Calculating the Odds

It's interesting how humans view each other.  Unable to bridge the distance of separate consciousness, each person assumes that normal humans essentially share basically similar brains.  

Even with the mounting evidence that brains are not created equal, that each configuration varies slightly from each other with results demonstrating this truth, nevertheless, deviancy is looked upon with disdain because 'I don't understand them, they know better!'.

 

Again I ask the question.  

 

Why would anyone decide on a course of action that produces less than beneficial consequences if they knew the action would result in less than beneficial consequences?   

 

The response I usually receive for that question is, "Of course, they knew better but they thought they could get away with it."  

 

They thought they could escape the consequences their gamble might produce.   If then the difference is one of miscalculated odds, then I ask once again, did they indeed know better?  

 

Are we overlooking that a skilful odds calculator requires a  foresightful intelligence?  

 

If one is deficient in foresight intelligence, does it not follow that they don't know better?

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Comments (19)

  1. cannonfodder

    It is very interesting to me too Gre. I was reading a Stephen King short story years ago and his writing allowed me to see through the eyes of a person who hated everyone. It described exactly how this person saw the people around him opposed to how they looked to a regular person. This really gave me pause as to how each individuals perceptions can be as unique as a fingerprint. Actions based on these perceptions are easier to understand with this insight.

    March 04, 2017
    1. greunie

      Do you think if we all understood this uniqueness, we may find a better way of interacting with the negative perversity that some people exhibit? Not saying that we would ignore the negativity but perhaps we would create a better way of dealing with people who have limited brain function? We judge everyone as equally responsible for knowing better but some of us truly do not have the capacity.

      March 05, 2017
      1. cannonfodder

        Yes. It would be a lot easier if this insight were worn on other peoples sleeves for any to see.

        March 06, 2017
    2. greunie

      I do sound arrogant, don’t I? Oh man!

      March 05, 2017
      1. cannonfodder

        No. Ha ha.

        March 06, 2017
  2. depressedgirl

    Everyone is different, which means everyone’s brain is different. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain which means I have Bipolar. I have a very bad case of it. I have Psychosis along with it. Bipolar Affective Disorder.

    March 05, 2017
    1. greunie

      Exactly. Each brain, although similar in composition, is unique.

      March 05, 2017
      1. depressedgirl

        Yes, you are right.

        March 05, 2017
  3. dopesleeper

    A man in a store sees a wallet on the floor. He looks around and doesn’t see anyone. He walks over to the wallet, picks it up and puts it into his pocket. Then he walks into the restroom, opens the wallet, takes out the money and throws the wallet into the trash. On his way out of the store, he is stopped by a store manager, who saw what he did on a security camera.
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    You could say of this man, “that he knew better, but thought he could get away with it”, meaning he knew it was morally wrong, didn’t care, and thinking no one would see him pick up the wallet, did exactly that. In this case, he isn’t “deficient in foresight intelligence”, just deficient in morality. I think this is the meaning most people intend when they say this.
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    You could say of this man, “that he knew better, but thought he could get away with it”, meaning he knew he was going to caught, but thought he wasn’t going to get caught. This has the same sense as, "Why would anyone decide on a course of action that produces less than beneficial consequences if they knew the action would result in less than beneficial consequences? " It’s non-sensical and I don’t think any sane person reasons like this.
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    You could say of this man, “that he knew better, but thought he could get away with it”, meaning he knew he COULD get caught, but decided it was worth the risk. In this case, I would say it doesn’t mean he doesn’t know better or lacks foresight intelligence, but just that he is willing to take a risk. He knows perfectly well that the consequences may turn out to be bad for him, but he judges that the possible benefits out-weigh the risk.
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    A man in a store sees a wallet on the floor. He looks around and doesn’t see anyone. He walks over to the wallet, picks it up and puts it into his pocket. Then he walks into the restroom, opens the wallet, takes out the money and throws the wallet into the trash. He walks out of the store, gets into his car and drives home $160 richer.
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    You can ONLY say of this man, “that he new better, but thought he could get away with it, and did.” He is a skillful odds calculator with a surplus of foresight intelligence.
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    You only know in hindsight whether or not your actions were of benefit to you.

    March 06, 2017
    1. This comment has been deleted
    2. greunie

      Thank you for a well thought out analysis.
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      After some thought, nonetheless, for me, I discern each of your invented scenarios as a result of a deficient foresight intelligence. The scenarios you have offered are isolated incidents and your hypothetical people, as they continue their lives, will repeatedly continue to choose through a lack of vision. Not having foresight, repeatedly choosing from that deficiency, will influence the quality of their lives. Not that they would feel guilty since these people have little reflective thought but rather as they continue replaying the same choice of – its worth the risk or I do it because I can, the odds will increase that a consequence will harm their freedom or well-being.
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      What I was addressing is that their brains are formed in such a way that although they may be held responsible, they are not evil since their brains cannot choose any other way. They have little foresight intelligence to help learn. Without vision and certainly ignorant of how dependent we all are on the each other’s good graces, they may indeed believe they will get away with it, but if these invented people were real and we followed their lives, what would we discover?
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      Not considering a long range consequential result is not understanding how relationship works. It isn’t a question of morality for what is morality but a fear of something’s reprisal …. (the something – other humans whose violated good graces will smack them down = morality). Not harbouring a healthy fear of reprisal adds up to a lack of vision or what I refer to, as a deficiency in foresight.
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      The purpose of my write was addressing that some brains cannot do otherwise because their brains are deficient. They may be responsible for unbeneficial acts towards others, a challenge to the people who do understand relationship and a hindrance in a co-operatively respectful society but they are not evil. What we define as evil is someone who is self-serving by intent and although these people are self-serving by intent, they cannot be otherwise due to the particular configuration of their brains. They are limited and have no long range discerning ability.
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      Isolated scenarios say very little. It is the long range evidence of a life that teaches the difference between a life guided by foresight and the one that was not. Having vision tempers, to a degree, the heartbreak of hindsight.

      March 06, 2017
      1. dopesleeper

        What I mean by morality is norms of behavior, rules that people learn from their culture, society, religion, etc. When people transgress these rules, it’s considered immoral. I’m not making judgements about behavior, just stating generally held ideas (I think) about what morality is.
        -
        Anyway, let me summarize what I THOUGHT you meant in your original post – people are not responsible for the bad decisions they make because they lack the mental capacity to know that the decision is bad. This may or may not have been your point, but that was what I was responding to in my imaginary scenario. My point was that a) people sometimes make bad decisions knowing full well that the outcome MAY be bad b) not all decisions that MAY have bad outcomes actually have bad outcomes. Sometimes the outcomes are good and that can’t be known until things have played out.
        -
        But I may have completely missed the point and my disclaimer when I type anything should be thus: I don’t have the education or intelligence to comment authoritatively on this or any other subject, but I will write as if I did.
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        How do you make those little heart symbols?
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        I have more to say but I have to brush my teeth and go to bed.

        March 07, 2017
        1. greunie

          The heart symbol is a combination of typing a < and a 3 together. Once you hit enter, the heart appears.
          -
          You have posed the same opposition that most people offer whenever I share this opinion. It’s an abstract subject of which neuroscientists are investigating and as yet have no clear data. We observe, consider and conclude an opinion. You have a conviction on this idea as you point out so eloquently. I have a different one. Most of what we know unless tested and re-tested, is opinion. I will bow to your reply and respect your perspective.

          March 07, 2017
      2. dopesleeper

        Hey Adolph! Yeah, you. Aren’t you Adolph Hitler? I’ve been looking for you. I’ve got good news for you bud! You’ve been exonerated! Yeah, the whole Nazi thing; it wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t you, it was your lack of foresight intelligence. Now we know that you wouldn’t have made the decision to execute 6 million Jews if you knew that the decision would result in the execution of 6 million Jews. It’s true! Why would you make such a terrible decision unless you lacked the ability to know that executing 6 million people was a bad thing? Right? See, you’re not a bad person, there are no bad people, just people with bad foresight intelligence. Hey, no problem bud! Well, got to run. Hey, You haven’t seen Ted Bundy around have you?

        March 07, 2017
        1. greunie

          A person can be responsible for behaviour but yet not be at fault for their brain’s configuration. Are you saying that Hitler had the capacity to behave like a Gandhi but consciously chose to be a ruthless dictator? Or that Bundy could have been kind and compassionate if he had ‘wanted’ to? Can a brain whose birth destined them to Down’s ever calculate mathematics like Einstein? We are not created equal. It is not a brain’s fault as to how genes and environment shaped them. Some brains have learning disabilities. Is that their fault?

          March 07, 2017
          1. dopesleeper

            “A person can be responsible for behaviour but yet not be at fault for their brain’s configuration”

            But if a person’s behavior is limited by their brains configuration how can they be responsible for their behavior? Are you saying that only people with sufficient foresight intelligence can be responsible for their behavior, because they can foresee the consequences of their behavior? If that’s what you mean, I can see your point.
            -
            “Are you saying that Hitler had the capacity to behave like a Gandhi but consciously chose to be a ruthless dictator?”

            Are you saying that Ghandi had the capacity to behave like Hitler but consciously chose to be a ruthless liberator?

            What type of capacity are you referring to? A moral capacity? Are you saying their is some sort of moral difference between the way Ghandi behaved and Hitler behaved? They can’t be, because there is no good behavior or bad behavior, just behavior, which is the result of mechanical limitations of the brain. So you must be referring to a foresight intelligence capacity. In that case, my answer would be yes. I think that Hitler had the foresight intelligence to know what the result of his decisions would be if he decided to behave as he did, or if he decided to behave like Ghandi. I don’t want use the phrase “ruthless dictator” because that sounds judgemental. Let’s just call him an “efficient terminator of human life”.
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            “Can a brain whose birth destined them to Down’s ever calculate mathematics like Einstein?”

            No
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            “We are not created equal.”

            I agree
            -
            “It is not a brain’s fault as to how genes and environment shaped them. Some brains have learning disabilities. Is that their fault?”

            Well that’s an interesting way to phrase that question and it gets to the core of this whole argument. A brain is a material thing and subject to physical law; of course it can’t be faulted for it’s condition. This argument is about whether or not humans are only brain; all material, all mechanical; or is there something immaterial about us.
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            If our behavior is only the result of the mechanical actions of the brain, then all of our behavior is the result of physical law; all of our behavior is purely mechanical and everything you said is true. Then not only is Hitler not responsible for this behavior; neither is Ghandi. Their is no free will. There is no good behavior or bad behavior, only behavior; there are no good people or bad people, only machines acting as physical law dictates.
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            If, however, we have something extra, something immaterial, like, say, a soul that comes from a creator, imbued with a code of morality and the ability to know right behavior from wrong behavior and the free will to choose between the two, then Hitler was bad, and Ghandi was good, and both made the choices they made and will be judged accordingly. But no one believes that stuff anymore.
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            How come I didn’t get a heart this time?

            March 07, 2017
            1. greunie

              The world is divided into those who think they are right.

              March 08, 2017
          2. dopesleeper

            I’m making a choice, or it may be more appropriate to say that I think I’m making a choice. Here are the options that I can choose: a) post another reply in this conversation, or b) don’t post another reply.
            -

            As I’ve considered these two option, I’ve had the following thoughts:

            It would please me to post another reply to demonstrate how smart I am and because I won’t admit that I’m wrong, not even to myself, but I know this is petty and immature, and if I do post this, people will realize this is my true nature. Greunie seems to consider this conversation over. She probably thinks that I’m the type of person who argues not to discover truth, but to bolster his low self-esteem, and if I post yet another reply it would only reinforce that opinion.
            -
            And yet despite these misgivings, I have a real craving to do it. Even as I type this, I know I will do it. This is very interesting to me. I know my options and the potential consequences and I know the “right” thing to do is let it go, but it really feels like I can’t, that I don’t really have a choice. I’m conscious of my choices, but also conscious of my inability to choose the one that I consider to be the proper one. It’s as if my consciousness is just an observer, in the car but not in the driver’s seat.
            -
            So maybe you are right Greunie, but if so, you must hold me blameless for this post. Now I return to my cave to consider with great delight all the things I must do for which I can’t be blamed.

            March 11, 2017
            1. greunie

              In the few years I have been here and engaged in discussions, this is the most beautiful comment I have ever received. Love your mind.

              March 11, 2017
            2. dincali

              i like the way you think. both of you. Miss reading you Greunie.

              April 24, 2017