Your a certified whack-job if you think you can indulge in providing some kind of interjection or explanations for the "true" intent of an individual, when the ACTUAL RESIDUAL EVIDENCE of the actions are staring you in the face, and any SANE PERSON would submit to this empirical evidence as the TRUTH.
P.S. One of the main tenets of the liberal philosophy is the pathetic and idealistic attempts to remove all personal accountability from individuals, which is simply dysfunctional from any social standpoint, and I am afraid that your continued dismissals about the truth of self-interest simply reflects this careless ideology.
That's right, I'm an insane whack job. But don't forget that you're the one who thinks that this protean self-interest is empirically demonstrable, and we're all waiting for you to provide the studies that show it.
Yet again, you've done a masterful job of grossly contradicting yourself within a single sentence. Shall we call it a trend? Your blanket assignment of subconscious self-interest to the root of all actions is nothing short of determinism, which in itself removes all personal accountability from individuals. No matter what people think they're doing or want to do, your argument is that they're helplesly and hopelessly beholden to self-interest. So it's YOU who are arguing for a lack of personal responsibility.
MY argument, on the other hand, gives people credit for being able to authentically choose to be generous, to be cruel, to be selfless, to be selfish. In other words, I give people ULTIMATE responsibility for their choices.
So again, in your haste to be acerbic and dismissive, you not only continue to pretend you understand me, but you undermine your own point of view with continued self-contradiction.
Finally, I'm not philosophically liberal. I'm politically liberal, but I'm philosophically pretty close to an existentialist -- which is a basically neutral philosophy that allows for self-determination -- exactly what I argue for in this thread. Furthermore, I actually KNOW what empirical demonstrability is, because it's the fundamental tool of my career -- it's not just a word. You continue to claim that things are empirically demonstrable, but you do so either without basis, without understanding, or as a meaningless rhetorical accoutrement to try and add a veneer of authority to your assertions.
You didn't respond directly to my post. Is there a reason for this? -- Just curious.
The sequence of self-interest provides complete latitude to individuals as it pertains to their personal decision making processes, so your claim that the pursuit and execution of satisfying self-interest is some kind of physical or cognitive bondage is completely and unequivocally INSANE, and reflects how TWISTED and OFF-TRACK your cognitive meanderings take you.
I did respond, look at pg 19.
Ruthless Logic said to Aedes:
Despite all your claims, you have nothing concrete on which to back them up with.
Please, please tell me you are not serious?
Ruthless Logic said:
I'm quite serious and you have yet to respond directly to the arguments and questions I made earlier:
I assert that it is quite absurd for anyone who assert that altruism is ultimately selfish. I have read the arguements by the thread's creator and they are steeped in sematics and rhetoric while completely ignoring any 'concrete' or pragmatic applications. It is fine and good to argue from the standpoint of pure logic, but I would remind everyone that pure logic is not applicable in all aspects of human behavior.
I assert that: in a pragmatic sense, true selfless altruism is possible.
Are you going to respond directly or not?
I assert that it is quite absurd for anyone who assert that altruism is ultimately selfish. I have read the arguements by the thread's creator and they are steeped in sematics and rhetoric while completely ignoring any 'concrete' or pragmatic applications. ... I assert that: in a pragmatic sense, true selfless altruism is possible.
Understanding that each individual has these motives whose genesis is in the self is important and sheds a good and productive light on the concept of altruism. Can anything be done that is wholly absent of any motivational aspect of the self? No, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it.
Do you see what I mean?
Again, a few qualifications because I think this to be important to be cast in the correct light:
- To accept that anything we do has, as its motives, reasons the self has come up with does not negate the worth, value or definition of altruism one iota.
It is in this light - this understanding of our individual motives - that altruism, in the popularly-accepted sense, is false.
Your obvious lack of understanding basic differing branches of Philosophy leads me to believe that YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IS EMPIRICALLY DEMONSTRABLE
I find it disconcerting that you can cognitively acknowledge that it is FINE and GOOD to use logic in arguments, but in some magical way YOU want to suspend the adoption and usage of logic when it obviously causes you COGNITIVE DISSONANCE in some adaptations. Try to be brave when it comes to understanding the truths of your natural world, even if the realizations cause you emotional discomfort. The clarity of truth is much more comfortable, then the dulling indulgements of idealism.
Khethil, thank you for your post. It does clear up a few things, but I still take issue with it.
Then we are ultimately redefining what the word "atltruism" means which I find quite silly. All of this verbal sparing seems to amount to little more than mental masturbation.
In order to communicate, any group must agree on certain practical application of language. Attempting to communicate on the basis of pure logic would be futile and counter-productive because, ultimately, every term / word / phrase can be broken down semantically to demonstrate that it does not neccessarily mean exactly what the popular conception of it means.
However, when people use the term "selfless", they are speaking to the motivation behind the act; not the literal, logical definition of the word.... So I do agree that Altruism -- in a purely logical sense -- is not selfless. But I maintain that this principle is irrelevent in the pragmatic sense of communication.
To use an analogy, using this extreme level of breaking down forms is akin to saying, "One painting is no different than another because both are merely complex collections of atoms and molecules."
I would ask exactly what this has accomplished? Anything?
By understanding and acknowledging the concepts and their natures, we:
- Abolish polarized thinking by accepting the possibility that altrustic acts, while laudable, honorable and needed, have behind them an element of personal interest.
- Give insight to our own motivations and interests by consciously acknowledging their existence.
- Imbue value to the motivations of the self.
- Expand our understanding behind popularly-held "labels" of behavior.
I believe there's more. But you get the idea...
I think, as an exercise, it's often a good idea. But if I'm to be honest here, this same "can't we stop muddying the waters already?!"-sentiment you express, I too often have issues with. So, I believe, I can fully understand your point and its well taken.
Thanks for the exchange, good stuff.
I just want you to know that, if we are indeed inherently self-interested and we have no choice in that matter, we cannot be blamed for such self-interest.
Since you like cognitive dissonance so much, I will try some on you:
If a woman makes the selfish decision to have an abortion rather than having a baby, how is she wrong?
If we accept that she can only act in this selfish manner, that she acts according to the mechanical firing of synapses, and indeed couldn't choose to act altruistically and support a child she doesn't want, how can we lay blame?