Ted Vollers wrote:
Wild animals have willingly maintained interactions with humans and thus presumably found some value in the interaction.
A problem that occurs with feeding wild animals is that it conditions a sort of expectation in them.
This is a real problem during long winters. If you feed the animals that come into the cities and yards, they will lose their fear of humans, and seek out populated areas when they get hungry or just include populated areas into their territories. It functions as limitation on their "decision space". In order to do it "right", it's necessary to place the feed in a spot where the animals would naturally find it.
Ted Vollers wrote:
I see no reason that one must know another personally and perhaps well or even intimately to care about them. If you fully understand the MBT model of reality, you understand that we are inherently as IUOCs all equivalent in a very fundamental way.
I understand what MBT says, but I can not honestly say that I know it is true or believe it. In my current appreciation it is plausible and probably a good model of reality to act by.
If a term is defined as meaningless, its consequent is meaningless as well. If there is no selflessness, selfishness ceases to have meaning.
No? One may look at it like a spectrum from 0 to 100, like Ted proposed for example. 0 would mean no potential, 100 alot.
Another way to look at it: air is meaningless to an airplane when it sits on the ground. When the airplane flies it is necessary. Potential to lift plane is propoportional to air speed, when air speed = 0, air might as well not exist and all lift is provided by the normal force of the landing-gear.
False little picture logic creates a catch 22 for the would be altruist. Any effort to improve themselves is selfish, yet to be truly altruistic requires self improvement. Logic dictates that one must be selfish to avoid being selfish. The logical conclusion is that altruism is a fraud.
Yes, this somewhat describes my position. Rather, most of altruism seems to fill this description, and it causes even more despair as a result.
I don't dispute that real honest altruism can exist.
Another angle; I think that people who do feed animals without enough forethought are honestly altruistic. But it might create more problems. The reason the intent is bad, is that they see how cute and cuddly they look.
Another good test; if this person you are considering to help is a murderer, a rapist, a racist, and completely disfigured - would you still feel as motivated to be altruistic towards him?
... then, by that logic, there is nothing other than the little picture, intent is irrelevant, action is all, there is no larger purpose, spiritual growth is a fantasy, and the self is the fundamental reality.
No, this does not follow by logic.
I'm agreeing that intent is crucial. The question then becomes, how do we help? What do we wish for those in need?