Why is "what's best for everyone" better than "what's only best for me (and my friends / family)"?

Does it need explaining or justifying at all? 

Views: 851

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

RE: "(and speaking as one who, regretfully, has been spiteful once or twice in his lifetime)"

SAY it isn't so!

http://api.ning.com/files/3xh5OKLELdnA7i8dYz*NGFk6Y-1tfE9TYkVfRDuG0mNf24QRieczBXStuZBzvRU3FnwZ93oexMLVi3ofpf2Ouonvl3e9MGqn/lolcano1.gif

Sometimes I'm spiteful in spite of myself.

:-O surprise#-o d'oh!

"When I have been bad, a feeling of being bad has come with it, along with the transitory pleasure of getting even."

I think that this is the point.  Being spiteful may bring temporary pleasure or enjoyment, but in the end, it doesn't make the perpetrator happy.  It just prolongs their negativity.  

I'm defining "spiteful" as "being bad to someone without just cause".  I see this as different to "being bad to someone as a punishment for something bad they have done to me".  

Here we get back to "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" (everyone ends up with no eyes and no teeth) versus "turn the other cheek".  In my case, I'll take one eye, and one tooth, and leave it at that.  All I want is to make the other person look like a bitch, and once I've achieved that I'm satisfied.  After that they can do what they like, they're still a bitch. 

Forgive me for being so lengthy with this stuff, but I feel it's important to map the territory. 



There's always been confusion over what "morality" actually means.  This must be because, as defined in "Wild Justice" (book about the moral lives of animals), it covers a wide range of behaviour, all concerned with how we relate to other people / other living things. 

 From "Wild Justice":  

"Social animals live according to well-developed systems of prohibitions against certain kinds of behavior and proscriptions for certain kinds of behavior.  These prohibitive and proscriptive norms govern the behavior of individuals within a group and relate to harm, welfare and fairness.  These behaviors, in philosophical lingo, are other-regarding, as opposed to self-regarding." 


We can behave in a moral way - ie. do the right thing - even though this moral choice may be unpopular with our peers.  



I think we can divide moral behaviour as follows:



    [idiosyncratic] social conventions

    [universal] social conventions




"Wild Justice" talks about various "clusters" of behaviour.  The boundaries are always approximate.  I've adapted their model slightly.  Here is my rough version:





Empathy cluster

sympathy
compassion
caring
helping
grieving
consoling



Cooperation cluster

reciprocity
generalized reciprocity
trust



Altruism cluster

generosity



Fairness cluster

sharing rules, eg. who eats first
impartiality (ie. everyone is treated the same without favour)  
expectations of what we deserve and how we should be treated
indignation



Justice cluster

forgiveness
punishment
revenge
retribution



@John Kelly

The very thing that I dispute is your claim that doing what is best or right is always good... If people always do what they think is right, then it simply can't be the case.

If people do what they think is right, they are doing what they think best. That means it is their approximation of The Good.

The difference here lies between our views.  I think people seek accuracy before satisfaction.  The evolution of a dependency on accuracy precedes the drive for satisfaction.

I really think your psychology is overintellectualized. I ask everyone here who knows they go through a process of determining accuracy before they go for satisfaction. When I get a beer out of the fridge to satisfy my thirst, if there's a process of "determining accuracy" that goes on in my mind, (a) I'm totally unaware of it; (b) I think it's a post hoc description imposed on what happens to shoehorn it into your overall theory, which I think is wayyy overintellectualized.

If people seek accuracy before satisfaction, then what is truly sought is what is right, rather than what is good.

As I said, this seeking of accuracy is a very big if.

As for people one-upping or seeking revenge, they do it for a reason. That means some value process is driving them to do it.

Yes, a brain process, not an intellectual one. I think most people will draw a blank at the idea of "some value process" driving what they do. Your description is flawed for not having a place in it for impulsivity, illogic, and irrationality, all of which are a huge part of any realistic description of human behavior.

See but I contend that the greatest of human evils are simply mismeasurent relating to value designation.  As a result I see neither good nor evil, only accuracy and what is right.  Good and evil become meaningless archaic concepts used for social constructs based on the illusion of free-will.  Social constructs I intend to put forth my life's effort to destroy.

But I think most people understand that just because the ends outweigh the means something isn't really good.  Good and bad just are more complicated than the simplifications made through conflations like you are making.

But about the psychological motivation issue, it doesn't matter.  People were unaware of a lot of things relating to psychology for a long time. That doesn't mean it isn't happening.  The idea is foreign to you, because it is a new idea.  But the time I have spent on this has shown me that the implications, are drastic.

You can actually manipulate your emotions by changing the valuation of your circumstances. Albert Ellis was big on that.  For instance, if someone was unmarried and lonely, REBT causes them to no longer have a desire to want to be married and thus be happy.

But when you realize choice is just measurement it changes a lot of things.  It enhances what you can do with human behavior, because you now know what you are dealing with.  My description is simplified because it is in a post here.  But yes it is an intellectual process.  People will draw a blank because they lack self-awareness.  And it explains everything about impulsivity, illogic and irrationality.  But we weren't talking about that so I didn't cover how that works.

I've observed that discussions with you tend to become long, and there are other interesting discussions, so I'll keep this fairly brief in order to go on with my life.

Clearly, you have an answer for everything, which isn't always good, because it can mean that your theory is just a tautology built on definitions and assumptions, with no opening anywhere for disproof.

Any relevant theory in any field needs to meet this standard: that it is disprovable, even if just in principle. In other words, "If my theory is wrong then such and such will be the case/will be observed/will or will not happen/etc."

Where is that anywhere in your theory? If you are wrong, how would we know it?

The hypothesis is that human valuation is a result of the measurement of data collected through the perceptions. It is a hypothesis about base human behavioral motivation.

A simple way to determine it is false is to prove valuation can occur without measurement. It really is that simple. I think you will find the task impossible. I think you will find that the nature of values are that they are for measurement.

The process I am talking about isn't dependent on those things you are
bringing up. You think it is overintellectualized, but I figured this out years ago. I have had plenty of time to figure out the deeper workings of it. So don't be surprised when I can meet some preliminary objections of yours. It doesn't mean that it is a tautology. It just means a lot of things you are objecting to kind of miss the point. This isn't some fledgling hypothesis of mine like the moral one which stems from the same principle.

Hey John, I got news for ya - valuation IS measurement.  Just as Unseen indicated, what you have here is a bad case of tautology.

Not everyone agrees with that Heather.  

But if it is, then accuracy is the intent of valuation hands down.  

Measurement has only one intent and that is accuracy.  There is no other possible intent for measurement.  This makes accuracy the core drive relating to choice.

Yes, values are measurement, but people don't treat it that way due to their own confirmation bias about choice and their fanciful ideas about it.

Choices also occur as a result of values.   Values are acquired through the perceptions.  None of this is tautology, all of it is fact.  People just don't tie it all together for some reason into a unified theory and view it from a very obvious angle.

Yes, it is a fact that valuation is measurement. I'm afraid you are falling for your own slight of word here and starting to sound as self-deluded as William Lane Craig.

RSS

Blog Posts

The tale of the twelve officers

Posted by Davis Goodman on August 27, 2014 at 3:04am 4 Comments

Birthday Present

Posted by Caila Rowe on August 26, 2014 at 1:29am 6 Comments

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service