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Ifat Glassman

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  1. That's not what Ayn Rand wrote. Emotions, including sexual attraction are a result of a SUB-conscious evaluation of the facts of reality (in this case, people). The content of your subconscious, however, is the ideas you have accepted. A simple example: You win the lottery and feel happy. Happiness from winning the lottery is not something you are born with - it is a result of years of knowledge, of understanding the meaning and role of money in your life and the good things it can bring. Sometimes one can feel something before even realizing why one feels this way, and only discover it after some introspection. You can read more on emotions here: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/emotions.html
  2. My quick case for IP: If you want to be alive and live in a society, the best way to do so is by allowing other people to pursue their life. Mutual trade is the most beneficiary way of living for man among men. Individual rights are recognition of this fact. Property rights assure that whoever created a product keeps it (or is free to trade it or to trade one's labor). There are a few things behind property rights: 1. Man's life as a standard of evaluating things. 2. The fact that men need to produce what their life requires to survive and once produced, keep it and use it according to their judgment. 3. The law of causality - products exist as a result of man producing them. Intellectual property rights are a recognition of the fact that the source of products is an idea (man's mind). The one who comes up with a brand new design for a product is the one who brings about its existence (law of causality). Of course if someone else takes the plan and builds it he is also responsible for its existence, but he is only the second link. The first and primary is the one who came up with the idea and design. So the one who caused the product to exist is the one who should own it. In the case of intellectual property, one does not fully create the final product, which is why one does not legally get to OWN every physical product of one's design, but one gets, in the form of payment (and ability to decide whom should be granted production rights) the ownership of the idea and gets protection for his right to trade it. (This explanation was kind of messy, but I think it still has some good enough elements so I'm posting it. Hope it helps).
  3. No. I doubt I'll ever get to it though, I'm not much of a reader, though I'd like to be.
  4. Haha That was the purpose of the article. Once I set down to write it, I realized that this is the primary use of this "discovery".
  5. (From my blog: Psychology of Selfishness) Work, Games and self esteem Often people look at work as a synonym of necessary punishment, while they look at games as something fun, desirable and totally different. But in fact, work and games have a common psychological goal. Psychologically they provide the same end in different forms. Consider what one gets out of games (like computer games): Primarily, it is a sense of accomplishment, of achieving a prize and performing efficiently. Performing well in a game, advancing in a game provides an uplifting feeling of excitement - it is the essence of having a good time playing. Contrast it with failing repeatedly at some task in a game: it is a very frustrating experience. Nobody would want to play a game in which success is impossible. One might ask: Well, if the purpose of games is to provide a sense of accomplishment, why not make them super easy so that anyone can do it effortlessly? The reason is that such setting would not provide a sense of accomplishment. If a game is too easy it becomes boring and cannot provide that uplifting feeling of efficiency. Babies may find interest in a sorting bucket game, but for an adult such a game is utterly boring. If forced to play one would experience such a game as "work". The feeling of efficiency cannot be faked by making a game too easy. A game, to be good, must provide the means of genuinely earning the feeling of accomplishment by providing a decent challenge. The essence of the uplifting feeling is self-esteem: the recognition that one is performing well, that one is good: good for succeeding at things, achieving one's goals and gaining values. Another important part of games is the reward. Successful action provides rewards like coins, life points, neat items, new quests, score bonus etc'. One might ask, if games are about rewards, why aren't games designed to give rewards without effort? Like, say, design 'Diablo' so that the player gets the best weapons and armor right away, and the player is so powerful that just by showing up all the enemies in a scene drop dead. The reason is that no one would buy such a game. Effort and challenge are good, they are a necessary ingredient in gaining self esteem and a sense of efficacy. Games involve training and effort. Games have and need to have the option of failure. These are usually the elements that are looked down upon in work. A work is said to be unpleasant because it requires effort, because it does not come easy and because it has the option of failure. But these all are, in fact, essential elements of any game. Work, apart from being a necessity for living, has the exact elements as in a game. One is constantly after some goals and the goals and the achievement of those goals brings about a reward and a feeling of accomplishment. If a job is too difficult for one's ability, or it provides nothing but obstacles and no rewards it becomes like a game in which it is impossible to succeed and equally frustrating. If a job is well adjusted to one's ability and provides immediate rewards for successful actions it becomes closer to the feeling of a game. As evidence, notice that people who are disappointed or stuck in their work, often find themselves drawn to games, sometimes to the point of addiction or replacing work time. The reason is that games provide a replacement for a feeling of efficacy that is normally attained at work. So what are the differences between game and work? The main difference is: A game is designed to provide short-term satisfaction (immediate gratification) for successful actions, by allowing to get the required skill in a short amount of time. A good game always keeps the required level of skill within short-term limits. The difficulty of a game progresses gradually, always allowing the player to achieve success within a relatively short amount of time. A game is designed to always reward for successful actions, and provide the rewards immediately, without a need to wait for the end of the month, year or 7 years of med-school. This is unlike work, in which training can take years and may seem unsuccessful for long periods of time. The learning curve may not be well adjusted to one's ability but very steep at times. The reward does not immediately fall from the sky like coins or score points, but requires waiting. Imagine a perfect school in which the material is taught gradually and allows students to practice and see the results of what they've learned immediately. In this school, a student is sitting in class with a sense of complete control over the material. The previous stage is perfectly clear, the student knows he has perfect control over it since he succeeded at a task practicing that knowledge; he is awaiting the next bit of information because he is eager to add it to his growing stack of skills. What is this school? It is the learning process as designed in every video game with multiple layers of skill. But if such a school existed in real professions (to the degree it is possible): it would have produced the exact feeling of playing a game: a feeling of confidence and accomplishment. In short: Work involves long-term (rewards and training) and games are short-term. The disadvantage is the need of persistence and patience, but the advantage is that a career provides a lifetime of accomplishments. Work can provide a deeper, stronger sense of accomplishment than a game. Being a great surgeon is more satisfying than being great at Packman, for example, because the skill encompasses the surgeon's intelligence more fully, thus providing a deeper sense of efficacy and self-esteem. In a game one's rewards have meaning only in the context of the game. In real life one can take pride in knowing that one's accomplishments support one's actual life. The wealth and services one produces have meaning in the real world, not in an imaginary one. It is this last fact that makes work an irreplaceable psychological value (irreplaceable by games). Self esteem in essence is the recognition that one is fit to live, to succeed in supporting one's life. A game can only simulate that in an imaginary world: But to have that recognition, productive work is the only option of getting and maintaining self-esteem. Games are a more limited environment than reality is. A game has a plan for the player, in reality one makes one's own plan. It requires that one takes the driver's seat, not the passenger's seat (while in a game it is somewhere in between). Other differences are that games have an additional artistic element and personalization element. Games are an end in themselves: People don't play a game to make a living, but for the fun of playing it. The conclusion is; that if people could experience work as they experience a game (as something that gives them that uplifting feeling of efficacy), they would work not just to support their life, but for the psychological value of self esteem. This is how work should ideally be experienced: As means for that uplifting feeling of self-esteem. Productive work is the only way to achieve that value, to fulfill that inherit psychological need. To accomplish that, a career needs to be chosen like a game is designed: To match one's abilities and potential, to allow progress in one's chosen field within relatively short amount of time, all the time. A career, like a game, must always grow and develop. Stagnating on one level of skill with no challenges cannot provide a sense of efficacy. Rewards and success are fuel for action: both in games and in work. Unlike a game, a career has long-term goals and long-term rewards. It therefore requires reminding oneself, during periods of effort without reward, that the reward is attainable further in the future. In other words: being persistent. Moving from games to an actual career involves mastering two things: 1. Long-term vision and 2. Independent decision making. Games cannot replace the role a job has in sustaining man's self-esteem, but they are a great way to experience a world in which progress is easy and fast, rewards can be attained immediately and one's achievement are quickly stacking up. If you ever excelled at a game, it is a good feeling to remember - so you can aim at getting that same feeling from a career of your choosing.
  6. I think you are wrong. If a political system says it is OK to steal a dollar from him, then on principle it provides him no property rights protection. A dollar may be what you choose to take - someone else may choose to steal more. On principle he should be afraid for his life, his factory, his wallet - everything, since nothing is safe and nothing is protected. He is at the mercy of any random person and how much that person chooses to steal.
  7. What political system created medicine and abundance and what political system created the dump you're living in? Why do you think America has accumulated the wealth it has, while your country is a dump? It is because here people were given a chance to live free and to live for their own sake; for the pursuit of their life and their happiness. So if you want a higher quality of life, shouldn't you follow the lesson from history and pursue a political system that respects property rights? THIS is what creates abundance, not socialism or fascism, as proven countless times. It is the American culture of self reliability and self responsibility that has made it rich. It is extreme poverty that is the representative of the entitlement mentality and it confirms Objectivism, not contradict it. Men who hold rational morality and respect other people's right to life and property as an absolute flourish. Those who do not live in the swamp of "I deserve!" and "it's not my fault!". If one is disabled and cannot work for a living, it is in one's best interest to leave men free to work and free to keep what they have earned, because only in such a society can one hope to enjoy the generosity of men who have wealth to spare and who value human life. Whom will value human life in a society in which everyone else is out to get a piece of their fortune?
  8. Pride is when someone refuses to bow down, it's when someone does not give up their opinion just because others want one to do so. Pride is when one does not humbly accept one's role as a servant to others or to god, but asserts his right to live for himself and his loyalty and open acceptance of himself as a value. I don't think people disagree with the above. Pride is about "me". Holding oneself as a value in thought and in action. What do people regard as a "proud man"? OK, this is funny, but how about Clark Kent's father from Smallvile? Whenever Luthor came to their farm with some new demands, he would not humbly back down like the other towns people who were afraid and humble by Luthor's forture, but he would face him in full height and with confidence. The show referred to him as a proud man. So I think the common concept of pride does match Ayn Rand's concept. What Ayn Rand added to this is what is actually involved in holding oneself and one's self-esteem as a value - which is the action of earning and pursuing one's self esteem by pursuing moral perfection and not surrendering one's value to others. There's no need to add "rational" at the beginning. A man who refuses to apologize when he should, who refuses to admit a mistake, who is a rebel for the sake of being a rebel is not proud, since he does not actually hold his self esteem as a value. So it's simply a mistake in identification.
  9. Ayn Rand considered pride to be a virtue. That is to say, not the emotion of pride as a virtue, but an actual principle of behavior by which one pursue one's self-esteem by always working toward moral perfection. A proud man is a man that holds himself and his self-esteem as a value - one of the highest ones, the one that "makes all others possible". So there is no bad pride and good pride, if by pride one means the pursuit of the moral perfection of one's character. Some people refuse to hear anything that would threaten their source of self esteem - irrational, or pseudo self esteem. They refuse to acknowledge a mistake or a flaw of character. I think people call this "pride" as well. But this is not pride. It is the equivalent of trying to have self esteem without holding oneself to any standard. "I'm good because I am me!". I think it is mistaken with the valid concept of pride because genuine proud people do not surrender their opinion when they know they are right. Irrational people refuse to surrender their opinions no matter what. On the surface it might appear to be the same trait but it is actually a virtue and its vice.
  10. Mind if I ask, why are you trying to get a definition? What are "metaphysical values" - can you give some examples? What is "externally objective"? What makes values objective? You state those things, but I think they require explanation. By the way, there is already a definition of ethics by Ayn Rand which you might find useful. You can check it out at the Ayn Rand lexicon.
  11. An advertisement? I guess you could look at it as an advertisement for my blog. But not really in the sense of an advertisement to buy a product. I'm still thinking how to make money from my blog. Haven't come up with an efficient way yet. But that is exactly what I was saying, almost in these exact words: "Ethics are primarily a guide for individuals and by extension society". I said: "Ethics is primarily a guide for an individual - not a society. It does have implications for life in society, if one chooses to have that, but it is primarily a personal guide". In any case, we agree. Yes. Religion commits the same error. Nietzsche commits the same error. Ayn Rand was the first to solve this problem (lack of standard) and salvage ethics. I think it's better to start with examples, and only then go to the definition. A definition is only good as a summary of the essence of the concretes it subsumes. But to offer a correction to your definition: Ethics is not standardS. Ethics is a code of values, meaning, inter-connected evaluations of what is good for man and what is bad for man (the values and principles of behavior to achieve them - or values and virtues). A standard is what is behind the values and virtues (what makes them values to begin with). For example, if you want to build a table, the existence of a functional table (the kind of entity that a table IS) is your standard. The standard makes stability and flatness of surface values, which in turn require certain principles of behavior (how to build the table), which in ethics would be the equivalent of virtues. Another example, the Objectivist ethics hold this code of values: Reason, purpose, self esteem (it is a CODE of values, not just a collection of values because they assume a single standard: man's life) then the achievement of these values require virtues (principles of behavior): Independence, honesty, integrity, pride and the rest of them. Religion is also a philosophy with its ethics and principles like "you shall not steal/ kill/ worship another god etc". It is a code of values because it is integrated under "god's word" (that's the best I can think of). So ethics is most definitely not "standards". Second problem is with "metaphysical values held by an individual". (I am not sure what you mean by "metaphysical values" - some examples would be good). If ethics depends on the values a specific individual holds (by which I mean, the things he desires) then it becomes subjective (I think someone has said it in this thread already, but can't find whom). General comment: A definition is always good as a method of getting hold of a subject, but it is only good as summarization (or generalization) of the concretes it subsumes. If not, it is just a collection of words. So the place to start is with examples of ethical principles and values.
  12. [From my blog: Psychology of selfishness] What is ethics and why do we need it? We make decisions every day, all the time. What do you think is the fundamental reason for our need to act, to make decisions? One thing to notice is that our feelings and sensations depend on our choices. Certain things will make us happy, certain things will make us miserable. Losing a house, a great job, a tooth, or a girlfriend can make one miserable. And yet the possession of these things is not automatic: it depends on the choices one makes every day. So why do we need to make decisions? Because if we don't, we loose the things we enjoy, or don't gain them in the first place. And if taken to the extreme: Lack of action, lack of decisions - leads to death. This much is available to every person: Just look at the decisions you've made today and notice that each one of them ultimately influences your feelings, sensation or well being. Let's throw in a few examples: Getting out of bed to go to work: Why make such a decision? Maybe because you love your job and you can't wait to get there. Maybe because if you don't, you don't have money, which means you can't pay rent, which means you live in the street in the rain and suffer. Brushing teeth: Because it influences the sensation in your mouth and in the long run your ability to chew with your own teeth. Turning on the T.V. : The enjoyment of watching entertaining things. If you don't get out of bed, brush your teeth, turn on the T.V the default is death and suffering. On the other hand if you make the right decisions the result is happiness, pleasure, enjoyment, health. In other words we need to make decisions because fundamentally action is required to achieve happiness and to remain alive. Every human being that ever existed needed some sort of guidance how to live, what to avoid, what to seek, how to get it. We need that guidance not only in isolated cases, but in the most fundamental questions in our lives: What kind of person do I want to be? What lifestyle do I want? What purpose or goals should I seek? Ethics is the branch of philosophy which answers that need. Ethics is known to most people as a list of "you shall"s and "you shall not"s. Or - "this is good" and "this is bad". The bible provides such guidelines or suggestions, such as "you shall not steal/ kill/ cheat...". Some people think, therefore, that ethics is an arbitrary social invention, intended to bind some to the will of others. Ethics is indeed a guide to life, a "shall and shall not's"- except, it assumes a standard. What is good and what is bad makes no sense apart from someone for which it is good or bad for, and a goal by which to measure "good" or "bad". If you want to build a house, you should take certain actions and should not take others. Some actions are good and some are bad for your goal. The same is true for the ultimate goal - our own life and the enjoyment of it. Notice that once the need has been identified - Ethics becomes a scientific matter. It requires a careful study of generations of human beings - the behaviors that promote their well being and the behaviors that inhibit or destroy it. It is a study that must identify our nature and needs, and provide principles accordingly. Ethics is not empirical - just as building a table is not empirical. One indeed makes several trials building a table - but over the trials one discovers the proper principles of building it. Similarly, ethics is not about measuring the gross domestic product of a society and recording the behavior of the majority of people living in it. It involves identification of the principles of behavior that lead to the success of an individual and a society. These principles are timeless, they always "work" given their context (that life, choice and happiness are possible). Let's summarize: The need for ethics comes from the fact that we need to make decisions, and that our decisions influence our sensations, feelings and survival. If we wish to live, we need to act. Ethics therefore is a science that identifies the principles that best serve this goal. Let's look at some examples. What method is best to make decisions? Is it our emotions, or our reasoning mind? Do we need to seek the truth, or is it best to indulge in self-illusions? These are fundamental questions and as such belong to the field of ethics. Ethics does not prescribe every single decision one makes. It does not prescribe the method to brush one's teeth - but it will tell you that your health is a value that needs to be maintained. The details are up to a more specialized or specific study. Ethics won't tell you how to play chess - it will only evaluate the value of thought provoking games for you, and their role in life. Ever had to decide between preparing for an important exam and going out for a movie? To make this decision, one must turn to basic principles: Do I decide by what provokes the strongest emotion or by reason? Do I decide by what I know is good for the long run? Should I even be doing something which is unpleasant for me at all? "live like there is no tomorrow" is a philosophical, ethical guideline (good or bad). One needs ethics whether one wants it or not, so long as one chooses to live. Why choose to live? Because this is the only way for us to experience any pleasure. Pleasure is what we are driven by, by our nature. This is why suicide is only committed by depressed individuals, and not as a matter of a meaningless arbitrary choice. We all know that by living we can have everything, and in death there is nothing at all. In conclusion, I want to emphasize one more aspect of ethics: Ethics is primarily a guide for an individual - not a society. It does have implications for life in society, if one chooses to have that, but it is primarily a personal guide. If you now understand what ethics is and why we need it, the big question remaining is: what are those scientific ethical principles? I found the answer in Ayn Rand's writing (which I cannot recommend enough) and in large this is the question I dedicate my blog to.
  13. How is it clear to you that bringing up children has anything to do with "deserving" something or any of the other examples? All of the examples assume that there is a relationship between what is described and someone deserving something from someone else. Presenting a case in which acting unjustly earns someone a punishment is not much different than the others. In any case, if you don't like it, you can replace "acting unjustly" with "a criminal who initiated the use of force". Will that eliminate the problem? Not really. I won't be judging his actions as just or unjust explicitly, but I will still assume that those actions (implicitly unjust) earned him a punishment. You could raise the same objection about any other example: "I don't see why caring for someone/ moral character... have anything to do with deserving". Justice happens to be broader than these, but for the purpose of these examples it doesn't matter. Main point is that I start with a list of examples that I assume to be correct (a correct judgment of someone deserving something), with no explanation why it is so (because of an unjust action, a moral character etc') and then proceed to look at the common ground. How about we drop it? I don't see any value coming out of this. I prefer to identify the standard and demonstrate how it applies in each example. I could use some help; how about you take the first 5 I'll take the rest? (or if anyone wishes to take on this task, you're most welcome). Identifying a rational standard to judge what one deserves is required if one wants to challenge a marxist (that claims the standard is effort) or a communist (if there is much difference) who claims the standard is need. Maybe the standard is an agreement, contract or law? Obviously not. One can make an unjust law determining some "deserve" something which they don't actually deserve. Point is, a proper standard needs to be identified.
  14. I already replies to all of this in my reply to your previous post: These people use effort as a standard to measure what one deserves. It doesn't mean that what one deserves has no meaning outside an agreement or contract. Grames: I don't see a problem there. All of my examples assume a judgement of what the person deserves, they all assume a judgement of justice for each case. In any case, you can just replace "unjust" with "initiated the use of force" you'll be fine. However, there is still a need to go back to the initial incorrect judgments such as deserving healthcare or not deserving a salary and see how they work with the definition I've reached based on the examples (does anyone find a problem with the definition, by the way?): "To deserve" means to earn or be entitled to a punishment or reward from a human being, according to one's actions. People who claim that they deserve free healthcare misuse the term because they imply that they can deserve something without any action of earning on their part. They also violate it in another way by saying that they "deserve" something from... no one in particular, they just deserve it for being born. Because to deserve something could only be from a human being. The one thing left to extract from all the examples is the standard. The one thing I see in common in all the examples is that person A took some action that provided value or destroyed a value for person B and THAT is the link that made person A deserve something from person B. B must recognize the value provided by A and act by it. For example: A good parent: provided to his kids various things: Their life, well being, happiness, knowledge etc'. This is not part of an agreement, but by providing all these values to his kids he has earned their love and he deserves it. To establish it I need to see how and if this standard applies to all other examples (anyone wants to take a shot at it? Would be great, because I am having difficulty pin pointing some of the examples I used). So I'll continue doing this with other examples later (maybe listen to Peikoff's lecture on Justice from "Objectivism through induction").
  15. As I've said, I'm going to make a list of examples of cases of one deserving something from someone, and then see what they all have in common. Examples are the best way to understand any subject. My starting point is that "deserving" means to earn or be entitled to a punishment or reward from a human being, according to one's actions. In each case one deserves some reward or punishment from someone, which was earned by one's actions. Let's see how this qualifies case by case: A criminal; Action: harming someone unjustly. [Action of] Punishment: Being put in jail. From whom: From every man in society, represented by the state. A good parent; Action: All the actions over the years of taking care of his/her kids. [Action of] Reward: Children's love. From whom: Kids. A man of honor; Action: The actions according to one's honorable character, like telling the truth, trading honestly, keeping one's word etc'. [Action of] Reward: Respectful behavior from other people. From whom: Other people who know this guy. A costumer; Action: paying for a product according to an agreement with the seller. [Action of] Reward: 1 pound of potatoes the costumer has paid for. No more, no less. From whom: Seller. A man with a guilt trip due to an altruistic premise. Action: Judging oneself to be bad for not sacrificing a value. [Action of] reward: correcting one's feelings of guilt. From whom: Oneself. Two people catching a fish together. Action: catching a fish. [Action of] Reward: allowing the other person to enjoy the value of the fish (as a meal or as payment by selling it). From whom: Each of the two people. A worker. Action: doing one's job, providing the value that was agreed on by the contract with the employer. [Action of] Reward: Getting paid one's salary. Getting one's performance be recognized. From whom: Employer. A man best qualified for a job. Action: Going to a job interview, demonstrating his skills. [Action of] Reward: Getting the job. From whom: The interviewer/ interviewers/ company.
  16. This is helpful. It solves the problem of deserving or not deserving a certain emotional reward or punishment. One may or may not deserve to feel something - which implies one deserves better from oneself (and not just "deserve" from thin air, as it seemed to me at first). "if someone is deserving that implies someone else should act in a certain way, but can choose not to" Yes good point. This is what helped me figure out the above about emotional reward/ punishment. However, I did not say anywhere that I think "deserve" is a legal subject only. In fact I've given many examples when one deserves something from someone else when nothing legal is involved. Like: 1. In a romantic relationship one deserves not to be cheated on, or in a friendship one deserves certain things from a friend, like help in times of trouble (taking the friend's hierarchy of values under account) 2. One deserves to be treated by others according to one's virtues (taking under account the knowledge of the one acting) 3. The job interview example 4. Deserving to eat part of a fish if you catch it with someone else. So I gave many examples that are not from the legal realm.
  17. Why would categorizing it under morality mean that applying "deserve" to describe an emotional reward or punishment is invalid?
  18. Thanks. Few things: First, I am rethinking my initial claim that deserving can only be from someone. I found one exception for it, which is emotional reward or punishment in relation to one's character and actions. One can deserve or not deserve guilt. I don't know, I found this exception, but it's the only one that involves only one and one's self. It is weird, since it is almost like "you don't deserve guilt from... from reality, you simply don't deserve it". There is no second entity. I think all the examples I gave are correct, but the generalization should be better identified, since I cannot apply it to the above case. So basically, I am making a list of cases of someone "deserving" something and seeing what they all have in common. I'm going to post the list here, so that others can add to it too. Induction in the making. It's pretty fun, but not easy. Find the general description of the essence of all the cases. So how about this: I'll make the list, then see if all the cases fall in one of your 4 categories. I think there would still be some that fall outside them. Categories I see are: Emotional reward or punishment, Spiritual reward or punishment via people's conduct to one another, punishment or reward in terms of material goods, and in actions affecting one's physical state (like putting someone in jail). It seems like there is no point making categories because they end up being: everything involved in living. As for finding the standardS we should use in deciding what one "deserves"... Yes, one standard is correct, and others are not. Using effort as a standard for what one deserves is wrong, for example. The right standard is the value provided to someone, but it still lacks context (like an agreement - since simply providing value does not entitle someone to something). Anyway, I'll follow up on this later.
  19. You said: "Where she and I differ is that I think one can assess one's value to others objectively, and if they don't give you something you deserve, then they are committing an injustice." That implies that I do not think one can "assess one's value to others objectively" and that I also do not think that "if they don't give you something you deserve, then they are committing an injustice" - it is simple logic. Nowhere did I say that I think what you said that I think. In fact everything I wrote shows the exact opposite. This implies that one can deserve wealth outside the context of an agreement (implicit or explicit). Just because one offers a great product for sale for a great price does not entitle one to anyone's money. Similarly, no one "deserves" to get a good deal. If one makes a bad deal it does not mean one got something one does not deserve. It is the case if the deal involved fraud. It is possible to judge a trade before it takes place, but only in terms of the value for each side. Where did I say that? Good luck finding a quote. Getting a good deal has nothing to do with deserving a good deal. A workplace environment has the same implicit agreement as in a job interview. Rewarding your employees according to their performance is giving them what they deserve. This does not apply to a case of offering a value. Offering a value does not make one deserve a reward for it from anyone.
  20. But look at a case of a job interview: Two candidates were interviewed, one qualified for the job and another one who is incompetent, and the incompetent gets chosen for the job. I think it is correct to say in this case that the smart guy did not get what he deserved to get, and the incompetent got something he did not deserve. How come, since there is no agreement here? There is an implicit agreement. When you go to a job interview, the unwritten, unspoken understanding is that you come there to get your skills tested - you go there to be evaluated for the job for the purpose of getting it if you are the best man for it. Without this implicit understanding, no competent person in his right mind would go to any job interview: if they knew it was going to be given away because of family connections or some other non-objective consideration. So there IS actually an implicit agreement, which is being violated when the qualified man is rejected. Same is true for a couple when one side cheats on the other. They don't have a written contract not to cheat on each other, but by the nature of their relationship it is an implicit agreement. As for offering a product for sale: There is no implicit understanding that the seller is providing the best value you can find out there. It is the responsibility of the buyer to find a deal that suits him. If he makes a bad decision that's his problem, no injustice is involved. A bottle of mineral water may cost more in a city in a desert where it is the only store in miles and miles around (more than average price in other places). Are they being unfair? Of course not. They have a right to set whatever price they desire.
  21. Anyway, Jackethan: I'll give a brief answer now and a more thorough one later, since I find that I need to think of the subject more. You said: You are using two concepts interchangeably, but they are really separate. "You're pretty sure they deserve the money for the item" - this makes no sense. A good value for a product and what someone deserves in a trade are two different things. Someone can offer a great product for a great price - does it mean he deserves the money? No. Even if you have an interest in the product it still doesn't mean he deserves your money. He deserves your money if you both agreed on a transaction and he has already given you the item. So the price of the product has nothing to do with anyone deserving money from anyone. You deserve whatever you traded. You bought the product in a fair deal (by which I mean: honest), you deserve the product. And that's all. There is no such thing as deserving to get a good price on products.
  22. Then you should state that. Otherwise you are writing the message that that is what I actually believe, which is what your previous post was implying too. "our point of disagreement is that I think deserving is Objective and you do not" - oh really? show me quotes that support that such is my view.
  23. I was being sarcastic. How in the lord did it get past you? (Oh no, I am sensing a lecture about atheism coming up. OK: "I was just joking about using god as valid")
  24. Oh yeah, that's exactly where we differ. I think objective judgement is impossible and if someone doesn't give you something you deserve then that's not unjust. Hell, what is justice anyway? Isn't it a fabricated concept?
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