Re: Generosity (was: Understanding Extropian Principles)

William Miller (nox@ARCHES.UGA.EDU)
Fri, 28 Aug 1998 22:14:32 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

On Wed, 28 May 1997 07:32:20 -0700 (PDT) "E. Shaun Russell" <> wrote:
> Anders wrote:
> >I think many extropians would agree with me that an altruistic way of
> >behaving can be based on ultimately selfish (i.e. seeking to maximize
> >personal utility) motivations
> Indeed. When people claim to be altruists or push the values of
> altruism I am immediately suspicious. The first thing I question is their
> reasoning for unencumbered benevolence...nine times out of ten, they will be
> doing it to make themselves look better. Same with charity, same with
> sacrifice. People tend to find solace in doing what is "socially
> acceptable" like giving money to the poor or donating blood. Often the
> reasons aren't because they sincerely want the poor man to have a coffee, or
> to add to the diminishing blood bank, but to glorify themselves for what
> they are doing. They try to make themselves heroes of a sort.

You can also be generous based on the ol' "Share The Wealth" mentality that seeks to demonstrate your success to those you care about in a manner that can be universally understandable (i.e. visible material wealth that you can afford to dispose of with little thought to economic gain). Although thinking back on it, this is probably more of an example of socialism (which can be quite sociable when detached from the coercive anti-social cancer that is our current government) than altruism (which I see as at best an unnecessary and at worst an evil ethical standard).

Your friendly extropian poly,
BilLee Miller

P.S. My e-mail account crashed please add me to the list again.