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  1. #61
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I understand what a "bad man who does good things is" (or the opposite) if one is judged by one's actions morally.

    -Geoff

  2. #62
    Senior Member meshou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    But you certainly would not want to make friends with the bad man who just did a one good thing because then you'd know that in the future he would end up doing more bad than good.
    Uh huh. So judging a man overall by his actions and not his intent still works. You know, like I was originally saying. Jeez.
    Let's do this thing.

  3. #63
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meshou View Post
    Uh huh. So judging a man overall by his actions and not his intent still works. You know, like I was originally saying. Jeez.
    Yes, but in order to make sure that you have an accurate assessment you'd need to see him act a lot as you could get fooled by initial appearances. Yet if you figure out his intentions that shed light onto his inner character, you'd have a lot less work to do.

  4. #64
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    I'm not sure I understand what a "bad man who does good things is" (or the opposite) if one is judged by one's actions morally.
    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Yes, but in order to make sure that you have an accurate assessment you'd need to see him act a lot as you could get fooled by initial appearances. Yet if you figure out his intentions that shed light onto his inner character, you'd have a lot less work to do.
    Some examples for analysis...

    Charles Manson manipulated his followers into believing that killing someone was freeing their soul. They were manipulated into thinking it was an act of compassion. How does their 'intent' compare with the intent of other acts of compassion that produce constructive results? Why did they not arrive at those intentions independently of mind control tactics? Is it possible to arrive at an altruistic intent that causes harm? Or is the sense of 'good' intent for harmful actions actually a process of self deception?

    Ted Bundy worked for a suicide hotline for a period of time and was one of the most effective volunteers at talking people out of committing suicide. Based on the totality of his life, we could make a reasonable guess that he didn't care about the people, but enjoyed the process of manipulating and controlling their responses. Were his actions equal to an individual who was also effective at this task whose motivation was one of concern?

    Compare the inconsistency between his intent and actions with the inconsistency of his actions over the course of a lifetime. Perhaps internal inconsistencies by nature eventually produce external inconsistencies.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  5. #65
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    Some examples for analysis...

    Charles Manson manipulated his followers into believing that killing someone was freeing their soul. They were manipulated into thinking it was an act of compassion. How does their 'intent' compare with the intent of other acts of compassion that produce constructive results? Why did they not arrive at those intentions independently of mind control tactics? Is it possible to arrive at an altruistic intent that causes harm? Or is the sense of 'good' intent for harmful actions actually a process of self deception?

    Ted Bundy worked for a suicide hotline for a period of time and was one of the most effective volunteers at talking people out of committing suicide. Based on the totality of his life, we could make a reasonable guess that he didn't care about the people, but enjoyed the process of manipulating and controlling their responses. Were his actions equal to an individual who was also effective at this task whose motivation was one of concern?

    Compare the inconsistency between his intent and actions with the inconsistency of his actions over the course of a lifetime. Perhaps internal inconsistencies by nature eventually produce external inconsistencies.
    I guess I am not sure what your point is. Are you insinuating that it is more practical to judge people by their actions because it is too difficult to see their intentions?

  6. #66
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Whoops..

    My national character typology went in the wrong thread... sorry about the fax paus.. it should be in the Curren Events/Politics sector by now..

  7. #67
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I guess I am not sure what your point is. Are you insinuating that it is more practical to judge people by their actions because it is too difficult to see their intentions?
    The last sentence is my hypothesis. It is too simplistic to judge people based either on intention or action alone. Perhaps even too simplistic to judge people in the first place. There is a relationship between intent and action. To deny that is to reject seeing the entire picture. Intent and action are part of the same system and the relationship is complex. Over the longer duration they will tend to unify. People are quite effective at deceiving themselves, so our personal estimates of 'good' intentions are not always accurate. On some level we are required to interact with reality, so eventually the truth of our intentions make their way into reality. The individual who has been taught/coerced into believing harmful actions are good, will eventually perceive the reality of it, given enough time, and will alter their actions to better fit their intentions. Likewise, the individual whose intentions are destructive, but works under the guise of helpful actions, will eventually produce harmful actions.

    I agree with your statement that to understand the relationship between intent and action, we must observe the individual over the longest duration available.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  8. #68
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    The last sentence is my hypothesis. It is too simplistic to judge people based either on intention or action alone. Perhaps even too simplistic to judge people in the first place. There is a relationship between intent and action. To deny that is to reject seeing the entire picture. Intent and action are part of the same system and the relationship is complex. Over the longer duration they will tend to unify. People are quite effective at deceiving themselves, so our personal estimates of 'good' intentions are not always accurate. On some level we are required to interact with reality, so eventually the truth of our intentions make their way into reality. The individual who has been taught/coerced into believing harmful actions are good, will eventually perceive the reality of it, given enough time, and will alter their actions to better fit their intentions. Likewise, the individual whose intentions are destructive, but works under the guise of helpful actions, will eventually produce harmful actions.

    I agree with your statement that to understand the relationship between intent and action, we must observe the individual over the longest duration available.
    It is true that observing him for the longest amount of time possible, observing just his behavior will give us the most reliable results. Yet again, if we learn to read people well, we can find a lot of shortcuts by seeing through to their intentions without observing many of their actions.

  9. #69
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    It is true that observing him for the longest amount of time possible, observing just his behavior will give us the most reliable results. Yet again, if we learn to read people well, we can find a lot of shortcuts by seeing through to their intentions without observing many of their actions.
    That is true, but evaluating our own ability to perceive intent is subjective. I would suggest a public vs. private distinction here. For evaluating an individual for public reasons, it is best to focus on actions alone. For example, when hiring an individual, or voting for public office, or sitting on a jury, etc. it makes sense to looks at verifiable facts alone i.e. actions committed.

    For building relationships and entering into personal interactions with others, a view of their intent becomes more important. When we trust others with our subjective, internal world, we need to have some view of theirs as well. I see some grey area when entering into business arrangements with individuals. I have been thinking of starting my own business and have individuals in mind to work with. A large portion of my internal analysis of them involves determining their motives for the venture as a way of predicting future behavior.

    I suspect that is also a key point. To evaluate an individual based on their past is to evaluate their actions. To evaluate an individual based on future projections is to evaluate their intent? That also suggests an S vs. N perspective to some extent.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  10. #70
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    That is true, but evaluating our own ability to perceive intent is subjective. I would suggest a public vs. private distinction here. For evaluating an individual for public reasons, it is best to focus on actions alone. For example, when hiring an individual, or voting for public office, or sitting on a jury, etc. it makes sense to looks at verifiable facts alone i.e. actions committed.

    For building relationships and entering into personal interactions with others, a view of their intent becomes more important. When we trust others with our subjective, internal world, we need to have some view of theirs as well. I see some grey area when entering into business arrangements with individuals. I have been thinking of starting my own business and have individuals in mind to work with. A large portion of my internal analysis of them involves determining their motives for the venture as a way of predicting future behavior.

    I suspect that is also a key point. To evaluate an individual based on their past is to evaluate their actions. To evaluate an individual based on future projections is to evaluate their intent? That also suggests an S vs. N perspective to some extent.

    Clearly Sensors tend to come to their opinions of people based on observations of their behavior and iNtuitors based on their perceptions of their intentions.

    We should note that the most ground-breaking insights come from the latter category, yet the former is far from without merit. As it is clear that scientific route usually gives us the most reliable information and it demands a vere high emphasis on empirical evidence which by its nature is aligned with the Sensor-perspective, or knowledge from experience--observations of the concrete data.

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