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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    05 Jul '09 08:36
    A lyric from a popular song, but who hasn't used those very words when trying to explain to another, feelings of romantic love. I put it to you that romantic love is as selfish as it gets.
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    05 Jul '09 09:44
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    A lyric from a popular song, but who hasn't used those very words when trying to explain to another, feelings of romantic love. I put it to you that romantic love is as selfish as it gets.
    It depends how you define "selfish".
  3. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    05 Jul '09 09:47
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    It depends how you define "selfish".
    Being concerned with ones own affairs.
  4. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    05 Jul '09 09:50 / 2 edits
    Selfishness:
    [1. looking after own desires: concerned with your own interests, needs, and wishes while ignoring those of others

    To be concerned with ones own affairs, yep sounds right, but as pointed out in the example above ignoring interests, needs, and wishes of others is not a necessary condition of being selfish. There are numerous examples of acts of benevolence, kindness and politeness that ensure another persons well-being might also be in ones own best interests.

    2. demonstrating selfishness: showing that personal needs and wishes are thought to be more important than those of other people.

    No problem here.
  5. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    05 Jul '09 10:08
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    I put it to you that romantic love is as selfish as it gets.
    Seinfeld popularised it to a whole new level; not that there's anything wrong with that. The whole 'its not you its me' thread, to many of George's romantic entanglements, pretty much sums it all up. For my money its symptomatic of a much larger malaise we call afluenza, that results when people lose their connectedness to each other due to the overwhelming focus placed on accumulating as much wealth as they can before they die. From this perspective the economically rationalist mindset posits that only 'you' can look after yourself, and that 'you' are definitely not your brother's keeper. Once the threshold of that way of thinking has been breached, then love and any other social nicety just becomes another commodity to be acquired while you build your edifice to materialism.

    From this perspective romantic love forms a perfect fit. Find it woo it, engage with and and finally consume it. If it lasts, then good, if it doesn't, try another flavour. In the final analysis, if you can't work it out, you can always get the same buzz from demeroll or chocolate.
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    06 Jul '09 00:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    Selfishness:
    [1. looking after own desires: concerned with your own interests, needs, and wishes while ignoring those of others

    To be concerned with ones own affairs, yep sounds right, but as pointed out in the example above ignoring interests, needs, and wishes of others is not a necessary condition of being selfish. There are numerous examples ...[text shortened]... nd wishes are thought to be more important than those of other people. [/i]

    No problem here.
    I suppose your argument is that the self-satisfaction a person gets from giving to their love is why they give. This is true. However in common use people who are not "selfish" are not selfish because they get satisfaction from improving others' well being.

    The idea that all conscious human actions are motivated from within by personal desires is not what I or most others disagree with. The problem is that you are using definitions of "selfish" in which desiring and being pleased by others' happiness and lessening of pain are selfish...and that's silly.

    I think it's clear that sometimes people in love do not ignore the other's needs and wishes, and so claiming that romantic love is always selfish by definition #1 is clearly incorrect.

    Now as for #2 - what about when one's personal needs and wishes ARE making the needs and wishes of another come true? It's even possible that the desire to please the other and reward for doing so is stronger than the pleasure of the one who is pleased.

    A usable definition of selfishness focusses on what sort of things bring you pleasure; not the fact that you experience pleasure!

    What does it mean if personal needs are NOT "thought to be more important" than those of the lover's? It means that it brings one as much as or more pleasure to do things which please the lover than to do things which one finds pleasurable without pleasing the lover. Thus, selfishness is defined by what brings one pleasure in #2. Not that one's favorite actions bring pleasure - even when that favorite action is pleasing the lover!
  7. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    06 Jul '09 09:33 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I suppose your argument is that the self-satisfaction a person gets from giving to their love is why they give. This is true. However in common use people who are not "selfish" are not selfish because they get satisfaction from improving others' well being.

    The idea that all conscious human actions are motivated from within by personal des te actions bring pleasure - even when that favorite action is pleasing the lover!
    I like Robert Heinleins definition of romantic love and that goes something like: One's own happiness is dependent on the happiness of another. IMHO we need to add that to the mix.

    So in this; 2. demonstrating selfishness: showing that personal needs and wishes are thought to be more important than those of other people.

    The one that you love is not included in "...other people" In this case "...other people" is reserved for the likes of kmax, KN and all the other control freaks.
  8. Standard member yo its me
    watch the acid...
    06 Jul '09 11:04
    It's all relative, init.

    My friend asked me years ago if I was using her and I said 'yeah, I'm using you for a friend, I needed one and I picked you.' We're still friends now.

    People wouldn't be in a relationship if they didn't get anything out of it.
  9. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    06 Jul '09 11:57
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    I like Robert Heinleins definition of romantic love and that goes something like: One's own happiness is dependent on the happiness of another. IMHO we need to add that to the mix.
    .
    Its good to see you have'nt fallen off the edge of the planet. Since the whole GFC thingy and the failure of the markets (should the reactor control itself?) to self regulate, I was sort of beginning to miss your frequent and timely reminders of the libertarian -life influenced by the secondary consequences of primarily selfish acts- way of thinking. Maybe you only just stepped out of debates for a while, but I mused that maybe the failure of the heavily deregulated system that you felt needed even less constaint placed on it, caused you enough embarrasment so as to not want to show your face around here for a while.
  10. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    06 Jul '09 18:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by kmax87
    Its good to see you have'nt fallen off the edge of the planet. Since the whole GFC thingy and the failure of the markets (should the reactor control itself?) to self regulate, I was sort of beginning to miss your frequent and timely reminders of the libertarian -life influenced by the secondary consequences of primarily selfish acts- way of thinking. Maybe yo ...[text shortened]... it, caused you enough embarrasment so as to not want to show your face around here for a while.
    New country, new project, new challenges kmax one of which has been to get an internet connection at the house (state controlled communications?).

    The markets are already heavily regulated so any failure can be attributed directly to the failure of regulated markets and not vice versa.
  11. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    06 Jul '09 20:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    I like Robert Heinleins definition of romantic love and that goes something like: One's own happiness is dependent on the happiness of another. IMHO we need to add that to the mix.

    So in this; 2. demonstrating selfishness: showing that personal needs and wishes are thought to be more important than those of other people.

    The one that you love e "...other people" is reserved for the likes of kmax, KN and all the other control freaks.
    I don't see how you go from Heinlein's definition of "romantic love" to excluding your lover from the "other" in the definition of "selfish".

    If your happiness depends on another's happiness, you are not selfish. If your happiness does not depend on other's happiness at all, your are selfish.
  12. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    06 Jul '09 21:48 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I don't see how you go from Heinlein's definition of "romantic love" to excluding your lover from the "other" in the definition of "selfish".

    If your happiness depends on another's happiness, you are not selfish. If your happiness does not depend on other's happiness at all, your are selfish.
    I think Waj is arguing from the perspective that even though you are concerned of the other persons happiness, because you know your own happiness is bound up in making that other person happy, your love therefore is not a totally selfless act. Knowing that you can only be truly happy by making someone else happy therefore suggests that the act of making someone else happy is less about them but more about you. Seinfeld again!

    [EDIT] I suppose its one of those Murphy's Law paradoxes. If you consciously tried to please someone else, in the belief that your happiness could only be reached by making someone else happy, would you actually find happiness, or is it one of those deals that you can only find happiness when the impulse to help someone else find their's, comes from an altruistic space where you are not consciously trying to turn the wheel of happiness in your favour by some form of karmic quid pro quo?
  13. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    06 Jul '09 22:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by kmax87
    I think Waj is arguing from the perspective that even though you are concerned of the other persons happiness, because you know your own happiness is bound up in making that other person happy, your love therefore is not a totally selfless act. Knowing that you can only be truly happy by making someone else happy therefore suggests that the act of making some usly trying to turn the wheel of happiness in your favour by some form of karmic quid pro quo?
    Like I said - that definition of "selfish" is useless. Most people consider selfishness to be when others' happiness is irrelevant to your happiness. Wajoma's argument implies that you have to intentionally make yourself miserable - without wanting to make yourself miserable ore getting any self-satisfaction from succeeding at the process of making yourself miserable - in order to be selfless. It's a useless definition which makes the argument meaningless.

    It relies entirely on stating one definition while implying a different one.
  14. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    06 Jul '09 22:31
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    New country, new project, new challenges kmax one of which has been to get an internet connection at the house (state controlled communications?).
    Sounds like fun. I know its a stretch, but try and be nice to the local apparatchik.