Jeffrey Haber haber at sb.fsu.edu
Sun May 17 16:05:39 EST 1998

mike wrote:

> Unfortunately, some people will never be satisfied with a comfortable life.
> They need another unused room, another automotive showpiece,
> another...insert useless piece of material crap here...  They have a problem
> with self-esteem and think possession of objects or power will make them
> feel more important....give their lives some meaning. 

Is it possible to selfishly, unappologetically enjoy having material
possessions and to have self esteem at the same time?  I certainly think
so.  Why do you think that two are mutually exclusive?

> I fear that is a fact
> of our species.

It is a good thing, that man's nature is to want to be happy, to desire
to live in material comfort and to enjoy life.

>  Despite all the "divine creation" ballyhoo, we're just a
> bunch of well-groomed chimps fighting for bananas. 

If you have done introspection and think that you are not radically
different from a chimpanzee, that is your own admission, please speak
for yourself and not for men.  As for me, I proclaim my proper status as
a rational, conceptual being whose purpose in life is the achievement of
his own moral happiness.

> Given the opportunity,
> some chimps will fight vigorously to obtain way more bananas than they can
> possibly consume.
>  Those with these "biggest sticks" will thrive and pass on
> their genetic heritage for the oh-so-promising future of humanity.  

What you describe applies to animals, not humans.  One of the great
things about being a rational being is that humans do not have to
compete for limited resources, but use their minds to create new
resources; that is, almost all wealth has to be created before it can be
consumed, and the sacrifice of no one is required.  

If humans were just chimpanzees, they would still be living in the trees
competing for bananas, not engaging in agriculture, trading,
manufacturing, inventing, and building comfortable dwellings. 

How could you possibly, without being intellectually dishonest, equate
human beings to chimpanzees?  Perhaps you're just a victim of modern
university intellectuals.

What you may have observed in your lifetime is the result of what
happens when some individuals try to obtain value dishonestly, by the
use of force.  You can observe these attrocities under socialist regimes
and mixed economies where the government tries to regulate, by force
(implicit in the combination of regulation and government), the
production and distribution of wealth.  In an attempt to get back from
the government as much as possible or more than what the government has
stolen, people will group into collective pressure groups in an attempt
to steal more from other groups than is being stolen from their group
(racial, gender, ethnic, professional, etc.).  The solution, of course,
is for the government to outlaw the use of phsyical force and to
retaliate against those who initiate its use, protecting free, voluntary

	Jeffrey Haber

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