moralist

Is evil rational?

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Because rationality is held highly as an ideal by Objectivists, I thought this video would offer a thought provoking view...

Greg

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

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No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

Yes he could.

All that's necessary is for him to disregard what he becomes as the result of what he does.

Greg

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

It's certainly naive to believe that what maximizes one's own welfare will line up with what is ethically right.

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

What? No examples?

--Brant

not quite ready to rob a bank

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

It's certainly naive to believe that what maximizes one's own welfare will line up with what is ethically right.

Your statement would certainly hold true as long as you don't care what kind of human being you turn into.

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

Which underlines that individual rights is not a code of morality. Next thing, "can I get away with it?" will be the only worthy standard.

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Which underlines that individual rights is not a code of morality.

... unless individual responsibilities runs parallel along side with those rights.

Next thing, "can I get away with it?" will be the only worthy standard.

It already is, Tony...

A few facts on cheaters...

According to one recent survey of middle schoolers, 2/3 of respondents reported cheating on exams, while 9/10 reported copying another's homework.

According to the 1998 poll of Who's Who Among American High School Students, 80% of the country's best students cheated to get to the top of their class. More than half the students surveyed said they don't think cheating is a big deal – and most did not get caught.

According to surveys conducted by The Josephson Institute of Ethics among 20,000 middle and high school students, 64% of high school students admitted to cheating in 1996. That number jumped to 70% in 1998.

(Educational Testing Service:

http://www.glass-castle.com/clients/www-nocheating-org/adcouncil/research/cheatingfactsheet.html )

This is what kids learn in government schools: It's ok to cheat as long as you don't get caught.

Government school prepares students to become government public union employees.

Greg

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Individual rights are inextricably tied into morality, the morality of not initiating physical force to get something from another including that other person's life. It's wrong to force a mind. That morality encompasses much more than this merely means rights don't touch all bases, only proper government bases and those of voluntary interactions. Or, "I have a right to . . . " and "I don't have a right to . . . ".

--Brant

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Because rationality is held highly as an ideal by Objectivists, I thought this video would offer a thought provoking view...

Greg

He is dead on correct. Reason and Logic are orthogonal to righteousness and good.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Individual rights are inextricably tied into morality, the morality of not initiating physical force to get something from another including that other person's life. It's wrong to force a mind. That morality encompasses much more than this merely means rights don't touch all bases, only proper government bases and those of voluntary interactions. Or, "I have a right to . . . " and "I don't have a right to . . . ".

--Brant

Sure, but I put it to you that your need of individual rights is not to protect others from you, but solely for your protection: as an imperative against amoral, immoral, irrational people who'd otherwise interfere with your life and property. Why, because already you understand and hold the conviction (in your own words) that man's nature is an absolute, and as one man you share that attribute with all. I.e. you are rationally selfish, a morality which precludes you from interfering with others. Therefore, I doubt it's primarily the rights of others that guide your actions.

"My own definition of the existence of human rights rests on the fact of man's survival. Rights are intrinsic to the survival of a rational being, because the mind is man's only means of survival...The violation of these rights leads to the destruction of individuals, and if continued, can and will destroy the whole human race." [Letters of AR]

No doubt there, as to what is the purpose and who is the prime beneficiary of individual rights - to Rand...

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

Which underlines that individual rights is not a code of morality. Next thing, "can I get away with it?" will be the only worthy standard.

Actually, the question here is, if egoism is the basis for all subsidiary decisions, then why should the rights of others be given any particular consideration?

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It might be better to cheat on an exam than remember some of the crap they try to teach you.

Thankfully are other better alternatives... unfortunately less students are taking them. The cheating they learned in school will follow them tainting their lives with deceit and betrayal. And they'll be perpetually angry at the world for treating them as unethically as they treat others.

Greg

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

Which underlines that individual rights is not a code of morality. Next thing, "can I get away with it?" will be the only worthy standard.

Actually, the question here is, if egoism is the basis for all subsidiary decisions, then why should the rights of others be given any particular consideration?

Just one simple principle answers all of the whys:

"Treat others as you would have them treat you."

Greg

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

Which underlines that individual rights is not a code of morality. Next thing, "can I get away with it?" will be the only worthy standard.

Actually, the question here is, if egoism is the basis for all subsidiary decisions, then why should the rights of others be given any particular consideration?

It's why it's called rational egoism. How can one deal with reality and existence, according to man's nature. Other people are "reality", too.

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

Which underlines that individual rights is not a code of morality. Next thing, "can I get away with it?" will be the only worthy standard.

Actually, the question here is, if egoism is the basis for all subsidiary decisions, then why should the rights of others be given any particular consideration?

It's why it's called rational egoism. How can one deal with reality and existence, according to man's nature. Other people are "reality", too.

If we start with egoism as the primary value, rational egoism is the course of action that best serves it, regardless of its effect on the rights of others.

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Because rationality is held highly as an ideal by Objectivists, I thought this video would offer a thought provoking view...

Greg

He is dead on correct. Reason and Logic are orthogonal to righteousness and good.

Ba'al Chatzaf

That's an excellent word picture, Bob! :smile:

Greg

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

Which underlines that individual rights is not a code of morality. Next thing, "can I get away with it?" will be the only worthy standard.

Actually, the question here is, if egoism is the basis for all subsidiary decisions, then why should the rights of others be given any particular consideration?

It's why it's called rational egoism. How can one deal with reality and existence, according to man's nature. Other people are "reality", too.

If we start with egoism as the primary value, rational egoism is the course of action that best serves it, regardless of its effect on the rights of others.

"If we start with egoism as the primary value..." Huh? Who says?

Oh, I think I get it, you consider rational egoism as a subset of egoism - a variety that best advances what you seem to describe as some sort of utilitarian egoism.

No, I wouldn't say so: I think rational egoism is in a class of its own. But you know Objectivism pretty well, so I'm astonished that you would view the "prudent predator" - or any rights-abusing person - as anything but a decidedly self-LESS person. Is it only materialism and the physical which measures a man, for you?

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From "The Objectivist Ethics" “An organism's life is its standard of value: that which furthers its life is the good, that which threatens it is the evil.”

While I suppose that there may be altruistic or "selfless" predators who place their victims' welfare above their own, what I actually had in mind is the selfish predator who furthers his own life, without regard to the consequences his actions may have on others, including their rights. For example, the man who forges his late mother's will to make himself her sole beneficiary.

To call this behavior "irrational," requires redefining "rationality" to exclude any behavior that is rights-violating, something that even Rand did not attempt. She simply claimed that predators "may achieve their goals for the range of a moment, at the price of destruction: the destruction of their victims and their own." However, such a conclusion is not supported by any survey of history, thorough or casual.

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While I suppose that there may be altruistic or "selfless" predators who place their victims' welfare above their own, what I actually had in mind is the selfish predator who furthers his own life, without regard to the consequences his actions may have on others, including their rights. For example, the man who forges his late mother's will to make himself her sole beneficiary.

There is another option that has not been mentioned... being neither predator nor prey.

Predators are preyed upon as they prey upon others. So by giving up preying upon others, a person is also set free from becoming the prey of others.

In the world of business, this is expressed as Capitalists dealing value for value fairly and honestly as peers.

And in the personal world, it is expressed as people who don't poison their relationships with deceit and betrayal trying to gain advantage.

Greg

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The video made more sense (dare I say was more rational?) than I expected from Dennis Prager. No one has been able to overcome the prudent predator argument to show that respecting the rights of others is always in one's self-interest. Thus, a man could be both rationally self-interested and a violator of others' rights.

Which underlines that individual rights is not a code of morality. Next thing, "can I get away with it?" will be the only worthy standard.

Actually, the question here is, if egoism is the basis for all subsidiary decisions, then why should the rights of others be given any particular consideration?

You can't have anything like rights under crude egoism. Rand's may be a different story.

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what I actually had in mind is the selfish predator who furthers his own life, without regard to the consequences his actions may have on others, including their rights. For example, the man who forges his late mother's will to make himself her sole beneficiary.

To call this behavior "irrational," requires redefining "rationality" to exclude any behavior that is rights-violating, something that even Rand did not attempt. She simply claimed that predators "may achieve their goals for the range of a moment, at the price of destruction: the destruction of their victims and their own." However, such a conclusion is not supported by any survey of history, thorough or casual.

Whether we call it prudence or opportunism, the modern scene is littered with predatory politicians, evangelists, and garden variety trash pedlars. As a younger fellow I worked in advertising, publishing, and television news. My recollection of those experiences was uniform deceit on all channels. Being reluctant to go along with the program meant abrupt unemployment and reduced career opportunities. In that sense you get what you pay for. I kept in touch with former colleagues and watched them destroy themselves, creatively and personally. The people who did well at it were unimaginative slugs and unintelligible liars ("What difference at this point does it make?")

For the past several years, I've paid a great deal of attention to the financial industry. I am unable to say with certainty that there is a single honest broker, banker, journalist, or regulator anywhere in the world, with the possible exception of Perth Mint and a handful of retail coin and bullion traders.

I don't mean to sound cynical. Millions of people put in an honest day's work, for an honest day's pay. The problem is how they're paid and the tasks they are given to perform. It is a despicable crime against humanity that the reward of leisure has been doped by America's Got Talent, Grand Theft Auto, and blaring hip hop. It didn't have to be this wide and inescapable a sewer.

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The human world, Wolf, is characterized in the aggregate by sub-optimal functioning. In every person are two feedback loops, one positive and the other negative (it's actually one loop) and for most it's messy and chaotic. Living for revenge, that's basically negative. Being a victim is too. The bad drives out the good. A big penalty is the time of your life.

--Brant

it goes on and on

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