[FoRK] New Benefits of Marriage Study Actually Hints at the Horrors of Middle Age

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Jan 23 09:57:52 PST 2015

If there are more than two players, you could decide to help one player to improve your position overall. Your view of a strictly 
competitive system can still hold.  In the context of this conversation, you could even weaken a person by "helping" them.  Someone 
raised expecting everything to be given to them and not taught the right principles would be helpless when all the giving stops.  
And perhaps this is the, muddled I think, point of some conservatives.  The problem is that in practice, there are a lot of 
circumstances that along the lines of starving a baby to death to teach them how to grow their own food.  The key component of tough 
love is shrewd guidance, not stupidity and blind neglect.

Too many people equate "help" with throwing money at the problem and people, or at least haphazardly at people who say they can help 
people.  I don't agree with that at all.  The best help may not involve much money changing hands at all.  Just matching the right 
mentalities with the right students (in all senses) at the right time may make all the difference.  But "matching" and "teaching" 
will need to take whatever forms are effective.


On 1/23/15 9:48 AM, Lucas Gonze wrote:
> My understanding of “strictly competitive” is that there is no such thing as mutual wins. A winner means a loser. There are no 
> win-win situations.
> That’s what I read in conservative thought: a feeling that seeking win-win situations is code for seeking a loss, throwing a game, 
> handing somebody else a win.
> On January 23, 2015 at 9:27:03 AM, Stephen D. Williams (sdw at lig.net <mailto:sdw at lig.net>) wrote:
>> On 1/23/15 9:13 AM, Lucas Gonze wrote:
>>> On January 23, 2015 at 8:31:15 AM, Stephen D. Williams (sdw at lig.net <mailto:sdw at lig.net>) wrote:
>>>> Whether that is a problem that you think needs addressed depends on whether you think the world is strictly competitive, 
>>>> whether you
>>>> feel indirectly enriched or diminished by it, and similar philosophical motivations. We'll take it as a given that you care for
>>>> your own children and family. Do you care about other people's children and people in general as an extended family? Do you feel
>>>> any responsibility to them?
>>> sdw, I think you have two mutually exclusive points here. One is about whether the world is strictly competitive, so that mutual 
>>> enrichment is impossible. The other is about helping others without benefit to yourself.
>> Mutually exclusive?  Do you mean orthogonal?
>> If I think the world is strictly competitive, I could decide to help others or not.  I might think helping would or would not 
>> have a benefit to me even then.  If I don't think it is strictly competitive, I likewise could think either way. If I don't think 
>> it is strictly competitive I may be more likely to think there might be an indirect benefit.  However, unless there are only two 
>> players involved, there is always the possibility of gaining relative to others than the giver and givee.
>> sdw

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