Let's hear your objections to a 100% income tax...

Started Aug 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
Morris Sullivan
Senior MemberPosts: 5,244
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Re: Let's hear your objections to a 100% income tax...
In reply to Collett, Aug 6, 2013

Collett wrote:

Morris Sullivan wrote:

Collett wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

I'm of the opinion that history has plenty of examples of people doing amazing things that advanced society in all sorts of ways for reasons other than monetary reward. Perhaps I'm mistaken.

True, but often those non monetary rewards have some other benefit to the do gooder - even if it is only a psychological benefit of feeling they did the right thing. Thus, you might tell I think one could argue that all human behavior is motivated by selfish reasons if you dig deep enough.

I think this (while technically true) is a bit of an over-simplification. If one feels good about suffering for the benefit of someone else. I don't think it's fair to say they are doing it for selfish reasons.

Sure it's an over-simplification, and feel free to call me a cynic for holding the belief that much of altruistic human behavior stems from how it internally or externally affects the do gooder

This is kind of self-fulfilling. Not many people would do things that they didn't think were the right thing to do on some level. Whether they think it's best for them, or best for someone else. And people typically feel good about doing the right thing.

How would you test this theory? You would need to find someone doing something that they didn't feel good about doing, and that didn't benefit them, and yet was somehow altruistic.

One example would be when a pet owner has to put down a suffering pet. Often they are doing it solely to end the pet's suffering, and they would probably prefer to delay their own loss.

Well maybe they are also avoiding the guilt that would be associated with keeping the pet alive when the owner knows it is not in the pets best interest? Now maybe the morality involved in making that person feel guilty is not a self serving interest, but certainty avoiding the emotional pain of the guilt would be. A separate question is where that person's morality has its roots and how they got there.

While they may feel 'good' in that they 'did the right thing', I don't think selfish reasons dictated the decision.

See above. I think its part of the subconscious decision process.

Some people do what they think is right, and in return feel good about themselves. I think it's a stretch to call that selfish.

Selfishness requires that you put your interests above those of other people, not just that you do something that benefits you.

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