Tuesday, April 10, 2012

“Premature extrapolation, aye!”

An interesting new race appeared on B5. Their distinctive characteristic is that they support the natural selection, in that they do not believe in helping the weaker species survive. After all, the weaker die and the stronger prevail. This raises the question of morality – is it right to help the needy or should we simply not care? Unfortunately, the problem was not explored in depth in B5.

To be fair, not giving a care in the world about other people (not just the inferior ones) does has its perks. For one, a person can commit fully to one’s own well-being. This means the possibility of manipulation without disruptive ethics. Note that it is merely a possibility, an opportunity, a chance to be seized if one were in that frame of mind. If one were not, the lack of caring enables a person to concentrate on one’s own personal interests for one’s own personal gain. Less time spent helping others means more time for oneself. Not to mention one never has to think about other people’s problems. And then some.

However, empathy can work in one’s best interests as well. By making and/or helping those close to us be effective and reach higher goals gives a person close connections at high and/or useful places. Not to mention a safety net if something were to go terribly wrong. Alas, if something were to go terribly wrong for someone you care for, nobody likes going down on one’s own. It’s a high risk, high reward kind of situation.

If one were to ask Kant about it, he’d say helping the weak one’s would indeed be the ‘right’ thing to do. After all, categorical imperative supports doing what one holds best to be a general rule of action. Complete denial of inferior people (subjective to each person) means potential denial of the person that starts the chain of categorical imperative. Hence it is not in the best interests of the person to create a society where he might be a victim of his own actions and views. Hence caring for inferior people means being cared for by superior people.

In conclusion, not caring for the little guy can prove to be useful at times, but as a general rule, making sure that you don’t lose anything by letting someone else rot gives better results. In this case, the means justify the ends, until a person innately starts helping the little guy, after which the ends start justifying the means. Helping others makes us better people, which is personal gain. Helping others is an action that makes us feel good. Everyone’s a hypocrite. When we do stuff for our own gain, it doesn’t even matter if its moral. It matters whether it looks moral or not. If it looks moral, it benefits us even further. If it doesn’t, it decreases our personal gain. And it definitely looks more moral to help others. By doing that we help ourselves. Donkeys.


“Expect me… when you see me.”

John Wood & Paul Harrison "One more kilometre" from Kulturhuset on Vimeo.


And a special quote from Dirk Gently: “Henry was born in 2007 and he died in 2006. He had 14 happy years in between them.”

As a note, Henry was a cat that accidentally and unintentionally took part of a time travel experiment.

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