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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Politics & Religion » Rand, Thrasher, Objectivism continued

Default Rand, Thrasher, Objectivism continued

August 25th, 2012, 00:36
Since the other post was closed I am continuing here.

rossrjensen Said:
Moral self-interest means you do what you can to improve yourself and your situation with a conscientious approach to not screwing others in the process.
Thrasher replied:
But just pursuing self-interests to the exclusion of altruist acts to me is immoral. Thus, I think the use of the adjective "moral" is a non sequitur, and smokescreen for selfish behavior.
Well, even though I am obviously naive let’s explore altruism and selfish behavior. Let’s say we adopt your crazy jibber-jabber as valid and we will come up with a philosophy for what seems to be your beliefs: people should make decisions based on altruistic-interests.

We can use either definition of altruism: unselfish regard for the welfare of others, or species performing acts that benefit their species but not themselves.

The world has limited resources, some scarce resources, and an extreme problem of overpopulation (throw in global climate change if you want as well). A truly altruistic person would evaluate their life, and if they are of no benefit to society would have no choice but to commit suicide (or would have no choice to commit suicide if they rightfully came to the conclusion their life was of less worth than the resources they would need to consume to keep living, especially considering the welfare and needs of future generations). The population would dramatically plummet. They would selflessly do this to leave the resources to those who are of benefit to society. The majority of people would stop breeding and leave it to those who are physically and mentally superior, so we can selflessly make our species stronger and better.

Videogames would stop being developed since they are a purely selfish. I can’t really see a movie star accepting a starring role out of altruism, when they could spend their time actually helping and being useful, so I guess there would be no more movies. And who could watch them? How could you do something so greedy like enjoy watching a movie when you could be helping others? Clothing would become uniform, because fashion is self-serving and exclusive. Etc.

The only thing keeping most of us alive in the extremely not-altruistic world is the smart people understand we are all selfish, and even though the stupid masses are mostly useless, they want to live and pop out as many stupid, resource consuming babies as they selfishly want to. And there are far more stupid people than smart people and the stupid people wouldn’t take kindly to not being allowed to breed and would probably kill the smart people for trying. So smart people have to make peace with their greedy desire of having a decent world to leave for their progeny or risk not having a progeny and leave the world even worse off.

Can you name some altruistic acts you have performed in the last year? When being truthful I doubt the overwhelming majority of people can. If you ask anyone who knows me in real life what kind of person I am they will all say I am extremely nice and helpful. I am neither. I cut this old ladies lawn two houses down from me for free. I do this because I want to be a decent and honorable person. The image I have of myself is someone who helps out old ladies, so I have to perform acts which perpetuate the image I want to portray. I hate mowing her fucking law. It sucks. It’s hot and where I live has like 7 million percent humidity. It also wastes more of the little free time I have doing smore things I hate.

When I do something fun for my kids to give them good memories or help their development I do this because I want to be a good father and that is what good fathers do. If I could do what I honestly want to do instead of doing stupid kid shit with my kids I would be popping ecstasy at orgies and letting the government support me and I guess the family I abandoned too. Sure I love my family, but I really, really love some nice new pussy.

I don’t do nice shit for my wife out of love; I do it so she won’t yell at me, make my life miserable, and she will give me more video game time. Do I love my wife? Yes, but not as much as my me-time. Would I ever tell my family any of the stuff I admitted here? Of course not. No one likes the truth. I hope my wife spares me her truth too.

And this is becoming less and less a matter of opinion, as there are more “mental health” professionals in the US than you can shake a stick at. They have a lot of studies and are finding out more and more about not just the what, but the why of it. And why we do things seems to always have a selfish reason at its core. What may seem like a mother’s altruistic love for a child is probably just a chemical driven compulsion, which is as altruistic as a termite evolved to blow themselves up when the nest is threatened blowing themselves up when their nest is threatened.

But, even though I know they are not really altruistic acts, the things I do which can be perceived as altruistic acts I want to get credit for when I do them, because I’m an extremely nice and helpful guy. Just ask anyone who knows me.
Last edited by Impregnator; August 25th, 2012 at 01:27.
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August 25th, 2012, 15:49
First of, no one is suggesting that you should only act out of altruism. Thrasher said that you shouldn't pursue self interest to the exclusion of altruistic acts. No one is suggesting that you shouldn't ever act out of self-interest.

What you then write seem to be based on people only acting out of altruism which as I've said no one is suggesting. It seems loosely utilitarian in that people should kill themselves if they judge themselves not to be worth the resources they consume but that is far from the only theory in ethics. That suggestion for example doesn't go down very well in Aristotlean ethics or Emotivism. Even if we accept the premise that if people should kill themselves if they came to the conclusion that their life was of less worth than the resources they would need to consume to keep living, you don't supply any metric of worthiness. Is it a purely resource driven measure where your production or contribution to GDP is all that matters or are there other considerations?

And then there are several paragraphs dealing with the concept that all our actions are really conducted out of self interest. It's basically Psychological Egoism which is a theory that's completely uninteresting from a moral philosophical point of view as even if all actions are defined as egotistical we can still judge them as being moral or amoral and still have discussions about what constitutes moral behaviour. I could explain the rpoblems of Psychological Egotism further if you wish. There are theories in ethics that completely disregard your motivations such as several theories in utilitarianism and there are those that put it up as the only defining factor of moral behaviour.

Sigh this is becoming more and more of an uncohesive rant I guess that what I want to say is that your view of atruism as presented here is overly simplified and that I dislike Psychological Egoism.

conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evil, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

rational, adj. Devoid of all delusions save those of observation, experience and reflection.
-Ambrose Bierce, The Devils Dictionary
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