RE: virus: Altruism, Empathy, the Superorganism, and the Priso ner's

Wright, James 7929 (
Fri, 18 Apr 97 14:15:00 EDT

David R. wrote:
> Over the past couple of months, I had some disagreements with people
who >were Non-Objectivists. But, I have redefined my enemy to be a
non-contextual >thinking mentality that is demonstrated by the
Interesting, an enemy without form or substance!<VBG!>
>There seem to be 2 kinds of Buddhists: One kind understands that there
>an inescapable duality between words and their context, but choose to
break up
>that duality in order to give credence to a nonsensical ideology like
>The other kind of Buddhist appears to not understand the duality that
>words can have different meanings depending to their context. Here are 2
>examples of both types of Buddhists in action:<
"Nonsensical ideology" is simply prejudicial language / insult, David; I
hope you can rise above this in the future.
Is your real "enemy" the dualistic thinking that prevents clear
perception of reality?
>Robin wrote:
> wrote:
>>>Obviously we are
>>> the sense that we can engage in trade, that we can
>>>gratification, that we are willing to "invest" effort today on the
>>>assumption that there will be return with interest at a later date.
>Robin wrote:
>>Sorry, that's not altruism.
>>Regard for others, both natural and moral; devotion to the interests of
>>others; brotherly kindness; -- opposed to egoism or selfishness.
>By saying, "that's not altruism", Robin implies that he understood what
>meant by the term 'altruism'. But, he takes the word back out of context
>order to present the impression that the word has intrinsic meaning
apart from
>its context.<
Robin appears to have difficulty with Reed's use of a word, presents a
reference for how she understands it to have been defined, and cites the
source. How else can you object to someone using a word in a context that
you do not agree with?
> This is how Buddhism survives as an ideology--<
Buddhism survives because it benefits numberless persons to understand
themselves, quite apart from whatever motives or methods you choose to
ascribe to it.
>through people being
>stuck in a non-contextual thinking mode as exemplified by James, the
other kind
>of Buddhist, who wrote:
>> "Not only is greed self-defeating in
>>the long run, altruism makes better neighbors and ultimately greater
>>personal fulfillment."?
> if concepts such as greed and altruism have meanings apart from
If words are to be held to have no meaning apart from context, David,
then you must be prepared to define them exactly each and every time you
use them. Your posts will probably swell to several times their present
length, and the rest of us will have to wade through your raft of
definitions to extract whatever meaningful thought you might have
craftily hidden therein. This is why classical philosophy texts are so
clear and concise and boring, they usually start with definitions and
proceed to argumentation using those words as defined in the context of
that text.
To illustrate, then, I offer the following:
"Objectivism is the religion which holds that all reality reduces to
three axioms, which are illogical, incontestable and inexaminable."
religion - a systematic mode of thought, expounded by an authority
reality - the sum total of all phenomena displayed by the universe
axioms - starting points, the "given" in an argument
illogical - not defensible with logic; axioms are not subject to logical
examination, since by definition they are given
incontestable - not subject to debate, outside the realm of discussion
inexaminable - not subject to examination, beyond any critical scrutiny
by holders
Unless you are prepared to define your terms, David, I don't see how we
can discuss much. If you do, several of us will probably fall asleep in
If you choose not to use common words in their commonly accepted meanings
(and define any new words you care to use) then the rest of us will get
confused, and miss your meaning.
Would you like to join Jim Gadbois and I in an interpretive dance? <VBG!>
Seriously, I notice you quote me above but avoid addressing the question:
Can you create a meme to propagate such qualities as altruism, empathy
and the like?