Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 9:19 am
If you really meant intelligence over wealth for the upper tier, then it's my bad. But you have to admit when you talk of distribution, that would normally mean wealth.Ryan A wrote:First of all, I never meant to imply that upper tier meant "rich". To me, upper tier always mean "smart". I am not saying what is good for the upper 5% of the rich is all that matters. I am saying what the top 5% of intelligent people decide is what everyone should follow. My view on this could change with time but I am just saying right now, in the US, given the education level and corruption of the system. I also think it is more important to push human achievement than keep the average from bottoming out.
Unless you can show me some scientific evidence that shows this would somehow be bad, I will likely be unconvinced.
I would be all for a litmus test.
I am now willing to face the fact that not everyone can handle the same information. I wish it were not the case as it has lead me to some striking contradictions to hat I thought several years ago.
Not to start a personal fight Rucifer, but save for you being a historian who spends his life working on this subject, it is likely I appreciate the Renaissance at least as much as you. I should also add, I do not find the concept of "morality" useful. As far as I am concerned there is only selfishness and what one man can extract from another. That is the basis for all things, even apparent altruism. The golden rule is a consequence of large communities and the importance of reputation and social exchange, nothing more.
There is nothing of merit in the bible beyond an interesting fairy tale that could not be extracted from modern theories of social dynamics. I hope your comment was in jest. The fact that some people were able to ascertain the broad ideas of social interaction long ago merely speaks to how important they are. This does not speak to, as you call it, the importance of the bible today.
I think it would be hard to find scientific evidence considering the only way would be to give it a go. I'm not saying that idea wouldn't work, but intelligence doesn't always equal smart decisions. That's what wisdom is for. If you could find me the wisest of all and part them in charge, I'd be fine with that. Intelligence is better for discovering new technologies and advancements such as that, wisdom is better for leadership.
I don't know what has happened to you to make you so cynical towards certain things, but I wish whatever happened didn't happen. A healthy dose of cynicism keeps me from keeping duped by scammers and swindlers and if something is too good to be true, it probably is. I don't think it should cause you to just give up on the bulk of society though...
What you describe makes a man (or woman) sound no better than an animal. Some are of course, but I refuse to believe that. Yes, there is an apparent selfishness within us all, but even arguing it from an evolutionary standpoint, nature (notice I am not calling out god here) saw it fit to bestow upon us the emotions of empathy, compassion, sadness, etc. Why would be have such emotions if the self was all that mattered? If it was simply a matter of reputation as you put it, just to use an incredibly small example, why do people come on this website and try to help newbies with their questions of lifting? We are all anonymous on here and stand nothing to gain. But a larger example, why do we have people who sacrifice their own lives to save another? Reputation could not play a part here- it is simply a reaction from someone when they see another in danger. I refuse to trivialize their actions and simply say it was a matter of them being selfish.
The bible a jest? It's one of the major founders of all western society as we know it. Even if you find it silly you have to acknowledge that at least, and in my opinion that deserves a healthy dose of respect even if we don't truly believe in some of the tales within it. I do think some of the major moral truths that are in the bible such as the ten commandments were realized before it came about (and well, before the Torah as well I should say), but the bible, and religion in general, gave the basis to prevent lawlessness. They were the realization of things innately within us that as you put it, the broad ideas of social interaction, and at the time it made sense to say these ideas of morality were given to us from a higher power. Although I still think that makes sense, I acknowledge it would be just as simple to say we developed them naturally. But the bible spoke to so many throughout history, from the highest emperors of the Roman Empire and Kings thereafter, to the poorest and meekest of all. Clearly some of these truths must be more than simple fairy tales, even if they are surrounded by stories of the fantastic, and even if many believers in it do not walk the walk with it.
No offense, but yesterday I was picking a fight with my reply. I hope this post doesn't appear that way cause I'm not trying to be with this one. One more thing to point out, is that the Constitution was written by the "upper tier" of America at the time, so that proves a little bit of both our points. It's good to put the upper tier in charge, because some of them do look out and try to help those who cannot help themselves. Don't mistake what I said today and before this paragraph- I don't hate the wealthy or smart, and there are those who are pretty freaking great people who do a lot of good. I don't think all poor or bottom tier people represent some sort of Dickensian model were they are all good or moral people because of that. I do believe power corrupts those who are weak-willed, and I think the difference is I think that once you get into that position, who you are as a person is greatly amplified, so those who are in those positions have more of a social responsibility than those who aren't. Call it the luck of the draw, but being genetically or socially "gifted" comes with a price tag. So while its good to put those upper tier in charge, its only good so far as they have know they have a responsibility to look out for the people at the bottom. Those who aren't need to be removed. The founding fathers certainly saw this benefit, as they saw that when only the top tier is catered for, generally violent uprisings happen.