Is being an effective ruler compatible with being a good person?

Michael Bolton

Regular
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It can be, yes. Obviously one can be so concerned with being a good person that they're afraid to do anything effectual, but there's nothing to say that a effective leader can't also be good to his people. There were plenty of kings who fit the description of "competent and well-liked". Trajan, for example, was both effective and beloved if I remember correctly.
 

Bromden

Archduke
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Sorry for the late reply, I forgot about the existence of the forums. The new layout works that well. Also, I should be using quotes, but I don't know how to, and I won't learn how to use the functions of a forum that I'll forget about again within ten minutes. The new layout is that awesome.

People aren't as equal stuff: Yeah, they aren't, and they never were. Law and other rules and authority might try to handle them (us) as such, but one thing that simply never did or will exist is two human beings who are equal. You can only force a kind of equality on people if you have a very limited view of things.

Killing is bad: Yes, I think so. But it's not bad because I don't want to be killed in return, it's bad because hurting others makes me feel bad. That's empathy, which you quickly threw in and threw out, but it is a much more important part of a human being than anti-murder laws, simply on the basis that it exists as a human trait. Even the cavemen felt it; it's a part of human biology (at least I'm fairly sure that empathy has biological roots). That's why I don't kill people, and not because of some cold logic about not wanting to normalize murder.

So yeah, killing is not bad because it is bad, but because it makes me feel bad, which is a much more legit justification for not killing than any kind of law or logic or ultimate goals. But, as empathy is a natural urge, it can get suppressed, deteriorated or held under conscious control, like other natural urges, hence people do get killed. And then the phone rang and I forgot how I wanted to finish my post. ****.
 

Flin Flon

Master Knight
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Well, if no one is ever equal, then everyone is a product of circumstance always. And no one is really at blame for anything, because you can't help being born and raised the way you were. Even a powerful, rich, morally bankrupt person is the way he is because he hasn't been instilled strong values. At some point we have to hold people accountable as equals. Not sure where you're going with this?

And here's my trump card: empathy serves an egotistical purpose. The psychological function of empathy is the ability to place ourselves in the shoes of other people and feel their pain. Meaning that the function serves as an alert that whatever suffering is conferred upon another person can happen to us. Thus we characterize the suffering as undesirable. Very useful, because without empathy we would be indifferent to our brethren being torn apart by dinosaurs left and right, and possibly not recognize the gravity of being torn apart. Plus, the communal loss of having your dudes being torn apart means that your survivability chances decrease, because we are communal creatures and interdepend on each other for our (or my, rather) survival.

Also, I didn't quickly threw in and out the idea of empathy. I raised it before you. But I can't realistically write walls of text everytime a new thing is introduced. Try not to mischaracterize me.

But this is the correct train of thought (genuinely). I'm just invoking psychological egoism. If you find the wiki, it also outlines the problems with the concept. Although I think they're all addressable in a satisfactory manner.
 
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Bromden

Archduke
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Then tell me this: Why do I enjoy feeling pain, while I don't tolerate well seeing others in pain? I enjoy getting punched in the face in a fight, but I don't enjoy punching others in the face non-consensually. I like suffering, I think it builds character. Yes, I'm kinda masochist. But I'm not a sadist at all. How is that? I even felt bed after kicking a guy who drew a knife on me. I'm fairly sure that feeling didn't originate from some communal love towards him.
 

Flin Flon

Master Knight
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Well, you can condition yourself to feel anything doing anything. I'm no psychologist (see a psychologist btw, brom (half-joke)) but probably because you know they don't like being punched in the face. You may enjoy being punched, but you know what it feels like not enjoying it, and you wouldn't want to be subjected to something you don't enjoy.

It's definitely some sort of communal love (conditions may apply).
 

Adorno

Bedroom Assassin
Duke
WBNWM&BVC
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"The ruler who is feared by the many, must, in turn, fear the many."

(Seneca, iirc. Can't find the quote)