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Edward Grim
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since 12-18-2005
Posts 1112
Greenville, South Carolina


25 posted 06-24-2007 11:49 AM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim


quote:
Almost all Philosophical thought and debate can, due to its very nature, be seen as a waste of time because in most cases the subject always remains in the realm of philosophy and have no influence in the real world. The questions "so what" and "what does it matter" are reasonable in such cases...

we argue and debate because we are free and able to and enjoy exercising our right and brain doing so. The point is to expand our experience and knowledge for future use - a concept Rand would have encouraged.


True, but I wasn't asking what the point of discussing philosophical questions is. I may not add much to the conversations but I do like to have philosophical debates on occasion.

What I was really asking is "What's the point of determining whether someone does something out of self interest or not?" And "Where's the confusion?" Is it just about how sincere their intentions are? I doubt that's what this whole debate is about. I'm curious as to why the debate has dragged on so long. In my opinion, many acts are done without self-interest being involved. What about firefighters who die saving people from burning buildings? What about when the twin towers were crumbling? All those firefighters and police officers risked their lives to help others and most of them lost their lives for the effort; they had no self-interest. It's a matter of helping your fellow man. Perhaps I'm not fully understanding exactly what form of self-interest is being discussed. I just can't believe that every individual on earth is in it for themselves.

Thanks for the reply Grinch.

“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”

Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


26 posted 06-24-2007 01:36 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I think people try to justify their selfcenteredness by making it out to be the human condition.  Because their deeds may be so selfcentered, they would like to attribute everyone else's to such selfcenteredness, and make it out as a law of nature to boot.

Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


27 posted 06-24-2007 05:31 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.”

Corinthians 13:11.


Not much chance
if you’re already dead on the road . . .
.
Drauntz
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since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


28 posted 06-24-2007 05:48 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Brad,

Where does the "reciprocity" come from?

and don't give me that A from B while B is from A.

Drauntz
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since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


29 posted 06-24-2007 05:50 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir John,

"Not much chance
if you’re already dead on the road . . ."


may you please explain more what you mean?

A dead body or a dead soul or merely a dead spirit?
rwood
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since 02-29-2000
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30 posted 06-24-2007 06:27 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

"I just can't believe that every individual on earth is in it for themselves."

I can't either Ed. It seems to demean human character if I think emotionally upon it, but rationally, not.

speaking of firefighters/life savers.

When people take a serious interest, (for any reason) They approach it objectively, by studying the facts, doing their homework, putting in all the long hours of practice drills, psychological tests, agility/speed/stamina, and equipment handling, etc. And then they have to develop an internal subjective decision how they will do whatever is necessary to save another in a fire/water/medical emergency situation. Whew! I admire them, no doubt.

They start out dedicated to an idea, and by grasping the idea from both ends of the spectrum, they become qualified and ready, somewhat. Experience matters. But if we focus entirely on self-sacrifice, then the only time the idea comes full circle is when they die saving someone. That doesn't seem fair to me.

something's missing.

I think it's more selfish to think that dedication to service and humanity always requires a victim, a death, or a heroic write up in the paper. They're there every day, fire or no. It's their job. Sometimes they have to do crazy things like pulling men out of hot tubs who have gotten their (ahems) stuck in the drain. They probably have a family to feed and could probably use a nice raise in salary. New equipment? A vacation?

I'm just glad they take an honorable interest, either way.
Drauntz
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31 posted 06-24-2007 06:32 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Brad,

"If the choice and action were based on selflessness, neither would cross the bridge,  both would die, and your problem would be solved"

Wrong. The healthy Rand will let the sick Rand pass first. Absolute selflessness does not exist biologically.
Grinch
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32 posted 06-24-2007 08:34 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Edward,

The question of self-interest is important, if human beings make decisions solely based on it, and I believe they do, it offers the possibility to influence those decisions. That's where the big issue of Rational self-interest as proposed by Rand comes in, the inclusion of Rational suggests that the way forward is to encourage and teach rational thinking to guide self-interest in the direction of group-interest. I suggested that all decisions are already deemed rational and that the focus should be on changing the knowledge that decisions are based upon.

Simple example:

A man decides to steal a car, radian philosophy would maintain that the man had made an irrational choice based on self-interest and that if he could be taught to apply rational thought his decision would be different.

A man decides to steal a car, my belief is that if the man's decision already seems rational to him and the only way to affect his decision is to change the balance of pain and pleasure his self-interest is basing the decision on. If for instance the punishment for stealing the car is a warning or small fine the pleasure is greater than the pain - if however the punishment is 20 years hard labour the possible pain may amend his rational decision.

If the fist case is correct the education system could be amended to teach rational thinking, if the second scenario makes more sense society could simply increase the possible pain threshold by amending the justice system as a deterrent.

Of course the above debate presumes self-interest as the method for making choices, which is why that has to be decided. There are lots of theories as to how people make decisions, from a god given moral standard through thoughts that it's based solely on human whim to  the currently popular theory that it's driven by self interest, so it's natural that any discussion is going to be fairly drawn out.

Self-interest

It's difficult for people to accept that self-interest can motivate positive or 'good' results such as your fire-fighter example. That's generally because people confuse self-interest with selfishness which is a big mistake because they're completely different. Self-interest allows people to do good things in fact it absolutely compels them to the point where that in some cases they couldn't do anything other than good.

To understand why the fire-fighter is acting in his own self-interest you need to get to the point where the building is burning and a child is stuck on the fourth floor. This is how the process would occur if self-interest was the force that drove the choices people make.

Fireman A looks at the situation and weighs up his choices, he can stay put but the child would die, but he doesn't know the child and if he tries he might die but he's been trained to do this it's his job but his job isn't worth his life - he has children of his own and anyway he's not the only fire-fighter here none of them are risking their life so why should he but the child's going to die what's the rational thing to do what's the best decision based on self-interest?

At that point fire-fighter B has kicked down the door and is halfway up the stairs, his thought process was similar to fire-fighter A's up to the point of thinking about his children, at that point he thought about what he'd expect a fire-fighter to do if it was his child on the fourth floor. More importantly he asked himself if he could live with himself and look his children in the eyes if he didn't try to save the child.

The important thing in the above example is that fire-fighter B was motivated to do a seemingly selfless act purely based upon self-interest, it was his children he was worried about and his feelings if he did nothing that caused him to act. The fact that self-interest drove the decision doesn't lessen the act or devalue the fact that the fire-fighter did something good.

So how do we know that's how it works, well mostly it's deductive, we can deduce that there is some thought process involved because a choice has to be selected. We can deduce that that choice isn't based on a universal moral code, otherwise everybody would choose to be a hero. We can deduce that as one of the fundamental imperatives of life is to survive, which is solely based on self-interest, some reason must exist that is greater than the need to survive. We can also deduce that that reason must be based on the same scale of measurement - self-interest.

Rand expands the fundamental imperative to survive to explain the reason that even this self-interest can be overcome, her suggestion is that the survivor must be happy or content while living otherwise living itself becomes futile.

Drauntz
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33 posted 06-24-2007 09:51 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz


Grinch,

”The question of self-interest is important, if human beings make decisions solely based on it, and I believe they do.”

….No they don’t.

“it offers the possibility to influence those decisions. That's where the big issue of Rational self-interest as proposed by Rand comes in, the inclusion of Rational suggests that the way forward is to encourage and teach rational thinking to guide self-interest in the direction of group-interest.”

…..Group interest is not self-interest. It is only part of it.


Simple example:

”A man decides to steal a car, radian philosophy would maintain that the man had made an irrational choice based on self-interest and that if he could be taught to apply rational thought his decision would be different.”

….Why ‘irrational” ? human are the same. You can’t get an irrational form other “irrational”. They are all irrational, if you say.

”A man decides to steal a car, my belief is that if the man's decision already seems rational to him and the only way to affect his decision is to change the balance of pain and pleasure his self-interest is basing the decision on.”

…..why do you have such a belief?

…..If for instance the man steal the car and the owner happily claimed insurance to get a new car. Both self-interests were granted. Then why wrong? Because of the moral and the law and the rules?  If rational is based on those law, rules and morals then it is not a pure self-interest.

”It's difficult for people to accept that self-interest can motivate positive or 'good' results such as your fire-fighter example.”

…..Not true.

“Self-interest allows people to do good things in fact it absolutely compels them to the point where that in some cases they couldn't do anything other than good.”

…..What is good thing? By self-interesters?


“your firefighter story”.

…..Why not try one day of firefighter to experience their job and thought.

First, it is their job.
Second. It is their training.
Third. Their heart and love.

You may want to talk about B first instead A.  the fire shall extinguished itself when those firefighters sort out their rational –self-interest.
Not true.


“We can deduce that that choice isn't based on a universal moral code, otherwise everybody would choose to be a hero.”

Wrong. Self-interesters consider that hero is a negative term.

“We can deduce that as one of the fundamental imperatives of life is to survive, which is solely based on self-interest”

…wrong. To survive is a build in fact.  It needs self-interest and also it needs other things.

“some reason must exist that is greater than the need to survive.”  

If you can name them…
…..

“We can also deduce that that reason must be based on the same scale of measurement - self-interest.”

…..Which  self-interest is greater than the need of survive?

Ron
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34 posted 06-24-2007 10:17 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
If the fist case is correct the education system could be amended to teach rational thinking, if the second scenario makes more sense society could simply increase the possible pain threshold by amending the justice system as a deterrent.

I think we need both, Grinch, but sadly, I don't think either will help to put even the smallest of dents in crime. I don't remember the exact numbers (they've been posted in other threads here), but Texas has, at once, some of the harshest penalties for crimes and one of the highest crime rates in America.

I think, generally, there are two types of people who commit crimes. Those who don't intend to get caught and those who don't really care if they get caught. Neither type will respond well to rational arguments or increased punishments.

Fear has always been a poor motivator in any long term situation, because fear cannot easily be long sustained. Unless constantly reinforced, people seem to grow numb to it all too quickly.

Still, you're absolutely right. It's clearly in our best self-interest to try.


Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


35 posted 06-24-2007 10:39 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz


Sir Ron,

"I think, generally, there are two types of people who commit crimes. Those who don't intend to get caught and those who don't really care if they get caught. Neither type will respond well to rational arguments or increased punishments." a

Those are the people are best in rational self=interest.

Type I.  If there is 80% chance to get caught, still a 20% chance to go free, plus the action is well prepared and reasoned.

Type II.  "You caught me? but I have already swallowed the candy, daddy." is this an example of perfect rational self-interest?
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


36 posted 06-24-2007 11:28 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
"If the choice and action were based on selflessness, neither would cross the bridge,  both would die, and your problem would be solved"

Wrong. The healthy Rand will let the sick Rand pass first. Absolute selflessness does not exist biologically.


Why do you change the rules of the scenario?

Balladeer
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37 posted 06-24-2007 11:44 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

then of course, you have the incident of the two cars who meet in the middle of a one-lane bridge to which the one screams out, "I never back up for an idiot!" and the other one responds, "I always do"...and backs up.
Drauntz
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since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


38 posted 06-24-2007 11:49 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Brad,

how I have changed? no two people are exactly the same which is a fact!

Sir Balladeer,

I still recognized you even with a mask...quite beautiful.

you are very right. Their best rational self-interest, right?
Drauntz
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since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


39 posted 06-25-2007 12:42 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Dear Sir Ron,

you and Grinch have different definition of
"rational self-interest". So the laugh may be too early.
Grinch
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since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710
Whoville


40 posted 06-25-2007 01:26 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
….No they don’t.


I think the normal response to this is "yes they do" which is repeated ever louder until bedtime. Unfortunately I'm a little too old to play games and prefer grownup conversation so I'll pass if it's all the same to you.

Ron,

I was only suggesting increased punishment as one example that differed from teaching rational thinking, though I agree that trying one on its own or even both together it would only make a dent.

The purpose of my example was to highlight the danger of taking a particular philosophy onboard and implementing it without thought simply because the philosophy is popular.

Anywho my self-interest is concentrating on a trip to Spain at the end of the week so my posts may be sporadic for a while but once again thanks for the chance to read and reply.
Drauntz
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since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


41 posted 06-25-2007 01:50 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Grinch,

”The question of self-interest is important, if human beings make decisions solely based on it, and I believe they do.”

No, I don't think that your statement is  true. People do not make decisions solely based on self-interest, esp, as group. In teamwork people make sacrifices. If you believe that individual self-interest is as same as group interest then all Rand's believers shall go to Iraq immediately to fight for the group interest of American which is your country too.  

You believe is your believe. Reality is reality. If you want to prove that you are right, you may give me examples if you want.

Judgment is one of the function of brain. Many connections have been wired in birth.
the urge of self-interest exists in birth
conscience exists in birth.
Senses of surrounding exist in birth.
those are some of the references in the circuit of judgment. The sole purpose of the judgment is for surviving as an individual and as a species.  Self-interest alone can not achieve this goal.

my thought.


rwood
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42 posted 06-25-2007 03:59 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Grinch,

”The question of self-interest is important, if human beings make decisions solely based on it, and I believe they do.”

….No they don’t. How do you know they don’t? Better yet, how can you, altruistically, argue against what another man believes? It’s not in his best interest for you to do so nor are you sacrificing anything toward the survival of his beliefs.

“it offers the possibility to influence those decisions. That's where the big issue of Rational self-interest as proposed by Rand comes in, the inclusion of Rational suggests that the way forward is to encourage and teach rational thinking to guide self-interest in the direction of group-interest.”

…..Group interest is not self-interest. It is only part of it.But you just said humans don’t make any decisions based on self-interest, so Which part could you possibly be talking about?


Simple example:

”A man decides to steal a car, radian philosophy would maintain that the man had made an irrational choice based on self-interest and that if he could be taught to apply rational thought his decision would be different.”

….Why ‘irrational” ? human are the same. We are? That’s odd. You can’t get an irrational form other “irrational”. I think you’re confusing “nothing can come from nothing,”

but irrationality is something and as you’ve proven it can go about anywhere across the gamut of fact or conjecture and imagination.

They are all irrational, if you say. Which is it? They are all irrational? Or only if Grinch says they are? All the ideas are? Is IF the deciding factor? Confused? Me too.


”A man decides to steal a car, my belief is that if the man's decision already seems rational to him and the only way to affect his decision is to change the balance of pain and pleasure his self-interest is basing the decision on.”

…..why do you have such a belief?

…..If for instance the man steal the car and the owner happily claimed insurance to get a new car. Both self-interests were granted. Then why wrong? Now you are arguing FOR self-interest? Because of the moral and the law and the rules?  If rational is based on those law, rules and morals then it is not a pure self-interest. So if you remove all laws, rules, and morals, then you’ll have a rationally pure self-interested world? And all it takes is insurance?


”It's difficult for people to accept that self-interest can motivate positive or 'good' results such as your fire-fighter example.”

…..Not true. What’s false about that statement?

“Self-interest allows people to do good things in fact it absolutely compels them to the point where that in some cases they couldn't do anything other than good.”

…..What is good thing? Teachers.  By self-interesters? Teachers are usually interested in learning everything they can so they can teach, encourage, inspire. Without taking a true self-interest in their curriculum and believing it to be important and worthy of teaching, I doubt the low wages, punk kids, restricted materials & environment, or bullying parents would be too much of a draw.


“your firefighter story”.

…..Why not try one day of firefighter to experience their job and thought.

First, it is their job.
Second. It is their training.
Third. Their heart and love.

You may want to talk about B first instead A.  the fire shall extinguished itself when those firefighters sort out their rational –self-interest.
Not true.

The above is just quibble and bits for your dead horse over in the other thread.

You won’t even read a book before you engage in a debate. So why should someone trust your comprehension of a firefighter story?



“We can deduce that that choice isn't based on a universal moral code, otherwise everybody would choose to be a hero.”

Wrong. Self-interesters consider that hero is a negative term. Did you really research that statement, or did you just throw that in there for giggles.

“We can deduce that as one of the fundamental imperatives of life is to survive, which is solely based on self-interest”

…wrong. To survive is a build in fact.  It needs self-interest and also it needs other things. It? Like “It puts the lotion in the basket?” You mean people? Okay we’re back to people who now need to possess elements of self-interest in order to survive. No wait. Survival is built in, like a wet-bar, with all kinds of concoctions besides just self-interest. What if the person quits drinking? He/She has no lust or taste for survival anymore. He/she decides they have no interest at all in self or others and jumps off a bridge. Are you saying people do this because their wet-bar is not stocked properly with equal amounts of self- and whatever other magical potion you keep speaking about but never quite reveal? Is the secret ingredient other people? I’ll agree that suicide seems to be a very selfish thing, but I don’t know, I’ve not tried it. Though other people have tried to run me off the bridge. Thankfully, I was more interested in myself than pleasing them.      

“some reason must exist that is greater than the need to survive.”  

If you can name them…

Freedom Many have died so the bigger need could be experienced by all.
…..

“We can also deduce that that reason must be based on the same scale of measurement - self-interest.”

…..Which  self-interest is greater than the need of survive?

Why survive? If it’s all about the world without you in it. If one’s not allowed to think for self, about self or do for self, then eventually Earth will be a planet of sheep.


And then you come back to Grinch with this:

People do not make decisions solely based on self-interest, esp, as group. In teamwork people make sacrifices. Mostly because they know it’s in their own best interest to do so. But above you speak clearly of needing self-interest to survive, along with other “things”. Balance? Is that your platform? I’m not sure since you spout so much disdain for “self-interesters” in one sentence then embrace them in another. That’s a bit Fickle isn’t it?

If you believe that individual self-interest is as same as group interest then all Rand's believers shall go to Iraq immediately to fight for the group interest of American which is your country too.

America. America. Get it right. You’re living in America now, am I correct? American is not a country. Americans don’t need you to tell us it’s our country “too.” That is just so…..redundant.

So are you going to host the deployment party?       Since you’re basically saying you’re not an American and you’re not a believer in Rand, which both are perfectly okay, but I expect you to be gracious and kind, lots of sausage balls, fruit punch, chocolate dipped strawberries, you know the good stuff, because that would be altruistic and courteous to a people who are standing up for what they believe in and they’ll be leaving you to question stop signs.

Really Drauntz, You’re growing on me. Bless your heart.

Brad
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since 08-20-99
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43 posted 06-25-2007 05:49 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
how I have changed? no two people are exactly the same which is a fact!


You haven't changed. You changed the point of the scenario.

The point of the scenario is to put a relatively innocuous point in high relief. It is not an attempt to represent reality, to show things as they really are. I then change one condition to explicate the situation that if you start thinking the other way, you will really be screwed.

You then cry foul and argue that it doesn't represent reality.

But nobody was trying to do that anyway. It's  like trying to play chess while you keep throwing dice and screaming, "Yahtzee!"

Honestly, I don't see how self-interest is really debatable and you keep showing me I'm right.

Drauntz
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44 posted 06-25-2007 06:42 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Brad,

"Honestly, I don't see how self-interest is really debatable and you keep showing me I'm right"

Sir Brad, The Great, you are absolutely right this time.

and Sir Ron said to you:
"you're absolutely right. It's clearly in our best self-interest to try".

[This message has been edited by Drauntz (06-25-2007 07:36 PM).]

Stephanos
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45 posted 06-26-2007 03:10 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Regina:
quote:
I try to be objective and rational with most things....I try to stick to the facts. I got lucky. I was raised that way. Except Grandmomma forced me go to a Baptist church when I stayed with her for many years.

spiritualism is purely private and subjective to me.


Attributing that to luck and upbringing?  It seems that you at least recognize something beyond sheer rationalism then.  


One question though ... why not be "rational and objective" with religious questions too?  Being objective about religious beliefs seems contradictory to your insistence upon the total subjectivity of spiritualism.  I guess what I'm asking is why you place this in a different category?  Most things in live involve a degree of subjectivity and objectivity.  To me religion is not so different in that regard.


Stephen.  
Edward Grim
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since 12-18-2005
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Greenville, South Carolina


46 posted 06-26-2007 11:28 AM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

I think I see your point Reg, about the firefighters. It is their job so they are doing it out of self-interest but their job description is a complete sacrifice of self.


Grinch,


quote:
The question of self-interest is important, if human beings make decisions solely based on it, and I believe they do, it offers the possibility to influence those decisions.


So you truly believe that everything a human does is out of self-interest? Hmm, I agree and disagree with you. Regina proved my firefighter example to be a matter of self-interest and simultaneously proving your theory that self-interest isn't about being selfish.

So if you permit me, I will attempt to pose another scenario. What about a man that donates one of his kidneys to someone who needs one? What about a person who sees a child standing in the street in the way of an oncoming car and rescues the child from being hit and killed?

Let me give an example that doesn't involve a victim... Let's look at two people at a dinner table, one has a lot of food, the other does not. The one with the abundant amount gives half of her portion to the one that is lacking. Is that self-interest?

My point is that yes, we do do things out of self-interest. In fact most of the things we do is out of self-interest. We eat, we go to the doctor, we put on shoes to protect our feet, we work. None of those are bad or good, they are essential in maintaining our health, happiness and life.

But there are times, rare occasions, when self-interest is thrown out the window and something great is done for the fellow man.

I'm not sure how many of you will like this example, but Jesus comes to mind. Was He not crucified for our sake and our sake alone? Did He not die to solely save us from hell? Did he not come here for the sole purpose of helping us? I don't know, this seems like the perfect example. And I'm probably doing a "no no" by bringning God into it, because whenever God comes into the picture, the conversation goes everywhere. I figure I'll take a chance.


quote:
It's difficult for people to accept that self-interest can motivate positive or 'good' results such as your fire-fighter example. That's generally because people confuse self-interest with selfishness which is a big mistake because they're completely different.


I never had a problem with considering that self-interest could provide positive actions. Due to word association, selfishness did come into mind when I thought of self-interest. I didn't think they were the same, but closely related. You've made a great point Grinch, they are different.

quote:
We can deduce that that choice isn't based on a universal moral code, otherwise everybody would choose to be a hero.


No we cannot deduce that. Not at all. People with faith do many things, daily things, in which they make their choices purely on a moral code. People do believe in God Grinch, and some even want to please him.   I've made a few choices based solely on morality. Films, yes, again I bring up films, what else can I talk about. But there are several films I will not watch because they go against my morality. Sure, some of these films are the "beau ideal" of modern cinema; but they're just not the types of films I should be feeding into my head... according to the moral code I try to follow. Of course I want to see them, I've even come close on a few occasions but always chose not to. This may not seem to be a big deal, but for a film buff/historian, it's a pretty hard thing to do. My point is that people do make choices based purely on morality and upholding their personal moral code.

And not everyone would be a hero. There aren't exactly damsels in distress on every street corner or dragons on every rooftop. Being a hero doesn't always mean saving a life or doing something tremendous. To quote a Spike Lee film, one of my favorites, being a hero is to "always do the right thing."

Thanks


“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”
rwood
Member Elite
since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


47 posted 06-26-2007 01:13 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

You never disappoint me Stephen,


I really do try to think objectively and rationally as opposed to trusting conjecture and being irrational.

quote:
Attributing that to luck and upbringing?


Yes. It’s logical for me to feel lucky with the parents I have. They are quality individuals, with simplistic but highly respectable values in life. Teaching me to stand on my own two feet and allowing me to think for myself (within reason) was just the beginning.

quote:
It seems that you at least recognize something beyond sheer rationalism then.


Many things are beyond sheer rationalism, especially if you are referring to rationalism so defined: “Theology. the doctrine that human reason, unaided by divine revelation, is an adequate or the sole guide to all attainable religious truth.” Dictionary.com

I’ve been “aided,” so I cannot use that definition as an adequate to my truth. Thereby the definition disqualifies me, as much of religious doctrines/definitions tend to do.

quote:
One question though ... why not be "rational and objective" with religious questions too?  Being objective about religious beliefs seems contradictory to your insistence upon the total subjectivity of spiritualism.  I guess what I'm asking is why you place this in a different category?  Most things in live involve a degree of subjectivity and objectivity.  To me religion is not so different in that regard.


I do try to be rational and objective about my questions with religion. It’s not just me that’s contradictory. Religion is not rational and objective with all of its demands or its answers.

Why not have a different category for spiritual beliefs? To me, that’s a form of exaltation/deification, because nothing else compares, which is my personal feelings and I can’t help but fall into a subjective state of conveyance and gratitude for something I have internalized beyond proof.

Ess has his categories, Poetry and Free Verse. Why can’t I have mine?

I don’t need any more scripture or proof. Who am I trying to convince? You?
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


48 posted 06-26-2007 01:29 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Religion is not rational and objective with all of its demands or its answers.

You should try your hand at quantum mechanics sometime, Regina. It's so irrational that even Einstein refused to believe in it.

And yet . . . it undeniably works.

I think when something works and yet appears to not be rational we probably need to question our assumptions about it. We have to assume quantum mechanics is rational, for example, and perhaps postulate that it's only our own lack of understanding that makes it appear otherwise? The alternative would be to not avail ourselves of something that is highly useful. The alternative would be to stop learning.


rwood
Member Elite
since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


49 posted 06-26-2007 03:05 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

smiles.

Ron~You would have to pull an Einstein on me.

Thatz okay. I can take it!
<---a particle with teeth.

Actually, I have studied a bit upon quantum mechanics.

did it not cause Einstein a huge upset dealing with the topic of free will?

something about the nature of the smallest particles having no set pattern of existence?

will have to have another look at that.

I highly believe in learning. I don't denounce any religion. I find all very interesting, And I absolutely don't fully understand any of them. So I don't pretend that I do without question. It would also be hypocritical of me to say that I embrace all principles & teachings in the bible or any other religious writings. I still stand by my statement, though I will, upon your logical offering, study my perspective, and perhaps the "all" might change to "some," accordingly.

I will always try to be fair while still being true to myself.  




 
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