.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Luminon wrote:

There's nothing wrong in caring about ourselves. But it should include as many of ourselves as possible.

   Is it possible to be a compassionate misanthrope ?  I absolutely despise humans yet I cannot tolerate violence against old people, children, animals, etc.

It is possible, I think. You know, people may be sometimes dirty, loud, annoying, thick, ugly, hungry, thirsty, complaining, sick, and so on. Not everyone can work directly with people, and even less workers can help directly children, old people, mentally retarded, patients at hospital or asocials.
But what is attractive, is the ancient ideal of brotherhood and universal justice for everyone. It's easy to love the whole humanity, easier than loving a specific hag in the neighbourhood. So even misanthropes may be useful, if they work FOR the humanity, but not directly WITH it. Such a person may create some good laws and institutions that help a lot of people, without being in touch with them directly. There is of course a danger of being unaware of what people really need, but an advisor or two can fix that.

 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Luminon wrote:

There's nothing wrong in caring about ourselves. But it should include as many of ourselves as possible.

   Is it possible to be a compassionate misanthrope ?  I absolutely despise humans yet I cannot tolerate violence against old people, children, animals, etc.

definitely.  a prime example of this tendency is charles bukowski.

i'm about the same.  humans in general make me sick, especially when i have to make "small talk" and act interested in the daily lives of people whom i have no interest in at all.  i usually go through these motions when my wife is around and we're at a party.  i sometimes literally feel a panic attack coming on.

then again, i often experience huge waves of emotional love for everyone around me.  this tends to happen when i'm alone in public places on beautiful days.  i also feel a very deep and genuine love for almost all my students because i find most teenagers to be at the stage of life where they are the most altruistic and the least pretentious they will ever be (by "pretentious" i mean the artficial feigning of interest that all adults are expected to go through--of course i'm aware of how image-conscious teens are).  i try to encourage them to keep as much of that as possible as they grow older.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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  I believe the dichotomy

  I believe this dichotomy is more pronounced within my personality.  I actively avoid human contact whenever possible.  In general I view typical humans as ruthless and self-absorbed, hence my desire to avoid them and their churlish behavior.

   Nevertheless my humanitarian instincts are aroused if I view disaster victims or acts of cruelty against innocent parties.  For instance if someone were trapped within a burning car I would not hesitate to attempt a rescue but after they were safe I would actually prefer not to interact with them.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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I tend to believe that acts

I tend to believe that acts of altruism are motivated by the prospect of personal gain.


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aiia wrote:I tend to believe

aiia wrote:

I tend to believe that acts of altruism are motivated by the prospect of personal gain.

  I believe that motive may in fact play a part in many instances of "compassion".  Kind of like when Christians engage in acts of charity based upon the prospect of receiving a great reward from Jesus after the Judgement. 

   I believe that the scriptural premise is referred to as "laying up treasures in Heaven"  ...which is the same as fattening up your bank account...which is kind of mercenary, now that I think about it.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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I agree, but with the caveat

I agree, but with the caveat that the instinctual drive towards empathy is not usually selfish on a conscious level.  That is, people often do good deeds 'just because', even though in reality they are doing it because of instinctual empathy and the chemical/social/cultural rewards it brings.

 

But I do accept that people often do 'good' without a conscious ulterior motive.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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I wonder...

 

You'd have to say that ultrusim - the act of selflessness - is in itself not selfish.

We all have moments in which we sacrifice ourselves for others one way or another. 

I think ultrusim is real. Maybe it depends on its truth for its value.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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:3

 


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

You'd have to say that ultrusim - the act of selflessness - is in itself not selfish.

We all have moments in which we sacrifice ourselves for others one way or another. 

 

  Yes, there are genuine acts of selflessness.  In those rare instances during warfare when a soldier throws himself upon a live hand grenade to save his comrades, what's the appeal to self interest ?  There is none.  It is complete and utter sacrifice whereupon the soldier personally gains nothing from his bravery except his immediate death.

  There is some good within humanity but it is extremely rare, and is seen about as frequently as Haley's Comet.  

  BTW, just saw a news item on TV where a 15 year old girl murdered a nine year old girl named Elizabeth Olten.  My God, people are so f**ked up.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote: 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

  Yes, there are genuine acts of selflessness.  In those rare instances during warfare when a soldier throws himself upon a live hand grenade to save his comrades, what's the appeal to self interest ?

We condition solderers to behave this way. To get the approval of your drill sergeant and fellow soldiers, you must behave in a totally "unselfish" way. Military training is a kind of brain washing and is similar to religious indoctrination, you loose your individualism to the group. How is it any different than a dog that goes into a dangerous situation as it's trained to do, but we also call dogs brave and unselfish when they just follow their training. Humans invented the concepts of brave and coward as a reward and punishment system. Patriotism is another concept invented as a reward.

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
  There is none.  It is complete and utter sacrifice whereupon the soldier personally gains nothing from his bravery except his immediate death.

I disagree. War is a kind of drug. People get an adrenaline high. We whip up a war frenzy, play patriotic music, have parades, metals, honors, etc... It's to create a reward so people will do 'unselfish' and 'brave' acts they otherwise wouldn't do. We don't want soldiers to think for themselves in any rational way, otherwise the won't be 'brave'. So I don't see this kind 'sacrifice' as being much different than a heroine junkie that shoots up even though he knows it may kill him.

And what about ants that sacrifice for the colony? Are they "unselfish" or is it just genetics and conditioning?

 

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

  There is some good within humanity but it is extremely rare, and is seen about as frequently as Haley's Comet.  

Since I believe morality is another BS concept, I'm not sure what "good" really is or how to measure it. But what's unique and better about humans is our ability to understand how things work. Our capacity to design things around this understanding. Seems like if we persist in these delusions of unselfishness, bravery and compassion, we are not using our best feature and making it difficult to make things better.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote: We condition

EXC wrote:

 

We condition solderers to behave this way. To get the approval of your drill sergeant and fellow soldiers, you must behave in a totally "unselfish" way.

 

 

  Interesting. How can a soldier get the "approval" of his drill sergeant, fellow soldiers or anyone if he just engaged in a behavior that resulted in his death ?   Apparently you and I ( and most medical examiners, forensic pathologists  )  differ regarding the ramifications of what it means to be dead. 

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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EXC wrote: ... I'm not sure

EXC wrote:

 

 

... I'm not sure what "good" really is or how to measure it.

 

   Try sticking to the common usage of the word "good" and just go with that.  No offense but your reply reminds me of Christian apologists who play word games and who redefine terms to defend their pov.  Kind of like how Christians redefine the concept of "perfection" as opposed to how the term is traditionally defined apart from people who have a religious agenda.

 

 

 

 

Ps,    ...even sociopaths know how to define moral "goodness" but being sociopaths, they just don't care.  Come to think of it they view morality in exactly the same way as yourself.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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Atheistextremist wrote:You'd

Atheistextremist wrote:
You'd have to say that ultrusim - the act of selflessness - is in itself not selfish.

We all have moments in which we sacrifice ourselves for others one way or another. 

I think ultrusim is real. Maybe it depends on its truth for its value.

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
Yes, there are genuine acts of selflessness.  In those rare instances during warfare when a soldier throws himself upon a live hand grenade to save his comrades, what's the appeal to self interest ?  There is none.  It is complete and utter sacrifice whereupon the soldier personally gains nothing from his bravery except his immediate death.

EXC wrote:
Are they "unselfish" or is it just genetics and conditioning?

Huh? What? Come again?

I'm starting to wonder if everything is just talking past each other; there's a difference between conscious selfishness and actions favored by natural selection. Everything we choose to do is a result of genetics and environment. If you do something selfish, you're doing it because of your genes and/or conditioning, and the same goes for things you do that are ostensibly unselfish. There's no dichotomy here, and there is no "goodness" that, somehow, transcends what we are. As soon as we judge an action as 'good,' that's our instincts talking.

So, again, virtually everything we do is "selfish" in terms of evolution, but there many things we often do that don't actually benefit us as individuals. But, we do them anyways because that's what we have been selected for.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:Try

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
Try sticking to the common usage of the word "good" and just go with that. 

Ah, peachy.

So, since you're accusing EXC of changing the definition of 'good' to support his agenda, would you be willing provide the definition of the common usage of the word 'good?' 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
Try sticking to the common usage of the word "good" and just go with that. 

Ah, peachy.

So, since you're accusing EXC of changing the definition of 'good' to support his agenda, would you be willing provide the definition of the common usage of the word 'good?' 

 

  Well I'm sure the word "good" along with examples of it's common usage and meanings is most likely found in any common dictionary isn't it ?  Should I provide a link ?  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/good    I am in agreement .

  Besides, did you think I was trying to be clever by referring my definition of "good" to a language status quo ?  I think EXC is highly intelligent and has a talent for examining things from a unique perspective.  Consequently he is free to discard any concept that he feels in disagreement with.  Let him further enlighten us as to his personal views regarding the concept of ( moral ) goodness.

 

 

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote: 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

  Interesting. How can a soldier get the "approval" of his drill sergeant, fellow soldiers or anyone if he just engaged in a behavior that resulted in his death ?   Apparently you and I ( and most medical examiners, forensic pathologists  )  differ regarding the ramifications of what it means to be dead. 

Soldiers are conditioned to behave in to seek the approval of his superiors and fellow soldiers by behaving 'unselfishly'. They practice sacrificing themselves for the approval of others. So when the time comes to fall on the hand grenade, they don't even think about it, they just do what their training conditioned them to do. So once soldiers are conditioned, they don't even think about the ramifications of being dead when they act 'heroically'.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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butterbattle wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
Try sticking to the common usage of the word "good" and just go with that. 

Ah, peachy.

So, since you're accusing EXC of changing the definition of 'good' to support his agenda, would you be willing provide the definition of the common usage of the word 'good?' 

 

  Well I'm sure the word "good" along with examples of it's common usage and meanings is most likely found in any common dictionary isn't it ?  Should I provide a link ?  http://thefreedictionary.com/good    I am in agreement . ( see items 17 and 18 )

  Besides, did you think I was trying to be clever by referring my definition of "good" to a language status quo ?  I think EXC is highly intelligent and has a talent for examining things from a unique perspective.  Consequently he is free to discard any concept that he feels in disagreement with.  Let him further enlighten us as to his personal views regarding the concept of ( moral ) goodness.

  Edit to correct link.

 

 

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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EXC wrote:Soldiers are

EXC wrote:

Soldiers are conditioned to behave in to seek the approval of his superiors and fellow soldiers by behaving 'unselfishly'. They practice sacrificing themselves for the approval of others. So when the time comes to fall on the hand grenade, they don't even think about it, they just do what their training conditioned them to do. So once soldiers are conditioned, they don't even think about the ramifications of being dead when they act 'heroically'.

   Death comes easily if you're trained to throw your life away for a pat on the back ?   

That behavioral principle would likely come as a surprise to those incompetent CO's during the Viet Nam war who were *"fragged" by their own men. So much for the effectiveness of training.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragging

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This is all about labels

Quote:

Huh? What? Come again?

I'm starting to wonder if everything is just talking past each other; there's a difference between conscious selfishness and actions favored by natural selection. Everything we choose to do is a result of genetics and environment. If you do something selfish, you're doing it because of your genes and/or conditioning, and the same goes for things you do that are ostensibly unselfish. There's no dichotomy here, and there is no "goodness" that, somehow, transcends what we are. As soon as we judge an action as 'good,' that's our instincts talking.

So, again, virtually everything we do is "selfish" in terms of evolution, but there many things we often do that don't actually benefit us as individuals. But, we do them anyways because that's what we have been selected for.

 

I think for the selfless action of another person to have value to me it has to be all about me. From their perspective the action has to be utterly selfless or I will not value it enough to reciprocate.

Moronic as it sounds we all have mates and people in our lives we would take a shot for and I think it's fair to say that these are people we are reasonably sure would do the same for us.

No argument it's a matter of selected qualities useful for survival and all that. No argument that calling such things good is just a label. But I still think unless such things have purity then they

are without value. Sure it's genetics/selection. But from a human perspective it has got to be 'real' or we would not value it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Quote:17.a. Of moral

dictionary.com wrote:
17.

a. Of moral excellence; upright: a good person.

b. Benevolent; kind: a good soul; a good heart.

c. Loyal; staunch: a good Republican.

18.

a. Well-behaved; obedient: a good child.

b. Socially correct; proper: good manners.

Hmmm, a weird definition, but precise. 

I think EXC is just arguing that nothing is inherently good, good without any qualifiers. We always have to start with some assumptions. For instance, why are the things in the above definitions 'good?'

Atheistextremist wrote:
I think for the selfless action of another person to have value to me it has to be all about me. From their perspective the action has to be utterly selfless or I will not value it enough to reciprocate.

Moronic as it sounds we all have mates and people in our lives we would take a shot for and I think it's fair to say that these are people we are reasonably sure would do the same for us.

No argument it's a matter of selected qualities useful for survival and all that. No argument that calling such things good is just a label. But I still think unless such things have purity then they

are without value. Sure it's genetics/selection. But from a human perspective it has got to be 'real' or we would not value it.

Alright, I agree with that.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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ProzacDeathWish wrote: Let

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 Let him further enlighten us as to his personal views regarding the concept of ( moral ) goodness.

Since you asked. I think good is just what brings us pleasant sensations and doesn't cause unpleasant ones. If a group has common goals to obtain this pleasure, then the group can have a common good. But it all maps to sensations in the brain. Like good pot or bad pot, the bottom line is what sensations it produces. There is no objective good.

But the concept of moral goodness is BS scam. When someone is preaching morality, this just means they want you to behave in ways favorable to their goals while giving you nothing real or of any value in return. Promising heaven to those who behave morally is the biggest example of this scam. And you know the definition of moral indignation? Jealousy with a halo.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:ProzacDeathWish

EXC wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 Let him further enlighten us as to his personal views regarding the concept of ( moral ) goodness.

Since you asked. I think good is just what brings us pleasant sensations and doesn't cause unpleasant ones. If a group has common goals to obtain this pleasure, then the group can have a common good. But it all maps to sensations in the brain. Like good pot or bad pot, the bottom line is what sensations it produces. There is no objective good.

But the concept of moral goodness is BS scam. When someone is preaching morality, this just means they want you to behave in ways favorable to their goals while giving you nothing real or of any value in return. Promising heaven to those who behave morally is the biggest example of this scam. And you know the definition of moral indignation? Jealousy with a halo.

He says, while "preaching" his view of moral goodness.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote:He says,

jcgadfly wrote:

He says, while "preaching" his view of moral goodness.

When have I ever "preached" anything but doing things to maximize our pleasure and minimize pain? I'm an unabashed hedonist. That's why you can't classify me as right wing, left wing, libertarian, etc... I'm for doing whatever achieve your own hapinness. I've said over and over morality is BS.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:When have I ever

EXC wrote:

When have I ever "preached" anything but doing things to maximize our pleasure and minimize pain? I'm an unabashed hedonist. . I'm for doing whatever achieve your own hapinness. I've said over and over morality is BS.

  But this sounds to me like the philosophy of a sociopath. By using this label I am not attempting to paint you as bizarre or type-casting you in a cartoonish Ted Bundy way.  A surprising number of people are sociopaths.  For them morality is a useless constraint.

 You are for doing whatever achieves your own happiness.  Okay, that's simple enough but is it an open-ended proposition ?  For example if raping teenage girls was how some man achieved happiness what would your perception be ?   How do you differentiate human behavior ?  Does the concept of *deviancy ( or any word that you choose to express this type of behavioral aberration ) exist within your personal pov ?

 Just curious.

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ProzacDeathWish wrote:  But

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

  But this sounds to me like the philosophy of a sociopath.

 

A sociopath would be a person that derives no real pleasure from normal social situations or derives pleasure from causing misery to others. That is not me. I derive pleasure from friendships, helping other people, relations with members of the opposite sex. I don't derive pleasure for causing misery to others except occasionally as revenge.

We're both hedonists we just both have different tastes. We both don't have free will and a large part of what we like is driven by genetics and conditioning. But the sociopath when he commits criminal acts infringes on my life and liberty and creates problems for the social order that would bring me happiness. So that's why I want to stop sociopaths from committing criminal acts. But there is nothing 'morally' wrong with what they do other than infringing on my hedonistic pursuits.

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

By using this label I am not attempting to paint you as bizarre or type-casting you in a cartoonish Ted Bundy way.  A surprising number of people are sociopaths.  For them morality is a useless constraint.

 

I think you should observe humans a little more. I think you will see that everyone's morality is "whatever convenient for me". Morality is this act we put on to show we "unselfish". And by being "unselfish" we can gain favors from other people. Humans derive a great deal of pleasure from the approval of others.

Ted Bundy put on the act of being a nice, unselfish guy. That's how he was able to gain people's trust. I'm quite the opposite, I freely admit I'm a hedonist out for my own pleasures. I don't want to put on a phony compassion act like Christians that pray and Socialist that want higher taxes on the wealth. All the world's a stage putting on the act of being unselfish. I guess I'm just tired of this same show.

  

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

For example if raping teenage girls was how some man achieved happiness what would your perception be ? 

 

The problem is that being raped is not something the girl would like. So since I'm for everyone pursuing their own happiness, I have a huge problem with this situation.

But here's a more interesting question for you. Suppose we have virtual reality machines in the future where one could play out the fantasy of raping a teenage girl with no one ever being harmed. Would you be for making this illegal? Is it 'morally' wrong? I suppose I could be for letting it be legal as long as they could prove 100% that it would not lead to any one's harm. In fact I think this could lead to less crime because people inclined to do this could do it in a virtual world instead of the real one.

But you know all the moralists would have a huge problem with this. Why?

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

  How do you differentiate human behavior ? 

 

I judge things only on their pleasure and pain scale. So judge things on how much pain or pleasure it causes others. I don't believe the pursuits of my pleasures cause that much pain to anyone else. I think I'm different in that I'm tired of this act that pretty much all of humanity puts on of being moral, compassionate, unselfish, etc... It's all such BS if you observe it often enough. There is social cooperation and anti-social behaviors, that's as far as I wish to judge behaviors.

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Does the concept of *deviancy ( or any word that you choose to express this type of behavioral aberration ) exist within your personal pov ?

 Just curious.

Criminal behavior is deviant in that it deviates for the accepted rules that are designed to maximize our common pursuit of pleasure. Being a crime victim is not pleasant, so we make rules to try to prevent this. But behaviors are based on genetics and conditioning, not some 'moral' failure.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:A sociopath would

EXC wrote:

A sociopath would be a person that derives no real pleasure from normal social situations or derives pleasure from causing misery to others. That is not me. I derive pleasure from friendships, helping other people, relations with members of the opposite sex. I don't derive pleasure for causing misery to others except occasionally as revenge.

We're both hedonists we just both have different tastes. We both don't have free will and a large part of what we like is driven by genetics and conditioning. But the sociopath when he commits criminal acts infringes on my life and liberty and creates problems for the social order that would bring me happiness. So that's why I want to stop sociopaths from committing criminal acts. But there is nothing 'morally' wrong with what they do other than infringing on my hedonistic pursuits.

So why does you hedonistic pursuit take moral precedence over the sociopath's? That is, when you exercise your powers in support of infringements on his hedonistic pursuits, why is your infringement allowable and his not?

 

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Eloise wrote:So why does you

Eloise wrote:

So why does you hedonistic pursuit take moral precedence over the sociopath's?

 

I don't believe in the concept of morality. But one could measure the pain my actions cause others vs. those of a sociopath. If my actions cause no harm and the sociopath's does cause a great deal, then then it's probable a good idea to take action to stop sociopaths but leave me alone.

 

Eloise wrote:

That is, when you exercise your powers in support of infringements on his hedonistic pursuits, why is your infringement allowable and his not? 

Morally allowable is a BS concept. Because we want to follow a stategy of cooperation to stop those who are causing pain, we stop this behavior. If criminals and sociopaths are not stopped, it's probably going to make me miserable and I don't like seeing other people suffer. But if someone plays fantasy computer games and commits murder and rape in a virtual world only, why should anyone care unless it may cause a real person pain?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:

Eloise wrote:

So why does you hedonistic pursuit take moral precedence over the sociopath's?

 

I don't believe in the concept of morality. But one could measure the pain my actions cause others vs. those of a sociopath. If my actions cause no harm and the sociopath's does cause a great deal, then then it's probable a good idea to take action to stop sociopaths but leave me alone.

 

Eloise wrote:

That is, when you exercise your powers in support of infringements on his hedonistic pursuits, why is your infringement allowable and his not? 

Morally allowable is a BS concept. Because we want to follow a stategy of cooperation to stop those who are causing pain, we stop this behavior. If criminals and sociopaths are not stopped, it's probably going to make me miserable and I don't like seeing other people suffer. But if someone plays fantasy computer games and commits murder and rape in a virtual world only, why should anyone care unless it may cause a real person pain?

 

Sounds an awful lot like morality there EXC. 

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EXC wrote:   I think you

EXC wrote:

 

 

 I think you will see that everyone's morality is "whatever convenient for me". Morality is this act we put on to show we "unselfish". And by being "unselfish" we can gain favors from other people. Humans derive a great deal of pleasure from the approval of others.

 

  

    Morality equals what is convenient ? You've really thrown me. 

 Assuming that your theory is valid, if you were trapped in a burning car wreck and I happened to come upon you and saw you inside screaming for help, would it be more convenient for me to risk my own comfort and safety to preserve your life or would it be more convenient for me to simply obey my instinct for self-preservation and let you die ?

   No disrespect EXC but I believe that you have a serious misconception as to what constitutes convenience. 

  Also if the approval of others is such an overriding drive in humans then I prefer to just work on my tan and start pumping iron. That kind approval seeking method is waaay more "convenient" than exposing myself to dangerous and unnecessary risks.

 

 

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EXC wrote:.... and I don't

EXC wrote:
.... and I don't like seeing other people suffer.

    Why ?