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  1. #11
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    Originally posted by Victor
    If you are betting on a horse race, always put your money on the horse called, "Self Interest", 'cause you know they are trying to win.
    Wait, what? What exactly are you getting at, that life is a horse race so you should always be selfish in order to win? Because if so, then your wrong, life isn't completey that way, at the very least it shouldn't be.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Brain View Post
    Um, what? Please explain how being selfish in our society is considered moral?
    It isn't.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Brain View Post
    Please explain how being selfish in our society is considered moral?
    Since, "The Wealth of Nations", by Adam Smith was published in 1776, we have known that private greed leads to public prosperity.

    Prior to 1776 we believed private greed was socially destructive, and we gave it the name of, "Usury", and we demonised usurers and persecuted them.

    Modern economics is based on, "The Wealth of Nations". And most important, modern economics is counter-intuitive.

    Unfortunately most uneducated people still think intuitively, when modern economics, modern science and modern politics are all counter-intuitive.

    So the average uneducated person does not understand what is going on around them, so they turn to intuitive nostrums to make sense of it all.

    There are many intuitive nostrums to bury ourselves in but the familiar ones are the New Age, Astrology and MBTI.

    MBTI is like the bucket to catch those who can't make sense of the counter-intuitive world we live in.

    This is tragic on one level and comic on another, as we have been able to climb out of the bucket since 1776!

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    Originally posted by Nicodemus
    It isn't.
    Then please explain what you mean by the statement "direct self interest . . . convoluted by culture, perpetuate morality". It sound like you saying selfishness allows for morality.

    Originally posted by Victor
    Since, "The Wealth of Nations", by Adam Smith was published in 1776, we have known that private greed leads to public prosperity.
    I don't completely disagree with, but there are times when private greed leads very much to the opposite.

    Prior to 1776 we believed private greed was socially destructive, and we gave it the name of, "Usury", and we demonised usurers and persecuted them.
    Because greed can be socially destructive at times.

    Modern economics is based on, "The Wealth of Nations". And most important, modern economics is counter-intuitive.

    Unfortunately most uneducated people still think intuitively, when modern economics, modern science and modern politics are all counter-intuitive.

    So the average uneducated person does not understand what is going on around them, so they turn to intuitive nostrums to make sense of it all.

    There are many intuitive nostrums to bury ourselves in but the familiar ones are the New Age, Astrology and MBTI.

    MBTI is like the bucket to catch those who can't make sense of the counter-intuitive world we live in.

    This is tragic on one level and comic on another, as we have been able to climb out of the bucket since 1776!
    So pretty much your saying that modern economics is based on the rationality that people usually place their interests first, thus an economic system that is greed based (which works against our preconceived notions on greed as immoral) is good because of the prosperity it can produce? In which case, to a certain extent I can agree with. But lets not forget that such an ideal system has not always been a good one; living conditions for workers in capitalist societies in the 1800's was really shitty and awful, the greed of corporate tycoons resulted in a few people living vastly/unneccesary wealthy/comfoy lives while thousands worked tooth and nail for crap wages. While laws today prevent such disgusting abuse of worker a lot of selfish based actions still can lead to immoral deceision; like banks forclsoing on homes to save themsleves money while forcing families onto the streets, or insurance companies denying coverage becasue that technical illness isn't "covered".

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by maydelle View Post
    To truly follow the moral law is to put aside self interest and follow moral commands unconditionally.

    That's what I think anyway. What do you think?
    I dont know, which is to say I do no necessarily agree.

    It could correspond to certain moral precepts to suggest that obligations to take paramountcy over selfishness, however, it could also correspond to certain sorts of neurotic personality structure or character or maladaption or maladjustment. Eric Fromm did some interesting investigation of this in his books, particularly Man For Himself, he distinguished between self-love or self-interest, which he thought where legitimate, and selfishness. He's a great source because he has great affinity with socialist thinkers but he's pretty critical of the sorts of psychologically maladjusted behaviour that some of its supporters or writers have exhibited or typified.

    Ayn Rand goes to extremes in seeking to parody the sort of self-sacrificing personality while celebrating selfishness but the essential idea that people sacrificing themselves or sacrifice per se can be a great evil. I know that Rand and her followers wouldnt agree because they are anti-Christian some of them but because of my understanding of Christianity I would condemn sacrifice qua sacrifice or for its sake because the scriptues exhibit a steady progression away from holocausts and sacrifices, finally God sacrifices himself and I pretty much see that as an end to that kind of thing.

    Its perhaps a psychological rather than moral philosophical angle that I'm approaching it from but I think that self-interest is a fundamental objective reality, taking it to pathological extremes is wrong but I think it is a lived reality, the same as radical interdependence is a reality too. Balance, the golden rule and the golden mean are the best guides for life.

  6. #16
    Member maydelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont know, which is to say I do no necessarily agree.

    It could correspond to certain moral precepts to suggest that obligations to take paramountcy over selfishness, however, it could also correspond to certain sorts of neurotic personality structure or character or maladaption or maladjustment. Eric Fromm did some interesting investigation of this in his books, particularly Man For Himself, he distinguished between self-love or self-interest, which he thought where legitimate, and selfishness. He's a great source because he has great affinity with socialist thinkers but he's pretty critical of the sorts of psychologically maladjusted behaviour that some of its supporters or writers have exhibited or typified.

    Ayn Rand goes to extremes in seeking to parody the sort of self-sacrificing personality while celebrating selfishness but the essential idea that people sacrificing themselves or sacrifice per se can be a great evil. I know that Rand and her followers wouldnt agree because they are anti-Christian some of them but because of my understanding of Christianity I would condemn sacrifice qua sacrifice or for its sake because the scriptues exhibit a steady progression away from holocausts and sacrifices, finally God sacrifices himself and I pretty much see that as an end to that kind of thing.

    Its perhaps a psychological rather than moral philosophical angle that I'm approaching it from but I think that self-interest is a fundamental objective reality, taking it to pathological extremes is wrong but I think it is a lived reality, the same as radical interdependence is a reality too. Balance, the golden rule and the golden mean are the best guides for life.
    Would you agree if I said that you are a Virtue Ethicist?

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by maydelle View Post
    Would you agree if I said that you are a Virtue Ethicist?
    Its something I'm interested in, perhaps for the time being it is a legitimate description of my perspective, at least in so far as I understand it, which would be that virtue ethicists are like McIntyre and his whole "Forward to 1600" idea (dont know if I got that date exactly right but anyway).

    The BBC personality inventory which someone posted about social conscience had me scoring high and indicating that I held social ethics and norms to be important.

    My only concern though is that while I hold certain things to be good and practice those assiduously myself I'm less sure about compelling others to do likewise, sometimes its a sure thing that they should and I make no bones about that, I'm not on message with never making a judgement or being judgemental but by the same token there's a difference between that an many of the authoritarian mindsets which use virtue as a flag of convenience.

  8. #18
    Member maydelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    My only concern though is that while I hold certain things to be good and practice those assiduously myself I'm less sure about compelling others to do likewise, sometimes its a sure thing that they should and I make no bones about that, I'm not on message with never making a judgement or being judgemental but by the same token there's a difference between that an many of the authoritarian mindsets which use virtue as a flag of convenience.
    Compared to you I would be seen as a Kantian. I think that a genuine moral principle must be capable of being applied consistently. Obvious we are all different, and have to deal with different situations. But a genuine moral imperative applies to anyone in a similar situation, it must therefore be based on a universal principle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    My only concern though is that while I hold certain things to be good and practice those assiduously myself I'm less sure about compelling others to do likewise, sometimes its a sure thing that they should and I make no bones about that, I'm not on message with never making a judgement or being judgemental but by the same token there's a difference between that an many of the authoritarian mindsets which use virtue as a flag of convenience.
    Compared to you I would be seen as a Kantian. I think that a genuine moral principle must be capable of being applied consistently. Obvious we are all different, and have to deal with different situations. But a genuine moral imperative applies to anyone in a similar situation, it must therefore be based on a universal principle.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by maydelle View Post
    To truly follow the moral law is to put aside self interest and follow moral commands unconditionally.

    That's what I think anyway. What do you think?
    I'm not sure about doing anything "unconditionally", but is self-interest always amoral? I don't see self-interest as being in conflict with morality. Personally, I see that taking care of yourself (my definition of self-interest) must happen so one does not become a burden to society. Then the question of "Is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your family" gets raised and situational ethics isn't far behind.
    ...doesn't work or play well with others...

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