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The right to be selfish

BurnedOut

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I am currently on polemic #12 of 'Genealogy of Morality' by Friedrich Nietzsche. His arguments are very interesting to percept and note. This particular polemic argues very precisely about what exactly is 'morality' in the eyes of a 'ressentiment person'.

According to Nietzsche, the ressentiment man's morality is a result of him separating the agent from the action and demanding the former to be absolutely unbound to latter. This basically means that if I slap a girl out of utter umbrage notwithstanding her actions, I am an immoral person per se because I (am supposed to) have the unfettered capacity to control my capriciousness and I am making a choice to not restrain myself. Thus, morality is actually talking about certain universals concerning the behaviour of the agents without considering the agents' predilections into account. Therefore, morality in an aspersing way, deliberate helplessness in order to cut down the ressentiment of being unable to act on a certain violation.

There are several implications of this:
1) That morality can be utterly subjective.
2) That morality is hypocrisy in a manner as it disallows the freedom to act on an impulse but allow it in a manner that conceals the impulse effectively in the garb of 'expectations'
3) That morality is dependent on the class of the person
4) That morality is not universal and can change with time

The question is, precisely how much right do we have to be selfish and to what extent is that right to be recognized. Can it be outlawed? No. Can be it be condemned publicly to cause severe psychosocial loses? Absolutely. I think this is where the problem lies. The fact that selfishness is a taboo predates the problem of explosive attempts at resolving the calls of nature, that are, strokes of raw emotions.

The comical thing is that if this is indeed the case then the ressentiment person leads a much more deceptive life than a catchpenny noble who has accepted that selfishness is just fine. Also, maybe this is also why even the middle-class suffers a greater crime rate? In any way, I agree with Nietzsche about the hypocritical conception of morality.
 

Animekitty

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Helplessness leads to revenge fanticies. But more so depreciation of self. Without an outlet, anger can only turn inward.

My psychological report says I turned my anger inward. I felt humiliated and could not seek social acceptance for fear of reject and past rejection.

@nanook said this skews my view of gender roles. particularly that I wasn't allowed to be masculine. my maleness had been suppressed. and this caused the depreciation. I wasn't allowed to assert myself.

Another thing is that in Christianity if you do not control your impulses you go to hell. you must suffer abuse for God's glory again or go to hell. a rock and a hard place.
 

Cognisant

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Morality is indeed subjective, consider when one animal is hunting another and humans get in the way, such as when a seal jumps on a boat to escape a pod of orcas. Should the humans drive the boat back to shore thus saving the seal from the orcas, or should they shoo it off the boat and let nature take its course? As a predator does the orca have a right to eat the seal or does the seal have a right to live?

Morality as we know it is human morality and when we apply it to non-humans we project our humanity upon them, what would I think/feel about the humans driving away with my meal if I was the orca, what would I thing/feel about the humans saving me from the orcas if I was a seal? Unfortunately in this situation both species are highly relatable highly intelligent mammals so we don’t feel right about taking sides, but in this situation it’s impossible not to take a side, no matter what action is taken it will ultimately favour one species over the other.

Human morality only really applies to humans and when it applies to non-humans it’s because what happens to them affects us, when a crocodile eats a dog I feel sorry for the dog but I hold no grudge against the croc for simply feeding itself, unless that do is my dog or a dog belonging to someone in my family, then it’s not just a dog it’s a part of the family, my family, in which case I feel very entitled to beat the fucker with a cricket bat until it lets the dog go.
 

Glaerhaidh

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Following someone else's rules and values is a losing position, but prioritizing selfish behavior isn't the only alternative. Arguably some behavior is neither selfish or selfless and there is no effective morality in the absence of other people, but still a man needs to keep their world orderly regardless of the existence of other men. I assume that it slowly leads to Nietzsche saying that one has to create one's own value system and morality which is sensible.

Morality exists at the interface of human interests. A lot depends on your answer to some basic questions. How much can you be selfish? One could answer as much as necessary to protect one's interests, to avoid harming the other, as much as one can get away with and so on. Not everything can be easily codified, the non-material costs of some interactions depend on the emotional awareness, empathy or sense of guilt. A lot of it can be a consequence visceral reaction rather than a careful decision.

Which is worse to be excessively selfish when acting without thinking or to be excessively selfish when following conscious decisions?

Also what's the deal with all the philosophers obsessing over the evils of hypocrisy? Was there a reason that they were so obsessive over avoiding hypocrisy and always justifying their actions? Were they this much in doubt?

Being a hypocrite is a perfectly sane and valid choice as long as the person is aware that they are tolerating a form of double standards.

What Nietzsche never said was that being overly philosophical is for losers. Basically trying to justify and over-analyze every aspect of existence to the detriment of all else and without much progress is losing and yeah Nietzsche was a loser. He wasted his life on finding fundamental reasoning and justification and in the end he lost his mind.

Maybe he would be saved by a hypocritical action of pretending to be normal and interacting with other people like the pretending man that he always despised. Maybe he would see genuine external worth in others or their actions through all this toxic cynicism.

I don't think that he was able to create a system of values for himself however much he aspired to. He was a slave to his mind's obsessive desire to rant and spiral out of control. I have a terribly hard time respecting the thoughts of a man who spent his life trying to create inner order and achieving a completely opposite result. You had one job.
 

scorpiomover

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On the question you asked:
The question is, precisely how much right do we have to be selfish and to what extent is that right to be recognized. Can it be outlawed? No. Can be it be condemned publicly to cause severe psychosocial loses? Absolutely. I think this is where the problem lies. The fact that selfishness is a taboo predates the problem of explosive attempts at resolving the calls of nature, that are, strokes of raw emotions.
Selfish = self-ish, being somewhat oriented towards the needs of your self.

People who are completely un-selfish, would happily starve to death, rather than go out and get a job to feed them. He doesn't care about his needs.

People who are completely selfish, would happily take food away from a poor African family, so they have plenty, even when that means that the African family's children would likely die of starvation.

If you don't have your needs met on even a basic level, it's not unreasonable that you can take what you need. For that reason, in some religions, people who are starving and/or have starving children are allowed to steal food.

But if you have your needs met on a basic level, but you could enjoy a much nicer life, by taking food away from little African children, then it's not reasonable to take their food. Even if you do so with the permission of the law.
 

scorpiomover

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On your points about morality:

I am currently on polemic #12 of 'Genealogy of Morality' by Friedrich Nietzsche. His arguments are very interesting to percept and note. This particular polemic argues very precisely about what exactly is 'morality' in the eyes of a 'ressentiment person'.

According to Nietzsche, the ressentiment man's morality is a result of him separating the agent from the action and demanding the former to be absolutely unbound to latter. This basically means that if I slap a girl out of utter umbrage notwithstanding her actions, I am an immoral person per se because I (am supposed to) have the unfettered capacity to control my capriciousness and I am making a choice to not restrain myself. Thus, morality is actually talking about certain universals concerning the behaviour of the agents without considering the agents' predilections into account. Therefore, morality in an aspersing way, deliberate helplessness in order to cut down the ressentiment of being unable to act on a certain violation.

There are several implications of this:
1) That morality can be utterly subjective.
2) That morality is hypocrisy in a manner as it disallows the freedom to act on an impulse but allow it in a manner that conceals the impulse effectively in the garb of 'expectations'
3) That morality is dependent on the class of the person
4) That morality is not universal and can change with time
It's rather ironic that you mention that Nietzsche regards the ressentiment man as an example of morality. This is what wiki says about "ressentiment":

In philosophy and psychology, ressentiment (French pronunciation: [rəsɑ̃timɑ̃]) is one of the forms of resentment or hostility. The concept was of particular interest to some 19th century thinkers, most notably Friedrich Nietzsche. According to their use, ressentiment is a sense of hostility directed toward an object that one identifies as the cause of one's frustration, that is, an assignment of blame for one's frustration.[1] The sense of weakness or inferiority complex and perhaps even jealousy in the face of the "cause" generates a rejecting/justifying value system, or morality, which attacks or denies the perceived source of one's frustration. This value system is then used as a means of justifying one's own weaknesses by identifying the source of envy as objectively inferior, serving as a defense mechanism that prevents the resentful individual from addressing and overcoming their insecurities and flaws. The ego creates an enemy in order to insulate itself from culpability.

That describes a person or group, that blames the group's problems on another group, and shows resentment & hostility towards that group.

Would you agree that the Nazis blamed their country's problems on Jews, and showed hostility towards Jews?

You wouldn't call Nazis "moral", would you?

Well, Nietsche would, because they were ressentiment people.

The comical thing is that if this is indeed the case then the ressentiment person leads a much more deceptive life than a catchpenny noble who has accepted that selfishness is just fine.
Do you understand what that means?

If you are officially anti-racist, but blame the racism on your country on the evil Weepublicans, then you're a ressentiment man.

Maybe you are more likely to be hired as a rich lawyer than an African-American, because of the Weepublicans. But you didn't have to take the job.

Even if you took the job, you could have taken your extra $300,000 a year, and split it with the African-American who was also applying for the same job.

Do you think it is OK to take the job that you didn't deserve, and keep the money that you didn't deserve, and make African-Americans suffer, because it's the Weepublicans' fault?

Oh, but you vote Democrat, who say they are going to help the African-Americans.

Do you think it is OK to take the job that you didn't deserve, and keep the money that you didn't deserve, and make African-Americans suffer, because it's the Weepublicans' fault, if you also vote Democrat?

Also, maybe this is also why even the middle-class suffers a greater crime rate? In any way, I agree with Nietzsche about the hypocritical conception of morality.
Do you understand that Nietzsche is saying that since not raping children is considered part of morality, and the Nazis had morals, that you should permit paedophiles & rapists?
 

Animekitty

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Do you understand that Nietzsche is saying that since not raping children is considered part of morality, and the Nazis had morals, that you should permit paedophiles & rapists?

I don't think you understand how morality would be hypocritical given the circumstances under which it is defined by Nietzche's opponent criticism.
 

ZenRaiden

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People need to realize that no one will ever stop you from being selfish.

There is however difference between being selfish and being asshole about it.

Don't be an asshole and leave people alone and you can be as selfish as you like.
 

BurnedOut

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@scorpiomover I am positing Nietzsche's metaphysical arguments. One of the reasons why ressentiment persons are trolled by Nietzsche is because instead of voicing their grievances, they tend to take it out on a class altogether which causes them to base their morality on justification of lack of sensitivity in the other group. This was the crux of my argument. Instead of looking at the contradiction that Nietzsche is positing, you are holding morality of being a universal which is out of scope of what I am trying to highlight.
 

scorpiomover

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@scorpiomover I am positing Nietzsche's metaphysical arguments.
I recognise that Nietzsche is only arguing in a certain way, and one that validates his viewpoint.

But we need to consider both sides of the equation. A 1-sided viewpoint is not a strong one, and one that would not be held by an Ubermensch.

One of the reasons why ressentiment persons are trolled by Nietzsche is because instead of voicing their grievances, they tend to take it out on a class altogether which causes them to base their morality on justification of lack of sensitivity in the other group. This was the crux of my argument. Instead of looking at the contradiction that Nietzsche is positing, you are holding morality of being a universal which is out of scope of what I am trying to highlight.
I tend to like to remove redundancies from arguments. Morality is unnecessary here.

The ressentiment man blames his problems on others.

It doesn't matter if the issue is morals, or practical matters. The blame is the same, and so are the results.

The issue of the ressentiment man's morality is his resentment, not his morality. To resent someone means to dislike someone and to hope for their downfall. Resentment is bound to bias a person's moral code.

The hypocrisy of the ressentiment man lies in his ressentimence, in his desire to blame an innocent scapegoat for his personal suffering. He wishes to not suffer because he believes himself undeserving of such pain. But in turn, he wants to do the same thing he thinks he should not have to endure, to someone else.

The issue is a very good reason, why many people say that the best thing to do with grudges, is to let them go.
 

Animekitty

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The resentful person cannot act on their instincts so Christianity morality breeds resentment by suppressing instincts. because instincts simply represent in this instance a wrong that has happened but the suppression makes it personal like really disturbing fester personal. To act on instinct gets it out but Christian morality forces it in. It's to go against what is natural.
 

Yellow

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It seems like we're not talking about selfishness, but the freedom to act out whims and impulses without consideration for consequences.

People do seem to get resentful when they feel like they're being "held back", but is this actually selfishness, or simple immaturity?
 

scorpiomover

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The resentful person cannot act on their instincts so Christianity morality breeds resentment by suppressing instincts. because instincts simply represent in this instance a wrong that has happened but the suppression makes it personal like really disturbing fester personal. To act on instinct gets it out but Christian morality forces it in. It's to go against what is natural.
@Animekitty, modern psychology says that it's harmful to deny internally feeling your emotions and desires. But it's also harmful to outwardly express them in an inappropriate way. You can inwardly feel everything, without having to externally act on anything.
 
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