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  1. #1
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    Default Selflessness and luck do exist, you pseuds. Stop saying that they dont...

    This is a thread created to house arguments against (or for, I guess I have to be fair) all those pseudo-intellectual notions which people spout without much thought.

    Luck

    A pseud would say "There is no such thing as luck," or "I make my own luck."

    The degree to which a person is "lucky" is dependent upon how much those things that are out of his direct control bring him beneficial results. For instance, a man born of great wealth may be considered luckier than a man born in poverty, who contracts HIV from his mother in utero. This notion does not speak about fate or divine intervention, but is a mere gauge of the facts surrounding one's existence. People cannot make their own luck, since any conscious action on their part would cause the beneficial consequences to be not luck, but a consequence of action. Luck does exist, and one can gauge how lucky someone else is (although this is dependent upon what one desires, and requires clear definitions about what is favorable and unfavorable).

    Selflessness

    A pseud would say "Everything everyone does is selfish," and "There is no such thing as a selfless action."

    The degree to which a person is considered "selfless" or "selfish" is dependent upon his consideration of others, and his actions towards others. Yes, both the selfish and the selfless do what makes them happy, but this is immaterial. One gains happiness with less regard for the feelings of others, and one gains happiness from bringing happiness to others. This is an important distinction to make in life, as an individual who is colloquially considered to be selfish is substantively different than an individual who is considered selfless. By saying that everyone is ultimately governed by their own motivations is self evident; you needn't bastardize useful words in your pursuit to be seen as "clever."



    How about y'all? Anything similar that bothers you? Questions, concerns about my statements?
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  2. #2
    Ginkgo
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    Luck

    A pseud would say "There is no such thing as luck," or "I make my own luck."

    The degree to which a person is "lucky" is depended upon how much those things that are out of his direct control bring him beneficial results. For instance, a man born of great wealth may be considered luckier than a man born in poverty, who contracts HIV from his mother in utero. This notion does not speak about fate or divine intervention, but is a mere gauge of the facts surrounding one's existence. People cannot make their own luck, since any conscious action on their part would cause the beneficial consequences to be not luck, but a consequence of action. Luck does exist, and one can gauge how lucky someone else is (although this is dependent upon what one desires, and requires clear definitions about what is favorable and unfavorable).
    By your definition of luck, I can agree that it exists. However, many people give luck a superstitious quality, as though it was magic or the good will of a higher power. What would you say about that?

  3. #3
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    I cannot really give an opinion on things I cannot prove or disprove, except to say that superstitious qualities are born through feelings. To those people, when they experience a lucky event, they have other feelings about it which give it the quality of being supernatural. Who am I to argue with their feelings?

    Regardless of those feelings, if you were to find out where I live, come to my house, point a gun to my head, pull the trigger, but the gun were to jam... Well, we all might consider me lucky, regardless of whether Jesus Christ stuck an invisible finger in the gun or you were too retarded to keep it clean and functioning.
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  4. #4
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post

    Regardless of those feelings, if you were to find out where I live, come to my house, point a gun to my head, pull the trigger, but the gun were to jam... Well, we all might consider me lucky, regardless of whether Jesus Christ stuck an invisible finger in the gun or you were too retarded to keep it clean and functioning.
    Luckily, we won't have to try that out.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    both the selfish and the selfless do what makes them happy

    everyone is ultimately governed by their own motivations
    Neither of those statements are true.

    Very few people do what makes them happy with any regularity. Even fewer actually attempt to maximise their own happiness. You can pre-define happiness though, so it's a universal abstract goal everyone's actions are pre-defined as aiming towards, and make happiness a useless concept as a result.

    You can pre-define motivation, so that it is by definition always behind a person's actions, and by circular reasoning get a useless concept of selfishness that makes every human selfish no matter what they do (because selfishness is defined as merely having this "motivation"). Alternatively, you can use the regular definition of motivation, and realise that it is not always self-serving, not by a long shot.

    Not that I'm disagreeing with your overarching point. Yes selflessness exists, and yes people who deny that are often being pseudo-intellectuals or attempting to reduce their own guilt.

  6. #6
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    "Everything everyone does is selfish," and "There is no such thing as a selfless action."

    This is an important distinction to make in life, as an individual who is colloquially considered to be selfish is substantively different than an individual who is considered selfless.
    Both of these statements are correct; unless they are attempting to deny or obscure the second statement, your complaint about people in a philosophy sub-forum who deny the existence of selfless actions is unwarranted.

  7. #7
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    If you don't know how to manipulate luck , then that just keeps the odds more in my favor.
    The rules of attraction do apply when it comes to luck.
    You also have to be good to be lucky and willing to take chances.
    You also have to accept that you can be unlucky and it does not mean you are defeated, just flawed.
    If you are lucky you get chance fix what went wrong thus improving your luck for next time.
    Luck is like faith, indescribable but undeniable.
    The inexplicable happens all the time.
    But you cant be lucky if you don't play the game.

    Your other point? Everybody is selfish. Everybody is generous. They are the same spectrum.
    They exist in complete interdependence of each other.

  8. #8
    Member ultimawepun's Avatar
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    Luck is simply an advantage you didn't know you have.

    Selflessness is rather subjective. But to pessimists and cynics who want to believe in altruism, give yourself a break, it's okay to feel some pleasure in giving.

  9. #9
    Another awesome member. Curator's Avatar
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    Pretty much agree with the OP.
    You are not powerless, you just need to accept your power for what it is, a part of the whole, no one man can save the world, but you can be a light to those who envelope themselves in darkness, The candle that sparks the inferno.

  10. #10
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Neither of those statements are true.

    Very few people do what makes them happy with any regularity. Even fewer actually attempt to maximise their own happiness. You can pre-define happiness though, so it's a universal abstract goal everyone's actions are pre-defined as aiming towards, and make happiness a useless concept as a result.

    You can pre-define motivation, so that it is by definition always behind a person's actions, and by circular reasoning get a useless concept of selfishness that makes every human selfish no matter what they do (because selfishness is defined as merely having this "motivation"). Alternatively, you can use the regular definition of motivation, and realise that it is not always self-serving, not by a long shot.

    Not that I'm disagreeing with your overarching point. Yes selflessness exists, and yes people who deny that are often being pseudo-intellectuals or attempting to reduce their own guilt.
    I agree with you. The problem is, how can I effectively establish that overarching point if I get lost in the minutia surrounding human motivation? Would I lose out on an audience by being too wordy, too thorough? My assessment is that the amount of time required wouldn't be worth the end result. And besides, other forum members do a pretty good job of refining those ideas as you have in your post. The main point is that there is a meaningful distinction between the two poles of the spectrum of the selfless/selfish, and to lump them all together is to miss the point of that distinction.

    Thanks for your contribution.
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