View Poll Results: Which society is better?

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  • From each according to his ability, to each according to his need

    2 12.50%
  • From each according to his choice to act upon his ability, to each according to his production

    14 87.50%
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Thread: From each and to Each

  1. #11
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    Re: From each and to Each

    In their ideal forms I favor the second. Why you may ask? Isn't it good that everyone is equal? The problem is the first option is a lie even in its ideal form. People are not equal. Some produce things of grandness and beauty, some produce mundane but necessary things, some produce nothing at all, and some produce things of evil and horror. These things do not deserve equal recognition, acclaim, and compensation. Think of this applied to a person's love life for instance. Person A dates (at different times) three people, B,C, and D. Each of the people A dates does their best to make the relationship work and feels the need for love. Person B is very submissive which A doesn't find attractive at all. C is very controlling which A is mildly attracted to. D is self-sufficient but not controlling which A finds incredibly attractive. Under the first ideal, since all have given according to their ability, A needs to give his/her love equally to each of these people despite the fact that the only one he/she truly loves is D. But in the name of each being equal even if they are different his love must be equal. If this seems like a dumb system to you, then you prefer option 2 as well.

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    Re: From each and to Each

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Yes, the marxist one. Yes, it might restrict that freedom, but I think on balance, when everyone is taken into account, we end up having more. However, this is entirely dependant on our prosperity and the resources we have available to us in order to do things. The ability to do things is what defines our freedom (I don't believe in the idea of natural law to be the definer or freedoms, I think freedoms happen where the rubber meets the road in every day life). Ultimately, I think in a society where resources are not evenly distritubed, for the rich person to be able to do more, it gets to a point of diminishing returns where lots of resources have to be brought to bear for a small gain of freedom (eventually the private jet only flies a little faster, even if it is vastly more expensive, for example or the maintenance on a 10% larger swimming pool is more than a 10% gain in cost due to changes in structural supports needed).
    Regarding diminishing returns: in some instances, yes. In others, it's economies of scale and quite the opposite (and I think this happens more often than not). But I would argue either point. The fact that the pool owner/rich produced enough to have enough resources to demand an extra 10% pool for 10+% more resource is their choice. Though less overall would be produced for the same amount, in this very specific scenario, why shouldn' those who work more for the resources get to allocate where those resources go?

    Well, you answer that with "(I don't believe in the idea of natural law to be the definer or freedoms, I think freedoms happen where the rubber meets the road in every day life)" which I interpret to mean that natural law is inferior to balancing goods and services being distributed. I'm glad you concede that your views go against natural law, at least and this is just your preference. There really is no point in arguing becuase you understand what ideal you are giving up, you understand the unfairness, but you value the reward more than the cost. In my mind, I just can't comprehend justifying a society which rewards equally person A who is able and does contribute 20% of what person B is able and does contribute. No reward is worth that cost that I can think of. But this is my opinion and I understand that Person A is simply goig to have a worse life because he was born less-able. This sucks for him, but it is not an injustice that was decided upon. As you say, that's natural law. I'm not angry at the more able for having more and I don't feel bad for the less able for having less.

    I suppose I could compare it to 9/11 vs Katrina. 9/11 had a bigger impact on America because it was a choice. The injustice was human choice. Katrina was just nature. Both sucked. But 9/11 is impossible to accept.
    Last edited by fredmertz; 06-14-10 at 03:03 PM.

  3. #13
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    Re: From each and to Each

    Quote Originally Posted by Civil1z@tion View Post
    In their ideal forms I favor the second. Why you may ask? Isn't it good that everyone is equal? The problem is the first option is a lie even in its ideal form. People are not equal. Some produce things of grandness and beauty, some produce mundane but necessary things, some produce nothing at all, and some produce things of evil and horror. These things do not deserve equal recognition, acclaim, and compensation. Think of this applied to a person's love life for instance. Person A dates (at different times) three people, B,C, and D. Each of the people A dates does their best to make the relationship work and feels the need for love. Person B is very submissive which A doesn't find attractive at all. C is very controlling which A is mildly attracted to. D is self-sufficient but not controlling which A finds incredibly attractive. Under the first ideal, since all have given according to their ability, A needs to give his/her love equally to each of these people despite the fact that the only one he/she truly loves is D. But in the name of each being equal even if they are different his love must be equal. If this seems like a dumb system to you, then you prefer option 2 as well.
    If you look at a system and each gets what they need, you could say that if a person was getting what they need and person A and D can give that to each other than they should be a match. Person C might be attracted to person A, but they will likely be attracted to others as well, who can fulfill their needs in a relationship and love/be loved, than that would satisfy that as well, so things may not result as they would in your example.

    Ultimately though, I don't think the example works either way, whether it is my example or yours. Here is why. In terms of resourses, a person gets things and than chooses what to do with these things. The resources are things in that they have no mind of their own so they are incapable of caring what happens to them. People are not things and you cannot treat them the same way because they do have a mind and preferences. Ultimately, you have to look at this thing from a resource level because of that and because people cannot be given other people as wages for work done (at least not in these two situations as I assume both situations have basic human rights as part of their society, I might be reading ito it though). Anyway, the fundamental difference between people and things, at least to me, prevents interpretation of this situation to expand into relationship and only works with things/resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    Regarding diminishing returns: in some instances, yes. In others, it's economies of scale and quite the opposite (and I think this happens more often than not). But I would argue either point. The fact that the pool owner/rich produced enough to have enough resources to demand an extra 10% pool for 10+% more resource is their choice. Though less overall would be produced for the same amount, in this very specific scenario, why shouldn' those who work more for the resources get to allocate where those resources go?

    Well, you answer that with "(I don't believe in the idea of natural law to be the definer or freedoms, I think freedoms happen where the rubber meets the road in every day life)" which I interpret to mean that natural law is inferior to balancing goods and services being distributed. I'm glad you concede that your views go against natural law, at least and this is just your preference. There really is no point in arguing becuase you understand what ideal you are giving up, you understand the unfairness, but you value the reward more than the cost. In my mind, I just can't comprehend justifying a society which rewards equally person A who is able and does contribute 20% of what person B is able and does contribute. No reward is worth that cost that I can think of. But this is my opinion and I understand that Person A is simply goig to have a worse life because he was born less-able. This sucks for him, but it is not an injustice that was decided upon. As you say, that's natural law. I'm not angry at the more able for having more and I don't feel bad for the less able for having less.

    I suppose I could compare it to 9/11 vs Katrina. 9/11 had a bigger impact on America because it was a choice. The injustice was human choice. Katrina was just nature. Both sucked. But 9/11 is impossible to accept.
    I think part of the reason that people cannot come to an agreement is that there are different ideas of what freedom is. To me, the idea of having freedom of association means little if I am alone and lost in the woods. However, it might mean more later if I am in the coffee shop with my newly befriended rescuers. To me, it is all situational and there is no way to avoid that. But it also means that relying on random chance to be the arbiter of these things to be inadequate because we should either have freedom or not have freedom. But that is my opinion on the matter.

    I imagine we have a similar disagreement on what the term fairness means. Probably stemming from our different understand of freedoms since fairness is ultimately about people having the same freedoms.

    I do understand the viewpoint that you are espousing, but again, having fully looked at it, I find it to be unacceptable because it goes against human nature (total communism does to, people are kind of trapped in the middle between libertarianism and communism and probably always will be) as well because we are communal creatures and are rarely only act purely on self interest (unless you redefine self interest to mean anything a person does, which I do not accept as a valid definition) because of our need for community (unless you are a sociopath or an extreme introvert that doesn't even like internet message boards).

    Anyway, the reason I bought the example of the jet or swimming pool is that we tend to have limits on what commonly available technology can produce and to go beyond that, you need specialized equipment. At that point, you start hitting diminishing returns. Of course that line changes as people invent things, so it can be argued that by pushing the envelope, you are increasing everyone's overall freedom (yay capitalism!) and are doing a good thing. So it can be a mixed case. I think though that invention is more rare and per your scenario, people are investing stuff in both systems, so it may be a moot point.

    Either way, forgive all the remarks in parenthesis, people tend to read into what I write and it causes me to seek to clarify.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 06-14-10 at 03:21 PM.

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    Re: From each and to Each

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    If you look at a system and each gets what they need, you could say that if a person was getting what they need and person A and D can give that to each other than they should be a match. Person C might be attracted to person A, but they will likely be attracted to others as well, who can fulfill their needs in a relationship and love/be loved, than that would satisfy that as well, so things may not result as they would in your example.

    Ultimately though, I don't think the example works either way, whether it is my example or yours. Here is why. In terms of resourses, a person gets things and than chooses what to do with these things. The resources are things in that they have no mind of their own so they are incapable of caring what happens to them. People are not things and you cannot treat them the same way because they do have a mind and preferences. Ultimately, you have to look at this thing from a resource level because of that and because people cannot be given other people as wages for work done (at least not in these two situations as I assume both situations have basic human rights as part of their society, I might be reading ito it though). Anyway, the fundamental difference between people and things, at least to me, prevents interpretation of this situation to expand into relationship and only works with things/resources.



    I think part of the reason that people cannot come to an agreement is that there are different ideas of what freedom is. To me, the idea of having freedom of association means little if I am alone and lost in the woods. However, it might mean more later if I am in the coffee shop with my newly befriended rescuers. To me, it is all situational and there is no way to avoid that. But it also means that relying on random chance to be the arbiter of these things to be inadequate because we should either have freedom or not have freedom. But that is my opinion on the matter.

    I imagine we have a similar disagreement on what the term fairness means. Probably stemming from our different understand of freedoms since fairness is ultimately about people having the same freedoms.

    I do understand the viewpoint that you are espousing, but again, having fully looked at it, I find it to be unacceptable because it goes against human nature (total communism does to, people are kind of trapped in the middle between libertarianism and communism and probably always will be) as well because we are communal creatures and are rarely only act purely on self interest (unless you redefine self interest to mean anything a person does, which I do not accept as a valid definition) because of our need for community (unless you are a sociopath or an extreme introvert that doesn't even like internet message boards).

    Anyway, the reason I bought the example of the jet or swimming pool is that we tend to have limits on what commonly available technology can produce and to go beyond that, you need specialized equipment. At that point, you start hitting diminishing returns. Of course that line changes as people invent things, so it can be argued that by pushing the envelope, you are increasing everyone's overall freedom (yay capitalism!) and are doing a good thing. So it can be a mixed case. I think though that invention is more rare and per your scenario, people are investing stuff in both systems, so it may be a moot point.

    Either way, forgive all the remarks in parenthesis, people tend to read into what I write and it causes me to seek to clarify.
    I do the same with parenthesis! Quite alright. I've never disagreed with someone so whole-heartedly and respected them so much at the same time. But I wanted to make one further conclusion. I agree we disagree on what 'fairness is', but think you may have unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally) hit another true point: Human nature.

    first, regarding fairness: To clarify, I don't think it is fair that some people should get less simply because they can't produce more. That randomness sucks for them. But I also don't think it's fair to restrict someone who can (and does) produce more to collect more for the reason that his surplus production needs to be balanced with the underproduction of others. So which unfairness do I choose? The one nature 'decided' or the one that man decided? I choose nature's injustice. Trying to solve nature's injustice with another injustice is worse than just letting it be. I think you understood that, but I got confused when you said this was against human nature... and maybe this is why:

    second: Human nature. I would argue that everything we do is for our own benefit. It's nice to think otherwise, but it seems I only want friends who give me something greater or equal to that which I put into the relationship. It doesn't have to be quantifiable. It's usually qualitative in fact. They make me happy. But if I am putting too much into it, I won't want to be a part of it. The same goes for a community (or nation). If I give more than I receive, I wouldn't want to be part of it. Again, what I receive can be qualitative. It can be reassurance that I'll be taken care of. It can be clean streets that make me happy. Whatever it is, I do it because it's worth it to me. I really don't understand 'altruism' for non-selfish interests. If I give, I give because it makes me happy to give. I won't give if I'm indifferent. So I act on selfishness and I believe this is human nature.

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    Re: From each and to Each

    Quote Originally Posted by Civil1z@tion View Post
    In their ideal forms I favor the second. Why you may ask? Isn't it good that everyone is equal? The problem is the first option is a lie even in its ideal form. People are not equal.
    This much, I agree with 100%! I think it's worded perfectly.

  6. #16
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    Re: From each and to Each

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    And they would collect back from society only what they need or is their 'fair share' (obviously not practical, but if it were, would it be superior?)
    It would not be superior imo, because it opposes the laws of nature. What works, survives. If I am the smartest, biggest, fastest, most creative, or most ingenious, that is what survives in nature. It earns its respect and its rewards.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

  7. #17
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    Re: From each and to Each

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    I do the same with parenthesis! Quite alright. I've never disagreed with someone so whole-heartedly and respected them so much at the same time. But I wanted to make one further conclusion. I agree we disagree on what 'fairness is', but think you may have unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally) hit another true point: Human nature.
    Thanks for the compliment. It is always pleasant to chat with someone who can disagree without calling the other person names. There are many on this forum who do not have this maturity. (Its fun to verbally run over those people though since they usually suck at logic or argument.)

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    first, regarding fairness: To clarify, I don't think it is fair that some people should get less simply because they can't produce more. That randomness sucks for them. But I also don't think it's fair to restrict someone who can (and does) produce more to collect more for the reason that his surplus production needs to be balanced with the underproduction of others. So which unfairness do I choose? The one nature 'decided' or the one that man decided? I choose nature's injustice. Trying to solve nature's injustice with another injustice is worse than just letting it be. I think you understood that, but I got confused when you said this was against human nature... and maybe this is why:
    I think I am going to have to disagree that the to each according to their ability is natural. Here is why. All economies are ultimately a social construct stemming from mutually agreed on rules. The only way I see to avoid that is if the person was alone (I know, this is a similar place with the idea of natural rights comes from), but if the person is alone there is no economy, only the production and consumption of resources. The moment two people interact, they have to start agreeing on the rules of interaction and at that point, any economic arrangement is possible. (This is also part of the reason I don't like the natural rights idea, nature always gets taken back out of it almost immediately and it links two fundamentally different things together, the lone man and his will linked to society and social rules)

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    second: Human nature. I would argue that everything we do is for our own benefit. It's nice to think otherwise, but it seems I only want friends who give me something greater or equal to that which I put into the relationship. It doesn't have to be quantifiable. It's usually qualitative in fact. They make me happy. But if I am putting too much into it, I won't want to be a part of it. The same goes for a community (or nation). If I give more than I receive, I wouldn't want to be part of it. Again, what I receive can be qualitative. It can be reassurance that I'll be taken care of. It can be clean streets that make me happy. Whatever it is, I do it because it's worth it to me. I really don't understand 'altruism' for non-selfish interests. If I give, I give because it makes me happy to give. I won't give if I'm indifferent. So I act on selfishness and I believe this is human nature.
    Like I said. I don't like definitions of selfishness that can mean anything a person does. There are interactions that are defined by the gaining and loss of value (however it is defined) and there are interactions that are not.

    When I go to church, I used to pick up a family that had no car of their own. They did not fit in the minivan well and I have literally nothing in common with them. Also, it costs extra gas because it was 3 miles out of my way. The reason I did this was because they wanted to go to church and had no way to get there (the girl came from a broken home and the guy was between jobs, both very young, heartbreaking situation). Ultimately, the only thing I got out of that was the occasional good feeling of doing what I felt to be my duty, but that was certainly not every time. Often, it was just a pain in the ass to do, but it was the right thing, so I did it even when it did put me in a bad mood.

    I know a retired teacher who helps out with a profound mentally handicapped class at a local school. She does not get along with the main teacher, but she does it because those kids need the extra help that the county can not afford to provide.

    I tend to be very nice to people I have just met and I don't get any reward (again, not even a good feeling) but it is the right thing to do, even when they turn out to be jerks, I still try to be nice because thats what my moral system tells me I aught to do. But I get no value from it and I am sometimes insulted for my efforts and can sometimes find myself bitching later on that evening to my wife. I will go back the next day and do it again.

    I think ultimately, if you want to live a life where there is no emotional effort, than yes, your statement is true, but we are people who have a choice to either do the right thing or to do the thing that gives us something we seek (if we are in a situation where the two might be different). People are animals who tend to go with things that benefit us, but it does not mean we have to. I guess I better stop before I start getting religious :P (Since much of christianity is about getting past our internal monkey and being good beings, which I suck at by the way)
    Last edited by tacomancer; 06-14-10 at 04:01 PM.

  8. #18
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    Re: From each and to Each

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I tend to be very nice to people I have just met and I don't get any reward (again, not even a good feeling)
    But you do get a reward. The reward for selflessness is in helping yourself improve. It may be done as a gesture of kindness, which may or may not be appreciated by the recipient of your goodwill, but the reward is bestowed on the one who gives. A giving heart gives without thought of reward. It gives because it wants to.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

  9. #19
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    Re: From each and to Each

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    But you do get a reward. The reward for selflessness is in helping yourself improve. It may be done as a gesture of kindness, which may or may not be appreciated by the recipient of your goodwill, but the reward is bestowed on the one who gives. A giving heart gives without thought of reward. It gives because it wants to.
    I disagree. If you look at it from a resource perspective (or even a value perspective), I gain nothing by improving myself in the sense of being more kind. In fact, I lose because it makes me more easily able to be taken advantage of which can cause a loss of resources or other things I value, such as time or a good mood.

    True kindness can really suck and reap havoc on your emotions and health.

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    Re: From each and to Each

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post

    True kindness can really suck and reap havoc on your emotions and health.
    Then it appears to me that there maybe some emotional problems underlying. As long as emotional gratification is the goal, emotional and physical health will be subject to getting out of whack. Once giving and kindness are done out of true desire, and not out of perceived necessity or obligation, emotional well-being can't be threatened.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

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