Re: rehabilitation versus punishment in a future society....

Date: Wed Feb 23 2000 - 11:41:43 MST

In a message dated 2/23/2000 8:55:03 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< I define evil as simply abject selfishness.
 Funny, that's pretty much how I define what's good and noble.
 The sine qua non of evil for me is dishonesty. >>

Clearly many people will consider your philosophy of abject selfishness evil.
Do you enjoy taunting them with that construct? Some selfishness is healthy,
but complete abject selfishness is boring, teious and painfully gauche. It is
anti-social and associated with all of the "evils'" YOU decribe below

 Now I think we probably mostly agree on the specific acts we
 would classify as "evil": murder, torture, etc.; but I can't
 view these as acts of selfishness, because if one were truly
 selfish and educated emself on the best techniques to profit
 from others, >>

Ahh. So you are not talking ABJECT selfishness, but "educated" selfishness.
One that is tempered by a need to plese others. If only to better serve one's
own goals.

Perhaps your words do not describe your ideas plainly, but in the
preachroneous fashion.

ey would choose to cooperate and trade because
 that's a more profitable strategy than predation in the long
 run. Most acts that are described as "selfish" are not evil
 because they are selfish, but because they exhibit irrational
 short-term thinking. >>

So abject selfishness perhpas is not entirely rational?

<<The truly selfish individual takes the
 long view, because ey wants to live forever and be obscenely
 rich, not just make a few bucks for the moment.

Long or short viewed, the truly selfish individual is not valued by others,
and is often over valued by his/herself.

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