Re: There they go again...

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From: Kragen Sitaker (
Date: Wed Sep 13 2000 - 19:58:53 PDT

Dr. Ernie writes:
> Nietzsche went insane, as I recall (did he commit suicide?). I would
> certainly concede that the vast majority of people are -primarily- concerned
> with their own happiness. However, I have met very few people who were
> *only* interested in their own happiness (the modern trendiness of
> 'selfishness' not withstanding). And those tend to end up like Nietzsche...

For what it's worth, Nietzsche's insanity was not caused by selfishness
--- at least, not directly. Syphilis ate his brain.

For expansive enough definitions of "their own", everyone is only
interested in "their own" happiness. Ask not for whom the bell tolls
--- it tolls for thee.

About responsibility: you could be said to be responsible for a kitten
if it depends on you for food. Or you could be said to be responsible
if you feed it. People with twelve kids have a lot of the first kind
of responsibility; it creates an opportunity for the second kind of
responsibility. (I would probably not be responsible2 enough to deal
with that much responsibility1.)

Being a parent makes you responsible1. Being responsible2 can be a
source of happiness.

It sounded like there was some confusion about which responsibility
people were talking about.

I agree very much with Dr. Ernie's statements on love and marriage ---
despite being in the middle of a divorce which shows some promise of
turning out like Jeff's.

Mark Day writes:
> Probably there's no difference to marriage vs. other forms of committed
> monogamy for the two parents. I think there's a big issue for the children.
> The two-married-parents setup is still clearly the ideal, for whatever
> reasons. Just talk to some children and I think you'll find that's true.
> I'm not saying it should be true, just observing that it does seem to be
> true.

Actually, I think two married parents is far from ideal; a stable,
close, and loving extended family (including two married parents) is
really much better, in my experience. I have heard rumors that it can
drastically reduce the difficulty of raising kids, too.

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves
                -- Gandalf the Grey [J.R.R. Tolkien, "Lord of the Rings"]

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