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Magnus Eisengrim
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Warren Buffett, probably the world’s most successful investor, has said that anything good that happened to him could be traced back to the fact that he was born in the right country, the United States, at the right time (1930).


Of course we like to think that we deserve our success because we are awesome. And of course some of that is true. But how much of our success is due to being born fortunately? With food, nutrition, political freedom, education, support in our families and/or communities?

Yeah, I know. Nobody handed you anything; you had to earn it yourself. Yeah.

But what about the conditions that make our "earning it ourselves" possible?

What makes me worthy of my luxurious life, while someone of equal ability and work ethic born in, say, sub-Saharan Africa doesn't have such a lovely life? What makes me so awesome?

Of course, these are age-old questions.

The Economist published an interesting article about this. Where do the lottery winners live? They come to the conclusion that when it comes to life opportunities, "boring is best".

For those who love such things, yes, the article posts a list. I recommend you ignore it. And think about how incredibly lucky you are.

And maybe use some time today to think about whether your luck comes all tied up with some responsibility too.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Pakar Ilusi
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Unless I get another life to compare with, I could not really answer that to any certain extent. Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Dannydoyle
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I think the better question is what is proposed as a solution? And how are those solutions going to be imposed upon others? Oh and what if others do not want to have this solutions imposed upon them?

See I have a simple solution for the phony hand wringing. Buffett can give away all his money except enough to eat and keep a rid over his head. One room. That should equalise quite a few people I should imagine. Then and only then can he even think about telling anyone else about fair. Same for anyone. Just give away all you have and get rid of your guilt. That way we can learn from your example.

Till then it is just chin wagging. Nothing more.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Magnus Eisengrim
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Solution to what? What is the problem that requires solving, Danny?
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Dannydoyle
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Not playing John.

Do you think the inequality is something that needs to be addressed?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Magnus Eisengrim
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On Feb 3, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
Not playing John.



Thank you.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
LobowolfXXX
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Buffet would fit right in here at NVMS with that fine example of overstating a valid point the point of ridiculousness.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
tommy
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"Remember that you are an Englishman, and have consequently won first prize in the lottery of life."

- Cecil Rhodes
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
NYCTwister
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Quote:
On Feb 3, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:

What makes me worthy of my luxurious life, while someone of equal ability and work ethic born in, say, sub-Saharan Africa doesn't have such a lovely life? What makes me so awesome?

And maybe use some time today to think about whether your luck comes all tied up with some responsibility too.


So the question comes down to whether those born in their given situations/circumstances, owe those born into lesser circumstances, and are in turn owed something by those born into better circumstances than they were.
No.

Do we owe humanity, the global society, something since we take part of it? I
MO, yes by initiating no violence, taking nothing that doesn't belong to us, and producing more than we consume.

What are your answers to the questions you posed Magnus?
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
NYCTwister
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On Feb 3, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
Just give away all you have and get rid of your guilt.



Why should anyone feel guilty about having what they honestly earned?

Why do they, if that is the case?
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
mastermindreader
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No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.


- John Donne
Magnus Eisengrim
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On Feb 3, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
Quote:
On Feb 3, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:

What makes me worthy of my luxurious life, while someone of equal ability and work ethic born in, say, sub-Saharan Africa doesn't have such a lovely life? What makes me so awesome?

And maybe use some time today to think about whether your luck comes all tied up with some responsibility too.


So the question comes down to whether those born in their given situations/circumstances, owe those born into lesser circumstances, and are in turn owed something by those born into better circumstances than they were.
No.

Do we owe humanity, the global society, something since we take part of it? I
MO, yes by initiating no violence, taking nothing that doesn't belong to us, and producing more than we consume.

What are your answers to the questions you posed Magnus?


I'm not worthy; I'm lucky.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
NYCTwister
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Quote:
On Feb 3, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
Quote:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.


- John Donne


Very nice.

So by using that analogy when a murderer or child molester dies, humanity is the lesser for their death?
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
LobowolfXXX
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Yeah, it's a good poem, but I gotta say I don't feel particularly diminished by, say, Ted Bundy's (to call back another thread) death.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
tommy
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Very nice illusion: There are no forests, there are only individual trees. Forests are merely an abstraction.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
mastermindreader
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NYCtwister-

If you don't understand the poem there are some excellent on-line study guides.

Besides, why are you now changing the subject? We were talking about our obligations, if any, to those born in less fortunate circumstances than our own, not child molesters or murderers.

And that's why the poem is relevant.
Dannydoyle
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None. You are born with NO obligations.

If you CHOOSE to do things to benefit humanity then good. But you are not "obligated" to.

You had no choice in your birth, so you can not be obligated by it to do for others.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
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Many Americans are lucky to have got across the border.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
rockwall
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Quote:
On Feb 3, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
...
Of course we like to think that we deserve our success because we are awesome. And of course some of that is true. But how much of our success is due to being born fortunately? With food, nutrition, political freedom, education, support in our families and/or communities?
...


I would guess that if polled, close to 100%, (higher than 95% I'm certain), of US conservatives would say that they were supremely fortunate to be born within the US. An equally high percentage would go on to say that they believe the US to be the greatest country that has ever existed which is why they are so grateful for having been born here. I know, how terribly jingoistic of them!

Now, in the same poll, I'm not really sure how many on the left would be happy about their birth circumstances. Probably also a large percentage. Although, while happy at being born here, I suspect a large percentage of them would answer the near opposite to the second question.

As to whether we owe someone something for our good luck. Well, the answer to that may also be found in polls and practices. While studies have shown that conservatives are much more generous at donations to charity, the left also believes that they are quite generous. Of course, to the left, generous means, "how much can I take from my neighbor to give to those less fortunate than me."
NYCTwister
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On Feb 3, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
NYCtwister-

If you don't understand the poem there are some excellent on-line study guides.

Besides, why are you now changing the subject? We were talking about our obligations, if any, to those born in less fortunate circumstances than our own, not child molesters or murderers.

And that's why the poem is relevant.



Mastermindreader,

I understand the poem perfectly, thank you. In addition I prefer to use my own mind to evaluate things,
so no thank you, I don't need any online guides. You of course are free to read as many as you feel the need to.

I did not change any subject. I merely pointed out how a quaint, feel good poem, which makes an analogy equating humanity, as a whole, to a land mass is wrong to make such an analogy.
Back in Brooklyn we called them logical fallacies, but what did we know? I was raised by, and continue to be, a very literal person.

"Any man's death diminishes me, Because I am involved in mankind" is what the poet said and he is wrong. In more ways that the example I pointed out, but I choose not to digress.

As far as what anyone owes the "less fortunate" I gave my opinion above in no uncertain terms.

So, Mastermindreader, do you think we're obligated to those born into less fortunate circumstances than yourself? If so, what is the nature of that obligation and why do you bear it?

If you do think you have such an obligation, do you think those born into more fortunate circumstances than you owe you a similar debt?

I had to ask you directly, since you chose to post a poem instead of stating your opinion directly.
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
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