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Poll

Is it rational to hold doors open for other people?

No.
- 2 (5.4%)
Yes.
- 28 (75.7%)
Depends on the person you're holding the door for.
- 7 (18.9%)

Total Members Voted: 21


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Author Topic: Holding Doors Open  (Read 14827 times)

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gibson042

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #60 on: April 02, 2007, 03:54:24 PM »

MD, what are your thoughts on the Prisoner's Dilemma?  You seem to have trouble with these situations, especially when iterated (as occurs in real life).  This gem from the article is particularly noteworthy: "selfish individuals for their own selfish good will tend to be nice and forgiving and non-envious." 

Incidentally, it turns out that a whole bevy of practical arguments for libertarianism stem from game theory; and indeed the non-aggression principle is a restatement in moral terms of the group-optimal "Tit for Tat" IPD strategy.
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bakerbaker

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #61 on: April 02, 2007, 07:17:13 PM »

i witnessed an interesting event today that kind of correlates to holding doors open for others...

I arrived at the science bldg. for a lecture, and i was just finishing smoking my cigarette when another lecture must have just gotten out.

a large group of people exited the building and started to head for the edge of the sidewalk.  One guy diliberatley stood in the middle of the street, blocking the path of a truck until the whole larger group of people (divided up into smaller cliques) had crossed the street.

peculiar.  i had never before it seen anyone take such an initiative.  the guy in the truck seemed pretty dumbfounded.
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zebraflood

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #62 on: April 02, 2007, 08:08:19 PM »

It's called "not being an asshole" in zebraspeak.

Please define your terms.
Isn't there a difference between being mean and not being nice?


Yeah, there's a difference between acting and not acting. I'd venture to say that in some circumstances refraining from action does not exempt one from condemnation though, although obviously no one should be required, or even expected, to act on anyone's behalf. This door thing seems kind of silly and I don't really care that much either way, to be honest. If all parties involved are able-bodied I'd say choosing to open a door for someone else is a neutral decision, neither good, bad, moral, immoral, rational or irrational by default. Such a person might have other ends in mind that the objective observer doesn't know about, thus changing the value of the decision. If the person approaching is disabled in any way, and opening the door requires a flick of the wrist, I would probably call you an asshole if you opted not to because "it isn't rational." That, however, would be a personal character judgment, and not necessarily any reflection upon whether or not the choices being made were "rational" or not.

Quote
Because the benefit comes about through irrational means. Your emotions are, by definition, not rational.

Can you flush this out a little more? Are you saying that feeling sad when someone I love is in pain, or feeling pleased, content, happy when it's sunny out or because I opened the door for no body in particular just because I felt like it are irrational responses? How so? Isn't pleasure the ultimate end in any life, with many different ways of being gained?
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Lindsey

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2007, 10:28:10 PM »

I don't believe he would consider feeling sad when someone you love is in pain/dead/etc. is an irrational use of emotions.  I think he's saying something more along the lines of your happiness because it's a pretty day is irrational.  I'm struggling to grasp the concept, myself.  Maybe I just don't get it because I feel 'normal' human emotion.  If that somehow makes me an irrational being, that's cool - I don't see the problem.  He doesn't make it very clear, and doesn't seem to want to hear the other side.  Mobile's a smart dude, just a little odd.   :shock:
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Taors

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #64 on: April 02, 2007, 10:58:41 PM »

I didn't bother to read the whole thread, but I do it because that's the way I was raised and it makes me feel good when people say "thanks" and I say "you're welcome".
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Lindsey

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #65 on: April 02, 2007, 11:01:50 PM »

I didn't bother to read the whole thread, but I do it because that's the way I was raised and it makes me feel good when people say "thanks" and I say "you're welcome".

That's okay.  Your answer was perfectly good anyway. 
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Taors

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #66 on: April 02, 2007, 11:06:07 PM »

My answers are always perfect.
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zebraflood

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #67 on: April 02, 2007, 11:18:44 PM »

I don't believe he would consider feeling sad when someone you love is in pain/dead/etc. is an irrational use of emotions.  I think he's saying something more along the lines of your happiness because it's a pretty day is irrational.  I'm struggling to grasp the concept, myself.  Maybe I just don't get it because I feel 'normal' human emotion.  If that somehow makes me an irrational being, that's cool - I don't see the problem.  He doesn't make it very clear, and doesn't seem to want to hear the other side.  Mobile's a smart dude, just a little odd.   :shock:

He said emotions aren't rational. I won't know whether or not I agree until he explains. It is possible for actions resulting from an emotion to be irrational, through irrational thinking, but I don't think emotions are irrational in themselves. I'll have to think about it a little more. I'm not sure there's any way to qualitatively compare the reaction to the death of a loved one and the cheer brought on by a pretty day, and say that one is valid while the other is not. If one is irrational, they both must be.


Bat country.

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Lindsey

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #68 on: April 02, 2007, 11:21:26 PM »

I don't believe he would consider feeling sad when someone you love is in pain/dead/etc. is an irrational use of emotions.  I think he's saying something more along the lines of your happiness because it's a pretty day is irrational.  I'm struggling to grasp the concept, myself.  Maybe I just don't get it because I feel 'normal' human emotion.  If that somehow makes me an irrational being, that's cool - I don't see the problem.  He doesn't make it very clear, and doesn't seem to want to hear the other side.  Mobile's a smart dude, just a little odd.   :shock:

He said emotions aren't rational. I won't know whether or not I agree until he explains. It is possible for actions resulting from an emotion to be irrational, through irrational thinking, but I don't think emotions are irrational in themselves. I'll have to think about it a little more. I'm not sure there's any way to qualitatively compare the reaction to the death of a loved one and the cheer brought on by a pretty day, and say that one is valid while the other is not. If one is irrational, they both must be.


Bat country.



Yeah, I know what he said, and what he's been saying.  I'm as unsure as anyone, since he kind of specifies certain things here and there. 
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voodoo

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #69 on: April 03, 2007, 05:29:00 PM »

I don't believe he would consider feeling sad when someone you love is in pain/dead/etc. is an irrational use of emotions.  I think he's saying something more along the lines of your happiness because it's a pretty day is irrational.  I'm struggling to grasp the concept, myself.  Maybe I just don't get it because I feel 'normal' human emotion.  If that somehow makes me an irrational being, that's cool - I don't see the problem.  He doesn't make it very clear, and doesn't seem to want to hear the other side.  Mobile's a smart dude, just a little odd.   :shock:

He said emotions aren't rational. I won't know whether or not I agree until he explains. It is possible for actions resulting from an emotion to be irrational, through irrational thinking, but I don't think emotions are irrational in themselves. I'll have to think about it a little more. I'm not sure there's any way to qualitatively compare the reaction to the death of a loved one and the cheer brought on by a pretty day, and say that one is valid while the other is not. If one is irrational, they both must be.


Bat country.



Yeah, I know what he said, and what he's been saying.  I'm as unsure as anyone, since he kind of specifies certain things here and there. 

I'm thinking the two are divorced.  Reason and emotion can result in the same conclusion, different conclusions, and/or inhibit each other.  Other than inhibition, I don't think there is a relationship between the two.
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Bill Brasky

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #70 on: April 03, 2007, 06:26:22 PM »

Being anti-social to this degree indicates emotional problems. 
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Taors

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #71 on: April 03, 2007, 06:51:56 PM »

Pretty much.
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tc2007

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #72 on: April 03, 2007, 08:52:34 PM »

I also did not read the whole thread just wanted to put in my two cents.
Why would you let the door slam in someones face? If there is enough space between you and the following where it is actually causing you to waste time and possibly heat or ac to go out, then by all means let it shut and go on with your biz. But if you want to promote good social skills to your children and not raise them as rude and inconsiderate, then lead by example. When I become old and possibly crippled I will greatly appreciate the returned favor that I extended earlier in my life. But it would be irrational to hold open the door and stand in the way!
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Bill Brasky

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #73 on: April 04, 2007, 05:35:25 AM »

Its really not about doors.  The doors are just a metafore.  This is an exercise about extending effort due to social parameters.  This is about anarchy, and the mindset of being without the burden of any expected social attachment. 

I argue that existing within society requires some level of acceptable reciprocity.  If you are incapable or unwilling, fine.  Don't give. 

Believe it or not, I get the point of this "Holding doors open" question, and the sadness thread.  At the very core, you are right. 

But you really can't do it that way. 
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MobileDigit

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Re: Holding Doors Open
« Reply #74 on: April 04, 2007, 08:30:03 AM »

MD, what are your thoughts on the Prisoner's Dilemma?

That there is a difference between being mean and not helping others.


How is this chain of events irrational if I recieve a benefit that I am aiming for when I voluntarily engage in an activitiy?
Because the benefit comes about through irrational means. Your emotions are, by definition, not rational.
Can you flush this out a little more?

Shouldn't action that gives you pleasure have a rational reason for giving you pleasure?

I don't understand why one should feel pleasure to open doors for others, and saying that "It's good manners." is a non sequitur for me.

Are you saying that feeling sad when someone I love is in pain

I can't see of any rational basis for feeling sad. What is the point of it?

or feeling pleased, content, happy when it's sunny out

At least this makes some sense. Feeling happy in this case has a rational cause, the physical pleasure from radiation.

because I opened the door for no body in particular just because I felt like it are irrational responses?

I don't understand why one should feel pleasure for helping someone.

Isn't pleasure the ultimate end in any life, with many different ways of being gained?

Yes, but shouldn't these many ways have a reason for giving you pleasure?

I don't believe he would consider feeling sad when someone you love is in pain/dead/etc. is an irrational use of emotions.  I think he's saying something more along the lines of your happiness because it's a pretty day is irrational.

Actually, it's the opposite. Feeling happy is at least conducive to productivity.

Feeling sad does not make any sense. Things don't get better because you grieve.

He doesn't make it very clear, and doesn't seem to want to hear the other side.

Why do you think this?


it makes me feel good when people say "thanks"

Why?


I don't think emotions are irrational in themselves.

It depends on which way you are using the term irrational.

It can mean either it doesn't even try to be logical, or it tries and fails.


Being anti-social to this degree indicates emotional problems.

Why is not caring for others in and of themselves a problem?

I think it give me a competitive advantage over you.


Why would you let the door slam in someones face?

Because there is no reason for me to care about them other than to advance my own interests.

But if you want to promote good social skills to your children and not raise them as rude and inconsiderate, then lead by example.

Why is it rude to not help others?


I argue that existing within society requires some level of acceptable reciprocity.

Why?

Believe it or not, I get the point of this "Holding doors open" question, and the sadness thread.  At the very core, you are right.
But you really can't do it that way.

Why not?
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