- Capitalism and Alternatives -

you are still eating out of self-interest.

Posted by: David ( USA ) on September 14, 1999 at 19:45:07:

In Reply to: I'm intrinsically designed to disagree... posted by bill on September 09, 1999 at 11:25:14:

: : : SDF: "Self-interest" still means nothing. People are not motivated by "themselves," they have real, nameable motivations. Lust, altruism, hunger, curiosity, pleasure, agony, each of these explains something. "Self-interest" doesn't.

: David:
: <: Self-Interest is the motive of performing actions that further the organisms life.>

::: When I sit down to a meal I say to myself, "Boy, am I hungry". I do not say to myself: "It is in my self-interest that I now consume 800 calories".

Yes, but no matter how you cut it you are still eating out of self-interest.

:::There are receptors in my brain that produce "pleasure" when I smoke a cigarette.

There is a difference between pleasure and the relief from pain. Drugs are an example of the latter, they do not actually make you feel good, they just eliminate (for a short time) what is making you feel bad. And thus cannot be regarded as a pleasureable experience. Smoking does not stimulate the receptors in your brain that make you feel good, what they do is satisfy a psychological/physical addiction. The "pleasure" you feel from smoking is nothing more than the relief from the cravings.

:::This too may be interpreted as "self-interest", though not particularly wise. In other words, Everything one does may be regarded through a self-interest lens, from inflicting torture to serving food in a leper colony.

Only an irrational person who justify hurting themselvesor others as "self-interest."
What you need to ask yourself though is why serving food in a leper colony is "pleasureable." If it is because you value those lepers as individuals and you enjoy their friendshipe, than I would agree that that was the rational, selfish, course. However, if the reason you are serving food in a leper colony is because you have some unnamed guilt which you can only escape by sacrificing your means to others, than I would say you have self-worth problems.

::: The REAL reason for all this flabberwock is that it sounds so much more reasonable to speak of CEO salaries in terms of a natural 'intrinsic' self-interest rather than something that might possibly be construed as pejoritive - like "greedy" or "selfish" by 'extrinsic' observers.

Precisely, it is more reasonable. It is more rational. It is more logical. And as a reasoning, rational, logical human being, it is the perspective that I take.

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