[ExI] People are Genuine Altruists, Sociopaths, or Confused/Moody

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sun Sep 14 00:33:10 UTC 2008

At 05:11 PM 9/13/2008 -0700, Lee wrote:

>I ascribe "genuine altruism" to people whose
>behavior is exemplified by
>      a. leaving a tip in restaurants even though the
>          waiter mentioned that he's moving back to Mexico
>          in less than an hour (and won't be talking to anyone
>          about your less than generous behavior)
>      b. letting someone out of a crowded parking lot in
>          front of your own vehicle, although that only slows
>          you down, makes it more likely that you'll not make
>          it past the next yellow light, while all the time there is
>          almost chance that the driver of that vehicle will ever
>          or even would be able to hold it against you

This is truly bizarre. (a) You really think it takes a "genuine 
altruist" to honor a contract and to do so routinely? For that is the 
understanding between you and the waiter. [This is something it takes 
an Aussie a while to grasp, since tipping is or used to be frowned on 
in Oz and waiters were paid extra so bills go up a bit] (b) You 
really think it takes a "genuine altruist" to act in accord with a 
principle that, if generally acted upon, eases everyone's life, 
reduces everyone's tension, decreases the chances of costly accidents, etc?

Damien Broderick

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