Re: "feels good" is inherently meaningful

Date: Fri Jul 02 2004 - 22:08:44 MDT

On Fri, 2 Jul 2004, Randall Randall wrote:

> On Jul 2, 2004, at 7:12 PM, Damien Broderick wrote:
> > At 06:08 PM 7/2/2004 -0400, Randall Randall wrote:
> >
> >>> self sacrifice (not necessarily fatal) is the ultimate pleasure.
> >>
> >> That's an interesting contortion you're putting the word
> >> 'pleasure' through.
> >
> > No, it's a penetrating insight (into the motivations of some, not all,
> > at some times, not all). Replace the word with `gratification' if you
> > must. The reward systems are multiple via extended identification, the
> > easing of self-reproach, the attainment of imagined but satisfying
> > postmortem joys (joining the honored dead who will praise and love you
> > the more), the delight and satisfaction of *doing the right thing*
> > even or even especially at *the ultimate cost*... etc.
> To me, you appear to be advocating that I replace the
> word with "self-interest", which I don't agree is
> synonymous with "pleasure".
> I don't even agree that "self sacrifice ... is the
> ultimate self-interest", though I understand that
> some goal systems would result in that.

How do we define self interest?

 1) That which is most likely to insure the survival of our

 2) That which makes us most happy.

I'd argue that #2 is the appropriate definition. It is also most
consistent with our 'purpose'. We are short lived beings created
to do the bidding of long lived genes and memes. Nature has
designed us to be most happy fulfilling our purpose. For some
that might be acting as replicators (parenting), for others
teaching to spread memes, helping others in need, advancing
civilization, or whatever. The deepest happyness does not come
from actions which are performed in a narrow version of self

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