View Poll Results: Should a multi-billionaire settle for 2 jets instead of 3, 7 homes instead of 10 etc?

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  • Yes (if it means serving the greater good)

    12 24.49%
  • No (no one has the right to decide how much wealth is too much)

    37 75.51%
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Thread: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

  1. #31
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    I think your first paragraph is an example of a zero-sum game and I don't believe that exists.
    Its called an analogy. It is a bit extreme to prove a point. This type of thing does happen, as evidenced by the vast income differential in our country.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    As for the body, athletes train constantly to be the best. The name escapes me, but there was recently a running back who played for the San Diego Chargers who now plays for a different team who had a regimen for staying in top condition that most people could not think of doing. That is part of the reason he has become one of the all-time best running backs in the NFL. You don't just get born with the best body in the world and it stays that way. I'd even bet there are examples of 99 lb. weaklings who decided to become extremely fit who have made it where others who were originally born with the better body did not.

    Life is not a lottery. Yes, some can be born with physical and mental defects that prevent them from succeeding. Maybe an example of that could be Helen Keller. Okay, maybe not. The vast majority of people are born within the realm of norm. From there, it is what they do and how they do it that really matters. It is not luck.
    As a scientists, we refer to our lot (hand dealt) in life as a gene-environment interaction. What this means is that we are born with predispositions, i.e. different levels of physical prowess, innate determination, mood types, personality traits and so on. From that point our genetic predisposition interact with the environment (nutrition, parents, school, work conditions etc.).

    Essentially, everything that happens to you happened because it was going to happen inevitably. For example, someone is born who has extremely athletic genes ... that person eats well and flourishes into a budding athlete ... that person was also born with certain personality traits such as being a very determined person ... his/her parents work with that determination to help if flourish etc. The final product: a successful athlete. Similarly, another person could be born with similar or better athletic and determination genetics but be born into extreme poverty and who does not have parents that are constructive. As a result, this person begins dealing drugs and goes to prison and becomes a lifetime criminal.

    Its a nice sentiment to believe we have control of our destiny, however the vast majority of scientific research regarding human and animal behavior suggests that we do not. What's the point then you may ask? Or if everyone thought that, wouldn't everyone not care about their life? The answer is no .. while people may be able to grasp the concept of determinism, they are still endowed with genetics and an environment that prevent them from giving up and pushing on despite knowing that things are determined ... i.e. they're along for the ride.

  2. #32
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Whatever moral "obligation" anyone may think a wealthy person may have to others, especially those less well off, it is up to that person to choose to meet that obligation.

    You can argue all you want that is it "wrong" to have so much money and not use it for the betterment of others, but that's just your version of morality; you have no standing to impose your morality on others.

  3. #33
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    Okay, I'm confused. Let's say a billionaire owns ten mansions, 3 Gulf Stream Jets, drives a Bugati and a Rolls, has an antique car collection, dresses to the nines, homes are furnished with furniture to match the style of the homes, buys original artwork, owns hundreds of throusands of shares of IBM, AT&T, Microsoft, 3M, Caterpillar, & Hallmark Cards, purchases a great deal of expensive jewelry for his wife, sends his kids to Harvand and MIT, etc., etc., etc.

    What does any of this have to do with rewards for success for those who are not wealthy? He may have provided employment in the home building if he had any of his mansions built. He may have had remodelers do the work in others. He helped employment in the private jet manufacturing industry, he has helped auctioneers who auction older cars, he has helped artwork dealers or art auctioneers, he helps employment at the Corporations for he buys stock, he helped jewelers and he help two higher educational institutions. He also helped clothing and furniture manufacturers and retail stores. Not only did he help all of these people, but there are tons of other people who were indirectly helped. For example, he may have helped people who manufacture faucets since the mansion he built has to have faucets and they may have been part of his remodeling. Also, he may and probably does give hundreds of millions to charities or is a patron of the arts and provides millions to art galleries or the local symphony.

    I don't see where any of this is bad. I don't see how this billionaire's success impedes mine or anyone elses. I don't see where this person's riches minimizes anyone's reward for success. Sorry, but I fail to see your point.

    As for having to have a reward attractive enough, what are you saying? If you are saying that some see welfare as being better than working, I understand that; however, that is why we need to end doling out money and not tying assistance to achievement. Not everyone will become a millionaire, but the poor can end up living a life of what is considered middle class. It takes following virtue and not vice to do so. When I say virtue, I mean things like personal responsibility, self-discipline, tenacity, hard work, frugality, and other virtues. Rewards may not come tomorrow morning, next week, a month from now, but they will come for those who practice those virtues.
    One of the main points you are missing is a lack of equal opportunity and fair wages. Did that billionaire make sure that all of the workers he hired made a fair wage? If he did, then more power to them. Finally, its the kind of delusional thoughts that anything is possible for most people that cripple peoples ability to be empathetic and humanitarian.

  4. #34
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by PzKfW IVe View Post
    Whatever moral "obligation" anyone may think a wealthy person may have to others, especially those less well off, it is up to that person to choose to meet that obligation.

    You can argue all you want that is it "wrong" to have so much money and not use it for the betterment of others, but that's just your version of morality; you have no standing to impose your morality on others.
    You are completely right .. these are things relating to morals/ethics ... which are subjective. However, if you've ever studies ethics, if you want your ethical stance to have any credence, it needs to be logical consistent and coherent.

    As for whether or not some people can force others to do things they do not want to do ... I think you should realize everyone in the U.S. is forced to do at least one thing they do not agree with (due to democracy). What's your position on democracy?

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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    You are completely right .. these are things relating to morals/ethics ... which are subjective. However, if you've ever studies ethics, if you want your ethical stance to have any credence, it needs to be logical consistent and coherent.
    Yes... like not trying to force you version of morality on others, while taking exception when others try to force their morality on you.
    -You- wouldn't do that - would you?

  6. #36
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by PzKfW IVe View Post
    Yes... like not trying to force you version of morality on others, while taking exception when others try to force their morality on you.
    -You- wouldn't do that - would you?
    You dodged my question .. what do you think of democracy?

  7. #37
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    You dodged my question .. what do you think of democracy?
    Your question leads to a fallacy - an appeal to popularity. I was merely trying to save you the trouble of having to argue such a thing.

    If DO you want to argue that the majority can indeed force their morality on others, this then certainly applies across all moral issues; given that, you would certainly not be someone who would fail to remain logically consistent and not at all complain when someone tries to force their morality on you, given that you are happy to force your morality on others. Right?
    Last edited by PzKfW IVe; 07-20-11 at 02:34 PM.

  8. #38
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by PzKfW IVe View Post
    Your question leads to a fallacy - an appeal to popularity. I was merely trying to save you the trouble of having to argue such a thing.

    If DO you want to argue that the majority can indeed force their morality on others, this then certainly applies across all moral issues; given that, you would certainly not be someone who would fail to remain logically consistent and not at all complain when someone tries to force their morality on you, given that you are happy to force your morality on others. Right?
    Are you putting words in my mouth? Or respectfully putting words in my mouth, then trying to make it look like a question by simply adding "Right?" at the end of your statement (not a question; read up on how a true question is framed). Again you dodged my question.

  9. #39
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    Are you putting words in my mouth?
    I asked you a question - since you're OK with forcing your morality on others, and you understand that one must be logically consistent, will you then not complain when thers force their morality on others?

    What words am I putting inyour mouth? Are you NOT OK witn forcing your morality on others? Seems that's the only possible pointof contention, given the question.
    So...your answer to my quesion...?

    Again you dodged my question.
    Read carefully - I addressed your question as far as it need be addressed.

  10. #40
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    Its called an analogy. It is a bit extreme to prove a point. This type of thing does happen, as evidenced by the vast income differential in our country.



    As a scientists, we refer to our lot (hand dealt) in life as a gene-environment interaction. What this means is that we are born with predispositions, i.e. different levels of physical prowess, innate determination, mood types, personality traits and so on. From that point our genetic predisposition interact with the environment (nutrition, parents, school, work conditions etc.).

    Essentially, everything that happens to you happened because it was going to happen inevitably. For example, someone is born who has extremely athletic genes ... that person eats well and flourishes into a budding athlete ... that person was also born with certain personality traits such as being a very determined person ... his/her parents work with that determination to help if flourish etc. The final product: a successful athlete. Similarly, another person could be born with similar or better athletic and determination genetics but be born into extreme poverty and who does not have parents that are constructive. As a result, this person begins dealing drugs and goes to prison and becomes a lifetime criminal.

    Its a nice sentiment to believe we have control of our destiny, however the vast majority of scientific research regarding human and animal behavior suggests that we do not. What's the point then you may ask? Or if everyone thought that, wouldn't everyone not care about their life? The answer is no .. while people may be able to grasp the concept of determinism, they are still endowed with genetics and an environment that prevent them from giving up and pushing on despite knowing that things are determined ... i.e. they're along for the ride.
    Sorry, but here we have a disagreement and one that I don't think we will bridge.

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