1. Shahar
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    Shahar Member

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    Are some peaple more deserving?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Shahar, Sep 3, 2011.

    Just a debate I fell into some time ago that still keeps me thinking.
    The main point is- Do peaple who fell into bad situations and climbed out, are more deserving then others?
    Does falling into a pit and climbing out makes you more deserving of hapinness and respect then those who had'nt fall at all?

    For example: A person who quit smoking is more respectful then a person who never smoked in his life?
    Sure, There are more examples that are far more severe.

    I've been told yes, they are more deserving. But I disagree. I cant help but thinking that in life you can get to the same point as others while taking different rodes, developing into the same point by taking different actions. That happiness, respect and wealth are traits we can earn and deserve by different actions.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Christopher Stile
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    Christopher Stile Member

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    I think it depends on the circumstances. First off, if someone does believe themselves to be more deserving because they did quit smoking, they are automatically less deserving.

    But it pretty much depends on your opinion. My personal opinion is that if they fall into a pit through no fault of their own, and then climb out, they are deserving of respect. If someone falls into a pit, and then realizes their err and climbs back out, they are deserving. Also, if someone knew enough to not fall into a pit, they are just as deserving of respect as the ones who fell in. But if someone falls in(back to the smoking example) and simply crawls back out through no decision of their own, say if they're still in high school and their parents control their lives until they quit(bad example i know) or if their significant other threatens them to quit, they are less deserving. Because they simply did what others told them to do. They climbed out through others. But if others help is necessary for a really deep pit, we are back to square one.
     
  3. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends how they fell, and indeed what they fell into.

    As a rule, those who do good in life, I hope, get their fair share of happiness and all good things in return.
     
  4. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    This feels like a loaded question to me.

    How I'd like the world to work? People who experience tragedy catch a break and get good things. People who do wretched things have horrid things visited on them.

    How the world actually works is a mixed bag on that. Some people are totally amazing and keep getting the rug yanked out from under them. I've known a couple people who were just totally amazing that died way too young from cancer. They were both positively brilliant. I've also known people who do horrid things and (at least seem to) get away with it.

    Then again I wonder if these people would be so amazing had they lived a charmed life. *shrug*

    I do believe that if you are cruel that people will be cruel to you in return and vice versa.
    Not always but in general yes. People will not come to your aid if you've hurt them most of the time.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's a lot more simple than that. It all comes down to the fact that a) nobody is deserving, and b) even if you did deserve something, that doesn't mean you were going to get it.
    You only get what you strive for, work towards, persevere, but not desire. You don't get what you desire unless you work toward it.

    It has nothing to do with karma or your own personal struggles. It's all about your willingness to take what you want and screw anyone else. That's probably the greatest skill in any human.
     
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  6. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I want to say everyone's equal, so no one deserve more respect than others. However, I don't think the real world works like that. I think if a person have smoked for a long time and managed to quit deserve more respect than someone who has never smoked his entire life, but only because the person who stopped smoking might fall back and start to smoke again if not encouraged to stay smoke-free. Or to use the hole analogy: If a person jumped in by his own free will, realized his mistake and climbed back out again, he will still balance on the edge for a long time. Maybe his entire life. He deserve more respect, but only because it's the one thing keeping him from falling back into the hole.
     
  7. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Great question. Science provides a definitive answer.

    Going with your smoking example, we might say that it takes a good deal of will-power or discipline or character to stop smoking. It might also be said that smoking is a temptation that non-smokers are resisting. (After all, it looks cool, gives one's hands something to do, is a distraction in times of difficulty etc)

    We have two people: Cool Kevin and Conscientious Keith.

    Kevin once smoked but no longer smokes.
    Keith has never smoked.

    Let's take a scientific look at how much discipline Kevin has exercised, how much character he has shown, over the last ten years, vis-a-vis his smoking activities:

    Year 1. Starts smoking. He displays 0 character units.
    2. Still smoking. 0 units.
    3. 0
    4. 0
    5. 0
    6. 0
    7. Kevin stopped smoking. A grand effort. 50 units
    8. Still stopped. A nicely sustained effort at shaking his habit. 30 units
    9. Not smoking. Requires a modicum of effort. 10 units
    10. Still not smoking. 10units

    Over a ten year period, Kevin has shown character to the tune of 100 units. Good job, Kevin!

    What about Keith? For ten years has not succumbed to temptation. Each and every year he has shown ten units of character. Now, 10x10= 100, so:

    Over our ten year period, Keith has shown character to the tune of 100units. Nicely done, Keith!

    Therefore, since 100=100, science dictates that both Keith and Kevin are equally deserving of our respect. Well done, science!
     
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  8. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    To art's response, I only have to say that you're assuming that Keith thinks smoking is actually cool, that it's actually a temptation for him. In that case, he deserves those points. What about me? I tried it once to see what the fuss was about and never tried again. It was never a temptation for me, but a few friends seemed to think it was great, and I figured, "Don't knock it 'til you've tried it."

    By that sort of system, I shouldn't get any points towards smoking, but apparently from avoiding smoking, I get 100 over ten years.

    (Also, a points system? REALLY?)
     
  9. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Science, dear boy, science.
     
  10. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Science is a human construct, a study of things that are as inconsequential as our lives. These things may govern existence, but existence takes no notice of them. It observes its rule and goes on.
    Only humans are arrogant enough to deny life its licence of being lived.
     
  11. DBTate
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    DBTate Senior Member

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    A good question. But to be blunt, it's a question that's too hard to answer definitively because of all the variables. Also, it's highly dependant on individual opinion.

    For example:

    A) Person who was raised in poverty with inept and uncaring parents, manages to become CEO of a company.

    B) Person who was raised in a well off, loving, attentive family, manages to become CEO of a company.

    It's easy to say person A is more deserving of respect, though it's hard to say person B is less deserving of respect, per se.
     
  12. Shahar
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    Shahar Member

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    The best debates dont have a definite answer, dont they?
    Regarding your example; When you look at it from the family prespective, isnnt maintaining wealth ist just as respectful as gaining it?

    Oh, and art - in science you cant get an answer of quantity with variables that cant be measured. You cant measure discipline with numbers. But I Get your point nonetheless.

    But what about peer pressure? Isnt that a factor? Not all have such an easy time saying 'No, I'll be who I am. I dont have to be like them.'
     
  13. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    No one is really deserving of anything. I dislike the idea of deciding who is more deserving of "something" (I take it to mean respect). We all come from different paths of life with different challenges, and those experiences shape and define who we are. Some are good some are bad... and someone from one path of life has no right to judge whether someone from another point of life is deserving of the same respect. It is horribly judgmental and ignorant.

    Perhaps it would be better if we could all be compassionate and understanding of others. I know it is impossible to do that all the time, but it would be better to spend your energy trying to do that rather than discussing who is more deserving of respect. We all are. :)
     
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  14. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    That'd be on a different level to the smoking itself. If you're going against peer pressure, you're not going against smoking. Smoking or whatever you're being pressured into isn't even a factor. You'd (hypothetically) get points for a) resisting the peer pressure or b) realising your so-called mates are idiots and finding a new crowd who don't mind you being you.
     
  15. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Mercurial is right. It pays to remember each individual's fundamental humanity and what is due them as an autonomous individual.
     
  16. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd like to say I don't care about the backgrounds of people who reach positions of power/influence in society. If we lived in a truly fair world it wouldn't even matter. However, having seen up close the powerful effects of nepotism in the legal profession, I unequivocally have more respect for someone who has reached the heights of the legal profession without the helping hand of friends in high places. Naturally, not as many people from poor backgrounds have rich friends to call upon for favours so there are fewer of them to admire. They do exist though. My automatic reaction is to think they are probably more gifted than someone from a privileged background.

    It doesn't mean privileged people aren't good at the jobs they are often shoehorned into, but to pretend we live in egalitarian societies is denying the considerable obstacles some have to overcome to even begin to compete.
     
  17. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    There's no hard-and-fast rule for it. It's a case-by-case thing. I've known people who have never fallen hard to be deserving, and others who have fallen far to be less deserving.
     
  18. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    For the purposes of the thread, I've rather simplified the conclusions of the recent literature.

    Broadly, and leaving aside confounders like position and wealth, humans (those in the West at least) accord respect to displays of character and wisdom.

    So, the figures previously presented are an admixture of various things but chiefly character and wisdom. In this case, while you've not had to exercise (much) discipline to avoid smoking, you have displayed wisdom.

    Let's assume that smoking is attractive on some sub-concious level. We might break your previous ten years down like this:

    Yr1: Character points 1. Wisdom points 9

    x 10 = 100

    So you, cruciFiction, are as worthy of respect as Kevin and Keith. Good news, I think!

    Incidentally, some regard it as rather odd that wisdom (intelligence) is an attribute that attracts respect while say, physical beauty does not. According to this line of thought, both intelligence and beauty are the ineluctable products of the environment and genes, so why accord the economist more respect than the model?
     
  19. Heather
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    Heather Contributing Member

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    I think it all comes down to what they think they should deserve. Does someone who fell down a hole and climbed back out deserve a medal for his perseverance, perhaps. Does he deserve £1 million, no more than anyone else. Does a guy who quit smoking deserve the manager position at a company, no. Does the guy who worked his ass to to get to that position deserve it, yes, at least a lot more than a lot of other people.

    I disagree with the idea that people don't deserve anything. Why don't people deserve to be happy, or deserve to be able to have food and water, and get an education. Yes, not everyone gets it because life is shit for a lot of people, but everyone deserves a lot of these basic things. And I honestly believe that the person who gets 4A*s at Alevel, deserves his place at Oxford, and the guy who worked overtime every week for three years deserves that promotion, and the girl who saved up her money for an expensive coat, deserves it. Like I said, deserving and getting are different things though, and not necessarily related.
     
  20. DBTate
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    DBTate Senior Member

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    Totally agree.

    However if I was to provide an answer, I'd say that beauty (generally) progresses of it's own accord. Sure, there are things you can do to make yourself look better, though natural beauty will happen regardless of your efforts (unless you purposely disfigure yourself).

    Intelligence on the other hand, needs to be 'kept up', so to speak. Someone might be born with the pontential to be the next Einstein, Hawking etc, though if instead they choose a life of drugs and prostitutes, they would essentially lose this intelligence (or perhaps are smarter? ;))

    So I think intelligence earns more respect than beauty, merely for the sake that it still requires a lot of effort in order to truly be 'intelligent'.
     
  21. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Who deserves what is a weird concept. Depending on which side of the fence one's on, a person either deserves a medal or a hanging.

    I don't think people deserve anything for things out of their control - like intelligence or beauty or getting hit by a natural catastrophe. I also don't think they deserve anything for pulling themselves out of a hole they put themselves into - smoking, drugs, booze, bad relationships, etc. But people who work hard to attain their goals - yeah, they deserve the rewards. Will they get them? Who knows? But other than a basic 'fellow human being' respect, nobody 'deserves' anything just for existing.
     
  22. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Debatable. Actually, I don't agree.

    Why don't people who use or hone their talents, in positive ways, deserve to have something come back to them? Be it recognition, or even evil stuff such as money.

    Even though these talents may be 'out of their control', it still takes a lot of work to create so-called 'intelligent' works, of all descriptions.

    Or, to push the envelope, if someone works hard marching up and down the catwalk, and has got the looks, then fair play to him/her.
     
  23. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    But they shouldn't be considered deserving simply because they have intelligence or good looks. Again - if they work hard for their goals (creating 'intelligent' works or becoming a super model), then they are deserving of the rewards. In other words, like anyone else, they took what God/nature gave them and worked with it, not expecting rewards just because they had those things.
     
  24. Radrook
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    Radrook Contributing Member

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    That's like saying that a boxer who lowered his guard and got his teeth knocked out but won is more deserving than the one who barely got hit and won.
     

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