Re: PHIL: Egoism (Was ART: What Art Is)

From: Emlyn (
Date: Mon May 29 2000 - 22:46:26 MDT

Daniel Ust (or Damien Broderick hacking his account) wrote:
> > Every Mother Theresa after the first (at any point, the "marginal"
> > Theresa) adds something (even if only a little) to society; a net
> > Perhaps at some extreme adding extra Mother Theresas becomes a cost.
> > does a society made excludively of Mother Theresas do, there being no
> to
> > save? However, one might safely assume that 100 is a lower quantity than
> > that necessary to fall to the break-even point.
> >
> > We can say that one Bill Gates, also, is a net benefit, for argument's
> sake.
> > Although you can't be sure; the benefit of Bill Gates is in what he has
> > built; the cost in what he has destroyed.
> Given Mother Theresa openly _professed_ views on human suffering -- about
> its necessity; i.e., the necessity of it in the form of the stifling
> and rampant disease in Third World countries and not in the sense of, say,
> needing a little adversity to make us stronger -- I'd think there's a high
> cost associated with even one Mother Theresa. If ever there was a
> that seems almost out of a Rand novel, it is her.

I'm not sure I understand this point. Could you expand on it? Type slowly, I
have trouble keeping up...

> > After the first Bill, however, you end up in a blood bath. If anyone
> > subscribes to the "there can only be one" philosophy of existence, it is
> > Bill. So marginal Bills just add to the general multi-sided chaos &
> > destruction; a net cost.
> Since Gates has yet to use or advocate murder and mayhem or even to show a
> bias toward such, I disagree. (This is not to put Gates on a pedestal.)

I'm talking economically here; rather than actually physically killing each
other, 100 Bill Gates could be expected to spend a lot of effort trying to
economically dominate each other, using (not exclusively) extremely
destructive competitive practices, in an attempt to gain a monopoly

Another point of view is that most of the value of both Bill Gates and
Mother Theresa is as icons; they symbolise particular sets of values to
great amounts of people. From this point of view, 100 of either is only
marginally more useful than one; those instances occuring after the first
not carrying any extra symbolic value.


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