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View Poll Results: Who is your favorite philosopher(s)?
Ancient Philosophy (Aristotle, Plato) 13 19.40%
Scholasticism (St. Thomas Aquinas) 3 4.48%
Renaissance Humanism (Thomas More, Erasmus) 1 1.49%
Rationalism (Descartes, Voltaire, Kant) 18 26.87%
Empiricism, Social Contract (John Locke, David Hume) 11 16.42%
Social Materialism/Marxism (Karl Marx, Hegel) 6 8.96%
Existentialism (Kafka, Nietzsche) 7 10.45%
Post-Moderism/Structuralism (Derrida, Foucault, Nietzsche) 5 7.46%
Analytical Philosophy (Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein) 1 1.49%
Structuralism (Levi-Strauss, Ferdinand de Saussure, Chomsky) 2 2.99%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-03-2009, 06:37 PM    (permalink
iowatreat54
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Originally Posted by CJSchneider View Post
But you do. In saying that when one gives all of one's self they do so with some glimmer of belief in personal gain, you take away from that act, especially if it is total selflessness.


I disagree. I do believe that absolutes can exist.
I don't see it as taking away from the act, though. I believe that sacrificing one's life for others is the most honorable thing you can do in life.

Your 2nd part is where we disagree. Because I do not believe in absolutes, I do not see it as taking away from the act.

Even though the self benefit is unintentional, it still exists. So, imo, while it can be selfless in intent, the act itself cannot be 100% selfless.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:39 PM    (permalink
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I understand that one's success is not determined solely by their own actions. Obviously the structure you pointed out is necessary. However, the structure is the same for anybody. For example, a homeless person and a rich person are operating within the same political system in the US.
False. A homeless person has drastically different legal rights than someone that's rich.

Quote:
Now obviously the situation you are born into has a lot to do with your success. That said, I think you're undermining the individual quite a bit, particularly in this day and age where the barriers to monetary success have dropped quite a bit.
This is one of the most economically disparate societies in the last few centuries.

As for the billionaire statistic, I would only really be able to address that if provided the source, to see what exactly their guidelines are.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:40 PM    (permalink
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okay trying hard not to drag religion into this, I'm sure you'll do the same. But how does that work?

I mean, I can't bring myself to believe that there is something as simple as pure evil or pure good. I'm just curious of how that works in your mind.
This may be that one instance where I can not do so without bring religion into the argument of true selflessness. It may also be why I reacted so strongly.
I will concede to the point that selflessness in a vast majority of situations serves the self in other means if you will concede that true selflessness, in extremely rare cases, exists.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:44 PM    (permalink
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I don't see it as taking away from the act, though. I believe that sacrificing one's life for others is the most honorable thing you can do in life.

Your 2nd part is where we disagree. Because I do not believe in absolutes, I do not see it as taking away from the act.

Even though the self benefit is unintentional, it still exists. So, imo, while it can be selfless in intent, the act itself cannot be 100% selfless.
Explain how the unintentional self benefit in giving your life for another works.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:45 PM    (permalink
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False. A homeless person has drastically different legal rights than someone that's rich.
You beat me to this. I was about to say, poor people have the police crash their doors in and are dragged out in cuffs and then provided court-appointed attorneys who are often under-paid and overworked. Meanwhile, "white-collar criminals" or whatever term you would like to use are brought in by police typically in a "polite" manner. Then their money allows for them to afford lawyers who are often far more talented at what they do than court-appointed attorneys.

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This is one of the most economically disparate societies in the last few centuries.
Again, something you beat me to. The likelihood of someone moving up from one class to a higher one is very unlikely. Not to mention that the possession of wealth in America is almost entirely concentrated in about 1-2% of the people in our society.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:46 PM    (permalink
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I don't see it as taking away from the act, though. I believe that sacrificing one's life for others is the most honorable thing you can do in life.
So, there is absolutely nothing more honorable?
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:47 PM    (permalink
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This may be that one instance where I can not do so without bring religion into the argument of true selflessness. It may also be why I reacted so strongly.
Good to see you stand up for what you believe. I do understand why you reacted the way you did.

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I will concede to the point that selflessness in a vast majority of situations serves the self in other means if you will concede that true selflessness, in extremely rare cases, exists.
As I stated earlier, I don't believe in absolutes, and because of that I can't concede to that point. I'll happily concede that in extremely rare cases there is a selflessness that is nearly truly selfless, but that's as far as I'll go. If you believe it does that's absolutely your right, and we should (calmly) discuss absolutes on IRC sometime.
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Last edited by Addict : 05-03-2009 at 06:48 PM. Reason: I did the quote-thing wrong
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:47 PM    (permalink
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What about, instead of sacrificing your own life, you decide to live and then develop a cure for cancer? Would that not be more honorable?

Just something to consider. ;)
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:47 PM    (permalink
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Explain how the unintentional self benefit in giving your life for another works.
Like I said before, the intent of the act can be solely for the benefit of others. However, in hindsight, the act can give the individual immaterial benefit. In the case of jumping on the grenade, in hind sight, many will view it as a heroic act, and in return, the individual's name and legacy will benefit from it.

Which is why I proposed whether selflessness is in the intent or the outcome? Personally, I take into account both in order to make a decision, rather than looking at individual components.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:48 PM    (permalink
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False. A homeless person has drastically different legal rights than someone that's rich.
Really? I thought all citizens were equal under the law?

Anyways, I think you get my point. If you come from a poor family, you're still operating under the same political system asa middle-class family. Sure, they likely have some advantages, but you surely are not precluded from success due to your situation.

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As for the billionaire statistic, I would only really be able to address that if provided the source, to see what exactly their guidelines are.
The billionaire statistic was from Forbes so I'm assuming it's pretty reliable: http://www.forbes.com/2007/06/22/bil...gs2riches.html

According to this article 80% of millionaires are "first generation affluent": http://ca.askmen.com/money/successful/53_success.html
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:49 PM    (permalink
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So, there is absolutely nothing more honorable?
I see what you did there :o
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:50 PM    (permalink
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What about, instead of sacrificing your own life, you decide to live and then develop a cure for cancer? Would that not be more honorable?
I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that if someone is in the military, being a cancer biologist isn't exactly a career path they are likely to take.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:52 PM    (permalink
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I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that if someone is in the military, being a cancer biologist isn't exactly a career path they are likely to take.
funny coincidence that you make this point in a DRAFT forum.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:52 PM    (permalink
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Good to see you stand up for what you believe. I do understand why you reacted the way you did.



As I stated earlier, I don't believe in absolutes, and because of that I can't concede to that point. I'll happily concede that in extremely rare cases there is a selflessness that is nearly truly selfless, but that's as far as I'll go. If you believe it does that's absolutely your right, and we should (calmly) discuss absolutes on IRC sometime.
I am intelligent enough to say I'll meet you that far.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:54 PM    (permalink
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I am intelligent enough to say I'll meet you that far.
By the way, I re-read my own post after reading yours and noticed that I used the words "it's absolutely your right"... how's that for bad phrasing?
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:55 PM    (permalink
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So, there is absolutely nothing more honorable?
No, it is not absolutely the most honorable. It is my opinion that it is the most honorable, but the fact that I know that 100% of people do not feel the same way is what makes it not absolute in my mind.

IMO, absolutes is all about perception. The fact that I recognize something that I believe as something that not every one agrees with makes it not absolute.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:57 PM    (permalink
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Like I said before, the intent of the act can be solely for the benefit of others. However, in hindsight, the act can give the individual immaterial benefit. In the case of jumping on the grenade, in hind sight, many will view it as a heroic act, and in return, the individual's name and legacy will benefit from it.

Which is why I proposed whether selflessness is in the intent or the outcome? Personally, I take into account both in order to make a decision, rather than looking at individual components.
How does a dead person have hindsight? For your information, dead people do not benefit from a legacy.

Now, your counter would be "No, but they guy who jumps could think of that benfit to his family."

I could agree that could be possible.
Now convince me that happens 100% of the time.
Remember, you said there are no absolutes.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:58 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Manic Depressant View Post
Really? I thought all citizens were equal under the law?
You thought wrong. That's pretty naive honestly.



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The billionaire statistic was from Forbes so I'm assuming it's pretty reliable: http://www.forbes.com/2007/06/22/bil...gs2riches.html

According to this article 80% of millionaires are "first generation affluent": http://ca.askmen.com/money/successful/53_success.html
You don't think that Forbes magazine, owned by Steve Forbes, grandson of B.C. Forbes, wouldn't have a bit of a bias? Forbes is the lapdog of capitalism. They actually call themselves the "capitalist tool." That would be like me providing the Communist Manifesto to argue the capitalism is bad.

I'm not doubting the cases of individual initiative. But I do severely question the lack of bias from Forbes magazine about the virtues of capitalism. It's also a bit arbitrary to point to a few individuals to argue what is a much broader argument, but I suppose that is part of the disconnect.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:58 PM    (permalink
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No, it is not absolutely the most honorable. It is my opinion that it is the most honorable, but the fact that I know that 100% of people do not feel the same way is what makes it not absolute in my mind.

IMO, absolutes is all about perception. The fact that I recognize something that I believe as something that not every one agrees with makes it not absolute.
I think it's contradictory to say that something is most honorable then say it's not because other people think the other way. You are entitled to have an opinion which makes a generalization. It's not absolute in the sense that it's not provable fact, but if you think it, think it.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:00 PM    (permalink
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No, it is not absolutely the most honorable. It is my opinion that it is the most honorable, but the fact that I know that 100% of people do not feel the same way is what makes it not absolute in my mind.

IMO, absolutes is all about perception. The fact that I recognize something that I believe as something that not every one agrees with makes it not absolute.
Absolutes, like truth transcend perception.

The fact that you can not believe in something absolutely because not 100% of everyone else does, makes any argument in the future (here) suspect IMO.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:02 PM    (permalink
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How does a dead person have hindsight? For your information, dead people do not benefit from a legacy.

Now, your counter would be "No, but they guy who jumps could think of that benfit to his family."

I could agree that could be possible.
Now convince me that happens 100% of the time.
Remember, you said there are no absolutes.
If you reread what I said, it depends on your perception of self benefit. No, the material body/character does not benefit. Yes, the legacy/name of the person does benefit. IMO, the legacy/name is not separate from the material person. So, even though someone who is dead does not physically benefit from their actions, their legacy and name in the future do, even though they are dead.

Again, like I said, it depends on if you interpret the benefit as something you yourself can physically experience while alive, or whether you consider any benefit after you have passed as well. And imo, I believe the latter.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:04 PM    (permalink
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How does a dead person have hindsight? For your information, dead people do not benefit from a legacy.

Now, your counter would be "No, but they guy who jumps could think of that benfit to his family."

I could agree that could be possible.
Now convince me that happens 100% of the time.
Remember, you said there are no absolutes.
ok just a heads-up, but this is going to turn into a semantics debate real fast if we don't adress this. Not believing in absolutes doesn't mean that we can't say something never, ever happens. In fact, quite the opposite (If I were any good at math I could probably think of a great example, but I suck a math so I'll try to do it without).

_______________________ - this line is selfish




_______________________ - this line is selfless

now the way I belive things to be is that everything happens between those lines, but never one them, things can be very near the line, but never on the line. So there is no absolute selfishness, or absolute selflessness. There's things that come extremely close to it, but no such thing as an absolute.

Things are never black or white, but always a shade of grey.

PS: I realise that 'no such thing' in itself is an absolute, but that's what I ment with semantics, it's not really what we (or at least, I) mean.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:04 PM    (permalink
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I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that if someone is in the military, being a cancer biologist isn't exactly a career path they are likely to take.


A small jump, but it helps prove a point. I'm gonna say it's possible.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:05 PM    (permalink
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A small jump, but it helps prove a point. I'm gonna say it's possible.
I never said it was impossible, just unlikely.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:07 PM    (permalink
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ok just a heads-up, but this is going to turn into a semantics debate real fast if we don't adress this. Not believing in absolutes doesn't mean that we can't say something never, ever happens. In fact, quite the opposite (If I were any good at math I could probably think of a great example, but I suck a math so I'll try to do it without).

_______________________ - this line is selfish




_______________________ - this line is selfless

now the way I belive things to be is that everything happens between those lines, but never one them, things can be very near the line, but never on the line. So there is no absolute selfishness, or absolute selflessness. There's things that come extremely close to it, but no such thing as an absolute.

Things are never black or white, but always a shade of grey.

PS: I realise that 'no such thing' in itself is an absolute, but that's what I ment with semantics, it's not really what we (or at least, I) mean.
And that may be a real sticking point for us. I belief that black and white do exist in regards to our present discussion. I'm not saying that they aren't statistically extremely rare. But they do exist IMO.
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