Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bowser, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    I'm thinking the German people gave themselves to a perceived greater good, allowing much more than war to come on the world. Obviously they were looking at hard realities and grasping for some form of order and dignity.

    Yet the ideology always breaks down into a regime. It starts out with the best intentions, yet history shows us that it doesn't work.


    Maybe it would be better to take him to McDonald's and make certain he's eating? Or maybe I should buy him a quart of beer?
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  3. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    There's no way of knowing for certain.
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    One guy makes no bones about being a beggar.
    The other tries to manipulate.
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  7. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    Still don't understand how you can determine one from the other. Is there a difference between holding out your hand and asking?
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Holding out your hand is not an attempt to manipulate me.

    I should be clear. I don't mean asking for money; I mean making up a b******t story about falling on hard times.

    One guy tried the old 'need bus fare to get home to Alberta' line (I've heard it at least four times now in my city), and I stopped and said "Look, here's some money, but don't give me that oldest line in the book nonsense."

    And he got all offended and said "Aw man. Don't call me a liar. Now I don't want your money."

    So I placed the money on the mailbox next to us and said "Well, it's here if you want it, but I don't need the story." And left.
  9. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Well... as you can see in my example below... my choosin to go to hell in place of my wife is clearly altruistic.!!!

    "if my wife was bein sent to hell an i was givin the option to take her place... i woud be altruistic an take her place in hell... cause i coudnt stand it knowin that i coud have saved her but didnt.!!!"
  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    What is much more than a war that kills 80million people and damages all the survivors and their countries?
    Not all the Germans 'gave themselves'. It doesn't even take a majority to take control of government: bullies tend to rule, even when most of the people only go along out of fear. And it was a whole lot more complicated and took a whole lot longer for the nazi party to gain power than just telling the people :"We're gonna make Germany great again!"
    If they'd had the option of sacrificing themselves for whatever they considered the greater good (which was not necessarily Hitler's idea of the Reich), most Germans might have said no. In wars, people don't get that option. Somebody else makes the decision to sacrifice them. It's nothing to do with altruism.
    Some did get out before it was too late; some opposed the regime and were disappeared. The survivors mostly got their souls back, eventually, but half of them had to do hard penance under Stalin and his successors.
    That, too. But they never voted for the outcome that was thrust upon them.
    Judgment from hindsight, especially from a very comfortable distance, is easy... but not necessarily accurate.
    No, it's the other way around. Regimes adopt, hijack and abuse ideals.
    Which "it"?
    The American revolutionaries were pissed at paying tax to the English crown. They picked a fight. They won. Then they concocted a constitution, with the underlying ideal of liberty equality and democracy. (So did the french revolutionaries a few years later. ) With good - if not the very best - intentions. They were partially successful, though they made some fatal errors. Of course it didn't work as they hoped it would.
    But - What were the available alternatives, and which of those would have worked better?

    I had a friend once who did just that. It's a little way toward being one's brother's keeper, which was the philosophy he followed.
    Your choice. Either way, the act of giving something for nothing is altruistic.
    more so - in my ledger, anyway - if you don't judge.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  11. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    For whatever reason I am reminded of a chap I met in hospital who had a list of problems such I could not imagine how he could not slash his wrists, on the invalid pension, and he tells me how he and his elderly mother collect clothing to give to people in need and how they were having trouble paying for the van out of their pensions.

  12. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    What sparked my interest in the subject was the below video. If anyone cares to watch it and give their thoughts, I would like to read them.

  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    That was one mixed-up la--- er --- woman!
  14. birch Valued Senior Member

    i don't agree with everything she ever said or wrote but i agree with most of her points of view. i like that woman.
  15. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    From Jeeves Post 30
    The above refers to Ayn Rand

    Mixed up ?? Her views were based on rational analysis. For some folks, I guess that implies mixed up.

    She was against basing decisions on altruism, preferring to base them on logical analysis in so far as possible.

    She also advocated basing decisions on what she called rational self interest & logic rather than on altruism.

    I was amused at her response to a heckler at one of her lectures. The heckler remark was some what like the following
    Ayn Rand’s reply was similar to the following.
    Ayn Rand is often maligned by quoting remarks by her out of the context in which they were made.

    BTW: From some time in the 1800's until circa 1950-1955, the academic community considered Russia & communism/socialism to be ideal political systems. The following motto was extolled
    It seems very much in accordance with Christian ethics.

    Ayn Rand rightly claimed that it advocated not paying the best & the brightest in accordance with their efforts & favoring the best whiners with undeserved rewards.

    She also pointed out that a dictatorial central government bureaucracy is required to implement such a principle.
  16. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    When I was young, my cohort measured maturity on the Rand-scale. At eighteen, it was okay to be enthusiastic, even to go around spouting John Galt lines and dissing classical architecture. By twenty, you should have seen through the holes in her arguments; if you hadn't moved on to Camus by 21, and Huxley by 23, you were intellectually hopeless, and would vote Tory all your life.
    Her philosophy is what I call "the screwdriver solution" : it addresses a simple, two-dimensional world that doesn't exist.
    Me, I don't trust anyone who doesn't at least attempt to cook.
  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    According to her. Have you read her explanation of why it's a good thing to smoke cigarettes?
    Rational analysis of an imaginary system is still imaginary.
    She admired slag-heaps, too.
    She had almost zero understanding of human psychology or social relations. She made up her own little adoring community, in which her ideas worked, because she commanded that they must; pushed the acolytes around -- while expounding on personal autonomy.
    Not implies - demonstrated.

    And that's fine, except for two factors, which she failed to take into consideration:
    1. Humans are more than reason; in most humans, reasoning isn't even their best-trained faculty. (That's mostly down to short-sighted politicians' decisions regarding public education, but also - not everybody is clever and articulate; that doesn't disqualify them from making sound decisions.)
    2. Insufficient data.

    That's her choice; if s that works for her, fine. She's no expert on what works for anyone else.

    and those of every functional human family, tribe, wolf-pack, elephant herd and beehive.
    Yes, and?

    But who actually advocated not paying the best or the brightest in accordance with their efforts? Who advocated paying people to whine?
    Just how big an effort does it take; how good does one need to be, to inherit $billions? Does it make a difference which of the slaves are bright or decent or talented when their owner is raking in profits from the cotton trade? Does a social media CEO really work 10,000 times as hard as a coal-miner? Is a professional football player really 10,000 as smart as a grade-school teacher?

    She pointed out lots of things. That doesn't make them true.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  18. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Most people seem to accept altruism as bein real... an i live my life as tho it acutally exists... but altruism is just anuther thang i dont have beleifs in.!!!
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    You don't need to 'believe in' the instinct to help. It's just there, in the genes of every social animal - else there couldn't be social animals.
  20. river

  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

    That's like saying she was against basing decisions on logic, preferring to base them on reason instead.

    Altruism and logical analysis are not antonyms any more than logic and reason are. That's one of the primary reasons she missed the mark.
  22. river


    Reason and logic are though antonyms of each other .

    Reason gathers information

    Logic is defined by information given by reason .
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    So reason is the opposite of logic? What an . .. interesting claim.

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