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Conflicting Conclusions and therefore Conflict of Interest

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Well, that's already been done in 2046s posts, that's what I'm saying. I think we've gone over enough exactly what the definition or expansion is, so it's on you or anyone else to explain the weakness or failures of that explanation. 

The problem with 2046's formulation is the issue of necessity of omniscience in considering ALL contexts. Unless I misunderstood it.

21 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

conflicts of purpose.

Doesn't fit either.

At this point, I am settling on the definition as being "conflict of Desert".

Desert (/dɪˈzɜːrt/) in philosophy is the condition of being deserving of something, whether good or bad.

If I think I deserve x and you don't, then there is at a minimum a subjective conflict of interest.

You may say but that does not determine it objectively and I would agree. (you repeat is not necessarily actually a conflict of interest).

An actual conflict of interest is when people actually don't get what they deserve. (would you agree?)

Then the objective determination of who deserves what determines that A got more than his deserving share and B got less of his deserving share.

Even if there is NO awareness that there is a conflict of interest by the parties, the objective determination determines that. I suspect the objective determination for Rand is based on free market forces. This would also show the injustice that altruism will permeate.

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I mean, you've been asked a few times exactly why you have a different view. You began the discussion by suggesting that Rand didn't understand the "common meaning", and/or was really only talking abo

You keep giving different versions of the same scenario. I keep asking each time why you think it is a conflict of interest, or phrased differently, which interests conflict.  At this point it'

ET, Thanks for bringing up this issue. I think of the conflicts of interests that brought on the American Civil War. Slavery was a crucial economic factor of production and profit in the Sou

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43 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

The problem with 2046's formulation is the issue of necessity of omniscience in considering ALL contexts. Unless I misunderstood it.

Right, and I think both of us addressed that pretty well even though we had different answers. As in, your concern of needing omniscience is ill-founded, and missing the point that rational action doesn't have to presume knowing the right answer. Maybe the problem is that you are thinking of conflicts of interest as also conflicts of belief. Clearly you and I conflict about "there are no conflicts of interest between rational men", but our interests I don't think are conflicting (assuming that we both want to figure out the truth of things and seeking our flourishing). 

52 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

I suspect the objective determination for Rand is based on free market forces.

I hope not, because the market is not guaranteed to be rational. 

55 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

At this point, I am settling on the definition as being "conflict of Desert".

That doesn't sound too bad, but it misses what the word "interest" captures, especially for Rand. I think it's important to keep in mind what people act for, not just the consequences or detached moral rules. 

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5 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The problem with 2046's formulation is the issue of necessity of omniscience in considering ALL contexts. Unless I misunderstood it.

 

4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

your concern of needing omniscience is ill-founded

I side with EasyTruth. Suppose two businessmen sign a contract. Buyer B agrees to buy from supplier S. If the contract is simple, short-term, and no problems arise, then omniscience is not required. On the other hand, assume a long-term contract that is far more complicated. B and S negotiate and agree on the terms. They consider contingencies, and the written contract addresses the contingencies. Suppose all goes well for a while. Then a problem arises, a contingency that neither anticipated, and S can’t meet the terms of the contract. It may not even be S’s fault, but that of a third party. For example, a supplier to S or a spike in prices triggers the problem. B and S are both dissatisfied. Each considers the other inflexible given the circumstances. In other words, they have a conflict of interest. In order to have anticipated the problem and have written the contract to deal with it would have required omniscience.

Edited by merjet
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9 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The problem with 2046's formulation is the issue of necessity of omniscience in considering ALL contexts. Unless I misunderstood it.

Doesn't fit either.

At this point, I am settling on the definition as being "conflict of Desert".

Desert (/dɪˈzɜːrt/) in philosophy is the condition of being deserving of something, whether good or bad.

If I think I deserve x and you don't, then there is at a minimum a subjective conflict of interest.

You may say but that does not determine it objectively and I would agree. (you repeat is not necessarily actually a conflict of interest).

An actual conflict of interest is when people actually don't get what they deserve. (would you agree?)

Then the objective determination of who deserves what determines that A got more than his deserving share and B got less of his deserving share.

Even if there is NO awareness that there is a conflict of interest by the parties, the objective determination determines that. I suspect the objective determination for Rand is based on free market forces. This would also show the injustice that altruism will permeate.

That doesn't have to identically fit. Rand's "interest" is a broad abstraction. To get to grips with which one needs to abstract all the similar concepts, of which your life's "purpose" is certainly one. One's goal, one's needs, one's ambition - one's purpose - and so on. All covered by the concept "interest", ultimately one's self "interest". 

So one can also conclude : - Between rational individuals, there are no conflicts of "self-interest". Or ambitions or needs or values, etc.

Repeating myself, such rational men know that one's knowledge and values, goals, and other "interests", are not *zero sum*. You are not creating a loss to general 'others' to gain them, as presumed by altruists. You don't even need to concern yourself about others' interests, goals, ambitions, nor they of yours. One major application of that is the free market, not the cause of but as the derivation and consequence of the basic principle: no conflicts of interest exist among rational men.

What's "deserving" is what one should achieve in moral justice. Deserved justice is reality acting as the ultimate arbiter, right or wrong, unencumbered by others and any interference. The major application, of course, individual rights. Seeing as those who'd obstruct your justice-in-reality are plainly, irrational, I'd say this is far different to a conflict of interest (between rational men). Rather, a conflict between rationality and irrationality.

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49 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

You don't even need to concern yourself about others' interests, goals, ambitions, nor they of yours. One major application of that is the free market, not the cause of but as the derivation and consequence of the basic principle: no conflicts of interest exist among rational men.

Really? Not even one's trading or contractual partners?

You keep saying "no conflicts of interest exist among rational men" with "conflicts of interest" supposedly following Rand's meaning or as "properly defined."  But you haven't defined it, and Rand didn't either. Please give us a definiens.  

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4 hours ago, merjet said:

Each considers the other inflexible given the circumstances. In other words, they have a conflict of interest.

You keep giving different versions of the same scenario. I keep asking each time why you think it is a conflict of interest, or phrased differently, which interests conflict. 

41 minutes ago, merjet said:

Rand didn't either. Please give us a definiens.  

At this point it's clear that you just aren't reading, or you don't understand what you're reading despite clarifications and explanations. No, I don't mean agreeing, I mean even understanding what Rand said so that you actually know what you're disagreeing with.

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1 hour ago, merjet said:

Really? Not even one's trading or contractual partners?

You keep saying "no conflicts of interest exist among rational men" with "conflicts of interest" supposedly following Rand's meaning or as "properly defined."  But you haven't defined it, and Rand didn't either. Please give us a definiens.  

I'd a thought, merjet, there's no need to belabor what is implicit throughout. Individuals willingly get together and cooperate in joint ventures which they couldn't do alone nor achieve as much. Knowing that they do so by choice, with a combined goal, each adding value to the outcome - is pretty much assumed by capitalists here. The trader principle, the availability of numerous skills, contractual agreements...

Having one objective, the good of the enterprise, equal to one's own good, rationally recognized by each, there should be no conflict of interest (long as each are consistently rational, holding both values in mind).

I've no problem with your harmony thing, which plays a large part in your view of rationally-selfish ethics I notice. Only I think what's important is to be mindful that harmonious relations are a consequence: not the rationale and motive, but an effect of one's self-interest and therefore, acknowledged mutual self-interest. I.e. Recognition and appreciation of others' rationality, similar or identical values and abilities (in business and professions, specifically). But whether in business together or in completely differing areas, the same principle is unchanging, no conflict of interest. You need to go broader than business to include every possible human activity.

I suggest eliciting the full meaning of "interest" from all that the concept contains, relating to the concrete reality you know, to understand Rand's usage.

 

Edited by whYNOT
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How else could one determine objectively that all trades are fair?

11 hours ago, Eiuol said:
12 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

I suspect the objective determination for Rand is based on free market forces.

I hope not, because the market is not guaranteed to be rational. 

The free market (not what we currently have) is guaranteed to be fair, not rational. In this context, rational people will/would/should choose what will produce fair results.

In that sense, conflict of interest would not exist within a free market. Everyone gets what they deserve based on fair market allocation, rights respect, and rightful possession rather than some arbitrary edict from the powers that be (usually an appeal to an altruistic ideal).

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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

The major application, of course, individual rights. Seeing as those who'd obstruct your justice-in-reality are plainly, irrational, I'd say this is far different to a conflict of interest (between rational men). Rather, a conflict between rationality and irrationality.

Unfairness is always going to be a conflict between rationality and irrationality. Irrationality is at the heart of disrespect for rights, isn't' it? And disrespect for rights is an inherent characteristic of a system where "conflict of interest" is the norm.

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11 hours ago, Eiuol said:
12 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

At this point, I am settling on the definition as being "conflict of Desert".

That doesn't sound too bad, but it misses what the word "interest" captures, especially for Rand. I think it's important to keep in mind what people act for, not just the consequences or detached moral rules. 

The concept of Desert goes against moral rules???

Okay to be clearer (now adding it to the definition):

12 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Desert (/dɪˈzɜːrt/) in philosophy is the condition of being deserving of something, whether good or bad based on moral rules.

Wouldn't that catch the essence of "interest"? Objectively speaking as you say "actually to your interest".

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To me, "deserve" is a vague word.  Deserving something is not necessarily the same as being entitled to it.

If someone knowingly and deliberately markets food contaminated with salmonella, and thereby causes many illnesses and some deaths, he might deserve cruel and unusual punishment.  But does that mean we should mete it out to him?

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8 hours ago, merjet said:

Suppose two businessmen sign a contract. Buyer B agrees to buy from supplier S. If the contract is simple, short-term, and no problems arise, then omniscience is not required. On the other hand, assume a long-term contract that is far more complicated. B and S negotiate and agree on the terms. They consider contingencies, and the written contract addresses the contingencies. Suppose all goes well for a while. Then a problem arises, a contingency that neither anticipated, and S can’t meet the terms of the contract. It may not even be S’s fault, but that of a third party. For example, a supplier to S or a spike in prices triggers the problem. B and S are both dissatisfied. Each considers the other inflexible given the circumstances. In other words, they have a conflict of interest. In order to have anticipated the problem and have written the contract to deal with it would have required omniscience.

When one enters into a contract, one incurs an obligation to abide by it, and to incur any appropriate penalties for failing to do so, even in the face of the unexpected.  Every choice we make and every action we take involves a risk of the unexpected; we just have to live our lives as best we can in the face of this.

It is in the interests of both B and S to operate under a system that includes sound, objective laws and well-functioning courts to resolve unexpected disputes.

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51 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Wouldn't that catch the essence of "interest"? Objectively speaking as you say "actually to your interest".

Okay, so using the word desert can include disinterestedness, where a deontological rule says a person deserves something without regard to their interests. Or it could mean something more consequentialist, where you just try to figure out how things need to end up. We need the work of the word "interest" because we want to keep in mind the agent acting, trying to work for goals and objectives, and some consideration of the nature of the agent acting. So instead of taking only what people deserve, we are also keeping in mind the whole point of needing to deserve anything anyway. 

You're right to think that things get complicated here, because we are trying to distinguish what is actually in your interest, versus simply having goals. The principle of 2 definitions is the best thing I have here to say, which DW mentioned in the previous post. 

1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

The free market (not what we currently have) is guaranteed to be fair, not rational. In this context, rational people will/would/should choose what will produce fair results.

This doesn't make sense, because irrational people are just as free to sell and exchange anything and everything they want. For that reason alone, there can be many things in the free market where the result is not fair. So I have no idea where you get the idea that free markets are markets where everyone is rational. Yeah, a free market of rational individuals would produce fair results, but free markets also include individuals being irrational on occasion, or all the time. 

You can say that free markets have the best allocation of resources, and the only markets where individuals can truly have no conflicts of interest, but it doesn't follow that the allocation of resources is always fair in the free market, or that conflicts of interest will never occur in the free market. Basically I'm saying that if at least one person is acting irrationally, there will be a conflict of interest. 
 

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2 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

To me, "deserve" is a vague word.  Deserving something is not necessarily the same as being entitled to it.

I am fine with using Deserving to mean being entitled to it. In fact, "actually" being entitled to it.

In fact, how would you define "interest" in the context of "conflict of  interest". Some of us think the definition is settled and others don't.

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2 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

It is in the interests of both B and S to operate under a system that includes sound, objective laws and well-functioning courts to resolve unexpected disputes.

Yes, agreed, it is in the actual interest of both parties. And if one or both do not think so, they are irrational. (I doubt if anyone disagrees)

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Okay, so using the word desert can include disinterestedness, where a deontological rule says a person deserves something without regard to their interests.

Nonsense.

It cannot mean that.

You harp about "actual interest" again and again, and then you say something like this.

Is this indicating "actual interest"??

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25 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Nonsense.

It cannot mean that.

Unless you add a "because", we won't get anywhere. I'm not sure where you got the idea earlier either that I was saying "desert goes against moral rules". 

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9 hours ago, Eiuol said:
12 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The free market (not what we currently have) is guaranteed to be fair, not rational. In this context, rational people will/would/should choose what will produce fair results.

This doesn't make sense, because irrational people are just as free to sell and exchange anything and everything they want. For that reason alone, there can be many things in the free market where the result is not fair. So I have no idea where you get the idea that free markets are markets where everyone is rational. Yeah, a free market of rational individuals would produce fair results, but free markets also include individuals being irrational on occasion, or all the time. 

If you throw in irrationality into a free market, how do we end up with a free market. In this context, we are talking about rational people, in a free market, deserving what they get morally speaking, and morally speaking according to Rand. That is when you have "actual desert" and "actual interest" and "actual absence of conflict of interest".

One may say, some people in that scenario would not feel that way, some may feel a conflict. That would be irrelevant as we are talking about the existence of "actual conflict of interest".
  
"Where a deontological rule says a person deserves something without regard to their interests" is as good as an arbitrary designation of who deserves what, a subjective claim by someone. Why is that being brought up in a discussion of actualities?
  
We are concerned with actuality, reality as in "What is actually is to your interest?" There is a best trade. Maybe obvious maybe unknowable in one's life time. But it's actuality/realness does not come and go. It exists. It is objective.

Actuality of interest, or desert or benefit is independent of what the parties or others may think. Value is not intrinsic and an actual free market (in Randian Terms) is what provides a proper flow of interests that are being traded or possessed.

Something is to one's interest or not. Not meaning "interest as in fascination". We are talking "interest" as in "benefit/what one deserves". 

A benefit that actually should belong to you, is something you deserve (In objectivist/Randian terms, not deontological terms).

As you have repeatedly pointed out, someone can think something is to their interest while it may not be.
A rational process is necessary to discover one's interest.

Same goes for disinterest. One's subjective reaction is not the arbiter of the actuality of interest or desert.

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18 hours ago, whYNOT said:

I'd a thought, merjet, ...

Still no definition of “conflict of interest.” None from Eiuol or Rand either.

19 hours ago, Eiuol said:

You keep giving different versions of the same scenario. I keep asking each time why you think it is a conflict of interest, or phrased differently, which interests conflict. 

At this point it's clear that you just aren't reading, or you don't understand what you're reading despite clarifications and explanations. No, I don't mean agreeing, I mean even understanding what Rand said so that you actually know what you're disagreeing with.

The pot calls the kettle black.

Every scenario I gave contained a conflict, which I think is a conflict of interest. Your response to each has been ‘that’s not what Rand meant’ or ‘that’s not a genuine conflict of interest’ with you never defining either vague phrase. What makes it “genuine”? Blank out. I expect it will continue that way. If you were to clearly define what that vague phrase means, then readers could compare an example to your definition to see if the example satisfies the definition or not. Your not defining it lets you keep your escape route.

Edited by merjet
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On 10/10/2020 at 9:29 PM, Easy Truth said:

An actual conflict of interest is when people actually don't get what they deserve. (would you agree?)

This is interesting, but I disagree with the proposition. Interest and desert appear to be of two different categories. An interest refers to something needed or wanted but not necessarily deserved. A desert refers to something deserved but not necessarily needed or wanted. "Desert" sounds like the moral root for a political concept like "justice" or "restitution." While "interest" sounds like the moral root for the political concept of "rights."

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19 hours ago, Eiuol said:

You're right to think that things get complicated here, because we are trying to distinguish what is actually in your interest, versus simply having goals. The principle of 2 definitions is the best thing I have here to say, which DW mentioned in the previous post. 

I agree. DW brought it up and I think it's the best suggestion so far for a line of contemplation. Like "value" or (in my view) "standard," the notion of an "interest" seems to have two proper definitions. There is the broadest, most general one: something that is desired or wanted. Then there is the narrow, more particular one: something that is desired or wanted in accordance with one's chosen moral standard.

Note that in this formulation an interest is merely a value considered from the mental perspective. Interests don't exist apart from a consciousness capable of conceiving them. But values exist even for plants, because a value can refer only to the objective relationship of things.

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4 hours ago, merjet said:

What makes it “genuine”? Blank out.

2046's first two posts on page 2 answer this question. I talk about those answers even. 

9 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

One may say, some people in that scenario would not feel that way, some may feel a conflict. That would be irrelevant as we are talking about the existence of "actual conflict of interest".

You were offering a definition and phrase that you thought would be better and more clear than "conflict of interest". I don't disagree with the idea you're getting at (the actual state of affairs about the world), I'm saying that "conflict of desert" doesn't distinguish things quite as well as "conflict of interest". The word "interest" pretty much completely rules out ways to even refer to consequentialism or deontology, or at least makes us focus on how Rand thinks about ethics: the nature of the person acting. 

9 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

If you throw in irrationality into a free market, how do we end up with a free market.

Irrationality doesn't only include force, so I don't understand your objection. But I'm also losing track of why you're talking about free markets here. Can you refresh my memory or clarify?

9 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Same goes for disinterest. One's subjective reaction is not the arbiter of the actuality of interest or desert.

I think you're mixing up disinterest with being uninterested. Disinterest, it basically means without reference to any agent or any actor (objective in the Kantian view). Being uninterested means lack of fascination. 

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There is rational "deserving". You hear "deserved" and "entitled" from altruists and Socialists, that is on the premise that anyone's needs are an obligation to others, which must be met by others/Government. Looks like an anti-concept in this context.

Obversely, objectively, deserved and "earned" are moral concepts. Earned, is that which a rational person (who'd not accept the unearned) has to benefit - in justice - from his efforts and his thinking.

Rand: "... man must be the beneficiary of his own moral acts. ... Since all values have to gained and/or kept by men's actions, any breach between actor and beneficiary necessitates an injustice: the sacrifice of some men to others..."

(This percept about beneficiary and justice has been debated here, at length. I call that loosely the - as ye sow so shall ye reap - principle)

 

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46 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

deserved and "earned" are moral concepts. Earned, is that which a rational person (who'd not accept the unearned) has to benefit - in justice - from his efforts and his thinking.

I would like to emphasize that a rational person (due to lack of knowledge) could still accept the unearned, but address it in a just way when confronted with it.

The context that I am pushing is the actuality, the true nature of the interaction, where someone has or will get what they earn. That is what you actually are entitled, or have interest in, or should have interest in. Knowing that should prevent the conflict.

49 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Rand: "... man must be the beneficiary of his own moral acts. ... Since all values have to gained and/or kept by men's actions, any breach between actor and beneficiary necessitates an injustice: the sacrifice of some men to others..."

Yes, and if it "necessitates" injustice, then how would you know what is your interest?? You're assessment of, or anyone's assessment of your interest cannot be accurately made unless it includes "changing the system as a whole". In a marxist system, what is your interest? Inevitable, the calculation will be off. It can only exist when the "price" is implemented. The "discrepancy of interest" compared to what it should be would be necessitated. (per Rand's morality)

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5 hours ago, MisterSwig said:
On 10/10/2020 at 9:29 PM, Easy Truth said:

An actual conflict of interest is when people actually don't get what they deserve. (would you agree?)

This is interesting, but I disagree with the proposition. Interest and desert appear to be of two different categories. An interest refers to something needed or wanted but not necessarily deserved.

I would argue that subjective interest is where "something is needed or wanted but not necessarily deserved".

Otherwise, how would you distinguish between "interest" and "actual interest"?

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