Benefit And Detriment. (Human Nature) - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
Go Back   Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum » General Forums » Debate

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-03-2010, 12:45 PM
ZenitYerkes's Avatar
Karyu
ZenitYerkes - Progress means expanding everyone's freedom
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,329
Default Benefit And Detriment. (Human Nature)

I don't believe in the conception of good and evil, no. Why? If I stole the supermarket because I needed bread, it'd be horrible for you and the grocer. But for me, it'd be great, because then I could give some food to my starving family. Is it a bad action, or a good one?

I believe there is no such "good or bad" actions or people, there's benefit and detriment.

Every single action everyone does is made to achieve a benefit. A better situation. Thus, the subject always tends to act to reach this state; either instinctively or by their own will, either conscious or unconsciously. Also, the means used are which are in detriment.

In our previous example, the main end of the thief was to feed their family, the means were stealing the grocer. The benefited part is the thief and his family, the part in detriment is the grocer.

Thus, when we ask "benefit for who?", there two concepts appear: egoism and altruism.

Egoism means, I will only look for my own benefit. As I am looking for that, I won't use anything that could harm me as a means -unless it reports me a greater benefit; thus I use anyone's else's possessions to reach what I want.

Altruism means, I will look for the other's benefit only. Not even mine. So to reach that end, my means will be anything that couldn't harm them, beginning by my possessions.

These two concepts, specially altruism, barely appear alone. There is nobody who will only look for their own benefit without taking in count their beloved ones; or someone who is generous enough to even give their food away whilst starving. It is obvious that it is impossible to live being 100% egoist, and 100% altruist.

But how should we keep the proportion then? How egoist should we be, and how altruist?

Instinctively, we will tend to just look for on own good with exceptions (EG the instinct to protect the family). Our primitive mindset keeps us in a 20-80 altruist-egoist proportion.

Those who can get over it are able to live in greater societies. When we live together, we no longer work for ourselves and those with whom we have strong bonds, but rather for the whole clan, "polis", country or empire. Thus we even take decisions that can involve no benefit for us at all for a greater good, and the altruist-egoism balance may be in a 50-50. However, the risk of those who are in the power making their ruled ones work for them and taking decisions for them, acting selfishly, is big.

There are people who get further than that, who can individually give most of their resources away without any kind of social pressure or contract; simply because they empathize with the people suffering and see their needs. These people keep the altruist-egoist balance in an 80-20.

So, how should we act then? It is obvious that living together is easier if we have an altruist attitude, but is it necessarily the best option? If so (or if not), why, and how can we encourage people acting this way?
__________________
I love Plato, but I love Truth more - Aristotle

Last edited by ZenitYerkes; 07-03-2010 at 01:47 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-03-2010, 12:47 PM
ZenitYerkes's Avatar
Karyu
ZenitYerkes - Progress means expanding everyone's freedom
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,329
Default

Also, I just woke up; doubt I did express myself clearly.
__________________
I love Plato, but I love Truth more - Aristotle
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-04-2010, 04:07 AM
Fkeu 'Awpo's Avatar
Ikran Makto
Fkeu 'Awpo | Bleh.
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 794
Send a message via Skype™ to Fkeu 'Awpo
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
I don't believe in the conception of good and evil, no. Why? If I stole the supermarket because I needed bread, it'd be horrible for you and the grocer. But for me, it'd be great, because then I could give some food to my starving family. Is it a bad action, or a good one?
Stole the supermarket? The whole supermarket? Dear god, man...
Well, it's bad because you stole something from someone else. Stealing is wrong (says the hypocrite, but whatever.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
I believe there is no such "good or bad" actions or people, there's benefit and detriment.
Benefits are good, detriments are bad. So logically, actions that cause detriment are bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
In our previous example, the main end of the thief was to feed their family, the means were stealing the grocer. The benefited part is the thief and his family, the part in detriment is the grocer.

Thus, when we ask "benefit for who?", there two concepts appear: egoism and altruism.
You, the thief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
These two concepts, specially altruism, barely appear alone. There is nobody who will only look for their own benefit without taking in count their beloved ones; or someone who is generous enough to even give their food away whilst starving. It is obvious that it is impossible to live being 100% egoist, and 100% altruist.
Nothing is impossible. There are people like the underlined, I assure you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
But how should we keep the proportion then? How egoist should we be, and how altruist?
WE shouldn't do anything; you can't force people to be one way or the other. To answer your second question, 50/50 would be good, I guess. You can never go wrong with 50/50.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
Those who can get over it are able to live in greater societies. When we live together, we no longer work for ourselves and those with whom we have strong bonds, but rather for the whole clan, "polis", country or empire. Thus we even take decisions that can involve no benefit for us at all for a greater good, and the altruist-egoism balance may be in a 50-50. However, the risk of those who are in the power making their ruled ones work for them and taking decisions for them, acting selfishly, is big.
The Na'vi seem to live like this, and they manage quite well. But I agree that it wouldn't work quite as well if humans tried it.
Ruled ones? What kind of society are you talking about? I wouldn't give anyone absolute power; that's never a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
So, how should we act then? It is obvious that living together is easier if we have an altruist attitude, but is it necessarily the best option? If so (or if not), why, and how can we encourage people acting this way?
I think everyone should be 50/50 egoism/altruism. But there's always leeway. Like, if times are hard for you, maybe 75/25. If you're doing well off, 25/75. As with anything, you can encourage people all you like... if they want to change their ways, they will.

-- Overall, I don't we're doing too bad as a society right now. Most of us get by, most of us give to charities, we can't be perfect.
__________________

Last edited by Fkeu 'Awpo; 07-04-2010 at 04:13 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-04-2010, 02:00 PM
Human No More's Avatar
Toruk Makto, Admin
Human No More has no status.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In a datacentre
Posts: 11,751
Default

It's a hard one... I think, NEITHER is good. Ultimately, we DO have to look out for ourselves or we'd all die out, there is no reason to ever only consider others if it has too negative consequences... but not everything is a choice between one or the other.
__________________
...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-04-2010, 11:55 PM
Avatar Driver
GLaDOS managing Aperture Science Enrichment Center Testing.
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 22
Default

The world is shades of grey, when people do 'bad' things, in their mind they arent doing it for the sake of being bad, most of the time. They usually at least have reasons, at most have valid reasons, for doing the actions they are ostracized for.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-10-2010, 02:08 AM
ZenitYerkes's Avatar
Karyu
ZenitYerkes - Progress means expanding everyone's freedom
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,329
Default

Quote:
Stole the supermarket? The whole supermarket? Dear god, man...
Well, it's bad because you stole something from someone else. Stealing is wrong (says the hypocrite, but whatever.)
Oh, you know. Thieves nowadays have large, large families... And that ain't cheap.

And wrong from the grocer's point of view. Did anyone else took in count the thief's wife perspective?

Quote:
Benefits are good, detriments are bad. So logically, actions that cause detriment are bad.
By that logic, even altruist acts are bad. You use yourself as the means in detriment.

Quote:
Nothing is impossible. There are people like the underlined, I assure you.
I was sure someone would pop up with this.

Quote:
WE shouldn't do anything; you can't force people to be one way or the other. To answer your second question, 50/50 would be good, I guess. You can never go wrong with 50/50.
Why not?


Quote:
Ruled ones? What kind of society are you talking about? I wouldn't give anyone absolute power; that's never a good idea.
When you lack the vocabulary to express yourself you usually make a bad word choice, but I bet you know where I am coming from.

Quote:
...we can't be perfect.
But we must aspire to be. There is no perfect system but take for granted that democracy is better than feudalism.
__________________
I love Plato, but I love Truth more - Aristotle
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-12-2010, 08:40 PM
Mune's Avatar
Super Moderator
Mune is browsing the forums.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: At Wit's End
Posts: 99
Default

I generally tend to lean towards 'no right and wrong'. As it's all subjective... In your example, yes. It's right for the man to take the bread from his point of view because ignoring a law to save a life is a rather obvious choice.

However, from the *inside the box* point of view. A random man has just taken something that the marketer paid for, and expected to sell for a sum, so...

Depends- I really don't know what attitude is best to have in situations that are 'good' and 'bad'. I really don't believe in 'good things' and 'bad things'. I just think that both are states of comparison.

Just as I think that all those who if they had three wishes would place one in world peace. I just think it's foolish. [My opinion, not fact] War cannot exist without Peace, and vice versa.

There's a lot to be said... I've personally taken the rather selfish attitude of "I don't care if something bad happens to a person I have no relation with." - I mean- All these adverts on television saying "PLEASE DONATE, THESE PEOPLE NEED YOUR HELP"- I just think "Am I supposed to feel sorry for them...?" - After that thought shortly comes a "WHY ARE YOU FILMING THEM THEN, IF THEY WANT HELP SO MUCH." It's like kicking someone while they're down. "Ooh look, someone's being beaten up!" "Shall we help him..?" "Nah, let's film it."

And... I digress. I went a bit off-topic there. Apologies.

I do not have a large ego at all, I just do things for my benefit because I can see the results. If I know a person, then I care more about their satisfaction than mine, because in a sense; knowing that they're ok makes me happy. Same within a sexual relationship, so to bring that up. It really wouldn't be about 'my' pleasure. It would be about giving my partner as much pleasure as I possibly can.

There are different perspectives, in a sense- There is no 'right' or 'wrong' because every single thing in this existence is both 'right' and 'wrong' at the same time.

I mean, even the simplest thing. "I just helped an old woman across the street" - Positive. "I had to halt a drivers day to do so." Negative. I mean- Every single situation. Obviously some are harder to spot than others...

Sorry if I missed the point completely... I'm multitasking xD Talking on a program to a few people.
__________________
Useful Links

The IRC Channel
http://www.tree-of-souls.com/irc/
Tree of Souls Updates
http://www.tree-of-souls.com/tree_of_souls_news/
Frequently Asked Questions
http://www.tree-of-souls.com/faq.php
Groups
http://www.tree-of-souls.com/groups/

If you have questions, send me a private message. If you are offended by any of the content on these Forums- Please use the 'Report Post' button.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-12-2010, 10:13 PM
Human No More's Avatar
Toruk Makto, Admin
Human No More has no status.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In a datacentre
Posts: 11,751
Default

Well said... I TRY to consider everyone, but the truth is, when it comes down to it, I look out for myself and the people I care about first. Every person is the same.
__________________
...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-12-2010, 10:25 PM
rapunzel77's Avatar
Ikran Makto
rapunzel77 has no status.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: florida
Posts: 881
Send a message via ICQ to rapunzel77
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
I don't believe in the conception of good and evil, no. Why? If I stole the supermarket because I needed bread, it'd be horrible for you and the grocer. But for me, it'd be great, because then I could give some food to my starving family. Is it a bad action, or a good one?
There are shades of grey, especially in this scenario. The thief isn't necessarily doing something wrong since he is trying to feed his family. In desperate times, this is what happens. Of course the question could be raised, how desperate is this man? Is there some other help that he can get so that he doesn't have to steal?

There are objectively evil things out there. For instance, willfully murdering someone I would think is evil. So would rape. In the context of war, it is different though. However, if some killer wants to take an innocent life, that must be declared wrong. So would robbery.


Quote:
Every single action everyone does is made to achieve a benefit. A better situation. Thus, the subject always tends to act to reach this state; either instinctively or by their own will, either conscious or unconsciously. Also, the means used are which are in detriment.
To a degree this is true.


Quote:
But how should we keep the proportion then? How egoist should we be, and how altruist?
This is where charity comes in. It is only in charity that one can keep the balance.


Quote:
So, how should we act then? It is obvious that living together is easier if we have an altruist attitude, but is it necessarily the best option? If so (or if not), why, and how can we encourage people acting this way?
I don't think it must be an either/or situation. One can look after himself/herself and their family while also contributing to the greater good in society and helping others that need it. It does come down to respect, honor, and duty. Above all, it comes down to love. In any society, everyone must do their part to maintain the system. If they do not, then it won't benefit society nor themselves. We are all connected which is why we have to work together. Granted, not everyone can pull their weight. Some are very poor. Others are addicted to drugs or have mental problems or they are homeless. For those who have much, they can give much. Not necessarily in extremely heavy taxes but they can help the less fortunate. We don't discard the homeless and downtrodden. Instead, we are to help them.

I think that by fostering more charity for others then societies can be better.
__________________
You wont walk alone
I'll be by your side
There will be no empty home
if you will be my bride
the rest of my life will be
Song for Rapunzel and me.


I see you

Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



Visit our partner sites:

      pandoraworld.ru



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:29 PM.

Based on the Planet Earth theme by Themes by Design


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
All images and clips of Avatar are the exclusive property of 20th Century Fox.