My hope is, if you truly want to be a good person, logic and reason will guide you there.

But my understanding is, if all you want to be is logical and rational, you might eventually find yourself in a very cruel way.

This is one of those "your axioms dictate what kinds of theorems you can prove" kinda things. If you do not take empathy as an axiom, you will never prove you should be good to people.

@SuricrasiaOnline its kinda like scientism - *science itself cannot provide the basis for ethics*

@SuricrasiaOnline not necessarily? If you're not good to people, they won't be good to you, therefore you should be good to people.

@popefucker Some people get around this by manipulating others, unfortunately.

But I get that what I said is probably not always true. It might be possible to discover goodness from something external, but I think exercising empathy is so powerful it shouldn't be passed up.

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@SuricrasiaOnline doesn't cooperation depend on empathy? and cooperation is kind of a good strategy to follow....ok that's not a very rigorous proof but i think it can be proven, it's just not intuitive

@grainloom Not necessarily. If someone hits you with a big fish every time you don't cooperate with them, you will eventually learn to cooperate with them. No empathy needed. I do think empathy leads to cooperation, though.

@grainloom This is assuming you do not like being hit with a big fish.

@grainloom @SuricrasiaOnline

I think cooperation can also occur for totally self interested reasons.


I always felt Spock's take on the Vulcan culture's philosophy was a good one: "It means to adopt a philosophy, a way of life which is logical and beneficial. We cannot disregard that philosophy merely for personal gain, no matter how important that gain might be."

Logical sans beneficial is lawful evil at best and chaotic evil at worst. (Or sheer foolishness, which leaves the "logician" at the mercy of the manipulators who want to use them and their own worst impulses.)

@SuricrasiaOnline A drive for logic and rationality at the expense of civility and empathy is something not worth trying to preserve

Being logical does not require being apathetic and mean-spirited.

To my understanding, rationality and logic rarely are an end, more often means to an end. See the people whose aim it to "win" at debates using "logic". I actually think that if your goal is to be logical and rational, you may actually end up marginally good, although a little cold maybe.
My reasoning is the following: even if you remove all emotions, leaving only logic and rationality, you will still end up caring for people that you identify depending upon. it will be cold, calculated caring, but at least it won't be gratuitous cruelty.
@SuricrasiaOnline "first with the head, then with the heart" i think is a good rule of thumb for that
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