Considering “self-interest" versus “enlightened self-interest"

The whole “self-interest" versus “enlightened self-interest" thing has been on my mind a lot these past months, guess it has something to do with the once great United States of American entering the America first, foremost and always era, lead by a gold plated asshole.
But, lets not digress, this afternoon I wrote some notes while out with the dog and musing on my little horse shed. Looking at the words now, I kinda like it. Definitely rough but that’s how they start. I’m putting it out here, because I’m curious to see if anyone has anything interesting to add.

………………………………………………………
Self-interest is our survival imperative
It’s our first order me, myself, and I concern.
I like most people who live a considered life, developed a personal code of ethics that I wanted to live by. I also had a few basic goals that I wanted to strive for. Then I set my life in a direction that would best allow for the fulfillment of those dreams.
But, there’s more to life than me, myself and I. It’s my parents and siblings, and my parents siblings, and all their children, then come the neighbors and friends and tradesmen and merchants we deal with day to day. The community we live in.
We are born, we are young and grow gaining experiences and knowledge and hopefully a few insights. First it’s all about discovering ourselves and realizing who we are, the self-interested stuff.
But, with the years we discover ourselves as part of something bigger, a community and here most realize there’s a need for something other than pure self-interest. One learns to appreciate that we need each other not just to keep ourselves honest, but to live a fulfilling life.
Enlightened self-interest takes you to a reality where you consider your impact on the greater community.
One doesn’t get hung up on their own personal absolutism, self-certainty, because it turns out that if you deal fair and square with people, well, what goes around comes around.
When I put in the extra effort to do a challenging job right, or if I deduct hours from my bill because I had to spend time fixing my own mistake, or I wound up dragging ass and not accomplished as much as I should have. That’s no skin off my nose (well, yes at that moment) but people notice and like it and respect me and know they can trust me because of a long track record in this community. I’m a nice guy because I’m naturally a nice guy, but I also appreciate that it’s a tool to further my own self-interest - because by holding others-interest pretty much in the same regard as my own - I’ve been rewarded over and over again. Of course, it also helps not to be greedy, a minimalist attitude definitely provides more promise for a sane life.

Self interest is what everyone thinks Ayn Rand was about. Enlightened, or Rational, Self Interest is what she was actually about. I do think though that’s she’s turning over in her grave as we see all the fake Rand followers.

Self interest is what everyone thinks Ayn Rand was about. Enlightened, or Rational, Self Interest is what she was actually about. I do think though that's she's turning over in her grave as we see all the fake Rand followers.
nonsense

Considering that we can’t be certain others even exist, it’s best to just focus on you. Even if they did, most people don’t give a rats ass about you. Only do for others as much as you think they would for you. Your impact in the community will be nil, and your deeds quickly forgotten. What goes around does not come around. People get away with being awful to each other and good deeds aren’t always returned. I spent most of my life caring about others only to realize that they don’t really care about you. They like what you do for them, but one mistake or slight and they forget the goodwill.
Caring about yourself is probably the smartest thing you can do. Unfortunately it’s not a policy that can be widely adopted.

Oh Tita.
The Bonobo and the Atheist has been getting a little more interesting. He spends a lot of time on Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, the three paneled painting depicting some sort of phases of life. He notes there is no god, plenty of demonic creatures, but all of them on earth. He posits that it’s we who need to determine morality, that if we don’t, or if we choose unwisely, there are consequences, we will create our own living hell.
As I get older and find lounging about is more enjoyable than ever, I realize all the time invested in relatinoships and mentoring youth is paying off. I could have burnt bridges and set a horrible example, and sometimes I did, but I did enough building have something to inhabit even after I have the ability to keep up the good fight. Sorry you haven’t experienced that Titano. Not the getting old part, but the participating in buliding part. There is quite a bit of caring for each other in nature, and humans have taken further than most.

Self interest is what everyone thinks Ayn Rand was about. Enlightened, or Rational, Self Interest is what she was actually about. I do think though that's she's turning over in her grave as we see all the fake Rand followers.
Who are the fake Rand followers?
Oh Tita. The Bonobo and the Atheist has been getting a little more interesting. He spends a lot of time on Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, the three paneled painting depicting some sort of phases of life. He notes there is no god, plenty of demonic creatures, but all of them on earth. He posits that it's we who need to determine morality, that if we don't, or if we choose unwisely, there are consequences, we will create our own living hell. As I get older and find lounging about is more enjoyable than ever, I realize all the time invested in relatinoships and mentoring youth is paying off. I could have burnt bridges and set a horrible example, and sometimes I did, but I did enough building have something to inhabit even after I have the ability to keep up the good fight. Sorry you haven't experienced that Titano. Not the getting old part, but the participating in buliding part. There is quite a bit of caring for each other in nature, and humans have taken further than most.
You mean the back stabbing and the taking advantages of kindness or even taking it for granted? Oh yes I'm sure humans have taken that to a new extreme than any animal before. It's a miracle we have lasted this long. There is no "good fight" though, it's just delaying the inevitable ruin we will bring upon ourselves. Man wasn't meant to get along with each other.

Yup, like we used to say in our cushy Junior High days “life sucks and then you die.”
good night :kiss:
I send you a hug Tito, I think you can use one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HlQiV7lKc8

The majority of humans tend to be unlike how you describe them. The reality of that there is no community, but rather just people that tolerate each other at best and do some good only to avoid being seen as selfish.

He posits that it’s we who need to determine morality
You think we determine morality - or invent a behavior that natural selection determines to be its own version of good or bad?
There is quite a bit of caring for each other in nature, and humans have taken further than most.
Is that non-human caring equivalent to morality? Did it come about because of non-human thought processes or did evolution select brain wiring that favored "caring"?
The majority of humans tend to be unlike how you describe them. The reality of that there is no community, but rather just people that tolerate each other at best and do some good only to avoid being seen as selfish.
Titano are you familiar with the rat over population studies of John B Calhoun? http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/2/09-062836/en/ It's not as simple as population density = dysfunction. Then again there are tolerance limits. I myself love people on a face to face work together play together basis, but we need space between us. That's one thing about living in a rural area, one appreciates how much we depend on each other. It's also why lending a hand comes easier, because we appreciate that what goes around comes around and the next time I may need some extra help. In between we have the space to be who we want to be and not live under a constant flood of reacting to the constant incoming frenzy and boundaries that is are big city living or worse the megalopolis choking great river estuaries around the globe. Given space the human spirit can unfold in amazing ways. Sadly, for all too many millions these days, I think your horror vision is probably all that lays in front of them, but that doesn't mean it represents true humanity. We've crossed thresholds into something entire foreign from all previous human experience.
He posits that it’s we who need to determine morality
You think we determine morality - or invent a behavior that natural selection determines to be its own version of good or bad?
There is quite a bit of caring for each other in nature, and humans have taken further than most.
Is that non-human caring equivalent to morality? Did it come about because of non-human thought processes or did evolution select brain wiring that favored "caring"?
John, in many years of visiting this forum no one here has created as much cognitive dissonance for me as you do. You write beautifully about the human experience. Then you make those odd anti-science comments. (definition is in order: Anti-science also includes (or is it just anti-climate science?) refusing to support your own charges and claims when asked to do so..)
The majority of humans tend to be unlike how you describe them. The reality of that there is no community, but rather just people that tolerate each other at best and do some good only to avoid being seen as selfish.
Titano are you familiar with the rat over population studies of John B Calhoun? http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/2/09-062836/en/ It's not as simple as population density = dysfunction. Then again there are tolerance limits. I myself love people on a face to face work together play together basis, but we need space between us. That's one thing about living in a rural area, one appreciates how much we depend on each other. It's also why lending a hand comes easier, because we appreciate that what goes around comes around and the next time I may need some extra help. In between we have the space to be who we want to be and not live under a constant flood of reacting to the constant incoming frenzy and boundaries that is are big city living or worse the megalopolis choking great river estuaries around the globe. Given space the human spirit can unfold in amazing ways. Sadly, for all too many millions these days, I think your horror vision is probably all that lays in front of them, but that doesn't mean it represents true humanity. We've crossed thresholds into something entire foreign from all previous human experience. The human spirit is not a real phenomenon, it's more like some religious invocation to try to paint humans as overall positive. You say how living in a rural area shows how much we depend on each other, yet I know others for whom the opposite is the case. That living in that isolation is a blessing, and how we don't need each other as much as we think we do. Ultimately you just have your experiences and nothing to claim as objective truth and fact. There is no such thing as true humanity either. It seems to me you are looking at people with rose colored glasses. When it comes to a crisis you can only count on yourself, not others. We even have the bystander effect to illustrate that. I wanted to believe in humans goodness, but it just doesn't exist in the way we think we do. It's a transactional basis that isn't equal.
The human spirit is not a real phenomenon.
Yeah and some will argue matter isn't real. I look at is as an emergent property and humans are by no means the only ones who possess that something we're calling 'spirit'. I myself think there's a direct correlation between an organism's cognitive complexity and how much 'spirit' emerges from that complexity. There are very very few people living in rural areas that are living a truly independent isolated life. Actually living out here, well if you're a thoughtful person, reveals how much we are unavoidable interconnected and how much my wellbeing depends on the well being of the greater society around me. In the end all you know is your experiences and all I know is my own experiences and observations. I happen to have been an extremely fortunately person, between determinism, good luck, and who knows what else, I pulled off something very special considering I was slated to become another Brick In The Wall, trapped in Chicago and toiling away like a draft animal. I can only share from the perspective of my experiences, I do so in the hope there's something in there you can extract for yourself. If not, it certainly won't be my only futile endeavor - but it's still worth making. Best wishes.
Self interest is what everyone thinks Ayn Rand was about. Enlightened, or Rational, Self Interest is what she was actually about. I do think though that's she's turning over in her grave as we see all the fake Rand followers.
Who are the fake Rand followers?People who profess to follow her ideas but are religious, for example. I've heard conservatives seem to consider her ideas as their own.
Self interest is what everyone thinks Ayn Rand was about. Enlightened, or Rational, Self Interest is what she was actually about. I do think though that's she's turning over in her grave as we see all the fake Rand followers.
nonsenseGood answer bub. How about a real response?
Self interest is what everyone thinks Ayn Rand was about. Enlightened, or Rational, Self Interest is what she was actually about. I do think though that's she's turning over in her grave as we see all the fake Rand followers.
nonsenseGood answer bub. How about a real response? Why don't you start with a few quotes that support your novel supposition. I'm busy with other more timely windmills http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2017/07/failed-communication-antarctic.html Not to mention the garden work I'm supposed to get to. Here's an easy, though quite authoritative, place to start. Listen to it and see if there are any applicable quotes and share the time-mark.
Mike Wallace interviews Ayn Rand (1959) (full interview) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKd0ToQD00o
Or link to whatever you choose.
Self interest is what everyone thinks Ayn Rand was about. Enlightened, or Rational, Self Interest is what she was actually about. I do think though that's she's turning over in her grave as we see all the fake Rand followers.
nonsenseGood answer bub. How about a real response? Why don't you start with a few quotes that support your novel supposition. I'm busy with other more timely windmills http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2017/07/failed-communication-antarctic.html Not to mention the garden work I'm supposed to get to. Here's an easy, though quite authoritative, place to start. Listen to it and see if there are any applicable quotes and share the time-mark.
Mike Wallace interviews Ayn Rand (1959) (full interview) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKd0ToQD00o
Or link to whatever you choose.No need for timemarks. Pretty much the whole thing is a big "what I said". It's a tough concept to understand, and Mike Wallace kind of misses the mark a few times. The conservatives nowadays, who I say she's turning in her grave about, link social compulsion with political and economic issues, which is why I say she'd disapprove.
Self interest is what everyone thinks Ayn Rand was about. Enlightened, or Rational, Self Interest is what she was actually about. I do think though that's she's turning over in her grave as we see all the fake Rand followers.
nonsenseGood answer bub. How about a real response? Why don't you start with a few quotes that support your novel supposition. I'm busy with other more timely windmills http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2017/07/failed-communication-antarctic.html Not to mention the garden work I'm supposed to get to. Here's an easy, though quite authoritative, place to start. Listen to it and see if there are any applicable quotes and share the time-mark.
Mike Wallace interviews Ayn Rand (1959) (full interview) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKd0ToQD00o
Or link to whatever you choose.No need for timemarks. Pretty much the whole thing is a big "what I said". It's a tough concept to understand, and Mike Wallace kind of misses the mark a few times. The conservatives nowadays, who I say she's turning in her grave about, link social compulsion with political and economic issues, which is why I say she'd disapprove. Really??? Right out the gate she lays it out and it's schizophrenic thinking - Self-interest as the ultimate goal in life. Follow one’s own self-interested “reason" and believe it to be the ultimate arbiter of truth - it’s no wonder libertarians and rightwing sheople have so royally fuked society and the future these past decades. It's an absolutely suicidal approach to the reality of living in a human society that is getting ever more crowded, and a planet that is getting ever smaller.
Mike Wallace interviews Ayn Rand (1959) (full interview) Published on Nov 17, 2012 on YouTube by Tiffany Ondracek starts at 0:50 1:25 Mike’s introduction - Randism Philosophy based on “Objective Reality" 2:00 Ayn Rands' words: Reality exists as an objective absolute. That man’s mind, reason is his means of perceiving it. Man needs a rational morality. A morality not based on faith, but on reason. Improved by means of logic, which can be demonstrated to be true and necessary. Her morality: Man’s life as a standard of ___?__ and since man’s mind is his basic means of survival, I hope that if man wants to live on Earth and to live as a human being he has to hold reason as an absolute. 3:30 Reason as his only guide to action, that he must live by the independent judgement of his own mind. That his highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness, and that he must not force other people, nor accept their right to force him. That each man must live as an end in himself and follow his own rational self-interest.

CuthbertJ, would you please define “enlightened self-interest”?
Oh and where does Rands’ “rationality” come in?
In particular how is this supposed to work: “and that he must not force other people, nor accept their right to force him.”
You do appreciate we live in a society and must constantly interact with each other in a civil manner.
How is that done without accepting some hierarchy and making adjustments or even submitting to the greater good here and there, now and then.
It’s like obeying traffic laws, they demand an acceptance and submission to authority.
What about those proud individuals who’s self-rationalized need for exercising his freedom and refusing to abide by those rules and that authority - they are a menace to all other citizens, and justly treated as such.