Thursday, February 9, 2006

Debunking statist concepts - Altruism part 2

Let's continue :

Evolutionary theory gives an excellent explanation for their rise, and the Bible commands God's followers to practice both forms as well.

And the moral fallacies rear their ugly head. It's hard for statists to conceive of a morality that is not fabricated or taken from instincts. To acknowledge people's values as important would require them to concede to individualism. Evolutionary theory (which by the way is not a moral theory) and the Bible both ignore the individual, and therefore are better sources for the statist, than plain reality, which unfortunately disagrees with them at every turn.

Evolutionary theory does explain "altruism", as Hamilton's Rule. The reason why it exists, however, is not because of irrationality or sacrifice. Hamilton's Rule exists because it is the GENE, not the ORGANISM, which is the unit of survival in evolution. It is genes that are "egoist", and whose survival is selected for, even though this is of course metaphorical since neither the organism nor the gene have free will. This has led Dawkins to call one of his books "The Selfish Gene". So even if we stretch the poor metaphor, instead of proving altruism, Hamilton's Rule actually proves the power of individualism and the cooperation of individual elements to form organisms/societies.

The Bible proposes very irrational moral principles (if we can call them that), but it does not prove altruism. People follow their religious sect because they gain moral standing from it, as well as a feeling of self-righteousness. Religion is a position of pure hedonism, as opposed to a disciplined search for truth. It has nothing to do with valid, rational morality.

Furthermore, the Bible definitely does not advocate parenting. "Jesus" explicitly advocated against this value, urging people to break up their families (Luke 14:26, Matthew 19:29). It also states that the family structure, if it exists, should be understood solely on the basis of power relationships based on religion - the Church comes first, then the man, then the woman, then the children.

The Bible also does not advocate charity, Kangas' second point. "Jesus" said that the poor would always be with us, and that his well-being was more important than helping them (Mark 14:7). The Bible also states that the less fortunate should drink their worries away (Proverbs 31:6-7)

Do evolution and the Bible support Kangas' claims ? Not even close. But that doesn't stop statists from parroting these fallacies.

In truth, however, people practice altruism most cheerfully only among those in their own class; they resent giving or sacrificing for other classes, either higher or lower.

Here we fall into the same fallacy as before. If people "practice altruism cheerfully", then how is it altruistic ? Altruism precludes being "cheerful" - to be cheerful is an expression of value-fulfillment. And what about class warfare ?

It may seem obvious, but reducing class inequality would reduce class warfare and class resentment -- in both directions.

Definitely. Democracy is the main source of class inequality, and creates social warfare between segments of a society, and generates resentment. And yet Kangas, as we'll see in a future entry, supports democracy. So what is his solution ? To inflate government power, to redistribute more money and create even more inequality and social warfare ?

Unfortunately for him, we individualists have the monopoly on class warfare rhetoric. We understand that the root of social warfare is democracy. As the power of government grows, so do the domains in which it inflitrates itself. As these domains become more and more numerous, more and more people become more and more embroiled in government affairs. As more and more people become involved, they inevitably lose resources, time, energy in supporting or fighting government regulations, and this pushes them to fight to use that power against their opponents. And the popular ideas, the corporations, the powerful, always win.

All the measures ever taken to so-called "help the poor" - the welfare state, minimum wage, coercive unions, protectionism - have been a disaster for the poor and are based on evil premises. The minimum wage was originally used to try to keep women, who had lower-paying jobs, out of jobs after WW2. Now it is used to keep the youngest, the poorest and least educated out of jobs. Trying to keep jobs "in the country" only serves to keep lower-paying, more demanding jobs within one's country, stopping progress in the workplace, and preventing third-world countries from progressing. All these measures, like any other government measure, serves only one real purpose : to expand and legitimize government.

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