Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Bit of Clarifying

Selfishness vs enlightened self-interest.

The two are related but are not the same thing.

Enlightened Self-Interest recognizes the value and importance of others while selfishness has a "to hell with you" attitude toward others. Calling enlightened self-interest selfishness is like refering to the act of making love to one's wife as lechery or eating a healthy meal as gluttony. Lechery is the normal sex-drive run amok. Arrogance is healthy pride run amok. (healthy pride drives one to be the best they can while arrogance assumes you already are the best.) Gluttony is a healthy appetite run amok. Rage is indignation run amok. Selfishness is self-interest run amok. Healthy things become sin when they run amok and go out of control. Sadly in the English language there are no distinct and commonly used words to separate healthy and out of control lust or to separate healthy and out of control pride. The same with healthy and out of control self-interest. We are forced by the limitations of our language to use the same word for sinful and healthy expressions of these things.

There is a difference that is both subtle and enormous.

5 Comments:

Blogger The Vegas Art Guy said...

Good luck. Remember that writing is a process and revisions are the key to success.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Is The Vegas Art Guy telling you that you should revise this post? If so, I see nothing wrong with it.

At any rate, I agree, Shoprat, and even though we have so many words in the English language, we don't have enough.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Oh, I see. He was referring to your last post. Sorry!

11:28 AM  
Blogger benning said...

Well said, ES!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

what benning said.

4:50 PM  

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