The means, not the ends, and on self-serving

In goodness the focus is on the means, and the ends take their course. Patience is a virtue found therein.

Self-serving boils down to “a focus on the ends”… goodness is ultimately self-serving as well but its longer-term, more patient, and not concerned with changes, not even concerned with the end (the end result is always deemed good when emergent from a good source).

This is why people convinced that they are good can be self-righteous… self-understood goodness is a factor of self-righteousness.

3 Responses to “The means, not the ends, and on self-serving”

  1. Leo Anschluss Says:

    Self-understood goodness? Is this proceeding deductively from the premise: I am good, therefore all that I do is good? That sounds more like delusion than virtue — wishful thinking, at best; something closer to outright evil at worst.

  2. briankoontz Says:

    For hypothetical example, lets say I work at a manufacturing facility making parts for cars. Those cars are part of the economy, which relates to the entire country. The whole country is the system, thus when the country is good I am good for participating in it.

    I’m focused on the means… my own participation and I believe the ends to be worthwhile.

    In a self-serving situation, instead of working within the system I merely work for myself. The ends (my personal ends) justify the means.

    Notice what’s happening here. The system is made up of billions of components. Its very stable. Tons of people talk about it. Lots is known about it. What it comes down to, is that there’s only *one* primary factor of good or bad… the system itself.

    With self-serving, the situation is chaotic because individual humans are extremely poorly understood compared to the overarching system in which they live. They have much shorter lives, many fewer people are talking about them, etc.

    My argument is that good people, people working within the system, are much more stable, much more confident in THEIR morality than people, however you’d like to define them, working outside the system. True (rather than affected) Self-righteousness is little other than an extreme confidence in their own morality (such that no debate or criticism is worth anything).

    With few exceptions like what is currently happening in America, its the outlaws, the dissidents, the disaffected, who are unsure of themselves… the people *within* the system are not unsure. In fact, they are *so* not unsure they are the only ones giving themselves the name Good…

    In America at the moment noone can *confidently* (and honestly) claim they are Good… how different we are from the days of WWII.

    Part of the reason its taken so long in America for people to see problems with America is that people see themselves as Good and therefore how can the system in which they live not produce Good? Now people are saying the system sucks, *therefore* the people that comprise it suck. Hence the self-loathing…

  3. Leo Anschluss Says:

    Self-serving sounds like masturbation by another name.

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