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    Thread: Let's discuss favoritism! :D

    1. #1
      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      Let's discuss favoritism! :D

      Are you more likely to give a free grocery/restaurant item to your friend, or to a homeless dude?
      Would you care for an adopted infant as much as one you created yourself?

      If you chose "your friend" for the first question, or "no" to the second, then I have yet more questions for you. Why? Under normal circumstances, doesn't the homeless dude need the food more? What makes your friend so special? And as for the child, what makes your newborn genetic offspring more worthy of care than someone else's? Why bother creating a child, when you can adopt one that's already been born and is unwanted (while wasting less resources than if there were two needy children, too!)?

      And if you answered in the opposite manner for either question, why do you think these viewpoints are not reflected in the actions of society? Do you think impartiality is a virtue?

      Discus!
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      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

    2. #2
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      The problem with adoption is that it is so difficult for beaurocratic reasons that many people are not eligible to adopt, and even those who are, it is just much easier to get pregnant provided there is no infertility. Also while I myself would like to believe that I would care for a child equally if they were adopted, but I think that my parents would not care equally for an adopted grandchild and that would complicate things. I know I am more open minded than my parents. I would not want a child to experience the bad effects of favoritism by grandparents though.

      As for the free item to homeless versus friends: my husband is more active than me in community service but yes we do stuff for the homeless, and I would even call one homeless person a friend. What makes it more complicated though is that our best friends are barely scraping by - no they are not homeless, but they sometimes have trouble coming up with rent, so yes I probably would give them stuff before giving to the homeless or in addition to.

    3. #3
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      For the first question...I'm probably inclined to give free food to either. The only reason why I would lean more so towards the homeless it's because I've done it on several occasions. Depending on that particular friends social status, he or she may be denied.

      After really thinking about the question, I've given free food to friends as well. In the military during lunch, at the hospital, there was a rotation of people who had to count all the money for the people who were eating. (Due to the way the hospital works, a lot of people received additional pay because they may be working nights, and need to use the salary for food) When it was my turn to do head count, I used to hook a lot of people up with free meals, and they used to hook me up as well. I guess it was more of a "one hand washes the other" deal.

      I have to be honest, I'd rather make my child. Simply because I've already done it. The only reason I can see why people would rather opt for creating a child (other than all the paper work and crap) are the physical traits that are carried on. Healthy adopted children usually inherit their parents intelligence, so that's really not a factor. I think I wouldn't mind adopting, but I already have my one, and there's no scenario that would ever make me unmake her.

    4. #4
      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JoannaB View Post
      The problem with adoption is that it is so difficult for beaurocratic reasons that many people are not eligible to adopt, and even those who are, it is just much easier to get pregnant provided there is no infertility. Also while I myself would like to believe that I would care for a child equally if they were adopted, but I think that my parents would not care equally for an adopted grandchild and that would complicate things. I know I am more open minded than my parents. I would not want a child to experience the bad effects of favoritism by grandparents though.
      What if everyone thought like you? "Oh, my parents would favor genetic offspring, so even if I'm impartial, I can't actually act impartially." Why act on what your parents think? Why not try to dissuade them in their favoritism (not your grandparents specifically, per-say, but rational agents who respond to persuasive arguments)? Is your impartiality unjustified?

      Quote Originally Posted by Wade Wilson View Post
      For the first question...I'm probably inclined to give free food to either. The only reason why I would lean more so towards the homeless it's because I've done it on several occasions. Depending on that particular friends social status, he or she may be denied.
      Social status? Hmm, what does that matter?

      After really thinking about the question, I've given free food to friends as well. In the military during lunch, at the hospital, there was a rotation of people who had to count all the money for the people who were eating. (Due to the way the hospital works, a lot of people received additional pay because they may be working nights, and need to use the salary for food) When it was my turn to do head count, I used to hook a lot of people up with free meals, and they used to hook me up as well. I guess it was more of a "one hand washes the other" deal.
      Who washes the first hand, and why?

      I have to be honest, I'd rather make my child. Simply because I've already done it. The only reason I can see why people would rather opt for creating a child (other than all the paper work and crap) are the physical traits that are carried on. Healthy adopted children usually inherit their parents intelligence, so that's really not a factor. I think I wouldn't mind adopting, but I already have my one, and there's no scenario that would ever make me unmake her.
      In bold is a bad reason behind a preference. I've already smoked a cigarette, should I smoke another?

      Also, couldn't it be worse by your reasoning to create a child, since you can't predict all defects and disorders, and things are potentially clearer for an adopted child?
      Last edited by anderj101; 05-07-2013 at 03:27 AM. Reason: Merged
      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Abra View Post
      Social status? Hmm, what does that matter?
      If I'm going to risk my job, it's going to be for some homeless person, or a friend who's down and out financially. Not some guy I know who's making 100k year a year, and is just trying to get hooked up.

      Quote Originally Posted by Abra View Post
      Who washes the first hand, and why?
      Me. Even with extra income from separate rations, I felt soldiers didn't make enough money.

      Quote Originally Posted by Abra View Post
      In bold is a bad reason behind a preference. I've already smoked a cigarette, should I smoke another?
      Okay... How is having a child remotely close to having a cig? I never intended on having children at all, but what's done is done. I'm biased towards creating my own child based on my current daughter. That's not to say that I wouldn't ever be against adoption. I'm just stating what my choice would be.

      Quote Originally Posted by Abra View Post
      Also, couldn't it be worse by your reasoning to create a child, since you can't predict all defects and disorders, and things are potentially clearer for an adopted child?
      No....I have pretty good genes bro.

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Abra View Post
      What if everyone thought like you? "Oh, my parents would favor genetic offspring, so even if I'm impartial, I can't actually act impartially." Why act on what your parents think? Why not try to dissuade them in their favoritism (not your grandparents specifically, per-say, but rational agents who respond to persuasive arguments)? Is your impartiality unjustified?
      Did I not mention that my parents are not as open minded as me? Translate that to not rational, racist at times, etc. My father is a man who when he disagrees with one is always right (according to him) and is unlikely to be persuaded otherwise and much more likely to loose his temper or call me an idiot. My mother is much more emotional than rational most of the time, and although I would also say that I value emotions over reason many times but compared to my mother I am a paragon of rationality. I know that they would not approve of an adopted child because I have heard my mother's comments about someone else's adopted child, and my father due to divorce and remarriage in two generations has a grandchild whom in my mind he should call a grandchild, but I know he never will, ok? So I know for a fact that an adopted child would be unacceptable, and I would never expose my child to that if I could help it, and I could help it by having children whom I gave birth to I don't need my kids to feel unloved by their grandparents. You cannot force people to love their grand kids, and rationally arguing with them might possibly guilt them into pretending but that would not be enough. I can control my own prejudices and my own favoritism or hopefully lack thereof (I work hard on not showing any favoritism to either of my boys for example, and try to be as fair as I can be), but I cannot control the love and favoritism of others. And no, I cannot disown my parents, they are my parents no matter how flawed they may be at times. I know they both love me, and did well by me making sure I had a good education and was loved, and they mean well most of the time. They are however human. I love them despite their flaws, even if sometimes I get frustrated. Oh, and did I mention that I have low self-esteem and arguing with my dad is about as satisfying to me as going through a meat grinder?
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    7. #7
      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
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      While I'm more likely to give food to a friend than a stranger, I'm not more likely to care for my genetic offspring than adopted offspring. The questions are not comparable on that level. And it's not really favoritism, it's trust, relationships, community, and ultimately selfishness. If I had extra food, I'd help out one of my own because I depend on my people and want to maintain strong relationships with them. This does not mean I'd never consider giving food to a stranger down on their luck, but a lot of my friends are not necessarily in a much better position anyway.

      However, I see no difference between and adopted child or a step child and my own flesh and blood. They're still my kin.
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      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by JoannaB View Post
      and rationally arguing with them might possibly guilt them into pretending but that would not be enough
      (Don't mean to pick out unimportant inconsistencies but I feel like Abra may bring this up so it's an inb4 thing )
      How can someone be guilted into something as the result of a rational argument?

      To be honest I'm not sure what side I take on any of this, but I'll outline the underlying problem as I see it. The next paragraph may sound trivial and unrelated, but I feel it's necessary to clarify first.

      Obviously, if a person decides to do something, it's because they wanted to do it. And they wanted to do it because they think it will increase their happiness. Whether they're right or mistaken, whether it's short-term or long-term happiness they're after, whether it was a simple decision or they were conflicted; whenever someone decides to do something, it is because they think it will satisfy some desire(s) which they feel are most important at the time. And those desires can, of course, include altruism (feeling good because you've made someone else happy). These fundamental desires to be in certain states of mind cannot be changed through reason. We can, however, use reason to figure out how best to go about achieving these states of mind.

      We can also use reason, in some cases, to make ourselves realize that attaching a particular feeling to a certain outcome is irrational. For example, let's say some person got attacked by a dog when he was a child. Now, well into adulthood, he's still afraid of dogs. One day, he's arguing with a friend who convinces him that he has no rational reason to be afraid of dogs, as most aren't dangerous. He realizes that dogs are harmless from then on, but even with this realization, it may take a while, if ever, for him to actually stop feeling fear at the sight of a dog. On the other hand, some emotions are pretty much fixed to be attached to certain outcomes. These are often the ones that make sense. They're biologically ingrained in us, and we're justified in our reactions. As an extreme example, a needle pricking into your skin is going to make you feel pain. You can't rationally argue against it by saying "there's no rational reason why I should feel pain." (which isn't true, but even if it were...) As another example, consider a guy whose wife has died after 40 years of marriage. You cannot use reason to tell him that he shouldn't miss her. Yeah, he'd be a lot happier if he stopped missing her, but it isn't going to happen.

      The difference between that and the dog example should be clear. One can be altered with reason and the other can't. I'll also note that it isn't a black and white scenario. There may be some things that provoke us naturally but which can be overcome, etc.

      Most of us will feel a stronger desire to help a friend than a homeless person because we've evolved to survive in groups, to treat people who we know better and who are part of our group as more valuable than a stranger. Most of us will also prefer our own biological children to others, because those children share our genes, and caring for them will give us a greater chance to pass them on. Not that that's the psychological reason, just the evolutionary reason for why the psychology evolved. So, the underlying question is: are these emotional associations ones that can even be overcome with reason? If not, then we just need to accept them, even though it may be unfortunate. If it's virtually impossible for someone, no matter how much they've reasoned it out to themselves, to feel as much love for an adopted child as for their own offspring, then there's no use in calling them out on it for being irrational. They have no control over their greater love for their real children. But if it is a feeling that can be reasoned out of, those emotions can be rationally changed. A similar case can be made for the homeless vs. friend question.

    9. #9
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      What I mean by being guilted into pretending perhaps is that sometimes people may even be rationally persuaded to do something which they know is more acceptable or more politically correct or "the right thing to do", even though they emotionally or privately feel different about it. My parents are always politically correct to people of a different race, but I have heard comments which I know they would never make to those people's face. Similarly, if I adopted a child, I could maybe persuade my parents to treat such a child the same and pretend they did not feel differently about him or her, but if that child had worse grades in school than our natural born children, or got into trouble, my parents might or might not have the decency of not telling me that this was because the child was adopted, and I am sure they would not tell it in front of that child because my parents are not monsters - they are however prejudiced. I am not completely without any prejudice myself as well I am sure - I try hard to be open minded, and rational, and fair, but I know that even if at times rationally I know what is right, my emotions may be a different story. Also I am much more open minded and tolerant than I was as a teenager; I still kind of remember what it was like to be homophobic for example, but then in college I decided to change - I realized I was a hypocrite. So it is possible for people to overcome prejudice, but it's hard and it is harder I think the older one gets. And it is hard to overcome things one's family or one's religion taught one.

    10. #10
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      I really don't understand. I know plenty of friends who were adopted and are also total fuck ups and their parents treat them the same as if they were regular fuck ups.
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    11. #11
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      To answer your questions, it's because I'm a human and I'm irrational. Not trying to be a jackass here, it's just the truth.
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    12. #12
      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      Why not try to dissuade them in their favoritism (not your grandparents specifically, per-say, but rational agents who respond to persuasive arguments)? Is your impartiality unjustified?
      Quote Originally Posted by JoannaB
      Did I not mention that my parents are not as open minded as me? Translate that to not rational, racist at times, etc. My father is a man who when he disagrees with one is always right (according to him) and is unlikely to be persuaded otherwise and much more likely to loose his temper or call me an idiot. My mother is much more emotional than rational most of the time, and although I would also say that I value emotions over reason many times but compared to my mother I am a paragon of rationality. I know that they would not approve of an adopted child because I have heard my mother's comments about someone else's adopted child, and my father due to divorce and remarriage in two generations has a grandchild whom in my mind he should call a grandchild, but I know he never will, ok? So I know for a fact that an adopted child would be unacceptable, and I would never expose my child to that if I could help it, and I could help it by having children whom I gave birth to I don't need my kids to feel unloved by their grandparents. You cannot force people to love their grand kids, and rationally arguing with them might possibly guilt them into pretending but that would not be enough. I can control my own prejudices and my own favoritism or hopefully lack thereof (I work hard on not showing any favoritism to either of my boys for example, and try to be as fair as I can be), but I cannot control the love and favoritism of others. And no, I cannot disown my parents, they are my parents no matter how flawed they may be at times. I know they both love me, and did well by me making sure I had a good education and was loved, and they mean well most of the time. They are however human. I love them despite their flaws, even if sometimes I get frustrated. Oh, and did I mention that I have low self-esteem and arguing with my dad is about as satisfying to me as going through a meat grinder?
      notyourparentsspecificallynotyourparentsspecifical lynotyourparentsspecificallynotyourparentsspecific allynotyourparentsspecifically


      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      To answer your questions, it's because I'm a human and I'm irrational. Not trying to be a jackass here, it's just the truth.
      So, what your saying is, because humans are necessarily imperfect, we should not strive toward what is morally good? Or figuring out what "good" actually is? Because who the fuck cares, we're all irrational, so why try at all?

      That's sad.

      Also "because I'm human" isn't actually a valid answer to either question.
      Last edited by Abra; 05-13-2013 at 12:49 AM.
      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

    13. #13
      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dianeva View Post

      Most of us will feel a stronger desire to help a friend than a homeless person because we've evolved to survive in groups, to treat people who we know better and who are part of our group as more valuable than a stranger. Most of us will also prefer our own biological children to others, because those children share our genes, and caring for them will give us a greater chance to pass them on. Not that that's the psychological reason, just the evolutionary reason for why the psychology evolved. So, the underlying question is: are these emotional associations ones that can even be overcome with reason? If not, then we just need to accept them, even though it may be unfortunate. If it's virtually impossible for someone, no matter how much they've reasoned it out to themselves, to feel as much love for an adopted child as for their own offspring, then there's no use in calling them out on it for being irrational. They have no control over their greater love for their real children. But if it is a feeling that can be reasoned out of, those emotions can be rationally changed. A similar case can be made for the homeless vs. friend question.
      Ok. How do you "reason out of" evolutionarily-driven (therefore impure(?), as their end goal is merely to preserve genes) moral codes.


      Why are evolutionarily-driven moral codes sometimes bad.
      How do you reason out of them.

      ??
      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

    14. #14
      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by AURON
      How is having a child remotely close to having a cig?
      It isn't, but you haven't pointed out a relevant difference in when to/not to apply your reasoning, "because I've done it before" to decision-making. Why is "because I've done it before" a good reason for creating a child rather than adopting, while "because I've done it before" is a bad reason for smoking another cigarette?

      Based on my current child who is biological, I'd choose another biological one.

      Based on my current cigarette, I'd choose to smoke another.
      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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