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Re: [existlist] Re: e: HOW MUCH WORK MUST YOU DO TO EARN 6 McNUGGETS?

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  • Bill Harris
    James, Your comments make sense to me, you are a pragmatist. Jefferson`s idea of equality we have discussed before. I now understand it to mean since our
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 29, 2002
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      James, Your comments make sense to me, you are a pragmatist. Jefferson`s idea of equality we have discussed before. I now understand it to mean since our individual genotypes have all survived to this time, we are equil. Who knows what traits will be needed during our lifetimes. Perhaps nuclear winter will make neanderthal genotype more beneficial in our lifetime. Perhaps global warming will make tropical man the survivor. We play the cards we are delt, the problem is the game can change, radically. Right now a soft, socially adroit person of means seems to have the upper hand. Rome fell, Greece fell and their upper classes were left grubbing for roots.
      Personally I like the underdog role, it keeps you lean and hungry. I do not buy the selfish bit, it is no more than a have not argueing point. "So go on and roll the dice, you only live twice, do it or die" Bill
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: james tan
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, April 29, 2002 2:01 AM
      Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: e: HOW MUCH WORK MUST YOU DO TO EARN 6 McNUGGETS?



      jim,

      i see what u mean when u say 'what could be'.

      i guess i am more a pragmatist than a existentialist. there are some ground
      rules that i guess will remain unchanged forever. i have never believed in
      equality. some are born rich, some are born poor, and as someone in the list
      pointed out, the poor has a harder time to succeed in life. although it is
      not impossible that they succeed, it is less smooth sailing; this is a fact
      of life. some are born more intelligent, some much less so; as a result, the
      very bright ended up in top universities, get very well paying career in big
      company, get equally bright girl to marry, and ended up in a big luxurious
      house in no time, whereas u see all kinds of dramas in human tradegy in the
      much less fortunate in terms of wealth or ability. the rule that will not
      change is the rule of demand and supply, the survival of the fittest.
      another rule of human nature: man is selfish. the rich COULD HAVE contribute
      more to the help of the poor. but is it unreasonable if they choose not to?
      it is really up to the individual's freedom. but man is selfish.

      u said:
      "It's irrational to be part of a society if you don't believe it is a
      good thing. By partaking in it, one obviously perceives a benefit. At
      that point the individual has a responsibility to it and society
      should (and does) force some level of obligation to serve."

      i tend to see that, whether one like it or not, one is always part of a
      society. one can migrate, of course (but it is only the rich and educated
      who has the ability to migrate, who are welcomed by the receiving country).
      the poor, the down and out of society is 'condemned' to belong to that
      society, and whether there is benefit or not, they stick to it, if
      helplessly. sure there is benefit, and it is precisely because there is that
      the rich get richer, the poorer still surviving. obligation to serve? what
      and how do u precisely mean by this? the rich can say they are already
      contributing via income tax. if they have given 15% of their income to the
      tax department, nothing except their conscience oblige them to share the
      other 85% - it is theirs, fully. most folks may work their whole life what
      these people earn in a week, but still what compel them to share their
      wealth? that they 'should' try to be equal with others in the society in
      wealth? that inequality is no good? the thing is, this are the kind of
      ideals and morals u cannot force on others, such kind of things are beyond
      anyone's control. u may be able to speak for yourself, but not for others.
      man is selfish. and i am not so sure if there is such a thing as
      self-determination of a society. there are things we can control, there are
      things we cannot control. u can even write on a steel plate taht list down
      all the values that u hope all people in the society will follow, that will
      transcent the animal instinct in all of us of eat or be eaten, but it is
      easier engraved on the steel plate than getting it accepted in the heart of
      other people. u see, man is selfish by nature. there COULD BE some
      altruistic individuals here and there, but statistically, they are
      insignificant. 'what is' is empirically more founded than the idealistic
      'what could be', and as such discussion can be more fruitful if we deal our
      reasoning based on such well founded facts.

      u said:
      "the talents endowed to us by nature could be put to far
      better use enabling the entire race as opposed to the few. "

      well, the real question over here is not whether we could do that, but
      whether we want to do that. it is not a question of ability, but motivation.

      james.

      From: "clickhereforinsignificance" <livewild@...>
      Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: e: HOW MUCH WORK MUST YOU DO TO EARN 6 McNUGGETS?
      Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 06:00:38 -0000


      James,

      I am not arguing against personal accountability as you seem to be
      suggesting, nor to get the government to "dump a lump of money". Only
      that if we observe nature, equality does not seem to be the order of
      the things. Eat or eaten is more in favour.

      However, the talents endowed to us by nature could be put to far
      better use enabling the entire race as opposed to the few. It's not a
      matter of guilt as you keep focusing on.... it's a matter of reason.
      It's irrational to be part of a society if you don't believe it is a
      good thing. By partaking in it, one obviously perceives a benefit. At
      that point the individual has a responsibility to it and society
      should (and does) force some level of obligation to serve it.

      We can choose to build a society that is above the existing order, or
      just be another example of one. Being part of an Existentialist group
      I would think you of all people would understand the idea of self
      determination of a society as well as an individual.

      You spend your time arguing statements that we both know as "What is".

      What I argue is what could be.

      (J.Aiden)

      -------------------------------------


      --- In existlist@y..., "james tan" <tyjfk@h...> wrote:
      >
      > jim,
      >
      > u said:
      > "I might mention that they make far less money than a baseball
      player,
      > lawyer, or a doctor might... yet I suspect the cognitive factor you
      speak of
      > is much higher. Yet they still choose that field. Curious."
      >
      > different man is at different stage of needs. for some, according
      to maslow,
      > they are at the so-called self-actualising stage, ie, to fulfil
      their
      > potential. some are at a 'lower' stage, such as getting the means
      to
      > survival, shelter, social status, sex, etc, all of which could be
      procured
      > if one has money.
      >
      > u said:
      > "but somehow a psychological state exists to share all goods
      equally.
      > What good is it worth saying we are equals if we don't share
      equally."
      >
      > jim, u may have this particular problem, but i can assure u that a
      lot of
      > people, not least the rich ones, will be happy to keep their wealth
      to
      > themselves. there is no guilt that they are richer and some others
      are much
      > poorer, and that they don't share their wealth. no guilt, no
      apology.
      >
      > u said:
      > "People tend to think that the road to freedom has someone been
      > achieved because someone wrote the declaration of independance but
      we
      > are equals only in words not substance yet."
      >
      > when someone wrote the declaration of independence, the freedom is
      the
      > rights as citizens for all, regardless of race, religion, or
      whatnots.
      > naurally, this is understood that the person behaves within
      socially
      > accepted norm of behaviours such as proscribed by the laws. u wish
      for
      > humans to be equal in substance? by that u mean things like
      intelligence,
      > ability, etc? let's face it: no two person has equal ability,
      intelligence,
      > etc. i play basketball, but i can't play as well as michael jordon;
      i can do
      > maths, but i know there are people who are much better than me just
      as there
      > are those worse off than me; i do some programming, but i cant
      compare my
      > achievement with what microsoft has done; besides leibniz and
      newton, no one
      > could cook up calculus prior to them; when einstein produced his
      relativity
      > theories, only a very few in the world at that time could
      understand what he
      > was saying. the fact of the matter is, there ARE differences in
      individual
      > in ability. there will always be inequality.
      >
      > u said:
      > "There will always be differences, but those differences should not
      > be in matters of human dignity or survival. Should the McDonalds
      > employee be punished because they lack the cogitive abilities of the
      > doctor? Please explain how they are less of a human being or have
      > less of a right to happiness and life and how the doctor earned his
      > cogitive skills. "
      >
      > let's face another fact of life: nothing is free in this world. u
      want a cup
      > of drink, u want a burger, u want to play a game at arcade, u want
      a
      > ferrari, u want a house, u work for it. unless u are left with a
      heritage
      > from ur dead grandpa or pa, u basically work for what u want. there
      is no
      > doubt that money is correlated to ur quality in life (at least the
      material
      > life, but we are all materials, aren't we? we get hungry and
      thirsty, don't
      > we?). when a corporation pays u, it is based on what u are able to
      > contribute to the corporation; they dont give u the money for
      nothing in
      > return. and the amount of pay they give u is a measure of what they
      think u
      > could contribute in return, that is, ur worth as a efficient and
      relevant
      > worker, it is NOT a measure of ur worth as a human being. u get the
      > difference? a doctor is much higher paid than a mcdonald staff, and
      that is
      > a measure of different wanted or demanded ability or skills, it is
      not a
      > measure of who is more human. is society then unfair to the
      mcdonald staff?
      > no, simply because the society is NOT obliged to give any money to
      that
      > individual; the society can give the infrastructure so that the
      indivdidual
      > can make a living. the ex- u.s. president kennedy said: think not
      what
      > society can do for u, but what u can do for the society. and the
      trick is,
      > when u contribute to society, the society has her way of repaying u
      back,
      > and proportionally. vice versa, a person who does not wish to work
      and
      > expect his life quality is still good is dreaming, is self
      deceiving, is
      > having unrealistic expectation. the only way to a better life is
      not to
      > expect it given to u, but to upgrade yourself in terms of skills,
      expertise,
      > or qualification.
      >
      > u said:
      > "We focus too much on comforting the best... the
      > best... the best... Wouldn't it be far more fair to comfort those
      > that are lacking? "
      >
      > it is not by chance the best are where they are; they work for what
      they
      > have, and the system has her way of rewarding people according to
      their
      > talents and diligence. there is no doubt that those lacking need
      help, but
      > what kind of help do u have in mind? maybe subsidies on training
      programs
      > based on their income (the lower the income, the bigger the subsidy
      by the
      > govt), but to expect the govt to dump u a lump sum of money while u
      idle
      > away is not a long term solution. u don't help the poor man by
      giving him
      > fish, he will still be dependent on u forever; rather, u help him
      by
      > teaching him how to fish. we are not here in the business of
      comforting, but
      > getting the man independent and self responsible for his own
      livelihood and
      > upgrading.
      >
      > u said:
      > "I know it's the status quo and since the collapse of the Soviet
      > union quite in vogue capitalism... "
      >
      > it is not about communism or capitalism, it is about self
      responsiblity for
      > one's own prosperity.
      >
      > u said:
      > " We are still a society of haves and have nots. Maybe someday the
      > haves will realize that they didn't earn their abilities... it was
      > endowed by nature. Regardless of talent... kindness and compassion
      > are the traits every human being can participate in. This may all
      > seem like wishful abstract thinking... "
      >
      > i must admit intelligence, to a large extent, is endowed by nature.
      but the
      > question now is: do we just sit back and lament that nature has
      been unfair?
      > and keep asking why society is so cruel? wouldn't it be better and
      more
      > productive instead to ask: how do i deal with this limitation that
      i have?
      > what can i do to overcome my lack? what ways to overcome my
      poverty?
      > research has shown that the successful in life is NOT necessarily
      those who
      > has scored higher in their iq; rather, it is people who has shown
      great
      > motivation and desire to work hard to get what they want in spite
      of bad
      > circumstances. yes, iq helps, but u don't need the iq of an
      einstein to
      > succeed in life. i believe the american society is one based on
      meritocracy,
      > and there are opportunities to climb up the social ladder, ie, if
      one BOTHER
      > to climb in the first place. instead of complaining mcdonald pays
      low (with
      > ur qualification, WHAT DO U EXPECT?), why not think of mcdonald as
      a
      > opportunity and stepping stone to something else higher?
      >
      > james.
      >
      >
      >
      > From: "clickhereforinsignificance" <livewild@h...>
      > Reply-To: existlist@y...
      > To: existlist@y...
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: HOW MUCH WORK MUST YOU DO TO EARN 6
      McNUGGETS?
      > Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 16:59:52 -0000
      >
      >
      > James,
      >
      > you said that....
      >
      > " nobody is forcing nobody to work as a mcdonald staff"
      >
      > Nobody forces a nuclear physicist to become one either. I might
      > mention that they make far less money than a baseball player,
      lawyer,
      > or a doctor might... yet I suspect the cognitive factor you speak of
      > is much higher. Yet they still choose that field. Curious.
      >
      > Pure capitalism will always be flawed because greed tends to be
      the
      > motivating factor to achieve, not the welfare of your fellow human
      > being. Getting ahead in life is the objective. Ahead of what? Each
      > other?
      >
      > That being said.. I'm not a communist or socialist either. I
      just
      > haven't found a system that I like yet. I like to think the ideal
      > system is one based on capitalistic supply/demand and freedoms....
      > but somehow a psychological state exists to share all goods equally.
      > What good is it worth saying we are equals if we don't share
      equally.
      > People tend to think that the road to freedom has someone been
      > achieved because someone wrote the declaration of independance but
      we
      > are equals only in words not substance yet.
      >
      > There will always be differences, but those differences should
      not
      > be in matters of human dignity or survival. Should the McDonalds
      > employee be punished because they lack the cogitive abilities of the
      > doctor? Please explain how they are less of a human being or have
      > less of a right to happiness and life and how the doctor earned his
      > cogitive skills. That the doctor is more useful to society at large
      > is only a valid statement if there are a shortage of doctors. In a
      > system where education and knowledge is highly regarded this is not
      > an issue. Our system artificially limits the number of doctors (or
      > baseball players) only by selecting the best not because we couldn't
      > have more.
      >
      > Were it otherwise... the question arises would I want to be
      > treated by a second rate doctor or watch a peewee baseball game. If
      > it meant living in a society of equals...... I would not even blink
      > at the thought. We focus too much on comforting the best... the
      > best... the best... Wouldn't it be far more fair to comfort those
      > that are lacking? OF course the Nazi took the approach that they
      > should be exterminated because they are a burden on society.
      >
      > I know it's the status quo and since the collapse of the Soviet
      > union quite in vogue capitalism... but doesn't it seem as barbaric
      as
      > men of old. Big stick take all. Excuse the cliche, but I've always
      > believed a chain is only as good as its weakest link?
      >
      > We are still a society of haves and have nots. Maybe someday the
      > haves will realize that they didn't earn their abilities... it was
      > endowed by nature. Regardless of talent... kindness and compassion
      > are the traits every human being can participate in. This may all
      > seem like wishful abstract thinking... but virus, bacteria and
      > rodents do not worry about such thoughts.
      >
      > ....but then again perhaps thats all we still are.
      >
      > (J.Aiden)
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > _________________________________________________________________
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