• Posty McPostface
    3.5k


    Well then what don't you agree with or where have I gone wrong in my beliefs?

    The fact that I disagree is not indicative of validating your point, even though you can label me as simply being irrational because I am advocating something contrary to the established truth that rational self interest always leads to the maximization of personal utility, which I have illustrated that it is not the case due to never being able to calculate the net total of positive and negative externalities.

    Edited the post slightly.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k


    You didn't answer the question though, you just deflected the issue. What is the threat that society poses? A limitation of personal freedom, through taxation or something else?
  • apokrisis
    3.9k
    You lost me at the prisoners dilemma. Game theory studies competition and cooperation. You chose the set up that makes cooperation impossible due to lack of an opportunity to interact. Uninteresting.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k


    So, let me introduce the concept of Pareto optimality:

    Pareto optimal (comparative more Pareto optimal, superlative most Pareto optimal)

    (game theory, economics) Describing a situation in which the profit of one party cannot be increased without reducing the profit of another.
    Wiki

    So, if I behave selfishly and choose to defect in the Prisoners Dilemma, then I have decreased our net Pareto Optimal outcome. If I choose to cooperate with the other prisoner, and so does s/he, then we have attained a Pareto Optimal outcome.

    So, yes cooperation is necessary to guarantee Pareto Optimal outcomes; but, the point I am making, is that it has to take place on a higher level than personal self interest. As to how to ensure that Pareto Optimal is always attained is a deeper topic, which entails ideal information asymmetry on which I'm not knowledgeable about enough to discuss.

    The reason why prisoners don't snitch on each other is because the consequences of doing so outweigh the benefits.

    Therefore, to ensure Pareto Optimal outcomes on a global scale, cooperation is necessary, and has to be instituted (not by force necessarily, I think and hope). One solution that I am aware of is devising a calculus to determine the cost/benefit analysis of net positive and negative externalities. This is done through the process of price setting and estimating transaction costs. But, as I've mentioned, this is almost impossible on an individual basis, as an ongoing guiding principle in all decisions pertaining rational self interest.
  • apokrisis
    3.9k
    You are still talking as if I said something different. If we have all the information, we can strike the balances which best satisfy our mutual interests. But likewise, we can also judge when selfish choices are wiser.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    You are still talking as if I said something different.apokrisis

    That's because you assume that rational self interest is always optimal, which it isn't given the Prisoners Dilemma. That's what I surmised from what I understand in regards to the below (if you care to expand on this, please do.)

    But to the degree these are models of how collaborative good can arise out of selfish actions, then they are hardly egocentric.apokrisis

    Economic self-interest is rational - so long as it is framed within a generally shared social context that generates sufficient real equality of opportunity (and factors in the true long-term costs of its economic activities).apokrisis

    EDIT: I neglected to emphasize that calculating or generating "sufficient real equality of opportunity", along with "factors in the true long-term costs of its economic activities" is hopelessly ambiguous or an unattainable ideal, again assuming rational self interest as the guiding goal to any end.
  • apokrisis
    3.9k
    That's because you assume that rational self interest is always optimal,Posty McPostface

    No I don’t.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    Economic self-interest is rational - so long as it is framed within a generally shared social context that generates sufficient real equality of opportunity (and factors in the true long-term costs of its economic activities).apokrisis

    I'm trying to highlight the fact that those two concepts of being rational through self-interest and ensuring that the social context that generates sufficient real equality of opportunity, are at odds with one another.

    Just think about monopolies for example. Every firm strives to be a monopoly, within certain bounds and limits before they're penalized for becoming one...
  • apokrisis
    3.9k
    Competition holds the advantage in the short run, cooperation in the long run. It ain’t rocket science.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k


    Oh, so there's no such thing as collusion and cartels are make believe?
  • apokrisis
    3.9k
    You keep replying in non sequiturs.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k


    I guess this is where I say, I agree to disagree.
  • Bitter Crank
    5.8k
    I'm just pointing out that psychology has been too ego-centric for a good while now, and that leads to the risk of developing values or beliefs that are detrimental to our shared world.Posty McPostface

    There is a difference between "ego-centric" and egotistical, self-centered, narcissistic, and the like. We must be ego-centric, focused on "I am" because we don't apprehend the world, and other selves, directly (the 5 senses and all that). There is a difference between mature adult ego-centrism and infantile narcissism. It is the latter that is so detrimental to the shared world.

    Yeah, there's no eliminating the fear of death and threats, unless one chooses to mindlessly distract themselves into some oblivion.Posty McPostface

    Truth: there is no eliminating the fear of death from various threats. We just don't like thinking about it. Compared to death, just about everything is more interesting and pleasant. (One of the benefits of aging is that we can get to a point where one can realize that roughly 90% of one's life is spent, and a lot of it was actually quite well spent, and it was good. If one is lucky one has forgotten the fine details of the stretches which weren't so good.)

    But it isn't DEATH that is the most visible threat for much of one's life. What is more present is the loss of the tangible and intangible goodies we have collected. This is where the infantile narcissist suffers the most. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune could deprive him and her of all their goodies, and then leave them very much alive to suffer from their loss.



    Oh, come now. It isn't that bad is it? Sure, we don't face lions or hyenas anymore as our main source of desperation. Which, has been a contributing environmental force to group and social cohesion. So, why is group cohesion disintegrating in the West, nowadays?Posty McPostface

    Hyperbole has its uses. But what makes you think group cohesion is disintegrating in the West (or North, South, and East)? Groups of people are as cohesive as they have to be. It's been 73 years since the World was at war and we were all (allegedly) cohesive. On a much smaller scale, (groups of 100 or less) people are as cohesive as they ever were -- which is to say they are ready, willing, and able to work together for common goals.

    Families falling apart? Family cohesion is steady. A percentage of families have always lacked cohesion, particularly when society was loose enough to allow it. A certain percentage of people marry, decide that they made a big mistake, and break up.

    Work? People seem to willingly spend a lot of time at work in more or less cohesive groups.

    "We" Homo sapiens haven't changed. We're still the same old hunter-gatherers we've been for the last couple hundred thousand years.

    Well, yes. Though, I don't think it can be found by looking deeper within the soup of the unconscious.Posty McPostface

    For the most part, I agree. The non-conscious mind isn't all that open to inspection. What is more or less open, though, is our memories of our lives so far, and all that is at least somewhat open. And, let me add, the ways we evade dealing with reality right now are open to inspection--and modification.

    How is progress made by appealing to inner values such as selfishness and lust and wants and desires? Are you not a Buddhist?Posty McPostface

    I am not a Buddhist. Whatever gave you that idea?

    No -- progress is NOT made by appealing to selfishness, lust, wants, and desires, fears, anxieties, and so on. Progress is made by acknowledging our lusts, needs, desires, fears, anxieties, and fantasies. We can't deal with them if we haven't faced up to their reality. And the end goal isn't to deny, or destroy what we wish for and fear. The goal is to achieve control. So, we will still have lusts, for instance, and if we are mature adults we can decide whether, when, where, and how our desire may be satisfied -- or not. We will still have fears, but we can deal with them more effectively.

    One of the more perplexing fantasies is that we can be free of our human-animal nature and be purely rational beings untroubled by disruptive urges. On a good morning one can get by for a few hours feeling purely rational, but then a bowling ball of lust, hunger, rage, or blind ambition will plow into all that dry, cool rationality and we'll be upset for days.
  • csalisbury
    1.3k
    I like the idea behind reality therapy. I'd never heard of it before.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    There is a difference between "ego-centric" and egotistical, self-centered, narcissistic, and the like. We must be ego-centric, focused on "I am" because we don't apprehend the world, and other selves, directly (the 5 senses and all that). There is a difference between mature adult ego-centrism and infantile narcissism. It is the latter that is so detrimental to the shared world.Bitter Crank

    Perhaps, indeed, I am throwing away the baby with the bathwater; but, realizing that distinction is very difficult. This is because the logical conclusion of ego-centrism entails the latter, so nobody knows when to delineate the two or more aptly, nobody cares to.

    Truth: there is no eliminating the fear of death from various threats. We just don't like thinking about it. Compared to death, just about everything is more interesting and pleasant. (One of the benefits of aging is that we can get to a point where one can realize that roughly 90% of one's life is spent, and a lot of it was actually quite well spent, and it was good. If one is lucky one has forgotten the fine details of the stretches which weren't so good.)Bitter Crank

    Yeah, but what would life look like if nobody ever died?

    But it isn't DEATH that is the most visible threat for much of one's life. What is more present is the loss of the tangible and intangible goodies we have collected. This is where the infantile narcissist suffers the most. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune could deprive him and her of all their goodies, and then leave them very much alive to suffer from their loss.Bitter Crank

    So, two steps forward, and one back I guess. One realizes that life isn't all about the gratification of personal needs and wants; but, what then?

    Families falling apart? Family cohesion is steady. A percentage of families have always lacked cohesion, particularly when society was loose enough to allow it. A certain percentage of people marry, decide that they made a big mistake, and break up.Bitter Crank

    This is a big issue. Divorce rates are incredibly high, so why bother at all if we all live in our own worlds as it is?

    Work? People seem to willingly spend a lot of time at work in more or less cohesive groups.Bitter Crank

    Work, hmm. The issue seems to be about what we want. Hence, again the ego-centrism becomes an issue again, with all this talk about wants and complaints about never attaining it.

    "We" Homo sapiens haven't changed. We're still the same old hunter-gatherers we've been for the last couple hundred thousand years.Bitter Crank

    Not true. We are incredibly and plastic and malleable. The fact that so much progress has been made since the Industrial Revolution, attests to this fact.

    For the most part, I agree. The non-conscious mind isn't all that open to inspection. What is more or less open, though, is our memories of our lives so far, and all that is at least somewhat open. And, let me add, the ways we evade dealing with reality right now are open to inspection--and modification.Bitter Crank

    Yes, drug addiction, rising rates of depression and other mental disorders, the disenfranchisement with the current status quo and form of governance are all symptoms about the above. So, one must address the underlying issue here and focus on the self or the reality we find ourselves in?

    I am not a Buddhist. Whatever gave you that idea?Bitter Crank

    Why not? Isn't the cessation of suffering which we are all too aware about, the setting of the limits on the desirous and lustful nature that we profess all too much?

    No -- progress is NOT made by appealing to selfishness, lust, wants, and desires, fears, anxieties, and so on. Progress is made by acknowledging our lusts, needs, desires, fears, anxieties, and fantasies. We can't deal with them if we haven't faced up to their reality. And the end goal isn't to deny, or destroy what we wish for and fear. The goal is to achieve control. So, we will still have lusts, for instance, and if we are mature adults we can decide whether, when, where, and how our desire may be satisfied -- or not. We will still have fears, but we can deal with them more effectively.Bitter Crank

    This just sounds like the same thing to me. I have wants and desires; but, acknowledging them entails that I want to either realize them or limit their appeal to my psyche. So, again either we all become egotistical, and suffer, or in some manner or form limit their reach on our sanity and emotional well-being.

    One of the more perplexing fantasies is that we can be free of our human-animal nature and be purely rational beings untroubled by disruptive urges. On a good morning one can get by for a few hours feeling purely rational, but then a bowling ball of lust, hunger, rage, or blind ambition will plow into all that dry, cool rationality and we'll be upset for days.Bitter Crank

    Yeah, I agree.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    I like the idea behind reality therapy. I'd never heard of it before.csalisbury

    Glad you liked it.
  • Bitter Crank
    5.8k
    Yeah, but what would life look like if nobody ever died?Posty McPostface

    Extremely crowded. There have been maybe 50 to 100 billion people born since we became Homo sapiens.

    This just sounds like the same thing to me. I have wants and desires; but, acknowledging them entails that I want to either realize them or limit their appeal to my psyche. So, again either we all become egotistical, and suffer, or in some manner or form limit their reach on our sanity and emotional well-being.Posty McPostface

    It isn't, and you identify the difference.

    Why not? Isn't the cessation of suffering which we are all too aware about, the setting of the limits on the desirous and lustful nature that we profess all too much?Posty McPostface

    Well, you know, we set limits on our desires and lusts. That isn't the same as taking the vail and vowing poverty, chastity, and obedience (shudder). We devise a budget of pleasure. A certain amount of desire and lust will be enjoyed, and then we'll not ask for more for a while--15 minutes, at least. Back in my salad days, I almost never stayed up all night every night screwing my brains out. I took a full helping of sex--I just didn't take everything on offer. An outing might not be repeated for 2 or 3 days, or a week, even. I like premium ice cream too, but I don't eat the whole carton at one go. I meter my decadence.

    I consider suffering a given in life. It can be more, it can be less. We can make it worse, we can make it better. All our suffering will end in death. Some people don't suffer a lot; they are lucky enough to be so composed that they are not intensely bothered by everything (that would not be me). Some people can calmly endure more pain for a longer period of time; others cannot.

    "We" Homo sapiens haven't changed. We're still the same old hunter-gatherers we've been for the last couple hundred thousand years.
    — Bitter Crank

    Not true. We are incredibly and plastic and malleable. The fact that so much progress has been made since the Industrial Revolution, attests to this fact.
    Posty McPostface

    We are Individually plastic and malleable. As a species, not so much.

    So what? We've been a species for 300,000 thousand years, and then in the last 300 we did all these amazing things. What about the previous 299,700 years? Some significant achievements in the last 300,000 years:

    1) we settled the entire planet
    2) we domesticated several species
    3) we invented a host of technologies (from glue made from bark to boomerangs)
    4) we invented language & culture
    5) we invented agriculture
    6) we invented writing
    7) we invented government (much to the sorrow of early libertarians)

    And yes, electricity, steel, radios, cameras, guns, pneumatic nail guns, tampons, and the Wonder Bra.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    It isn't, and you identify the difference.Bitter Crank

    How so?

    Well, you know, we set limits on our desires and lusts.Bitter Crank

    No, reality sets limits on our desires and lusts. Some people sometimes get lucky and have them realized by chance or farce though.

    A certain amount of desire and lust will be enjoyed, and then we'll not ask for more for a while--15 minutes, at least. Back in my salad days, I almost never stayed up all night every night screwing my brains out. I took a full helping of sex--I just didn't take everything on offer. An outing might not be repeated for 2 or 3 days, or a week, even. I like premium ice cream too, but I don't eat the whole carton at one go. I meter my decadence.Bitter Crank

    Well, yeah. I find it hard to self regulate; but, reality tells me why most of the time.

    I consider suffering a given in life. It can be more, it can be less. We can make it worse, we can make it better. All our suffering will end in death.Bitter Crank

    So we must constrain our desires to suffer less. Blasphemy, I know.

    Some people don't suffer a lot; they are lucky enough to be so composed that they are not intensely bothered by everything (that would not be me). Some people can calmly endure more pain for a longer period of time; others cannot.Bitter Crank

    I've learned to be that way, through Stoicism. What are your thoughts about Stoicism then if you do not agree with it?

    So what?Bitter Crank

    It's a constrained situation, much like reality. We learn to adapt and change and evolve, if not biologically, then psychologically. Sometimes we regress. Technology and science serve to enhance and solidify the changes we've made in terms of knowledge. Philosophy is a form of psychoevolution in my mind or at least should be.
  • Arne
    295
    I, on the other hand, have always defined philosophy as an ongoing discussion over the nature of the real. As such, I do not subscribe to philosophy as hermetically sealed off from the real.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    I, on the other hand, have always defined philosophy as an ongoing discussion over the nature of the real. As such, I do not subscribe to philosophy as hermetically sealed off from the real.Arne

    So, then what's all the disagreement and misunderstanding about in philosophy if we're talking about the same thing, the real?
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