Enlightened Self-Interest

BE careful not to presume a solution before you have a very clear understanding of the current strategy. Much of what is happening that seems so negative is by planned scenario. Because the population must be inspired into change, many ills are intentionally created and allowed so as to inspire the population to give authority over to a “better idea”. The unfortunate (painful) truth is that at times, those plotting evil hidden deeds are actually doing the population a favor.

Such as…?

There is a reason they are “hidden” and I can’t think of a way to keep that topic associated with this thread topic.

Either my encroaching cynicism is winning, or Ucci’s time at university is – because for the first time ever, I can agree with a post he’s made in SS. This is actually a pretty big deal, since we both think the other is rather fundamentally wrong but agree more often than not in religion.

Cancers follow enlightened self-interest. Left to their own devices, that has two endpoints. Either the immune system has the sense to deal with the cancer or the cancer kills the host. Due to modern medicine, a third path is available, whereby the cancer is allowed to pursue its own enlightened self-interest up to a point, at which point we try and intervene and kill it.

I could go on, but I’ll quote a wise man instead:

While the former is important, and demonstrates how far a slippery slope can take us (is fur the same as slavery? I don’t think so and I assure you the flag I carry is quite red!). But, just because we recognize a particularly screwed up slide, that doesn’t mean we need to close the whole playground down.

Enlightened self-interest applied to the organism results in a dead organism. Unless, of course, we want to appeal to higher order interests, those of the social being. At which point the whole “enlightened self-interest” dialogue becomes moot.

Rightism is racism. This thread helps illustrate that fundamental point.


You are better than this. Rethink your position, seriously. I don’t think of you as reactionary. I’d like to keep it that way.

The only thing this thread demonstrates is that people are not capable of acting in an enlightened manner.

:question: :question: :question: :question: :question:

Some, people.

I don’t give my life an ultimate value. I do not see myself as any more or less important than anything else in the existing universe. Can you please define your version of liberty and property?

Which was the basis of my air conditioning question, something you still have not addressed in regards to how you define life, liberty and property. Honestly, the closest I can get to breaking down your idea of liberty is that anyone is free to do anything as long as it doesn’t effect anyone else, which is nearly impossible. Your liberty to listen to music violates my liberty to sit in silence.

Not even slightly. All I have gotten from this conversation is that I am wrong without you explaining in your terms why I am wrong.

So you are of the same value as the offal in some open sewer in North Korea? Under this reasoning, how do you justify killing anything, plant or animal, in order to live?

Liberty: The freedom to be as dumb as you want, on your own dime.
Property :question: : Our physical possessions, which includes money. (And no, the right to property does not include violating another’s equal right to liberty by owning them as property.)

I don’t know what else I can say than what I’ve already said, except: The A/C issue is very complex, and the solution, as is so often the case, is to get the government out of the way, with the possible exception of emergency rationing so that the mess they caused can be fixed. Would the A/C example be any different if the commodity was food?

We’re not discussing my reasons, we’re discussing yours. You’re trying to explain your viewpoint to me, not mine to you.

As long as it doesn’t impose upon someone else’s liberty to be as dumb as they want? By the way you’re explaining it (or lack of explanation) no one is really at liberty to do anything. I can’t smoke a cigarette because it violates another’s right to breathe fresh air. I can’t drive 50 on the freeway because it prevents someone else from going 70. I get how you are defining liberty, I don’t get how you think it can actually be applied in a real world sense in your terms. If anyone has the right to do anything, no one else has the right to do something that would prevent that from happening, which is an obvious violation of their own liberty.

Judging by your distaste for the government it seems safe to say that means anything along the lines of imminent domain is clearly out the window. Which would mean that one person’s right somehow supersedes the rights of everyone else because they got there first, which makes no sense in the context of life liberty and property being innate moral rights to all sentient beings.

How is extreme summer time temps and everyone wanting their house to be 74 inside 24/7 the fault of the government? You’re blaming the government for things that individuals choose to do on a daily basis. And those individuals are the same ones who elected the government. If you’re implying something towards a lack of proper infrastructure foresight by the government, I’d argue that is the fault of the people more so than government. Most people I talk to want more for less from the governments that preside over them. With limited budgets and a strong backlash from higher taxes only so much can be done at one time. And from what I can tell, if a government fails to meet all needs at all times then they are violating the moral rights of liberty and property of those they govern over. Which, from where I am sitting, only supports my claim of finite resources making it impossible for life liberty and property to be rights for every sentient being.

Again, you continue to tell me that I am wrong without explaining the why behind it.

You appear to be attempting to equate liberty with chaos. Yes, the right of one to smoke a cigarette conflicts with the right of another to breathe clean air. However, this is the purpose of the courts - an objective, neutral source of arbitration to evaluate the facts and circumstances - the nuances - associated with such conflicts. Were you in your own home smoking your cigarette? What concentration of your cigarette smoke actually makes it into the breathable air of a town? These are the relevant questions that you ignore when you falsely attempt to construe the philosophy of liberty as flawed through innate contradictions.

No. From my perspective, you do not “get” how he is describing liberty. You doing 50 on the freeway doesn’t prevent me from doing 70 - unless there is a concrete divider and only one lane. The real world is varied and complex. The only reason you can’t see the philosophy of liberty - which, incidentally, still provides most of principled foundation of western civilization - as being applicable to the “real world” is because your definition of the real world appears to be particularly contrived to suit your argument.

Philosophically speaking - within the context of liberty - “groups” or your supposed “everyone else” - have no rights per se. Only the individuals within the group have rights. If an individual doesn’t have the right to kick you off your land - and strip you of your property for their own machinations - then a “mob” of individuals, per the philosophy of liberty, certainly doesn’t have that power.

Numbers do not constitute the basis for new power - new rights. It may “feel” good to think so - but unless you have a more principled, rational basis for the derivation of such “super-individual” rights - concepts like eminent domain are, and will forever remain, inherently flawed and representative of a gross violation of individual rights.

I made the reasoned assertion that humans/sentients are of ultimate value because we are the only ones with fully developed self-awareness, and because all animal life needs to take other life to sustain itself. To this you answered that you don’t see yourself as any more or less important than anything else in the universe. Essentially you’re giving human rights to a stalk of wheat or a rock.

Ergo, “on your own dime”. You can be as dumb as you want unless doing so puts the rights of others to their life, liberty or property at risk, which covers the rest of your answer.

You’d be wrong. I admit the necessary evil of limited government.

EVERYONE doesn’t want to keep their house at 74, especially during extreme heat. Most don’t. And the few that do are responsible for paying for it. I don’t blame the government for what the people do, I blame the government for obstructionist behavior with excessive regulations and lack of a coherent energy policy all due to anti-corporate/wealth demagoguery and the need for control of the people. S’why the left always wants to tighten controls on the people further, rather than loosen it on the energy companies. Their answer to your problem would be to assume control of the thermostats.

It’s so easy to say “finite resources” instead of abundant resources with more on the horizon if we continue to develop the resources we know about as well as R&D for resources of the future (#1 on that list is Hydrogen). Wind and solar power are not yet able to assume a real share of our energy needs, now or in the foreseeable future and they aren’t as environmentally friendly as we once thought. Taking ourselves (the US) back to the stone age via their restrictions is exactly what other more socialist government’s are licking their chops over.

Ok, for the sake of simplicity. There are two people who are sitting on a park bench. One wishes to enjoy the fresh outside air, the other wishes to smoke a cigarette. They both wish to sit on the same bench. Whose liberty is being violated and why?

What I said.

The non-smoker’s, if he’s not upwind. Almost all moral issues are as simple as that. Abortion is a major exception.

So is the smoker then being immoral for exercising his liberty to smoke?

If he’s not considerate of those who find it noxious, yes.

But it needs to be said that this isn’t that serious of an issue, I mean you wouldn’t execute the guy, or even throw him in jail for any serious length of time, I would hope. You’re at the bottom of the ladder here. I find it best to examine moral issues at the extremes first and work my way in from there. Abortion for instance, the only real complex moral issue. So-called partial birth abortion is nothing but murder. But forcing a 13 year-old who is one hour pregnant as a result of being raped by her father is equivalent to being an accomplice to rape, theft, incest, pedophilia and slavery. Somewhere in between is a gray area, and probably one we won’t be able to legislate comprehensively.

This is why I say your concept is unsustainable. It has nothing to do with energy or food, nothing to do with government restrictions or failures. The concept is unsustainable within itself. Exercising your moral right, liberty in this case, is immoral. The use of moral rights being immoral is a complete contradiction and the part of your concept that I am unable to see past.

From this point of view, simply coming into existence is immoral. You’re destined to violate someone else’s rights by exercising your own, with or without your knowledge of doing it. And the only reason why everyone person on the planet is immoral is because they are sentient. As far as I can tell anyway. Our race could be one of perfect people, kind and caring and generous and giving in every way and every person would still be immoral, simply because two opposing desires cannot exist in one place at one time. And since only one of the two liberties can be satisfied, the other is violated.

Out of curiosity though, if the non-smoker had consented to the other person smoking, would the smoker still be immoral? Does the willful surrender of liberty by one party negate the immorality of the offending party? Or does the fact that the nonsmoker had to surrender his own liberty still make the entire situation immoral?

Forget the smoking issue, it’s so petty. But take your question to the pinnacles of moral conflict. To be honest, if someone submits to voluntary servitude, that doesn’t mean that the one who accepts that servitude is immoral. Can sex ever be rape if it’s consensual?


What about murder? You would really have to go to absurd extremes, but what if someone was the object of someone else’s hate and volunteered to let the hater kill him (even though he wasn’t considering suicide or suffering from depression). Would it be murder? It’s so abhorrent stupid (and unlikely), it’s hard for me to answer the question dispassionately.

In any case to answer your question about the smokers as well as the extreme examples (which hardly fall under the principle of enlightened self-interest), if one surrenders his property (no one would question that I’m sure) or liberty willingly, then that person’s rights to them are not violated. Logically, it would follow, the same principle would hold for one’s life.

My moral code states, again: Morality is honoring the equal rights of all to their life, liberty and property to be free from violation through force or fraud. In these and all such cases, there is no violation if there is no force or fraud. A person’s rights can be surrendered at will.

Never thought I’d go up such a blind canyon, but as I’ve already said, the test of a principle is to look to the extremes, and I think this code passed the test of unforeseen circumstances, which are necessary tests of scientific principles as well.

Hi TPT. I assume there’s an underlying assumption of no diminished capacity here.

But if so, what would separate such from the concern of simply difference in capacity. Do the more capable have natural right to the spoils they may fanangle from the less astute? Is fraud so clear a concept? Is preying on weakness permissible? My sense is that it ought not be.

That’s why I went to an extremely simplified problem. I wasn’t really getting direct answers before doing so. There is no use in my discussing rape murder and abortion on your terms if I can’t even understand your terms to begin with.

However, I do now. I don’t agree with them, nor do I think that they can ever be realistically applied to the world we all live in, but I do finally understand what you mean by

and how that actually applies in real world scenarios. I’m sorry that it took so long to get to this point, I never intended to go into such a lengthy discussion about it, as it did derail the original topic.

That’s kind of the point of having discussions to begin with. I assume that’s why we’re all on this forum.