It's always the finance people that are like this and the same people don't grasp some of Apple's more thoughtful ad campaigns. This is the kind of attitude that works well in the stock market: take out the morality and trade in a way to maximize profit. Interesting how he likened buying stock in already successful companies to charity as though the company needs the investor.
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich
self-interest is the great truth of humanity
This is a core point in discussions like these and it starts with an observation. People are born with an instinct to survive and a need to find resources to sustain life. That's a biological trait that we can't get away from. Where people differ is in promoting or discouraging self-interest. People's bodies naturally decay and get dirty but we promote the opposite. People who decide to steal things are acting in their own self-interest but we don't promote that either.
We try to promote what has a positive outcome. There are occasions where you might say acting in a selfless manner is a bad idea. Take this story:
That guy intervened to help someone out and ended up being killed. If he hadn't bothered intervening, he would most likely still be alive. Some would read that story and think what he did was heroic, some might say it was a bad idea because he's dead now.
I don't consider that human life has an overarching purpose any more than the life of a fruit fly, the only motive would therefore be to survive and enjoy it. Behaving in a self-interested way helps achieve this. Few people would prefer that others have a better job, a more attractive partner, more possessions than they do but that's not what altruism is. It's simply caring that other people have a minimum quality of life that aligns with your own expectations. Other people have done this for you. People have died to protect the freedoms and rights that you have now.
It becomes an issue of semantics at times because promoting what's good for the self can also be good for a group. I think what's important is that people should consider whether their actions are only good for themselves at the expense or disregard of others under the knowledge that people do the same for them. If you were broke, wounded and dying in a gutter somewhere, your promotion of self-interest should encourage everyone to leave you alone to die in pain because they don't benefit from helping you. Yet you would be eager for someone to help you and grateful if someone did. That's why someone once said "the true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good".
People might immediately disagree with the statement as the first thought is to place yourself in a position of being judged and some would rather be measured in different ways but if you read the statement with you as the one who can do no good for the subject then you can see the truth in it. There's a truth to the success of both selfishness and altruism, which is why we can't stick with just one of them and people will argue until the end of time that we should stick with one or the other. People need an incentive to contribute because inherent selfishness leads to laziness and it weighs down on people who do contribute but while it's effective at times, I don't think that suffering needs to be that incentive.
Originally Posted by auxio
Many people living in poverty have a mental illness or similar condition which makes it difficult for them to get and/or hold a job.
I would say it stretches further than that, Elon Musk couldn't get a job because he lacked the confidence. He then started his own company with his brother and eventually got the opportunity of lots of growth funding:
People can have good ideas but no route to market, they can lack confidence and not get hired. Sometimes the odds just don't come out in your favor:
When you have so many people and so few opportunities, it becomes more likely that rejections happen:
"“the stores will hire a combined 600 associates after combing through the more than 23,000 applications it received from potential employees.” That’s stunning. Walmart received 38 applications for every opening, making the odds of an applicant getting a job at Walmart far greater than getting into Harvard. And all this competition for positions that we know do not pay all that well."