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The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
#21
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 27, 2021 at 12:07 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote:
(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.

So, all lives have value, but some have more value than others. That’s charmingly Orwellian.

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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#22
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 27, 2021 at 12:57 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: So, all lives have value, but some have more value than others. That’s charmingly Orwellian.

Boru

I said I have no answer.  I don't like wars, but the unwillingness to ever go to war is a complete loser in game theory, just as not punishing law-breakers would be.

Rather than saying "might makes right", I am coming to the conclusion that nice rules for behavior like "don't kill" and "treat others nicely" are not absolutes, but depend on the existence of civilization to handle the wrong-doers.  I can be all "treat others nicely" until someone takes all my stuff.

At the level of nations, there is no civilization beyond what we might create in terms of treaties, and then someone inevitably breaks them.  I have no simple answer, because I realize that any absolute rule I could mention has counter-examples (cue up Godwin's Law for instance).
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#23
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 27, 2021 at 2:20 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote:
(September 27, 2021 at 12:57 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: So, all lives have value, but some have more value than others. That’s charmingly Orwellian.

Boru

I said I have no answer.  I don't like wars, but the unwillingness to ever go to war is a complete loser in game theory, just as not punishing law-breakers would be.

Rather than saying "might makes right", I am coming to the conclusion that nice rules for behavior like "don't kill" and "treat others nicely" are not absolutes, but depend on the existence of civilization to handle the wrong-doers.  I can be all "treat others nicely" until someone takes all my stuff.

At the level of nations, there is no civilization beyond what we might create in terms of treaties, and then someone inevitably breaks them.  I have no simple answer, because I realize that any absolute rule I could mention has counter-examples (cue up Godwin's Law for instance).

Well (apart from the technological developments the seem to engender), I’m not much of a fan of war myself. But that’s not really what I was driving at.

You seemed to be saying that the life of a recreational torturer/murderer is valued less than that of other people. I’m fine with that bit. But where we differ is that you’re saying society should be structured so as to allow the individual to maximize their own well-being and happiness. Under such a system there could be no wrong-doers.

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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#24
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 27, 2021 at 2:29 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: You seemed to be saying that the life of a recreational torturer/murderer is valued less than that of other people. I’m fine with that bit. But where we differ is that you’re saying society should be structured so as to allow the individual to maximize their own well-being and happiness. Under such a system there could be no wrong-doers.

Boru

No, that was not my position.  A system that allows EACH individual the ability to maximize their own well-being and happiness automatically eliminates the possibility of allowing that happiness to be achieved by removing other's people's similar ability.  That would be a contradiction.

The type of freedom I'm talking about is a blend of socialism and personal freedoms.  I don't think they are incompatible.
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#25
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
What if your position is completely altruistic, "what is better for society members is better for me" mentality? You could still self-serve your minimum needs as being a member of society too, but you'd be looking for the net good for the most other people. Thoughts?
"There ought to be a term that would designate those who actually follow the teachings of Jesus, since the word 'Christian' has been largely divorced from those teachings, and so polluted by fundamentalists that it has come to connote their polar opposite: intolerance, vindictive hatred, and bigotry." -- Philip Stater, Huffington Post

always working on cleaning my windows- me regarding Johari
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#26
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?

Blame my misguided sense of dark humor.
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#27
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.

Or...
  • Each person's life has value as a resource to enable The Group to survive and thrive [otherwise, they are expendable].
  • The Group is in the best position to determine what is best for the wellbeing of The Group.
  • Therefore, the best societal system will expect full compliance and fulfilment of duties to achieve The Group's wellbeing and success.
The PURPOSE of life is to replicate our DNA ................. (from Darwin)
The MEANING of life is the experience of living ... (from Frank Herbert)
The VALUE of life is the legacy we leave behind ..... (from observation)
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#28
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
Speaking of Orwellian....
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
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#29
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 28, 2021 at 3:53 am)DLJ Wrote: Or...
  • Each person's life has value as a resource to enable The Group to survive and thrive [otherwise, they are expendable].
  • The Group is in the best position to determine what is best for the wellbeing of The Group.
  • Therefore, the best societal system will expect full compliance and fulfilment of duties to achieve The Group's wellbeing and success.

Sounds like you have an idea for a dystopian movie.  That reminds me that I'd like to watch THX 1138.

I guess the question is - how can I refute your thesis?  By the barrel of a gun, dammit! FSM Grin
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#30
RE: The Mathematical Error of Prevailing Selfishness
(September 28, 2021 at 3:32 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: ...
Sounds like you have an idea for a dystopian movie. 
...

Movie or real life.

Insert an -archy or an -ocracy instead of 'The Group' and see if it fits.

Examples: British monarchy, rogue institutions like the CIA or the Catholic Church or any Corporation (which is what I had in mind as I wrote the above) or even a professional sportsball club.

Also, if you've ever been involved in BCP (business continuity planning) or DR (disaster recovery) you'll have spotted the benefits (even criticality) of switching to a dictatorship model to ensure the survival of The Group over the individual.

Welcome to the dystopia.
The PURPOSE of life is to replicate our DNA ................. (from Darwin)
The MEANING of life is the experience of living ... (from Frank Herbert)
The VALUE of life is the legacy we leave behind ..... (from observation)
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