Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lesson 51 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

Self interest is not evil. Taking away people's incentive to win is evil!

Self interest is often conflated to be greed which is then seen as evil. I find no difficulty in identifying greed as evil. What I do find difficult is to separate honest and reasonable self interest that is survival oriented for both the individual and society from greed which is not survival oriented.

Perhaps the best way to define greed is as a hunger that cannot be sated and that grows greater the more it is fed. In extreme cases this sort of hunger destroys not only the individual but the society of which he is a part.

Taking away a person’s incentive to win  is evil because this is an abrogation of his self interest which as I noted above is good not only for himself but for everyone around him.

© 2011 Vic Jones

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lesson 50 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

Jealousy and greed are interrelated; if I am jealous of my neighbor's car I am actually practicing covetousness which is a form of greed. If I am jealous of my wife or husband it is because I think of them as possessions rather than as people.

Some people think that self-interest is the same as greed I do not think that self-interest is the same as greed nor is it (self-interest) evil. Yet because it puts your welfare above other people’s welfare it is easy to mistake self-interest as greed.

Greed (and I’ll define it more in a later lesson) is insisting that you should be the only person to have possessions. It (greed) is not wanting more possessions than you currently have unless by having more things you seek to deny possessions to your neighbor.

© 2011 Vic Jones

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lesson 49 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

If you can't enforce the law then it is nothing more than empty words.
I suppose that the easy thing to say about this statement is that it should need no further explanation. It seems (at least to me) to be complete without adding to it. That does not mean that there are not other principles that cannot be obtained from it nor that there are not questions that must be asked if this principle is true. The first of those questions is this: When has the law become so complex that it is impossible to know or enforce?

© 2011 Vic Jones

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Lesson 48 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

The purpose of religion is the moral education of a society.
Some people may ask if moral education is necessary. Others may insist that we are unable to truly define what is moral. Whether or not a person believes that moral education is necessary children are consistently being morally educated. They may be receiving the message that if they want something that if they can take it that is a reasonable behavior or they may be receiving the message that they must respect other people in both their persons and their property.

I think though that one of the worst things I’m seeing today is the advancement of the idea that it is moral for a crowd to do things that it would be immoral for a person to do. This is a very dangerous idea. In fact a quick look at the French revolution will give a person chills when the behavior of the ‘masses’ is examined.

© 2011 Vic Jones

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