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The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
#11
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 26, 2021 at 7:18 pm)Jackalope Wrote:
(September 26, 2021 at 5:12 am)Lawz Wrote: ...single person tied to the tracks or utterly destroy a continent with a population of 7,699,999,999

Why not both?

Er...because suicide bomber mentality is wrong?
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#12
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 26, 2021 at 11:30 pm)Lawz Wrote:
(September 26, 2021 at 7:18 pm)Jackalope Wrote: Why not both?

Er...because suicide bomber mentality is wrong?

Which part?
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#13
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
The violent part.
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#14
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 27, 2021 at 2:03 am)Lawz Wrote: The violent part.

What about violence without suicide?
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#15
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
We're veering wildly off topic now - hopefully this'll close out this tangent: sometimes violence is justified, but it's always if not overwhelmingly, at base, an unfortunate and regrettable occurrence.
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#16
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
Our own wellbeing may be more important than the well being of others in some situations...and especially when considering our desire to pursue others wellbeing. If I found 100k in a buried chest when I was digging a ditch..sure, I could donate it all to charity and be done with it. Or I could use it to pay my bills and produce dividends...those dividends might be larger than the initial charitable act, and not by a little, by a lot.

The same thing plays out with apes and honeycombs. The finder satisfies themselves - incentivizing future finds and ensuring that the finder is well supplied to continue searching - the rest distributed along a fairly simple pattern of kinship. The overall effect of this can't be said to damage the group, even though selfish motivations and their attendant behaviors are replete throughout, in every participant. Some of our ideas of commerce and markets are a more elaborate form of what I think is the same behavior. The idea that selfish interests in competition produce dividends greater than the immediate product of those behaviors. If it's wrong, it's probably not wrong on the numbers. Still, we want bad intentions to somehow reduce to poor decisions, so we look for ways to say that what is bad is also inaccurate.

A person may accurately judge their own wellbeing to be worth more in a given scenario and for any number of reasons - but it's likely that we'd still feel they'd fucked it up in some way.
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#17
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
Here is my thesis.
  • Each person's life has value
  • Every individual is in the best position to determine what is best for their own wellbeing and happiness.
  • Therefore, the best societal system will empower people to be able to achieve their own wellbeing and happiness.
A system that gets out of balance either way, either by allowing tyranny by the few (oligarchy and dictatorship), or tyranny by the masses (anarchy or communism), has a sickness.
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#18
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
If we never take care of ourselves first, it would be as bad as if we always took care of ourselves first. The hypothetical has flawed alternatives.
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#19
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 27, 2021 at 11:29 am)HappySkeptic Wrote: Here is my thesis.
  • Each person's life has value
  • Every individual is in the best position to determine what is best for their own wellbeing and happiness.
  • Therefore, the best societal system will empower people to be able to achieve their own wellbeing and happiness.
A system that gets out of balance either way, either by allowing tyranny by the few (oligarchy and dictatorship), or tyranny by the masses (anarchy or communism), has a sickness.

How does that apply when the well-being and happiness of one person conflicts with that of others? For example, suppose I determine that torturing and murdering people is best for my well-being and happiness. However, since most people object to being tortured and murdered, my own well-being and happiness clearly reduces that of other people (for the record, I’m not endorsing torture and murder - I’m neither a CIA employee nor Scandinavian).

Should I be socially empowered to torture and murder?

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#20
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 27, 2021 at 11:57 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: How does that apply when the well-being and happiness of one person conflicts with that of others? For example, suppose I determine that torturing and murdering people is best for my well-being and happiness. However, since most people object to being tortured and murdered, my own well-being and happiness clearly reduces that of other people (for the record, I’m not endorsing torture and murder - I’m neither a CIA employee nor Scandinavian).

Should I be socially empowered to torture and murder?

Boru

If I believe that each person has value, I cannot, on an individual level, also decide that killing others is valid even if that is best for me (unless they are trying to kill me).

Then comes the problem of group competition for scarce resources, competition of political systems, and wars.  This involves a societal choice to kill, with a promise of either securing a better future for all, or protecting us from future bad things.  I have no categorical answer for this one.
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