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Other Discussion Boards => Philosophy, Religion & Society => Topic started by: spoon on January 10, 2014, 05:51:04 AM

Title: You are selfish.
Post by: spoon on January 10, 2014, 05:51:04 AM
Every man’s reason for living, regardless of personal philosophy or religion, is to satisfy himself to the best of his abilities. Every decision he makes is for his own benefit (or perceived benefit). There are no exceptions.

The natural conclusion that follows is that true selflessness does not exist. This conclusion is true. No decision is motivated by anything greater than the motivation to maintain high personal satisfaction. For the sake of clarity in the OP I will provide counter examples.

     1.   Philanthropists – Generous people who risk life and limb to help those in need are not being selfless, per se. They are acting for themselves by helping others. Essentially, they are maintaining personal satisfaction by maintaining others. If they did not help others, they would not be satisfied. If they didn’t “feel good” about helping others, they would not do it.

     2.   Religious people – Religious people who sacrifice their belongings and time, and comply with laws that go against their biological nature are completely motivated by their own interests. They are not “doing things for god”. They are doing things so that they go to heaven. If God said “Regardless of how much you give, you will go to hell.”, there would not be a single man who resisted his natural urges, instincts, and desires.

     3.   People in love – In a situation where a mother would sacrifice her life to save her child, the mother is not necessarily being selfless. At this point I would like to introduce something I have labeled “The happiness threshold”. It could very well be called the suicide threshold, but I am an optimist. Any level of personal satisfaction above the threshold represents a desire to live and experience perception. Anything below the threshold represents a lack of desire to live; it is a desire to die. A mother who lets herself die to save her child is gambling that if she were to let her child die, she would dip below the happiness threshold and experience overall dissatisfaction. She is gambling that life would not be worth living. She is making a decision based on her own desires and satisfaction.

Feel free to offer any counter examples to my assertion that nobody is selfless.

TL;DR No man cares about another more than he cares about himself.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Sean on January 10, 2014, 06:07:13 AM
tl;dr

But yes, I am selfish.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: spoon on January 10, 2014, 06:09:35 AM
That is because you are a shitty liberal, but even those who are not shitty liberals are selfish.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Vindictus on January 10, 2014, 06:43:37 AM
There's nothing particularly insightful about this. It's in our biology to only care about ourselves. We're living in separate worlds, we aren't some digital collective capable of understanding each other on a fundamental level.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 10, 2014, 12:46:02 PM
Selfishness can motivate people to altruism so it really does not matter if one is selfish. As always, what matters is what one does.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Thork on January 10, 2014, 12:56:32 PM
The OP is making the case that if you do something that benefits you, it proves you did it for selfish reasons.

However there are exceptions despite his claim. There are a group of people who do things that do not benefit them in any way. They are called the insane.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Ghost Spaghetti on January 10, 2014, 01:27:53 PM
No arguments here. So long as you're not fooled into thinking that we're all moral nihilists because of it.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tintagel on January 10, 2014, 01:54:32 PM
The OP is making the case that if you do something that benefits you, it proves you did it for selfish reasons.

However there are exceptions despite his claim. There are a group of people who do things that do not benefit them in any way. They are called the insane.

So unselfish people are insane?
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Blanko on January 10, 2014, 02:04:39 PM
Thork must be the least selfish person in the world amirite lol

No, I don't think it's benefit that's the determining factor here, it's what people think is beneficial for them or what makes them feel good. That includes insane people.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 10, 2014, 02:21:49 PM
People do things with no immediate benefit all the time. It is done in the hope that it may be reciprocated in the future. This behavior is a hallmark of hominid behavior.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Thork on January 10, 2014, 02:48:15 PM
I have an exception.

I was in London waiting for someone a few weeks ago. A man placed his half eaten lunch into a street bin. A homeless guy came and fished it out and then ate it.
The homeless man benefitted and the guy putting his stuff in the bin helped him, without any benefit to himself.

The Op is basically just word games.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tintagel on January 10, 2014, 03:41:42 PM
I have an exception.

I was in London waiting for someone a few weeks ago. A man placed his half eaten lunch into a street bin. A homeless guy came and fished it out and then ate it.
The homeless man benefitted and the guy putting his stuff in the bin helped him, without any benefit to himself.

The Op is basically just word games.

The OP's assertion is that no PERSON is selfless, not that no individual ACT is selfless.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Blanko on January 10, 2014, 03:45:30 PM
The man disposed of his lunch because it was his desire to get rid of it. That's still a selfish act.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: bj1234 on January 10, 2014, 03:51:31 PM
I have an exception.

I was in London waiting for someone a few weeks ago. A man placed his half eaten lunch into a street bin. A homeless guy came and fished it out and then ate it.
The homeless man benefitted and the guy putting his stuff in the bin helped him, without any benefit to himself.

The Op is basically just word games.
He also threw it in the trash bin because he wanted to keep his city clean.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 10, 2014, 03:57:29 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2091084/Father-sacrifices-life-leaping-road-save-disabled-son-run-down.html

How was this a selfish act?
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: bj1234 on January 10, 2014, 04:07:30 PM
Quote
3.   People in love – In a situation where a mother would sacrifice her life to save her child, the mother is not necessarily being selfless. At this point I would like to introduce something I have labeled “The happiness threshold”. It could very well be called the suicide threshold, but I am an optimist. Any level of personal satisfaction above the threshold represents a desire to live and experience perception. Anything below the threshold represents a lack of desire to live; it is a desire to die. A mother who lets herself die to save her child is gambling that if she were to let her child die, she would dip below the happiness threshold and experience overall dissatisfaction. She is gambling that life would not be worth living. She is making a decision based on her own desires and satisfaction.

He knew that his life would not be worth living if he had just run and let the car hit his son.  It was covered in the OP.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 10, 2014, 04:23:10 PM
1. I doubt that he had time to consider that in the time it took to make the decision.

2. There was no guarantee that his son would die.

Based on that I do not buy this "happiness threshold" business nonsense.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Blanko on January 10, 2014, 04:29:36 PM
I think the way OP puts it is way too complicated. There's no need for there to be "consideration", the desire to protect your loved ones can kick in instantly. Just think of it this way, if that same person wouldn't have sacrificed himself for a complete stranger, then his actions must have been motivated by selfish desires.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 10, 2014, 04:52:31 PM
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=8962591

It also happens with strangers.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Blanko on January 10, 2014, 04:54:21 PM
Some people just love too much for their own good.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Saddam Hussein on January 10, 2014, 06:33:17 PM
Psychological egoism is a useless tautology.  All it does is say that people only do things to benefit themselves, and therefore everything that everyone does is for their own benefit.  It's not falsifiable, and it doesn't tell us anything about behavior.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Снупс on January 10, 2014, 08:52:23 PM
But it's great for sparking an argument by putting in the form of an accusatory post and not really having any purpose! :P
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Blanko on January 10, 2014, 08:56:46 PM
I don't think it's accusatory. It just goes on to show that the term "selfish" shouldn't carry the negative connotation it typically does.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Particle Person on January 10, 2014, 09:02:11 PM
Replace every instance of the word "selfish" with "a shellfish" and this thread becomes much funnier.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on January 10, 2014, 09:49:34 PM
Every decision he makes is for his own benefit (or perceived benefit). There are no exceptions.
I was shopping at the grocery store the other day. I saw a credit card on the ground that did not belong to me. I gave it to the woman at the service counter in case the person that lost it went looking for it. I received no award, nor did I receive any "good feelings". I was just trying to help out another person.

Please explain how, by potentially assisting in helping a stranger find their lost credit card, I was motivated by my own benefit.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: spoon on January 10, 2014, 09:52:27 PM
I was just trying to help out another person.
Why? There has to be a reason for this. You don't just accidentally help people out.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Alchemist21 on January 10, 2014, 10:08:04 PM
Every decision he makes is for his own benefit (or perceived benefit). There are no exceptions.
I was shopping at the grocery store the other day. I saw a credit card on the ground that did not belong to me. I gave it to the woman at the service counter in case the person that lost it went looking for it. I received no award, nor did I receive any "good feelings". I was just trying to help out another person.

Please explain how, by potentially assisting in helping a stranger find their lost credit card, I was motivated by my own benefit.

You have posted this on an online forum.  By making this public you reveal that you have sought to increase your own positive reputation.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Saddam Hussein on January 10, 2014, 10:27:13 PM
Every decision he makes is for his own benefit (or perceived benefit). There are no exceptions.
I was shopping at the grocery store the other day. I saw a credit card on the ground that did not belong to me. I gave it to the woman at the service counter in case the person that lost it went looking for it. I received no award, nor did I receive any "good feelings". I was just trying to help out another person.

Please explain how, by potentially assisting in helping a stranger find their lost credit card, I was motivated by my own benefit.

Subconsciously you were hoping for good feelings and/or trying to avoid any bad feelings from not doing this.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on January 11, 2014, 12:25:40 AM
Why? There has to be a reason for this. You don't just accidentally help people out.
Because I believe in helping other people. People gotta look out for each other. And, for the record, it's very easy to accidentally help other people. I believe altruism is good for the sake of altruism.

You have posted this on an online forum.  By making this public you reveal that you have sought to increase your own positive reputation.
An almost-anonymous forum filled with people I hate. Even if that had any positive contribution on my reputation, that was not my motivation.

Subconsciously you were hoping for good feelings and/or trying to avoid any bad feelings from not doing this.
Nope. If I wanted good feelings, I'd go buy a bag of drugs. It's a lot easier to consume chemicals to feel good feelings than to pick up a piece of plastic for twenty seconds.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 11, 2014, 12:31:19 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2091084/Father-sacrifices-life-leaping-road-save-disabled-son-run-down.html

How was this a selfish act?

The father was 61. The likelihood of him fathering additional children is small. He sacrificed himself to save his son so that his lineage could live on.

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=8962591

It also happens with strangers.

He thought he would have enough time to save the old man and himself. I doubt he would have saved the old man if he knew his own death would be certain.

People do such stunts for various reasons. Often times they quote Karma, an expectation that something equally good will happen to them -- a selfish reason.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 11, 2014, 12:36:10 AM
Why? There has to be a reason for this. You don't just accidentally help people out.
Because I believe in helping other people. People gotta look out for each other. And, for the record, it's very easy to accidentally help other people. I believe altruism is good for the sake of altruism.

A belief that people will look out for you if you look out for them sounds like a pretty selfish reason to me. You are suggesting that you did it because you want to promote altruism in society so that everyone will look out for you and/or the people you care about.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Sean on January 11, 2014, 12:41:40 AM
What about someone who jumps on a grenade for others
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 11, 2014, 12:57:39 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2091084/Father-sacrifices-life-leaping-road-save-disabled-son-run-down.html

How was this a selfish act?

The father was 61. The likelihood of him fathering additional children is small. He sacrificed himself to save his son so that his lineage could live on.

Maybe, which means that it does not benefit him, but rather the future. This is not selfish. You should also not write as if you are certain about his motivation. It's rather dishonest.

Quote
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=8962591

It also happens with strangers.

He thought he would have enough time to save the old man and himself. I doubt he would have saved the old man if he knew his own death would be certain.

People do such stunts for various reasons. Often times they quote Karma, an expectation that something equally good will happen to them -- a selfish reason.

Often they also cite an instinctual impulse to help. In fact I have never seen an interview with a newly minted hero where they cite karmic payback as the reason. Either way, the door is still open for selfless sacrifice.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 11, 2014, 01:24:00 AM
What about someone who jumps on a grenade for others

Jumping on a grenade for others isn't entirely selfless. You want to protect your friends and troop mates from harm because they mean something to you. War is a team effort. You want YOUR team to win. You want YOUR friends to survive. Selfish.

Why don't we see any battlefield reports of people jumping on grenades or sacrificing themselves to save their enemies?
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on January 11, 2014, 01:36:53 AM
A belief that people will look out for you if you look out for them sounds like a pretty selfish reason to me. You are suggesting that you did it because you want to promote altruism in society so that everyone will look out for you and/or the people you care about.
I don't believe people will look out for me just because I try and help people. I'd be an idiot if I thought the world worked like that. I didn't do it to try and change society: I just did it because it's a nice thing to do. It's not as though I attached a note to the credit card saying the person who it belonged to "owed" me or anything of the nature.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: spoon on January 11, 2014, 01:38:24 AM
I just did it because it's a nice thing to do.
And how did you feel about doing a nice thing for somebody else?
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 11, 2014, 01:40:04 AM
Maybe, which means that it does not benefit him, but rather the future. This is not selfish. You should also not write as if you are certain about his motivation. It's rather dishonest.

Sacrificing yourself to ensure the future of your genes seems selfish. He got something important in return for it. Do you think he would have done the same thing for his lawyer?

Quote
Quote
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=8962591

It also happens with strangers.

He thought he would have enough time to save the old man and himself. I doubt he would have saved the old man if he knew his own death would be certain.

People do such stunts for various reasons. Often times they quote Karma, an expectation that something equally good will happen to them -- a selfish reason.

Often they also cite an instinctual impulse to help. In fact I have never seen an interview with a newly minted hero where they cite karmic payback as the reason. Either way, the door is still open for selfless sacrifice.

Well, the guy in the article mentioned something about God and religion at the end. He probably thought he was doing God's work and assumed he would be rewarded justly in his act. Religion ingrains it pretty hard into you that you should do good to others so they may do good to you, and that all good acts are rewarded by God, etc.

This guy didn't save the man with intent to sacrifice himself. It says pretty clearly in the article that the situation was such that he had time to help the man to safety, and get back to the wall to climb up, which he did with some assistance.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on January 11, 2014, 02:28:03 AM
And how did you feel about doing a nice thing for somebody else?
I felt like it was the proper thing to do, but I hardly got an endorphin rush or any type of "good feelings". If I wanted chemicals in my brain, I'd do drugs or masturbate or sky dive or some shit. If my goal was exclusively, or even primarily, my own pleasure there are a lot easier ways to do it than picking up a piece of plastic.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 11, 2014, 02:35:14 AM
And how did you feel about doing a nice thing for somebody else?
I felt like it was the proper thing to do, but I hardly got an endorphin rush or any type of "good feelings". If I wanted chemicals in my brain, I'd do drugs or masturbate or sky dive or some shit. If my goal was exclusively, or even primarily, my own pleasure there are a lot easier ways to do it than picking up a piece of plastic.

And how would you have felt if you had ignored it and just left it laying there?
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 11, 2014, 02:55:43 AM
What about someone who jumps on a grenade for others

Jumping on a grenade for others isn't entirely selfless. You want to protect your friends and troop mates from harm because they mean something to you. War is a team effort. You want YOUR team to win. You want YOUR friends to survive. Selfish.

Why don't we see any battlefield reports of people jumping on grenades or sacrificing themselves to save their enemies?

Every action you undertake necessarily has some connection to you but you cannot tell me that jumping on a grenade has some intrinsic emotional, mental or physical benefit to a person. They jump on it, then die. No karma for them, no reciprocated altruism. Dead.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: spoon on January 11, 2014, 03:19:27 AM
The ones who jump on the grenade are the ones who would feel awful about it if they didn't. They don't want to feel awful, so they do it.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Saddam Hussein on January 11, 2014, 03:25:36 AM
Every action you undertake necessarily has some connection to you but you cannot tell me that jumping on a grenade has some intrinsic emotional, mental or physical benefit to a person. They jump on it, then die. No karma for them, no reciprocated altruism. Dead.

You also have to consider how it would compare to the trauma and/or potential guilt of having watched your friends get blown to pieces right in front of you.  I think there are plenty of people who would prefer death to that.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 11, 2014, 04:20:49 AM
The ones who jump on the grenade are the ones who would feel awful about it if they didn't. They don't want to feel awful, so they do it.

How do you know this?
Every action you undertake necessarily has some connection to you but you cannot tell me that jumping on a grenade has some intrinsic emotional, mental or physical benefit to a person. They jump on it, then die. No karma for them, no reciprocated altruism. Dead.

You also have to consider how it would compare to the trauma and/or potential guilt of having watched your friends get blown to pieces right in front of you.  I think there are plenty of people who would prefer death to that.

I sincerely doubt that it is the fear of survivor guilt motivating the jump. They probably get as far as the shocking image of their comrades dismemberment before jumping. That seems abhorrent so they jump.

Why does it seem that everyone in this discussion forgets the empirical fact that we have empathy?  You can genuinely connect with another's suffering and wish for the other not to have that happen. Just because there is a personal element to this experience does not mean that it is not motivated by a desire for the others suffering to cease.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on January 11, 2014, 08:46:56 AM
And how would you have felt if you had ignored it and just left it laying there?
I'd probably have forgotten about it. I'm an adult, my emotional state isn't tied to the status of a strangers credit card.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Blanko on January 11, 2014, 09:11:57 AM
And how would you have felt if you had ignored it and just left it laying there?
I'd probably have forgotten about it. I'm an adult, my emotional state isn't tied to the status of a strangers credit card.

That's pretty selfish.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: rooster on January 11, 2014, 04:02:21 PM
Every action you undertake necessarily has some connection to you but you cannot tell me that jumping on a grenade has some intrinsic emotional, mental or physical benefit to a person. They jump on it, then die. No karma for them, no reciprocated altruism. Dead.

You also have to consider how it would compare to the trauma and/or potential guilt of having watched your friends get blown to pieces right in front of you.  I think there are plenty of people who would prefer death to that.
Unless he was going to die too and not live with that image at all.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on January 11, 2014, 05:14:23 PM
And how would you have felt if you had ignored it and just left it laying there?
I'd probably have forgotten about it. I'm an adult, my emotional state isn't tied to the status of a strangers credit card.

That's pretty selfish.
I'd say it's more apathetic than anything.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: spoon on January 11, 2014, 08:56:12 PM
And how would you have felt if you had ignored it and just left it laying there?
I'd probably have forgotten about it. I'm an adult, my emotional state isn't tied to the status of a strangers credit card.

That's pretty selfish.
I'd say it's more apathetic than anything.

Apathy doesn't lead to action. Quite the opposite, actually.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Hoppy on January 11, 2014, 09:05:54 PM
And how would you have felt if you had ignored it and just left it laying there?
I'd probably have forgotten about it. I'm an adult, my emotional state isn't tied to the status of a strangers credit card.

That's pretty selfish.
I'd say it's more apathetic than anything.
I know what you were doing. You were following the command of Jesus. Do on to others as you would have them do to you. If you had lost your credit card, you would have been very happy to find it at the cashier. You Jesus follower you.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on January 12, 2014, 12:29:28 AM
Apathy doesn't lead to action. Quite the opposite, actually.
You're right. In this case, ignoring the credit card would have been not taking action. Hence, apathy.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: spoon on January 12, 2014, 01:48:27 AM
Apathy doesn't lead to action. Quite the opposite, actually.
You're right. In this case, ignoring the credit card would have been not taking action. Hence, apathy.
Read the thread again.

You didn't ignore the credit card. You did something about it being lost. You weren't apathetic. You had some feelings associated with the credit card which pushed you into action.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on January 12, 2014, 05:48:49 PM
Apathy doesn't lead to action. Quite the opposite, actually.
You're right. In this case, ignoring the credit card would have been not taking action. Hence, apathy.
Read the thread again.

You didn't ignore the credit card. You did something about it being lost. You weren't apathetic. You had some feelings associated with the credit card which pushed you into action.
Yes, altruism. Which is, by definition, not selfish.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2014, 07:41:07 PM
Why did you give the credit card to the proper authorities rather than leaving it on the ground for a criminal to find? Those criminals need to put food on their plates too.

Is it because YOU felt it was the right thing to do? Is it because YOU wanted to impose your morals of justice and altruism by taking action, rather than letting nature take its course? Is it because YOU know the cardholder of unknown integrity deserves the money more than a desperate criminal, of whom you know nothing about?

It's all about you and how you think things should be, forcing your morals onto events. Selfish.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 12, 2014, 07:43:22 PM
Since Tom seems to mistake selfish with subjective:

self·ish
ˈselfiSH/
adjective
1.
(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.
"I joined them for selfish reasons"
synonyms:   egocentric, egotistic, egotistical, egomaniacal, self-centered, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, self-seeking, self-serving, wrapped up in oneself; More
antonyms:   altruistic


sub·jec·tive
səbˈjektiv/
adjective
1.
based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
"his views are highly subjective"
synonyms:   personal, individual, emotional, instinctive, intuitive More
antonyms:   objective
dependent on the mind or on an individual's perception for its existence.

Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2014, 07:49:42 PM
Quote
1.
(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.

Where is the consideration for the desperate criminals, who arguably needs the money more than a random stranger, whose credit card is likely insured by a FDIC bank?
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 12, 2014, 07:57:41 PM
Which criminals? 
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2014, 08:06:21 PM
Which criminals?

The ones which exist by the millions in every country. Turning in the credit card may have caused them increased hardship. Who is Franklin to know that a FDIC bank deserves the money more than a desperate criminal in his area who may have picked it up?

He imposed his morals on an event, rather than letting nature take its course, because he deemed it the 'right' thing to do. Forcing your morals on the nature of things is selfish.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 12, 2014, 08:09:41 PM
Riiiight. So now the answer to dealing with criminals is to encourage credit card fraud?
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2014, 08:12:23 PM
It is just as if a tourist on safari saved the life of a Zebra by scaring all the lions away because he thought it was wrong that the Zebra should die. That action is inconsiderate to the lions who will endure hardship because of that action. It is not for the tourist to decide what is right and wrong in nature. Forcing his morality on nature is selfish.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 12, 2014, 08:14:32 PM
So credit fraud is your solution to curbing criminal behavior?
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2014, 08:22:07 PM
So credit fraud is your solution to curbing criminal behavior?

I gave no solutions for curbing criminal behavior. I gave an observation that performing an action like this to force your morality on events and deprive one party of resources is selfish.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 12, 2014, 08:27:31 PM
Ownership of personal property is a moral issue?
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2014, 08:37:41 PM
Ownership of personal property is a moral issue?

A system of limited resources where some people own more than other people, causing them hardship, is a moral issue.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 12, 2014, 08:41:36 PM
Sounds like your issue is not ownership but disparity between those who own more than they need and those who do not have enough to get by.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2014, 08:46:14 PM
Sounds like your issue is not ownership but disparity between those who own more than they need and those who do not have enough to get by.

Yes, and by giving the card to the authorities rather than letting nature take its course he selfishly imposed his morals on an event to deprive others of resources. It is no different than a tourist on safari saving a Zebra's life.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rushy on January 12, 2014, 08:51:34 PM
This thread has been Bishop'd.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on January 12, 2014, 09:03:56 PM
Why did you give the credit card to the proper authorities rather than leaving it on the ground for a criminal to find? Those criminals need to put food on their plates too.

Is it because YOU felt it was the right thing to do? Is it because YOU wanted to impose your morals of justice and altruism by taking action, rather than letting nature take its course? Is it because YOU know the cardholder of unknown integrity deserves the money more than a desperate criminal, of whom you know nothing about?

It's all about you and how you think things should be, forcing your morals onto events. Selfish.
This is some high quality Bishop. Tom, we live in a society where we have norms and standards. One of those norms is that people have the rights to their own property. Not to mention any person with half a brain cancels a lost credit card if they can't find it, making your whole tangent about "desperate criminals" irrelevant. (That is not to even mention that credit card fraud is both against society's norms and my personal morals.)

Yes, and by giving the card to the authorities rather than letting nature take its course he selfishly imposed his morals on an event to deprive others of resources. It is no different than a tourist on safari saving a Zebra's life.
Er, except that both society and myself see it very differently. In fact, I think you'd be one of the only people to accept that analogy as legitimate.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 12, 2014, 09:10:32 PM
This thread has been Bishop'd.

And he is winning by a landslide.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Saddam Hussein on January 13, 2014, 02:46:22 AM
Why did you give the credit card to the proper authorities rather than leaving it on the ground for a criminal to find? Those criminals need to put food on their plates too.

Is it because YOU felt it was the right thing to do? Is it because YOU wanted to impose your morals of justice and altruism by taking action, rather than letting nature take its course? Is it because YOU know the cardholder of unknown integrity deserves the money more than a desperate criminal, of whom you know nothing about?

It's all about you and how you think things should be, forcing your morals onto events. Selfish.
This is some high quality Bishop. Tom, we live in a society where we have norms and standards. One of those norms is that people have the rights to their own property. Not to mention any person with half a brain cancels a lost credit card if they can't find it, making your whole tangent about "desperate criminals" irrelevant. (That is not to even mention that credit card fraud is both against society's norms and my personal morals.)

The fact that society agrees with you is irrelevant.  You are nevertheless pushing morality that you agree with onto people who don't agree with it.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on January 13, 2014, 03:06:00 AM
Why did you give the credit card to the proper authorities rather than leaving it on the ground for a criminal to find? Those criminals need to put food on their plates too.

Is it because YOU felt it was the right thing to do? Is it because YOU wanted to impose your morals of justice and altruism by taking action, rather than letting nature take its course? Is it because YOU know the cardholder of unknown integrity deserves the money more than a desperate criminal, of whom you know nothing about?

It's all about you and how you think things should be, forcing your morals onto events. Selfish.
This is some high quality Bishop. Tom, we live in a society where we have norms and standards. One of those norms is that people have the rights to their own property. Not to mention any person with half a brain cancels a lost credit card if they can't find it, making your whole tangent about "desperate criminals" irrelevant. (That is not to even mention that credit card fraud is both against society's norms and my personal morals.)

The fact that society agrees with you is irrelevant.  You are nevertheless pushing morality that you agree with onto people who don't agree with it.
But I'm not pushing my morality. If you consider it moral to let a child starve, and I feed a starving child, am I also pushing my morality on you? Quit trying to bring irrelevant parties into the discussion.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rushy on January 13, 2014, 03:11:37 AM
I am selfish. There. I said it.  :( Please donate below.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 13, 2014, 04:12:06 AM
Why did you give the credit card to the proper authorities rather than leaving it on the ground for a criminal to find? Those criminals need to put food on their plates too.

Is it because YOU felt it was the right thing to do? Is it because YOU wanted to impose your morals of justice and altruism by taking action, rather than letting nature take its course? Is it because YOU know the cardholder of unknown integrity deserves the money more than a desperate criminal, of whom you know nothing about?

It's all about you and how you think things should be, forcing your morals onto events. Selfish.
This is some high quality Bishop. Tom, we live in a society where we have norms and standards. One of those norms is that people have the rights to their own property. Not to mention any person with half a brain cancels a lost credit card if they can't find it, making your whole tangent about "desperate criminals" irrelevant. (That is not to even mention that credit card fraud is both against society's norms and my personal morals.)

The fact that society agrees with you is irrelevant.  You are nevertheless pushing morality that you agree with onto people who don't agree with it.

You are fabricating someone who does not agree with it. Ben gave a credit card back to someone who lost it.  Two people are directly involved. If the person refused the credit card's return you could say it was pushed on them, but otherwise this is not areal dilemma. As has been agreed to elsewhere in this thread, the moral issue is a disparity of ownership, not ownership itself. Bearing these two facts in mind, no one can rightly say Ben was pushing his moral agenda.
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Ghost Spaghetti on January 13, 2014, 11:45:01 AM
Quote
Why does it seem that everyone in this discussion forgets the empirical fact that we have empathy?  You can genuinely connect with another's suffering and wish for the other not to have that happen. Just because there is a personal element to this experience does not mean that it is not motivated by a desire for the others suffering to cease.

We have empathy which is one of the reasons that we do good things in a selfish way. I see someone being beaten up, this makes me feel bad because I know that they feel bad about it. I then have a consideration in whether to get involved. If I do something I may be beaten up, too and thus will feel bad, but if I walk away then I'll know that the victim still feels bad and so will I - with the added pain of guilt on top of it.

If I jump in and save the victim from being beaten up because I don't want to feel bad, is the victim going to be any less grateful because my motives weren't pure and selfless?
Title: Re: You are selfish.
Post by: Rama Set on January 13, 2014, 12:38:09 PM
By definition, sympathy requires one to consider another's viewpoint, which is about as unselfish an action as I can think of. There is a big difference, in my mind, between action that is only motivated by personal concerns, what I would say is selfish, and one that simultaneously alleviates personal concerns and the concerns of others. The latter's character is defined by its reliance on others, without some selfless component, there is no satisfaction in many cases.