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  1. #1

    Default How to make other people pay for your stuff

    Washington recently had a vote: raise taxes on Washingtonians to pay for a Seattle transit. The people who use the transit or are affected by Seattle traffic outnumbered those who don't use it and don't live in the Seattle area. Now a specific tax for this service has doubled for the million or so people who do not use or are not impacted by the Seattle transit (including me).

    Should we have to pay for what we do not use or want, or should the people who use or want the thing be the ones to pay?
  2. #2
    oskar's Avatar
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    You have a president endorsing hate crimes and blaming the victims. This should not be a priority.
    The strengh of a hero is defined by the weakness of his villains.
  3. #3
    oskar's Avatar
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    But disregarding that: this is a dumb topic and the only right answer for anyone who's not directly involved should be "I don't know."
    The strengh of a hero is defined by the weakness of his villains.
  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by oskar View Post
    the only right answer for anyone who's not directly involved should be "I don't know."
    You had me at "hello."
  5. #5
    oskar's Avatar
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    Similar question: should people who are not racist morons pay for the biggest deployment of american troops on the southern border since the cold war in a response to refugees who are currently on foot just across the northern border of mexico?
    The strengh of a hero is defined by the weakness of his villains.
  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by oskar View Post
    You have a president endorsing hate crimes and blaming the victims. This should not be a priority.
    What a stupid post. Like economics should go out of the window because some people outside of America don't like the president. Jesus.

    ...refugees...
    *economic migrants
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  7. #7
    As for the topic, sure I don't have a problem with this, so long as it's either free or dirt cheap for people to actually use the service. Forcing people to stop using their cars in favour of mass transport is not a bad thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  8. #8
    As population increases, so too will the number of cars on the roads, unless radical changes are made to the way people move, especially within cities. If people won't use mass transport willingly, then they need to be encouraged, and the best way to do that is financially. I'm ok with this so long as it is a net benefit for those who use the metro, ie the extra money paid in tax is more than offset by savings in petrol.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    What a stupid post. Like economics should go out of the window because some people outside of America don't like the president. Jesus.
    *economic migrants
    It's a fucking retarded topic. Should PT be government subsidized would be better, but he's not going there because that's a really tough one for his economic philosophy to deal with, so he takes this example because he has to pay for that one and it makes him feel bad. Whatever makes a trumple feel bad is a bad thing to them. That's as far as this goes.
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  10. #10
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    I don't understand why Trump is in this conversation.

    If you don't want to pay the taxes where you live, then vote on those issues.
    If that doesn't work, then weigh your options for other places to live, where the taxes are different.
    Choose whether it's in your best interests to compromise and stay where you are or to plan and save for a move to somewhere else.
  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by oskar View Post
    Should PT be government subsidized...
    That's how I decided to interpret his post. I guess I felt it more productive than taking a political swipe for no apparent reason. You seem to think Americans should be more concerned about what you consider a "hate crime" than they should be about things like public transport and tax. It's like you think normal everyday life should be of a lower priority than mass outrage.

    You turned a potential conversation about economics into a political shitfest in under an hour. Good work.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  12. #12
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    My first thought after reading the OP was that with all the things going on, it's somewhat telling of a person's mental landscape when this is the issue causing most outrage, a minor personal financial inconvenience. Not saying it's right or wrong, or that we as a species should only ever concentrate on the most pressing issue and neglect everything else, just that it's telling.
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  13. #13
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    Don't turn everything into your personal gripe.
    This is about wuf's gripe.

    With the pages and pages we've spent discussing border and immigration issues, nominations for SCOTUS, whether or not Trump can string together a coherent sentence unless he's reading a prompter, etc. - with all that, we can spare a moment to discuss issues more close to home, in which a personal decision has immediate implications to quality of life.

    Wuf HATES taxes. He considers a tax he didn't vote in favor of to be state-sanctioned mugging.
    The notion that what's best for the group as a whole involves things that are not best for each individual bothers him when it comes to taxes.
    Compromise seems fine to him outside this context, but once this social contract is involved, it drives him bonkers. Like, he probably disagrees with plenty of his state's laws, but only really gets riled up about taxes.

    It's his thing. We all have our things. If you want to talk about your thing, create a thread about it.
  14. #14
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  16. #16
    Thank you Ong for giving a reason that you think it is okay to make others pay for something you use/want that they don't use/want.
  17. #17
    Wuf I had to buy some contact lenses today, can you paypal me £30? Think of it as a tax on me reading your utter shit for the past 2 years.
  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    Thank you Ong for giving a reason that you think it is okay to make others pay for something you use/want that they don't use/want.
    You don't have to use mass transport to benefit from it. If more people are using the metro, less people are on the roads, which means goods move faster, the city functions more efficiently. If you live on the outskirts of that city and never actually go there, you're still better off, you house is worth more, your income is higher, you have better services and a higher standard of living.

    The transport system is not a case of use/want, it is a need.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    You don't have to use mass transport to benefit from it. If more people are using the metro, less people are on the roads, which means goods move faster, the city functions more efficiently. If you live on the outskirts of that city and never actually go there, you're still better off, you house is worth more, your income is higher, you have better services and a higher standard of living.

    The transport system is not a case of use/want, it is a need.
    It appears to me that you're saying it is right to force what you want on others when what you want is right. Is that correct?
  20. #20
    I don't want it. Society needs it. The city needs to have a plan to deal with a growing population.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  21. #21
    CoccoBill's Avatar
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    That's some commie bullshit right there.
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    It appears to me that you're saying it is right to force what you want on others when what you want is right. Is that correct?

    Show me actual better and I'll gladly take it
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  23. #23
    If people think that this stuff does so much good why aren't they willing to fund it themselves? I shouldn't fund your business idea because you think it'll benefit people and you don't know how to turn a profit from it.
  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    If people think that this stuff does so much good why aren't they willing to fund it themselves? I shouldn't fund your business idea because you think it'll benefit people and you don't know how to turn a profit from it.
    Show me actual better and I'll gladly take it
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  25. #25
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    Has selfishness shown itself to be better throughout history for us as a species?
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    Cogito ergo sum

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    Hey, I'm in a movie!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYdwe3ArFWA
  26. #26
    Why is it selfishness to not want to give your money to something just because someone bigger than you said you should?

    Also selfishness is a good meaningless word to push the message you want.
  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    Show me actual better and I'll gladly take it
    Show me actual better and I'll gladly take it
  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    Has selfishness shown itself to be better throughout history for us as a species?
    And quite literally yes it has. Look up natural selection.
  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    Show me actual better and I'll gladly take it

    You can't reply a reply with the same reply

    Do you not see how your attempt at smart-ass retort does not make sense in the context?


    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    And quite literally yes it has. Look up natural selection.

    Can you please explain how natural selection is an example of how selfishness has shown itself to be better throughout history for us as a species?
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    Cogito ergo sum

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  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    That's some commie bullshit right there.
    Commie bullshit? Observing that human population is increasing and we need to adapt? I'm not suggesting that the local bakery makes bread for the government, which in turn gets handed out as rations. I just want to see everyone get to work quicker, for economic reasons... basically, capitalism. Business will perform better if the city functions more efficiently.

    It's not communism to expect society to pay for the things that ensures society can thrive.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  31. #31
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    You're getting memed on by the socialism=communism meme squad.
    Obviously you're right, and this is why I'm not going to engage with wuf. This is super simple and nobody in their right mind can argue that infrastructure would be better if it was fully in the hands of the free market. Wuf is never actually going to give you an argument. You'll get a condescending half-sentence because he has no argument, just a list of statements.
    Last edited by oskar; 11-03-2018 at 05:26 PM.
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  32. #32
    Wuf is a capitalist. If he can see that it's better for business if the city is well oiled, then maybe he can see why it's of benefit to people who still don't even use the metro, or even go into the city at all.

    I don't know how much the city of Seattle impacts on the economy of the state of Washington in general, so it's hard to say if it's fair for a state-wide tax to pay for it. But I've never heard of any other town or city in Washington state, so it's easy for me to assume the overall state economy revolves around Seattle. What's of economic benefit to Seattle is also of benefit to Spokane.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  33. #33
    til Seattle is 200-odd miles from Moscow.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  34. #34
    This must be why there's finally fresh drinking water in Flint again. They found some other people to pay to clean that shit up.
  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    Has selfishness shown itself to be better throughout history for us as a species?
    Pursuing our own subjective, selfish goals is the whole point of being alive. It's not exclusive to humans, but a characteristic of all living things.
    Without our selfish desires, we're not even a viable life form, let alone something that can be "better" than... what, exactly?

    The problem has never been selfishness, it's always been short-sightedness.
  36. #36
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    I'd say most suffering in history has been caused by people being selfish dicks.
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    I'd say most suffering in history has been caused by people being selfish dicks.
    I'd say all joy in past, present and future is caused by people being selfish.

    Seems like it's just the "people being dicks" part that is the issue, not the selfish part.
  38. #38
    A lot of suffering is caused by hunger, such as that fawn that got dropped onto power lines by an eagle. All the trauma that followed, all the crying children, even the accusations of me being heartless because I'd find it entertaining, not to mention the economic cost of hiring people to sort it out, all that caused by an eagle being hungry. That's one less pothole getting filled in.

    People being selfish isn't the problem. People being dicks is. Selfish and dick are not synonymous.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    I'd say all joy in past, present and future is caused by people being selfish.

    Seems like it's just the "people being dicks" part that is the issue, not the selfish part.
    We are all selfish, to an extent. It isn't binary, it's a continuum. At moderate levels it is, or can be, as you pointed out, beneficial. If it's excessive, it's harmful.

    I think with most people you can make a clear distinction between people they care about and people they don't. Most people do care about themselves and their loved ones, and extend some of this goodwill to family, friends, neighborhood, the same culture or religion, or even nation or "race", at least on occasion or some limited quality. Some even claim they care about everyone, or every living thing even. But, if we start to look at what people are actually willing to sacrifice for those beyond the closest circle, there's a quick and sharp drop. I f a person is in any kind of dire need or a bad place, they very quickly start to give fuck all about anyone else, and quite a few of us don't even need any kind of drama to go there. The fact that a lot of selfish qualities are the same ones that are valued in leaders and business executives is not helping this situation.

    People are dicks, for sure, or at least most people have the capacity to behave or think dickishly. I do however think that most people aren't dicks on purpose, they are driven to that, and I think the biggest reason is selfishness. Short-sightedness, I suppose, is ignorance, and while I suppose it has caused a fair deal of suffering, I'm pretty sure "who cares" or "so what" are far more common explanations than "oh I didn't realize" and "oops".

    So I do think "people being selfish dicks" is more accurate.
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  40. #40
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    It is impossible to be not selfish, so long as you are alive, so blaming selfishness for any problems is equivalent to blaming life for problems.

    OK, so being alive is complicated and there are problems with it, but characterizing the root of the problems as being with the existence of personal identity seems to not be at all helpful for understanding how to live better lives.
  41. #41
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    That's a different question altogether, but a helpful first step would be to acknowledge we are selfish and consciously work towards being less so. I'm pretty sure people are less likely to behave selfishly when they are content with their own life and informed about the world. Just the realization that when people around you are happier, it makes them less likely to be a dick towards you, should be a good motivator to be more altruistic. Everyone gains.
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  42. #42
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    The self has nothing to do with any of that.

    People are no less selfish under any circumstances. We are utterly and intrinsically self-interested.
    We are alive. We are conscious individuals. We are selves.

    You want people to be happier.
    That's what you want.
    You selfish person.
    How terrible is it that you are selfish and want to live a life in which people are not dicks?

    Rather: don't you see how your selfish wants are inherent to your every argument? Your every decision?
    Whether or not you're being a dick about your wants doesn't change that they are your selfish wants.


    EDIT: "Just the realization that when people around you are happier, it makes them less likely to be a dick towards you, should be a good motivator to be more altruistic."
    You see the absolute contradiction in this sentence, right? You're appealing to my selfish desire to have people not treat me like dicks to encourage me to not consider my selfish desire (to not have people treat me like dicks).
    Last edited by MadMojoMonkey; 11-06-2018 at 03:17 PM.
  43. #43
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    Like I said, selfishness is a continuum, it's about how much hurt you're willing to put onto others to get what you want. At one end of the spectrum, where you want good things for yourself but not at the expense of anyone else, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, just healthy self-interest and feeling of self-worth. GG. At the other end of the spectrum you're willing to do anything with no regard for anyone else, as long as it furthers your goals. Like I tried to explain, where each of us are on this spectrum varies, our circle of people who we in most cases wouldn't want to harm differs. I did not say we should strive to be completely selfless, just to consciously try to move towards that end of the spectrum when we can. I see no contradiction.
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  44. #44
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    You are all devolving into romantic views on selfishness.

    An apropos example to the kind of selfishness I'm referring to:

    Company fabricates products which have as byproduct CFCs. These are chemicals known to fuck up the ozone layer, the very thing that protects us from the fireball in the sky and keeps the fn planet liveable for humans.

    Company gets sanctioned. Company puts up a honey badger and moves underground, keeps fabricating products which have as byproduct CFCs. The company literally does not give a flying fuck it's destroying life on earth quite literally, which is, like, where they themselves also live, in favor of profit.

    That is the kind of selfishness I'm talking about.

    "Oh Jack, surely you are making this up, as no one can be this dense, or literally evil. You're fucking with us."

    I wish I was

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...ing-emissions/
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    The contradiction is that the self is the same in all cases, and what differs is not selfishness, but dickishness, yet you persist in using language which distorts this into blaming people for something that is inherent to their consciousness. Your vilification of selfishness is exactly equivalent to vilification of life, it's not a metaphorical connection, but a direct congruence. To be alive is to be selfish. Period. If you have no selfish wants, then eating, breathing, etc. are of no concern to you and you will die. You dig? Selfishness is inherent to living. You can't have one without the other. Self-interest and pursuing selfish goals is life.

    Selfishness is perhaps the single greatest achievement of the universe: The existence of individual identities which can converse and agree and disagree is not possible without a sense of self, not possible unless individual beings have self-interest. Selfishness is literally the best thing that has happened to the universe, though my bias as a self is pretty clear, here.

    Your appeals to be nice are rooted in your selfishness. There's no spectrum, no continuum. We are always all the way selfish. Period. We are self-interested, and that self-interest may include wanting other people to be happy, for various, ultimately personal, reasons.
  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    That is the kind of selfdickishness I'm talking about.
    FYP.

    It would be MORE selfish of them to protect the planet for future generations, not less.
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    That's very Ayn Randian of you MMM. Sure, we're talking about word definitions, and if you want to describe all selfishness as positive or neutral, go ahead, but that is not the common definition.
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    There's no spectrum, no continuum.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5917043/
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    FYP.

    It would be MORE selfishless of them to protect the planet for future generations, not less.
    There, fyp

    I believe being selfish does not mean what you think it means (?)
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    That's very Ayn Randian of you MMM. Sure, we're talking about word definitions, and if you want to describe all selfishness as positive or neutral, go ahead, but that is not the common definition.
    I'm not taking a strictly Randian position.
    I am NOT describing all selfishness as positive or neutral. Seriously read my position, 'cause neither of those is it.

    My position is that selfishness is equivalent to identity, and that all things, not just the positive or neutral, are rooted in ultimately selfish reasons and decisions.

    If anything, my position is that the common usage is openly evil, in that it attempts to vilify people for something that it is literally impossible to avoid. It plays into a culture of shaming and obedience, based on BS. It is a language of virtue-signalling.
    The Randian position is no different, just a 180 on the virtue it praises.
  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sawyer View Post
    I believe being selfish does not mean what you think it means (?)
    I'm spending a lot of time and effort to help you see what I mean, and why the alternative is absurd.

    It's simply impossible to be selfless. You are a self. There is nothing you can do to avoid that.
    You can be a thoughtful self, one that seeks the big picture and the long-term, or you can not.

    Using language that contradicts, especially when that language is rooted in virtue-signalling, is worth taking a deep look at, and trying to understand what it means about human control structures. The commonly accepted usage is rooted in a language of manipulation.
  52. #52
    Mojo, you seem to be taking the meaning of the word "selfless" a bit too literally. It does not mean "lacking self", it means "concerned more with the needs of others than oneself". So is it impossible to be selfless? Of course not, many people have died protecting others when they didn't need to take such a risk.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  53. #53
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    I'm surprised I have to say this, but selflessness does not mean not having a self. It means acting on the interest of others, with no direct personal gains. That's also a spectrum/continuum, with at one end are people who are willing to help others when there's no personal sacrifices involved, and at the other they're willing to do things to help others even at their own expense.

    I thought you were talking about there being no pure altruism, where even the superficially selfless acts we do are inherently selfish, such as acts of kindness are performed because they make the person feel good about themselves. I have no beef with that theory, even though I'm not 100% convinced. Apparently this is not the case, and you're just trying to argue that selfishness can't be bad since it's inherent to humans/life, and if a person's actions end up hurting others, that's just due to them being dicks. That's not how sociology or psychology see it.
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    So is it impossible to be selfless?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    many people have died protecting others when they didn't need to take such a risk.
    ... for their own, selfish, personal reasons.
    ... for their own selfish vision of what humanity "should" stand for.
  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    I'm surprised I have to say this, but selflessness does not mean not having a self. It means acting on the interest of others, with no direct personal gains. That's also a spectrum/continuum, with at one end are people who are willing to help others when there's no personal sacrifices involved, and at the other they're willing to do things to help others even at their own expense.
    No. There's a spectrum of consideration, intelligence, and scope of perspective. There is no difference in selfishness.
    Every choice always in self-interest.
    Wuf and I may disagree on whether every action is in self-interest, because I like to cite some outlier cases, but that's due to a human tendency to "go through the motions" of a familiar task, even when you've decided to do something differently. Not really consequential in the scope of this discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    I thought you were talking about there being no pure altruism, where even the superficially selfless acts we do are inherently selfish, such as acts of kindness are performed because they make the person feel good about themselves.
    That's the heart of my point, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    I have no beef with that theory, even though I'm not 100% convinced.
    Explain to me how any living thing can choose against its self interests?

    As someone whom struggled with suicidal thoughts for years, I can assure you that the dialogue in my head was never about hurting myself, but always about helping other people not have to deal with my shit. Sure, that's anecdotal, but even in extreme cases where one could casually say, "Look, suicide is clearly not in that person's best interests," that's a naive way to look at things; it's dehumanizing. It fails to consider their internal dialogue and perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    Apparently this is not the case, and you're just trying to argue that selfishness can't be bad since it's inherent to humans/life, and if a person's actions end up hurting others, that's just due to them being dicks.
    You're twisting this a bit. I'm saying selfishness cannot be either good or bad, unless identity is equivalently good or bad.
    But otherwise, yes, exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    That's not how sociology or psychology see it.
    IDK what they see, but what they are allegedly saying on this subject is full of crap and virtue-signalling.

    If a anyone (psychologist, sociologist, or otherwise) is telling you to stop doing things in your self-interest, but tells you that doing so is in your self-interest, then that person is a charlatan.
  56. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    Yes.


    ... for their own, selfish, personal reasons.
    ... for their own selfish vision of what humanity "should" stand for.
    Meh, I think you're giving 'selfish' a very broad, practically circular, definition here.

    It's like 'everthing you do is selfish, including things that are unselfish by anyone else's definition.'
  57. #57
    It's actually kind of an interesting question, because evolutionarily we should all be selfish cunts, inasmuch as that means promoting our genes. E.g., men should be serial rapists because they can best propogate their genes that way.

    There is also a debate to be had about the evolutionary benefit of altruism. Altruism definitely exists, but it's difficult to see how giving up or risking one's own interests for an unrelated person has any evolutionary advantage. E.g., I'm walking down a path and I hear someone drowning in a nearby lake. I go in and risk my own life to save them even though I have no idea who they are. Evolutionarily, this makes little sense.

    The best one can argue is that we're genetically programmed to treat people as genetically related and thus worth saving, but this works only up to communities the size of a tribe or so (a few hundred people). One argument is that certain institutions like armies somehow co-opt this module in our brains to make us feel kindred to our fellow citizens and treat them as related. In combat, e.g., men describe their fellow soldiers as 'brothers', because why else would you risk your life to save someone when the situation arose if they weren't your close relative?
  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    No. There's a spectrum of consideration, intelligence, and scope of perspective. There is no difference in selfishness.
    That definition is your own. You might have your reasoning behind this decision but it is not based in science.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    Explain to me how any living thing can choose against its self interests?
    By conscious decision. The neocortex has the capability to override the selfish urges of the lizard brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    You're twisting this a bit. I'm saying selfishness cannot be either good or bad, unless identity is equivalently good or bad.
    But otherwise, yes, exactly.
    Again, not the scientific view on things. If one also took the hypothesis about no free will at face value, your argument would be sound, but I would say that's not the case. Of course you'd still have to define selfishness as only involving the urge or motivation to survive, and separate all actions based on those urges as something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    IDK what they see, but what they are allegedly saying on this subject is full of crap and virtue-signalling.

    If a anyone (psychologist, sociologist, or otherwise) is telling you to stop doing things in your self-interest, but tells you that doing so is in your self-interest, then that person is a charlatan.
    The scientists/science are wrong and you are right? If this has been your banana-impersonation, you got me.
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    That definition is your own. You might have your reasoning behind this decision but it is not based in science.
    Yes. I'm describing a definition which offers clarity and consistency to the use of language.

    I'm confused about your invoking the word science, here.
    What part of this do you think can be answered by science?
    What is an experiment I can perform in which I will observe that my hypothesis is false?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    By conscious decision. The neocortex has the capability to override the selfish urges of the lizard brain.
    ???
    It's still an identity making choices based on what it thinks is best, because doing the things it thinks is best is in its self-interest.
    I don't see why the part of the brain in which a decision originates matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    Again, not the scientific view on things. If one also took the hypothesis about no free will at face value, your argument would be sound, but I would say that's not the case. Of course you'd still have to define selfishness as only involving the urge or motivation to survive, and separate all actions based on those urges as something else.
    I'm not sure what you're talking about, here.
    I don't understand why you're invoking free will or how it matters to this discussion. Can you elaborate?

    The whole point I'm making is that I don't have to define selfishness that way. I can define selfishness as self-interest and selflessness as a fantasy and my definitions lead to fewer contradictions than those you're offering. I don't have to separate anything under my definitions. It's your definitions that make no sense.

    To wit: Your argument is that the less I act in my self-interest, the better it is for my self-interest, and that is obviously absurd.
    Why could this ever be not absurd?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoccoBill View Post
    The scientists/science are wrong and you are right? If this has been your banana-impersonation, you got me.
    If a scientist is claiming that science can prove what the definition of a word is, then they are wrong about what science can do.
    If they have defined a word that has inconsistent meaning in relation to other words, and that meaning is rooted in a language of virtue-signalling and manipulation, then I think it's well worth all of our time to question if that person is speaking as a scientist at all.


    How quickly the past fades. I haven't flipped out, injected links from racist web cites, called you any names or even indicated that you are anything less than an intelligent person with whom I disagree on a word's meaning. Furthermore, we've had an exchange in which the topic of conversation has been steady throughout entire posts, not to mention consistency in between posts as we hear and respond to each other. (I still have to dig into that link you left, I glanced, but it's a long read.)
    Give me a bit of credit, here.
  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    Yes. I'm describing a definition which offers clarity and consistency to the use of language.

    I'm confused about your invoking the word science, here.
    What part of this do you think can be answered by science?
    What is an experiment I can perform in which I will observe that my hypothesis is false?
    Science insofar social sciences and psychology are sciences.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    ???
    It's still an identity making choices based on what it thinks is best, because doing the things it thinks is best is in its self-interest.
    I don't see why the part of the brain in which a decision originates matters.
    According to our understanding the reptile brain is responsible for involuntary, unconscious processes, whereas consciousness is created in the neocortex. The reptile brain just feels and acts, while the neocortex can contemplate on the repercussions, such as what happens and to whom if I do this. The reptile brain is selfish by design with no capacity to override it's urges, unlike the neocortex. This is typically what is thought to make us human, the capacity for empathy and planned altruism. In this context it makes a huge difference what part of the brain we're talking about. If we're talking about an "identity", we are probably talking about a creature with some type of a neocortex.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    I'm not sure what you're talking about, here.
    I don't understand why you're invoking free will or how it matters to this discussion. Can you elaborate?
    If there is no true free will, you could argue that even when we do altruistic acts, it's just our consciousness making up excuses for our decisions that have already been made by our subconscious processes based purely on feelings and urges, telling us that oh yeah, sure, we're being altruistic. If we leave out the hypothesis for a lack of free will, we have to allow autonomy for the conscious processes and their capability to base decisions on logic and reasoning, which can go against our selfish needs and urges. Meh, I feel I'm doing a poor job of explaining this, but I'm lazy and ESL. Hope you understand what I mean, pls ask if not.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    The whole point I'm making is that I don't have to define selfishness that way. I can define selfishness as self-interest and selflessness as a fantasy and my definitions lead to fewer contradictions than those you're offering. I don't have to separate anything under my definitions. It's your definitions that make no sense.
    Using poop's example, how is risking your life trying to save a stranger from drowning selfish?

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    To wit: Your argument is that the less I act in my self-interest, the better it is for my self-interest, and that is obviously absurd.
    Why could this ever be not absurd?
    It's only absurd using your definitions.

    All people are selfish, they want to survive. I think we both agree on this. The degree of selfishness comes from the legths a person is willing to go when pursuing their self-interests. A very modestly selfish person will try to always minimize any harm his action causes to others, or altogether decides to not act according to his needs if it hurts someone else. As a person gets more selfish, he'll have less and less regard for what fulfilling his selfish needs does to others, and at the other end of the spectrum he only cares about him/herself.

    My suggestion is that people should try to move on that spectrum towards the trying-not-to-hurt-others end.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    If a scientist is claiming that science can prove what the definition of a word is, then they are wrong about what science can do.
    If they have defined a word that has inconsistent meaning in relation to other words, and that meaning is rooted in a language of virtue-signalling and manipulation, then I think it's well worth all of our time to question if that person is speaking as a scientist at all.
    I think you should know very well that science isn't used to define words. Scientists have defined those words so they can discuss things regarding them with each other, kind of like we're trying here. Generally it's better to use those definitions than to make up your own ones if you want to get your point across.

    Clearly you have beef with the official definition of selfishness, and the negative tone the word has. I'm also sure the definition is far older than the definition of "virtue-signalling". To me it (still) just sounds like you haven't understood what the definition means, and that it's not just whipped up by the left or whoever to make people feelsbadman.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    How quickly the past fades. I haven't flipped out, injected links from racist web cites, called you any names or even indicated that you are anything less than an intelligent person with whom I disagree on a word's meaning. Furthermore, we've had an exchange in which the topic of conversation has been steady throughout entire posts, not to mention consistency in between posts as we hear and respond to each other. (I still have to dig into that link you left, I glanced, but it's a long read.)
    Give me a bit of credit, here.
    You usually don't have issues with abstract concepts or terminology, especially scientific ones, and you seem to be adamant about your correctness through 3 people trying to correct you. Just not what I've come to expect from you, so I half-jokingly noted that there's been certain bananaesque qualities in your responses. No offense.
    Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

  61. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    fyp
  62. #62
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    I fully understand what is commonly meant when people say the word selfish. My counter is that common meaning is antithetical to a consistent use of words, and that it's not just a "hmm, that's weird" kind of thing, but a "that's language to manipulate me" kind of thing.

    If you already understand that science has no authority on definitions, then there's no need to take a detour where I have to try to figure out how to politely get us both to a point where it's obvious that this has nothing to do with science.
    Also, no need to point to a dictionary. I'm not telling a dictionary what to say. I'm telling you(?) I don't even remember who started all this, that there's nothing good or bad about being selfish, and that if you just stop and think about it, you'll see how using that word for that definition is absolutely steaming bullshit, and it's effect is manipulative.

    My point is that it is the common use of the world which is openly contradictory.


    Addressing poop's example: I don't want to live in a world where someone would see me in peril and ignore that if they had a chance to help me. Therefore I will take certain risks to help people whom are in peril because that's the vision I have for the world I want to create with my choices.
    That's obviously a hypothetical, but it doesn't need to be rational, just compelling to the person taking the risk.

    ***
    Do you do things that are good for me?
    No.
    How wrong you are to be selfish! If you were a better person, you'd act for my benefit, instead of your own.

    That's not my usage of the word, that's the common usage and you keep ignoring this point. The common usage is a fucked up language of guilt and manipulation. Just because we now have the phrase "virtue signalling" to attach to the sentiments of guilt and manipulation doesn't mean that it was any less used to virtue signal before that phrase was popular.
  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poopadoop View Post
    fyp
    IDK if you're failing to troll me of if you're just trolling yourself.

    If there's something I've said in which you find inconsistency, then please share.

    My message is one of personal empowerment.
    Yours seems to be to drag me down to some nanner-esque caricature.
  64. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    IDK if you're failing to troll me of if you're just trolling yourself.

    If there's something I've said in which you find inconsistency, then please share.

    My message is one of personal empowerment.
    Yours seems to be to drag me down to some nanner-esque caricature.
    It's no fun joking with you if you're going to take it seriously.

    I mean lol that someone would seriously compare you to banana. C'mon man.
  65. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    My point is that it is the common use of the world which is openly contradictory.
    If you apply it to some scenario like not telling your gf she's put on a few pounds because it will turn her into a spiralling tormenting machine against you is 'selfish' instead of 'selfless', I'd agree with that on some level. But ...


    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    Addressing poop's example: I don't want to live in a world where someone would see me in peril and ignore that if they had a chance to help me. Therefore I will take certain risks to help people whom are in peril because that's the vision I have for the world I want to create with my choices.
    The gain to you here is so unlikely to be realized (most of us live an entire lifetime without needing anyone else to risk their lives on our behalf, never mind the person whose life we saved before) compared to the risk (drowning to save some idiot you don't even know who probably should've learned to swim before they went on a lake), that overall risking your life just isn't worth it in any 'selfish' way. I guess you could add the positive of being a hero but that's a pretty short-lasting thing really, and won't help you if you die in the attempt. It's probably going to get your name in the paper and not much else in the long run.

    It's also a bit unrealistic to think that your own behavior has such a great influence on society as a whole that it's going to get your life saved in return whereas if you'd just let the stranger drown and then found yourself needing help ten years later, the person coming to your rescue would go 'wait a minute, i remember some time ago a person not bothering in this situation. I was going to save them, but nah, fuck it let them drown.'


    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    Do you do things that are good for me?
    No.
    How wrong you are to be selfish! If you were a better person, you'd act for my benefit, instead of your own.
    That's not really a reasonable expectation though is it? How is he supposed to help you, and moreover, why help you over someone else he might already be helping? Is he even aware that you need help if you haven't asked for it? And if so, is he in a position to help? What should he be doing, sending you money over the internet?

    I think in a more reasonable case people are pretty willing to put in an effort for the benefit of someone else. For example, if someone asks you how fluid dynamics works and you answer, why are you doing that? What are you gaining and why not just go 'fuck off and read a book I got tin cans to explode' or whatever?



    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    That's not my usage of the word, that's the common usage and you keep ignoring this point.
    We're not ignoring it, we're pointing out it's kind of a prop that you're using to change the nature of the argument (presumably unconsciously) into one about the normal vs. MMM definition of a word. This is where you are kind of doing a reductio ad bananum.



    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    The common usage is a fucked up language of guilt and manipulation. Just because we now have the phrase "virtue signalling" to attach to the sentiments of guilt and manipulation doesn't mean that it was any less used to virtue signal before that phrase was popular.
    It might help to give an example of what you mean by 'virtue signalling' here. Do you mean if I help an old lady across the street I'm really being selfish because I want to virtue signal that I'm a nice person? I think of virtue signalling as more in line with hypocrisy, where a person says one thing but acts in the opposite way. If I'm actually being nice and sacrificing my time for someone else's benefit, it's a bit cynical to view that as 'selfish' imo.
  66. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Poopadoop View Post
    If I'm actually being nice and sacrificing my time for someone else's benefit, it's a bit cynical to view that as 'selfish' imo.
    Why do you do it?

    Everything everyone does is 100% selfish.
  67. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    Why do you do it?
    Because it's a good use of my time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    Everything everyone does is 100% selfish.
    If you went with 'a lot of what people do that seems selfless could be argued to have a selfish motive' I'd go along with that.

    Everything and everyone and 100% is just silly.
  68. #68
    Because you think it's a good use of your time*

    It isn't a lot of selfless acts are selfish, all of them are. Even based on what you are trying to say not all selfish acts are bad and not all selfless acts are good nor is there even particularly a correlation.

    It's a very childish way of trying to justify decisions.
  69. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    Because you think it's a good use of your time*

    It isn't a lot of selfless acts are selfish, all of them are. Even based on what you are trying to say not all selfish acts are bad and not all selfless acts are good nor is there even particularly a correlation.

    It's a very childish way of trying to justify decisions.
    Altruism is a very real area of study in social science. There are people who know it's actually a thing and are trying to explain it, and can't. Some of them explain it like you, as being basically selfish, but that falls down in cases like the 'saving the drowning idiot' example I gave.
  70. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Poopadoop View Post
    Altruism is a very real area of study in social science. There are people who know it's actually a thing and are trying to explain it, and can't. Some of them explain it like you, as being basically selfish, but that falls down in cases like the 'saving the drowning idiot' example I gave.
    Society gives silly idealisation to people who do such acts. If you save a drowning person you're seen as a hero even if the person drowning is a huge cunt. As a species there is also the very real thing of wanting to preserve and protect your own. It is also very appealing, especially from a male point of view, to be seen as someone who can deal with shit, look at how much pussy firefighters get. Especially after tragedies. It isn't very hard to frame your "exception" in the same light.
  71. #71
    There are quite a few animals/insects which spend their whole lives doing "altrustic" duties for their and their "hives"* survival. They aren't doing this out of some moral superiority but just for passing on their genes.

    *hive is the wrong word but ants is the main context that comes to mind.
  72. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    Society gives silly idealisation to people who do such acts. If you save a drowning person you're seen as a hero even if the person drowning is a huge cunt. As a species there is also the very real thing of wanting to preserve and protect your own. It is also very appealing, especially from a male point of view, to be seen as someone who can deal with shit, look at how much pussy firefighters get. Especially after tragedies. It isn't very hard to frame your "exception" in the same light.
    I already explained above some reasons why it is hard.

    We can take it further though. If someone saves another person's life and gets noticed by no-one else for it. Or, if you'd like a more realistic example, giving money to a charity anonymously for a benefit that has no way of ever coming back to you.
  73. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    There are quite a few animals/insects which spend their whole lives doing "altrustic" duties for their and their "hives"* survival. They aren't doing this out of some moral superiority but just for passing on their genes.

    *hive is the wrong word but ants is the main context that comes to mind.
    Sure, but this doesn't mean every altruistic behaviour can be explained that way.
  74. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Poopadoop View Post
    I already explained above some reasons why it is hard.

    We can take it further though. If someone saves another person's life and gets noticed by no-one else for it. Or, if you'd like a more realistic example, giving money to a charity anonymously for a benefit that has no way of ever coming back to you.
    Because YOU get a benefit for doing those things. You think you are doing good, you think by hiding your name you're being some sort of hero. The admiration doesn't have to be external. Even if it comes down to you thinking you are doing good that's enough.

    Why would anyone give money to a charity unless they thought that charity was doing good (so the person donating is doing good) or if they were getting an external benefit from it. Most charity donations and charitable acts are incredibly selfish. How many people do you know who donate their lives for a cause unless that cause had has significant impact on their lives?

    My son died of cancer, now I push paediatric cancer treatments
    My mum died of cancer, now I do "fun" runs for breast cancer
    Person I know had a rare disease now I push for more study of that disease

    Being selfish isn't necessarily bad and it doesn't default all these actions to bad. At the same time selfless actions can do shit loads of bad and are seen as good because they are selfless.
    Last edited by Savy; 11-07-2018 at 06:43 PM.
  75. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    Because YOU get a benefit for doing those things. You think you are doing good, you think by hiding your name you're being some sort of hero. The admiration doesn't have to be external. Even if it comes down to you thinking you are doing good that's enough.

    Why would anyone give money to a charity unless they thought that charity was doing good (so the person donating is doing good) or if they were getting an external benefit from it. Most charity donations and charitable acts are incredibly selfish. How many people do you know who donate their lives for a cause unless that cause had has significant impact on their lives?

    My son died of cancer, now I push paediatric cancer treatments
    My mum died of cancer, now I do "fun" runs for breast cancer
    Person I know had a rare disease now I push for more study of that disease

    Being selfish isn't necessarily bad and it doesn't default all these actions to bad. At the same time selfless actions can do shit loads of bad and are seen as good because they are selfless.

    Funny that you took the example of giving to charity and assumed it had to have some selfish motive, like giving to cancer research to honour a relative who had cancer, which is not really selfish either.

    How about giving to starving people in Africa? Does that mean you had a relative who starved to death?

    Also just because it makes you feel good to do something unselfish doesn't mean you're being selfish by doing it. You could feel better by spending that grand on a night with hookers and blow than on starving Africans, and still do the latter.

    You also still can't explain how risking your life to save a stranger with no-one to witness it is ultimately selfish. Feeling like a hero the (say) 90% of the time you survive yourself doesn't offset the other 10% of the time you die in the attempt.

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