Total Posts:16|Showing Posts:1-16
Jump to topic:

Doing "good" - Impossible?

Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I forget where, but I read that "It's an idealist's wet dream that a system could be devised wherein doing "good" can be the easiest and logical, and more importantly, the profitable thing for people to do."

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

(I know that "good" can mean many things, but I'm going with the commonly acknowledged meanings.)
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/4/2010 1:42:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM, Indophile wrote:
I forget where, but I read that "It's an idealist's wet dream that a system could be devised wherein doing "good" can be the easiest and logical, and more importantly, the profitable thing for people to do."

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

(I know that "good" can mean many things, but I'm going with the commonly acknowledged meanings.)

yes, since doing "good" is a moral statement. Morals are derived as opposites of natural instincts. For example, it is a natural instinct to take what you want. We see it all the time in nature, Lions stealing food from a weaker hunter, like the Cheetah. Squid and Ducts often rape females to spead their seeds. And most often, Alpha males (across numerous species) will assult and sometimes kill any who challenge their authority.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/4/2010 1:44:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM, Indophile wrote:

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

No, I don't think it's impossible. Let's look at a TV show like Lost. A plane crashes on an island. Jack is a doctor. Right away people need medical attention, and Jack helps them. Even after it becomes apparent that they're this little community on the island with nothing to gain monetarily, Jack continues to help people. As such, he becomes their de facto leader of sorts. So why does Jack help these people? Well, prestige for one. It must be nice to be admired; it makes you feel good about yourself. Inherent altruism doesn't exist, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Jack enjoyed whatever feedback he got for being so helpful and courageous, so he did a lot of 'good' things - or brave, helpful acts.

If our society did not value currency, there wouldn't be an incentive to profit. Incentives would come in other forms, like reputation. Human beings value things like legacy and heroism. So long as their basic needs and the needs of their family are being met, there's no need to be selfish unless resources are scarce and it's for survival. We have proof of historic people doing good just for the sake of reputation or feeling like it was an honor, perhaps even noble or spiritual - like Native Americans, for example. The Chiefs were highly revered but ultimately were considered equal in terms of power within the tribe, though they may have been considered more "spiritually" enlightened.

Now, is profit/power a great incentive for productivity? Absolutely. This is where it gets fuzzy; if your goal is to be as productive and progressive as possible, then creating a system that rewards work with power (money) is probably your best way to go about it. However whether or not one should have more power over another remains a highly debated question in ethics and other branches of philosophy.
President of DDO
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/4/2010 1:49:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/4/2010 1:42:24 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM, Indophile wrote:
I forget where, but I read that "It's an idealist's wet dream that a system could be devised wherein doing "good" can be the easiest and logical, and more importantly, the profitable thing for people to do."

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

(I know that "good" can mean many things, but I'm going with the commonly acknowledged meanings.)

yes, since doing "good" is a moral statement. Morals are derived as opposites of natural instincts. For example, it is a natural instinct to take what you want. We see it all the time in nature, Lions stealing food from a weaker hunter, like the Cheetah. Squid and Ducts often rape females to spead their seeds. And most often, Alpha males (across numerous species) will assult and sometimes kill any who challenge their authority.

No. I disagree. Morals are the judicious application of natural instincts. As in, whether to let natural instincts take over or no. Lionesses steal food from weaker hunters, but give it voluntarily to the lion and the kids. Elephants take care of weaker members.

And introduction of animals is moot, as they have no concept of good and bad!

Not all our instincts are "bad"! If it is a natural instinct to take what you want, do you mean to say, people who give to the poor are acting against their instincts? Feelings of pity are not instinctive? it's been constructed artificially by outside morality?

I disagree.
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
GrabYoSocks
Posts: 83
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/4/2010 1:57:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Yes we "humans" are greedy, jealous, and violent creatures. We are more like Locusts or a virus: we consume all nessessary resorces we need to servive, and we like the previous poster said "take what we want" when we want it, and give nothing back to our home (Earth)

Also, doing good is an interesting concept: how does one define what is good? Please enlighten me.
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/4/2010 1:58:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/4/2010 1:44:55 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM, Indophile wrote:

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

No, I don't think it's impossible. Let's look at a TV show like Lost. A plane crashes on an island. Jack is a doctor. Right away people need medical attention, and Jack helps them. Even after it becomes apparent that they're this little community on the island with nothing to gain monetarily, Jack continues to help people. As such, he becomes their de facto leader of sorts. So why does Jack help these people? Well, prestige for one. It must be nice to be admired; it makes you feel good about yourself. Inherent altruism doesn't exist, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Jack enjoyed whatever feedback he got for being so helpful and courageous, so he did a lot of 'good' things - or brave, helpful acts.

If our society did not value currency, there wouldn't be an incentive to profit. Incentives would come in other forms, like reputation. Human beings value things like legacy and heroism. So long as their basic needs and the needs of their family are being met, there's no need to be selfish unless resources are scarce and it's for survival. We have proof of historic people doing good just for the sake of reputation or feeling like it was an honor, perhaps even noble or spiritual - like Native Americans, for example. The Chiefs were highly revered but ultimately were considered equal in terms of power within the tribe, though they may have been considered more "spiritually" enlightened.
Yes. But the same things can be "hijacked" to do so much more evil! If people value legacy, then anything/anyone that threatens their legacy, however valid it/they may be, will be viewed as a threat and be destroyed (or tend to be destroyed). If heroism had so much "currency", then people will go out of their way to create situations where they can appear to be heroic (which usually means vanquishing someone).
So, I'd think that this would be more dangerous!

Now, is profit/power a great incentive for productivity? Absolutely. This is where it gets fuzzy; if your goal is to be as productive and progressive as possible, then creating a system that rewards work with power (money) is probably your best way to go about it. However whether or not one should have more power over another remains a highly debated question in ethics and other branches of philosophy.

I'm thinking the root could be Man's need to distinguish himself (favorably) from his fellow humans....
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/4/2010 2:05:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/4/2010 1:57:52 PM, GrabYoSocks wrote:
Yes we "humans" are greedy, jealous, and violent creatures. We are more like Locusts or a virus: we consume all nessessary resorces we need to servive, and we like the previous poster said "take what we want" when we want it, and give nothing back to our home (Earth)
Yes, that's the prevailing concept. Yet, I still find people that are none of those things :)

Also, doing good is an interesting concept: how does one define what is good? Please enlighten me.
I can, but there will still be points that I cannot cover. I was thinking that one can work with the accepted meaning of doing good, to oneself and to society as something that's not doing evil and bad things.
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/4/2010 3:38:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
The path to hell is paved with good intentions.
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

Muh threads
Using mafia tactics in real-life: http://www.debate.org...
6 years of DDO: http://www.debate.org...
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/4/2010 6:44:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
"
I forget where, but I read that "It's an idealist's wet dream that a system could be devised wherein doing "good" can be the easiest and logical, and more importantly, the profitable thing for people to do."
"
Profits aren't easy. But good is tautologically profitable, and requires logic.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/5/2010 10:58:23 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/4/2010 3:38:05 PM, tvellalott wrote:
The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

So is the path to heaven!
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/5/2010 11:10:02 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/4/2010 1:49:20 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:42:24 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM, Indophile wrote:
I forget where, but I read that "It's an idealist's wet dream that a system could be devised wherein doing "good" can be the easiest and logical, and more importantly, the profitable thing for people to do."

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

(I know that "good" can mean many things, but I'm going with the commonly acknowledged meanings.)

yes, since doing "good" is a moral statement. Morals are derived as opposites of natural instincts. For example, it is a natural instinct to take what you want. We see it all the time in nature, Lions stealing food from a weaker hunter, like the Cheetah. Squid and Ducts often rape females to spead their seeds. And most often, Alpha males (across numerous species) will assult and sometimes kill any who challenge their authority.

No. I disagree. Morals are the judicious application of natural instincts. As in, whether to let natural instincts take over or no. Lionesses steal food from weaker hunters, but give it voluntarily to the lion and the kids. Elephants take care of weaker members.

And introduction of animals is moot, as they have no concept of good and bad!

True, they only have natural instincts. But the baisc instincts of all animals is basically, "what must be done for me to survive?" Social animals (including humans, primates, and many herd animals) have developed a second, higher set of instincts, "what is needed for my herd to survive."

There is also an inbetween point of parental instincts, which is more common in mammals.

But the instincts of the self are the most basic instincts that we do all have.


Not all our instincts are "bad"! If it is a natural instinct to take what you want, do you mean to say, people who give to the poor are acting against their instincts? Feelings of pity are not instinctive? it's been constructed artificially by outside morality?

I disagree.

They are acting against their basic instincts, but with the newer, social instincts (the herd ones that I mentioned earlier). However, humans are becoming less and less social (and so those social instincts are slipping behind and individual instincts are coming up) since our society is growing to the point where being in a "herd" is not as important for survival as it was when we were living in caves. We have technology.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/5/2010 11:20:03 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/5/2010 11:10:02 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:49:20 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:42:24 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM, Indophile wrote:
I forget where, but I read that "It's an idealist's wet dream that a system could be devised wherein doing "good" can be the easiest and logical, and more importantly, the profitable thing for people to do."

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

(I know that "good" can mean many things, but I'm going with the commonly acknowledged meanings.)

yes, since doing "good" is a moral statement. Morals are derived as opposites of natural instincts. For example, it is a natural instinct to take what you want. We see it all the time in nature, Lions stealing food from a weaker hunter, like the Cheetah. Squid and Ducts often rape females to spead their seeds. And most often, Alpha males (across numerous species) will assult and sometimes kill any who challenge their authority.

No. I disagree. Morals are the judicious application of natural instincts. As in, whether to let natural instincts take over or no. Lionesses steal food from weaker hunters, but give it voluntarily to the lion and the kids. Elephants take care of weaker members.

And introduction of animals is moot, as they have no concept of good and bad!

True, they only have natural instincts. But the baisc instincts of all animals is basically, "what must be done for me to survive?" Social animals (including humans, primates, and many herd animals) have developed a second, higher set of instincts, "what is needed for my herd to survive."
I still maintain that even social animals (other than humans) are moot to this discussion. What the other social animals do, they do for survival, even if they do things that are good for the herd. We don't. Hence, we don't always act on our natural instincts. But I doubt there will be a single instance in the animal kingdom of behaviors that are not natural instincts. (simple example, dying for somebody else)

There is also an inbetween point of parental instincts, which is more common in mammals.

But the instincts of the self are the most basic instincts that we do all have.
Ok. But they are not overriding in us. People are willing to kill themselves for so many things.


Not all our instincts are "bad"! If it is a natural instinct to take what you want, do you mean to say, people who give to the poor are acting against their instincts? Feelings of pity are not instinctive? it's been constructed artificially by outside morality?

I disagree.

They are acting against their basic instincts, but with the newer, social instincts (the herd ones that I mentioned earlier). However, humans are becoming less and less social (and so those social instincts are slipping behind and individual instincts are coming up) since our society is growing to the point where being in a "herd" is not as important for survival as it was when we were living in caves. We have technology.

Humans are becoming less and less social, because they don't need "the herd" to survive. But they still need the herd! Just look at the popularity of social networking sites. Why are they so popular? Is it because we don't need the herd? We just need them for things other than survival. I give you that there might be some people who can live alone with/without all the technology in the world, but the majority still need other people, even if just to be acknowledged that they exist.
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
badger
Posts: 11,793
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/6/2010 4:50:43 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM, Indophile wrote:
I forget where, but I read that "It's an idealist's wet dream that a system could be devised wherein doing "good" can be the easiest and logical, and more importantly, the profitable thing for people to do."

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

(I know that "good" can mean many things, but I'm going with the commonly acknowledged meanings.)

legalise drugs...?
signature
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/8/2010 11:17:34 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 4:50:43 AM, badger wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM, Indophile wrote:
I forget where, but I read that "It's an idealist's wet dream that a system could be devised wherein doing "good" can be the easiest and logical, and more importantly, the profitable thing for people to do."

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

(I know that "good" can mean many things, but I'm going with the commonly acknowledged meanings.)

legalise drugs...?

That is easy, logical and profitable. Yes, one can argue that way. But is it "good"?

I fail to understand this as a system though :)
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/8/2010 11:34:16 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/5/2010 11:20:03 AM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/5/2010 11:10:02 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:49:20 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:42:24 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM, Indophile wrote:
I forget where, but I read that "It's an idealist's wet dream that a system could be devised wherein doing "good" can be the easiest and logical, and more importantly, the profitable thing for people to do."

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

(I know that "good" can mean many things, but I'm going with the commonly acknowledged meanings.)

yes, since doing "good" is a moral statement. Morals are derived as opposites of natural instincts. For example, it is a natural instinct to take what you want. We see it all the time in nature, Lions stealing food from a weaker hunter, like the Cheetah. Squid and Ducts often rape females to spead their seeds. And most often, Alpha males (across numerous species) will assult and sometimes kill any who challenge their authority.

No. I disagree. Morals are the judicious application of natural instincts. As in, whether to let natural instincts take over or no. Lionesses steal food from weaker hunters, but give it voluntarily to the lion and the kids. Elephants take care of weaker members.

And introduction of animals is moot, as they have no concept of good and bad!

True, they only have natural instincts. But the baisc instincts of all animals is basically, "what must be done for me to survive?" Social animals (including humans, primates, and many herd animals) have developed a second, higher set of instincts, "what is needed for my herd to survive."
I still maintain that even social animals (other than humans) are moot to this discussion. What the other social animals do, they do for survival, even if they do things that are good for the herd. We don't. Hence, we don't always act on our natural instincts. But I doubt there will be a single instance in the animal kingdom of behaviors that are not natural instincts. (simple example, dying for somebody else)

True, when the "life or death" situations are not there, our instincts don't come out. I only experience "fight or flight" when in dangerous situation that I don't know that I'll be fine, or when someone plays Justin Bieber.

We try to make it so that everything is safe and that we don't need this basic instincts, but we can never really remove them. People who use mind altering chemicals will always risk falling prey to this basic instincts. Any sort of criminal who trys to run from the law, will fall to these basic instincts.

While I believe that we can get further and further from these, I don't believe we will ever be able to say that we have completely left them, and that helping others is "natural" for us as a species.


There is also an inbetween point of parental instincts, which is more common in mammals.

But the instincts of the self are the most basic instincts that we do all have.
Ok. But they are not overriding in us. People are willing to kill themselves for so many things.


Not all our instincts are "bad"! If it is a natural instinct to take what you want, do you mean to say, people who give to the poor are acting against their instincts? Feelings of pity are not instinctive? it's been constructed artificially by outside morality?

I disagree.

They are acting against their basic instincts, but with the newer, social instincts (the herd ones that I mentioned earlier). However, humans are becoming less and less social (and so those social instincts are slipping behind and individual instincts are coming up) since our society is growing to the point where being in a "herd" is not as important for survival as it was when we were living in caves. We have technology.

Humans are becoming less and less social, because they don't need "the herd" to survive. But they still need the herd! Just look at the popularity of social networking sites. Why are they so popular? Is it because we don't need the herd? We just need them for things other than survival. I give you that there might be some people who can live alone with/without all the technology in the world, but the majority still need other people, even if just to be acknowledged that they exist.

We don't need the "herd" for survival, true, but our natural instincts tell us that we do. Which is why social websites are so popular, while having friends can be so important to kids growing up, and actually, we see that staying in groups is best in general for our society and economy. I mean, imagine if every company was just the owner, and he did everything himself, no employees to work together.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/8/2010 12:02:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/8/2010 11:34:16 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 11/5/2010 11:20:03 AM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/5/2010 11:10:02 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:49:20 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:42:24 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 11/4/2010 1:10:22 PM, Indophile wrote:
I forget where, but I read that "It's an idealist's wet dream that a system could be devised wherein doing "good" can be the easiest and logical, and more importantly, the profitable thing for people to do."

Is it really impossible to devise a system like that? Is human nature simply not built to function that way?

(I know that "good" can mean many things, but I'm going with the commonly acknowledged meanings.)

yes, since doing "good" is a moral statement. Morals are derived as opposites of natural instincts. For example, it is a natural instinct to take what you want. We see it all the time in nature, Lions stealing food from a weaker hunter, like the Cheetah. Squid and Ducts often rape females to spead their seeds. And most often, Alpha males (across numerous species) will assult and sometimes kill any who challenge their authority.

No. I disagree. Morals are the judicious application of natural instincts. As in, whether to let natural instincts take over or no. Lionesses steal food from weaker hunters, but give it voluntarily to the lion and the kids. Elephants take care of weaker members.

And introduction of animals is moot, as they have no concept of good and bad!

True, they only have natural instincts. But the baisc instincts of all animals is basically, "what must be done for me to survive?" Social animals (including humans, primates, and many herd animals) have developed a second, higher set of instincts, "what is needed for my herd to survive."
I still maintain that even social animals (other than humans) are moot to this discussion. What the other social animals do, they do for survival, even if they do things that are good for the herd. We don't. Hence, we don't always act on our natural instincts. But I doubt there will be a single instance in the animal kingdom of behaviors that are not natural instincts. (simple example, dying for somebody else)

True, when the "life or death" situations are not there, our instincts don't come out. I only experience "fight or flight" when in dangerous situation that I don't know that I'll be fine, or when someone plays Justin Bieber.
Ha ha. Well, even in life and death situations, people might end up choosing things that might be detrimental to them. Spies caught in enemy territory, for example.

We try to make it so that everything is safe and that we don't need this basic instincts, but we can never really remove them. People who use mind altering chemicals will always risk falling prey to this basic instincts. Any sort of criminal who trys to run from the law, will fall to these basic instincts.
You are talking as if these basic instincts can never be overcome. I'm arguing that they can. Animals cannot. Humans can. Hence animals of any kind are moot.

While I believe that we can get further and further from these, I don't believe we will ever be able to say that we have completely left them, and that helping others is "natural" for us as a species.
It may be natural or not, but I'm talking about a system wherein doing that would be the easiest, logical and profitable thing to do.


There is also an inbetween point of parental instincts, which is more common in mammals.

But the instincts of the self are the most basic instincts that we do all have.
Ok. But they are not overriding in us. People are willing to kill themselves for so many things.


Not all our instincts are "bad"! If it is a natural instinct to take what you want, do you mean to say, people who give to the poor are acting against their instincts? Feelings of pity are not instinctive? it's been constructed artificially by outside morality?

I disagree.

They are acting against their basic instincts, but with the newer, social instincts (the herd ones that I mentioned earlier). However, humans are becoming less and less social (and so those social instincts are slipping behind and individual instincts are coming up) since our society is growing to the point where being in a "herd" is not as important for survival as it was when we were living in caves. We have technology.

Humans are becoming less and less social, because they don't need "the herd" to survive. But they still need the herd! Just look at the popularity of social networking sites. Why are they so popular? Is it because we don't need the herd? We just need them for things other than survival. I give you that there might be some people who can live alone with/without all the technology in the world, but the majority still need other people, even if just to be acknowledged that they exist.

We don't need the "herd" for survival, true, but our natural instincts tell us that we do. Which is why social websites are so popular, while having friends can be so important to kids growing up, and actually, we see that staying in groups is best in general for our society and economy. I mean, imagine if every company was just the owner, and he did everything himself, no employees to work together.

Hmm? That's exactly what I was saying! You are contradicting yourself.
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.