Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The power of love

It will most probably by my most controversial and most trolled post ever: attacking the very core of the social mind. I'm not hoping to convince a single social. I may illuminate something important to the rationals, something they felt but couldn't explain.

At first the troll (anonymous, who else) who started the idea: "there is always a fucking imbecile (in this case gevlon) who thinks that he owns the TRUTH and that he knows how to keep the non-kind people (M&S in this case) in their place. the only truth is that there is no truth, and that respect and love (yes i said love) would be the rules for a good coexistence. the society needs to get rid of people like gevlon as badly as needs to get rid of thieves, assasins, rapers.... only without this kind of people (people who cant love) the utopia can be reached. obviously you cant get rid of all of them, so thats why it is called utopia. ... [personal insults] ...

...the answer is not to meassure people and segregate them with gree/yellow/grei cards. the answer is well known since many centuries, the answer is love. until every single one of us do learn to love, we will not get the utopia. the way for this, is education. the problem is that not everybody is interested in educate the people. you know, the more M&S the more profit, you can see it every day in AH. thats why the world needs to get rid of people like you gevlon. /spit again [more personal insults and using 3. world as counter-example] ...

stupid? ok, then aristotle was stupid, then Nietzsche was stupid, schopenhauer was stupid... every one of them in someway admits that empathy and love ARE NEEDED, even the solution ... [even more personal insults] ...

I hate the internet. when you write a book and it is read still 2,2,4 hundred years before, it means something. when you make a blog and write the dumbest thing in the world it means nothing. you know? all the shit you have writen here has been thought and proved to fail before you wrote it. even before you born. but, who cares? its my shit, i can put it in my blog. /clap."

At first glance it looks like some flower child who used way too much weed for his own good. Or maybe a "love & world peace" beauty queen who needed to vent after the agency figured our that her porn pictures are all over the internet.

But no, he is serious and also not just some extreme idiot. While he might be younger or more intoxicated than the average social, his ideas are not different from the common social thinking. Of course an educated social would never say it loud, but deep inside he also feels that it's somehow right. If there was enough love, if all people would be capable of loving and love would guide our steps, the world would be Utopia.

No. The world would be Hell.

We are born in a family to parents and we love them (anti-socials don't, but 98% of people do). We love our brothers and sisters, our close relatives, the friends our parents invite and later, the ones we find in school. After adolescence, we fell in love with one particular specimen of our friends (maybe after repeated hearth-breaks and loves) and we form a new family with her, starting the cycle again. The love we feel towards them radiate out to other people around us, after all, the random guy is like the ones we love. We just don't know him yet.

That would be the life for me too, if I weren't born as an anti-social, finding most people around me annoying, and most of their habits useless since the earliest age I can remember. But if I was like everyone else, I would love the people around me, and through them, people in general...

Except of course the bad ones who would harm the good people. I would feel righteous hate against those who would harm the good people I love, just like our anonymous idiot does.

All my parents, relatives, schoolmates, their parents, the friends they invited were all white, middle class, Christian (or once-a-year-in-church-Christian), Hungarian people. They would be the good people I love. And those who would be in their way, competing for resources or simply refusing to accept their perfect way of living and insist on being different would be the bad people I'd righteously hate.

Love connects you to a group of people that automatically exclude the other people. You love us and hate them.

You can claim that the evildoers of mankind's history (like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and so on) were anti-socials, madmen or even influenced by the Devil. But they didn't kill with their own hands. Millions of common people followed them willfully and did the boring grind of genocides. Were they not loving people? If they were, how could they do it?

Actually they did it exactly because they were loving people. They did not just kill people. Lots of them died for the system. While you can blame killings on being selfish (they got paid and promoted for it, sometimes could also loot their victims), you definitely can't claim that they died for money or promotion. You can't even claim they did it to avoid punishment, as nothing can be worse than death. They did it because they loved something in that evil regime (the nation, the political idea, the religion, or simply the man next to them). They loved it so much that they gave their life for it.

The parts of the world what are not ravaged by war, civil war, terrorism are exactly the places where these emotions are controlled by the system. You can still love your family, but placing your family members to key jobs is a sure way to lose yours. Also it's illegal to fill the jobs with people of your race or religion. These laws are against the feeling of the socials who often whine about the lost "golden age", when we did not have to mix with them.

Love is not the solution. It's the problem. Loving someone = hating someone else for just being different from or competing with the loved ones.

The solution is selfishness. A selfish person does not attack another selfish, rational person, simply because the risk is higher than the gain. The more he has, the more powerful he is, so the more risky it is to attack him. The weaker he is, the less he has, so the less profit could be made from taking that little. There would be no wars as no selfish, rational man can be recruited to risk his life for pitiful salary. For a proper salary, yes. But paying good salary would make wars so expensive that no leader could think of a real war (where the enemy can fight back), only to bashing troublemaking idiots (like street criminals and crazy, primitive movements).


Azzur said...

Actually, if you think about it, all the wars, etc. are not caused by people who love. Because love is not like that. Intead, these people are blind with whatever you want to call it (I call it passion). passion != love.

So (as it is alot of the time), the first conclusion is correct:
"At first glance it looks like some flower child who used way too much weed for his own good. Or maybe a 'love & world peace' beauty queen who needed to vent after the agency figured our that her porn pictures are all over the internet."

Ablimoth said...

Nah, the opposite of love isn't hate. The opposite of love is apathy, to feel nothing.

Hate/Love, the same emotion effectively, strong feeling about something. Apathy is the opposite.

To love someone means to be apathetic about someone else, not to hate someone else. I may not convince you, but neither will you convince me.

I also suspect that the M&S talking about "Respect and Love" is not talking about anti-goblinism, s/he's talking about anti-structuralism (i.e. being against the structures which guide and control society) but not having the brains to be able to reason out an argument suggesting anarchism/extreme socialism is the way to go.

duncan said...

Control emotions? Need i spell out where this is going?

Selfishness can be expressed in giving ways and is not mutually exclusive to love.

Nick S. said...

You'd love the musical Urinetown.

The peace-loving common people drive out the tyrannical water control company, then die of thirst.

Nick S. said...

Aaaaand when these people talk about "love" as the salvation of the world, they mean that we should abandon our conscious and unconscious decisions about who is worthy of love and simply love everyone equally.

It sounds nice because all three of those words - love everyone equally - are positive, but it's a bankrupt philosophy.

Gobbie said...

Another thoughtfull post from Gevlon :D

People who says love is the sollution to making the world a better place is just full of it.

I cant think of anything to say that Gevlon havent allready mentioned.

It might seem harsh, but it's the reality. ;)

Gevlon said...

@Albimoth: Apathy stands only until the "other guy" is neutral. As soon as he gets in the way, he becomes hateful.

Just think: wouldn't you hate the guy who wanted to date your girlfriend? Though he did nothing wrong, as dating people is not a crime.

Anonymous said...

Haha , this is going to be good. Gonna read incoming comments this evening.

duncan said...

I don't blame the guy that wants to date my girlfriend. She's my girlfriend for a reason, i must find her attractive so it is only natural that others will find her attractive too. Loving her doesn't result in hating others for doing so too. Especially if you're not an insecure jackass.

thenoisyrogue said...

I agree. You forgot religion though. This is the other big 'Us & Them' equation after nations. The really dangerous ones are the nations that combine with religion.
This is the reason why the Olympic Games pisses me off so much, I can't even watch them. Our nation won more gold medals than yours so our nation is better. Which is just ridiculous when you think about it because the athlete that spent their life training for that moment sure doesn't represent the millions of slobs watching on the television. Then there are the complete moron atheletes who thank God for their victory. Do you really think that God singled you out and gave you victory over the others? Do you really think that you are that special? That your God loves you that much?

The only part of your post that I am unsure about is your conclusion. I don't know if selfishness is how I would tag the other people in this. Lateral-thinking realists might be a better discripstion. I will think about it.

Evgeny said...

I really like how in that troll post he hates the bad people, "needs to get rid of thieves, assasins, rapers.... only without this kind of people (people who cant love) the utopia can be reached" ... conditional love is no love at all, how can someone love an assassin/thief/rapist/etc... and want to get rid of him (aka kill) them?

The above quote proves that the troll is not a flower-boy/girl. Unconditional love is hard, and just throwing a word in the air "love" and saying it is the salvation for all the troubles of mankind is pretentious/righteous/religious. There is no solution, mankind is not perfect, and most probably will never will be. Utopia is just another name for Hell, mankind do the things they do (great things, bad things) and keep advancing exactly because we are such a load of crap - it is an advantage, although not a comfortable one, that we have thieves/rapists/assassint/greedygoblins and such, without these people no one would learn survival and it would be the grand wipe of everyone - eventually.

Flex said...

I'm all for promoting the idea that people should be rational and not rampantly idiotic, but I really think you're missing the point here Gevlon.

Love doesn't automatically imply an us and them mentality. I'm sorry, but it doesn't. What does, I'm afraid, is selfishness. Selfishness wants to separate us and them so 'I can have my [object of affection] all to myself'.

Selfishness is also the same thing that breeds the idea of conditional love - which is really just a way for socials to justify a business transaction without really understanding it. After all, if they call it love, it must be good, right?

No, while the poster to which you were referring may have been a bit off the mark himself, I don't think you can just jump on the notion of love as an automatic evil of humanity. Even if you and I were the product of bad, dysfunctional families, and our parents were the same, and their parents before them, somewhere in our ancestry lies a parent who loved their spouse and loved their child. Unconditionally.

So given that assumption, that neither you nor I would be here without it, I don't think it's wise to automatically jump down the throat of something you don't necessarily immediately understand.

But then again, I didn't understand love in my twenties either, much as I thought I did. A few decades and some kids later, and I think I've got a better clue.

But then, if you want, you can brush me off as M&S for having kids. It is a right of the young to try and be rebels, I guess.

Spock said...

Control emotions? Need i spell out where this is going?

Are you saying you have pointed ears?

duncan said...

"Selfishness wants to separate us and them so 'I can have my [object of affection] all to myself'."

That's selfishness from an insecure perspective. It's needy, childish.

Looking after yourself before others is mature selfishness. You can look after yourself by helping others. For example: i give myself the pleasure of pleasing others. You're doing it for your own benefit: it makes you feel good, but others get something out of it.

All human thought, as far as i'm concerned is based in selfishness. M&S to me are the ones who think that they're helping another person through altruism.

Gevlon said...

@Flex: selfishness does not create "us or them", just "me or them". For "us" there is a need for other people (the in-group members) I am selfless with.

Nick said...

Gevlon, you consider yourself antisocial. At least you say so.
Where do you think would that come from?
Genes? Personal preference? Experience? Has it beed taught to you? Or it just happened? Or a conscious choice?

Would be very interested to hear your opinion about it.
Best wishes

Gevlon said...

@Nick: I don't know. Surely not conscious choice since I am that way since I know myself. Either genetical variation or something that happened very early age (like my mom was too busy studying for college to hug me all the time like average mothers do).

Since I know myself I found being with people annoying and useless (unless they gave me some useful item or talked interesting things to me). I found social norms stupid and pointless and never understood what "ashamed" means. I never even understood how could the opinion of others (without rational explanation included) matter at all.

Anonymous said...

This one made me laugh out loud:
"nothing can be worse than death"
Those who die of genocide are often better off than those who survived it (and sometimes even those who comitted it), living isn't always what it's cut out to be and most animals have the right to more humane deaths than humans.
(They still shoot the horses don't they?)

Love is actually what the anti-socials target, they try to make you love (or at least like) them, so you will do their bidding without expecting them to return the favor. Most of the time it's hard to 'hate' an anti-social, since he doesn't do you any wrongs (why would he, he wouldn't be able to profit any further of you)

MomentEye said...

"Loving someone = hating someone else"
You are right when you say you are attacking the core of the disagreement: You believe that the life is a zero sum game ie nobody can gain without someone else losing.

This denies any possible benefit developed from synergy or co-operation. Perhaps those you call socials put too much emphasis on those benefits but its hard to deny.
Especially in the context of a MMORPG that actively demands co-operation.

Anonymous said...

There is an awesome passage in Richard Dawkins's book "the Selfish Gene" that kinda addresses the two types of behavior you are describing here: he uses doves as an example, doves that like to fight no matter what and doves that grandstand but do not fight. In your example the ones that like to fight no matter would be the irrational ones, and those that do not fight would be rational.

Mathematical calculations and some basic biological reasoning state that the most evolutionary stable system would arise, after time and time had passed in a pendulum of dominance of one over another, in some kind of mathematical formula that would include both kinds of doves, spread across depending on the worth of every single gene allele that controls agressive behaviour (meaning it probably would not be 1/2 + 1/2)

But, no, it never happens that ideal stable state is made up of *just* one kind of dove, assuming BOTH alleles fight for dominance in the species' gene pool.

What you can say now is that there is no "irrational" gene allele in humans, and that there is no "rational" allele, or that I cant prove there are. Or that "love" is not a gene, its a learned behavior.

But, in overall human history, you can metaphorically use that example as a analogy to most common human traditions, our "behavior cultures" become some kind of gene allele information, fighting each other for cultural dominance.

And now I come to my point, after this long introduction :p
The world *is* always gonna be that war for dominance.

Can you explain to me your need to present a view of an "ideal" world made up of all the same people? In your case, my propensity would be very similar to yours, "wouldnt it be awesome that all people are rational and selfish?" because I do think that irrationality and its emotions bring nothing useful to the table of human race. I do not put love on a pedestal of resolute adoration. I think it is misused by everyone, from pop singers, to religions, to the "love industry" of media that perpetuate the same myth that no one can be happy unless they are in love.

But no matter what, people *do* feel love, and they *do* act irrational: from personal hates to public hates, to state hates, national ones etc.

But "selfishness" is not the answer either, because people interpret or assume different things when they use the word selfishness. Even the most rational selfishness can produce devastating results if you have enough Power behind it: be it guns, atomic bombs, or strong hands that can beat up another person.

I believe that it is our visions, our "utopias" that bring the most irrationality, including yours. You can't imagine a selfish man so powerful that he wouldn't risk a part of his well being for destroying another? Assessing the risks is a very very rational process. And yes, using force will come from an irrational place, but if expectations of winning are high, it would be pretty rational to actually do it.

The world would be no more stable if filled with "selfish" people than if filled with "loving" ones. All it takes is *one* rational person to understand the weaknesses of other rationals and you would have the whole thing disrupted, and pretty much same as it is now. as it only takes one Hitler or Stalin to abuse the "love" and turn it into hate, it would happen exactly the same if they abused "selfishness" (which many historians/ interpreters actually think happened with Nazism, it had a very "rational" component to it as well). They managed to abuse it because concepts we use to describe wide possibilities of behavior are open to interpretation and abuse.

My truth, if I had to have one, is to accept the both sides of human behavior and enjoy their fight.


Anonymous said...

you know that man is social since the begginning of the species right ?
You can be an non social if you want but why do you try to persuad others this is the good way ? it's obviously not and you seem quite alone to think you are right.

Eaten by a Grue said...

What is it they say? Persecution, heck that's at least a sign of personal interest. Tolerance is nine parts apathy to one part brotherly love.

N_a_g_b_a_g said...

Nobody can call himself "antisocial" while living amongst the others. It's just a major contradiction. Even if you are some sort of vampire creature, preying for fresh blood at night BUT asking a coffin maker for some new furniture - youre stil having social relations, kinda.
>>Your environment is what makes you<< - since the very beginning of your life. Not genes, not at all, but reactions of environment on you.

Bones said...

You cite love as engendering hate, as they are opposites.

You hold that logic/reason are neutral and therefore do not engender feelings of antipathy towards some other group, the "them" that you feel must be opposed to the "us"

I think you are unfamiliar with the concept your "angry troll" is introducing you to, and that is the love that has no opposite, not romantic love, familial love or peer love, but compassion, empathy, call it what you will, but it is not part of our Darwinian ape-subroutine set.

It is not a player in the biological evolutionary phase of our existance, we are more or less finished with that, sure we are biological organisims and as such we do have the sub-routines etched into our DNA.


.....biological evolution has no gain for us now, we are the perfect apex organisim on the planet now, we can control our environment like no other species ever has, we have raised ourselves above the "red in tooth and claw" struggle for survival, our lives are not nasty, brutish and short (well not in London anyways ;p).

Our continued survival now is dependant on how we interact as a big society or socio-psycological evolution.

This form of evolution will leave no marks on our physical form (our biology) bur will have untold effects on our society and hence our continued survival, it has been taking place ever since family groups came together to form tribes/clans.

"Love" in the form your troll means (love with no opposite) is a relativly new idea (budda/jesus etc use it) that can help us survive on an overcrowded planet with finite resources.

"Love" in the sence you understand it is a recepie for war, you are right it leads to a them and us view, and consequently a striving to overcome the "them" and make "us" more powerful/rich/happy at the expense of the "them".

You are right, you point this out, but you miss your "trolls" point, he is right too, he is talking about something very different

Anonymous said...

A few short points to consider:

1) I'm sorry, but this a self-contradicting straw man: "Love connects you to a group of people that automatically exclude the other people. You love us and hate them."

2) All people are interconnected. Accepting this (not easy!) means there is no "them".

5) Suffering is unavoidable.

6) The way to reduce suffering is through compassion.

7) Follow the golden rule: "Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you".

For more on compassion, which I believe is the key to the problem:

Anonymous said...

You know what would really solve the problem?

Some of them Christian Side Hugs ought to do the trick

Anonymous said...

@ Gevlon
"Since I know myself I found being with people annoying and useless (unless they gave me some useful item or talked interesting things to me). I found social norms stupid and pointless and never understood what "ashamed" means. I never even understood how could the opinion of others (without rational explanation included) matter at all."

I find this comment interesting as a backdrop for many of your posts and comments.

Regarding your original post and the Anonymous you are quoting;

I do not think there is an arguement for getting rid of people like yourself as badly as thieves, assasins and rapists. People like you do not harm society or the happiness of others by not respecting/loving them.

You are just another unhappy person.

People like you, and there are many, simply make the rest of us appreciate our values and affirm that being "social" has great value...

“Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness” Leo Tolstoy.

Anonymous said...

"Loving someone = hating someone else for just being different from or competing with the loved ones."

This is probably the most idiotic sentence of the year.

Who is competing with my 5 years old baby? Just to know who should i hate...

Evgeny said...

You will hate everyone and anyone who is a threat to your 5mo baby, just because you love it.

If some random person you completely dont care about will shout at your baby on the street - you will probably want to kill that person on the spot.

Yaggle said...

I can get behind the concepts of truth, justice, and fairness, but not love. I think you could say that love is like an MMO; it's nice to get lost in it for awhile, but you should know in the end that it is not real. I heard Carl Sagan quote Constantine Huygens, "The world is my country, and science is my religion" on his "Cosmos" show. I wish more people would take this view of the world instead of deciding who to love, and who to hate, which countries are good and which are bad, which wars are evil and which are necessary.

Anonymous said...


Long time reader first time comment. Couple of points.

"The weaker he is, the less he has, so the less profitable to take that little." You must agree that the one resource in this world that there is plenty of is people. It might not be profitable to wage war on a small number of 'weak' individuals but collectively they can be turned into profit. Is this not what we already see in the world?

Also you say "But paying good salary would make wars so expensive that no leader could think of a real war" Isn't the answer here technology? You have pointed out in previous posts that the days of the average trade skill job are coming to an end. Is that not true for the average soldier as well? We see wars fought with drones now, and robotic gun mules in development. The wars of the future will not need as many salaries to be paid as the wars of the past.

Bernard said...


Love is not a zero sum equation. You don't love your father less as a result of loving your brother, mother, uncle, cousins etc.

You don't hate your neighbour more as a result of loving your wife, children, nephews and nieces.

Fortunately for would-be tyrants, murderers etc, love provides a reasoning which is beyond rationalisation for the majority of people.
People like to be led like sheep. It appeals to our ape subtroutines to have a cause to rely behind.

Lowtec said...

"You can't even claim they did it to avoid punishment, as nothing can be worse than death. They did it because they loved something in that evil regime"

Correction here, they did go out and fight (and died fighting), because out in the field there was a chance to survive, while being executed because of not fighting resulted in 100% death.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, it might very well be posible that your partly autism ( not sure about the right verb ).

I myself am diagnosed with partly autism. this basicly means im a lot less social, see the world from a more usefull perspective ( why, and what's the advantage/disadvantage instead of taking it for granted like love ).

and becaus of that i agree almost completely with your posts.
personaly, i don't think partly autism is a problem, i see it as a blessing.

at any way, thanks for your view.

Jeff said...

The more you love, the more you can love -- and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love. If a person had time enough, he could love all of that majority who are decent and just.

A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.

Both quoted as I do not have a better way to say them from the Dean himself, RAH

The problem isn't that you are anti-social Gelvon, the problem is that you lack the emotional sophistication to speak intelligently to the problems you address. I'll leave you with one more:

Never appeal to a man's "better nature". He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage.

For more in this vein check out

And Ablimoth is exactly correct in his usage and opposites.

Doug said...

The only way that your anonymous troll's Utopia would be possible is: if there was no evil in the world.
"Evil grants no mercy, and to attempt to appease it is nothing more than a piecemeal surrender to it. Surrender to evil is slavery at best, death at worst." - Terry Goodkind
Thus, Gevlon, your righteous hatred of those who threaten what you love can be justified.

The issue I see here is with your solution: Selfishness. If your goal is wealth and/or power, by all means selfishness is the fastest path to that summit. Eventually when you reach that point, you will come to realize that there is more to life than just numerically quantifiable gains, and understand just how much time you have wasted on things that suddenly don't seem to matter any more.

Nagbag said...

Qualities of love's target are irrelevant. Totally.

I, for example, still love my ex-wife, and i do not consider myself blind and/or stupid to this matter. I do realise her utterly bad social qualities, motives, possible outcomes in any goblinish or opposite ways.
Shes totally bad for my life - but i still love her. Thats irrational and useless feeling you can't explain why or get rid of. And it has nothing to do with any of our relatives, theres no [love=group of US vs group of THEM] valid arguments either.

Anonymous said...

"Love is not the solution. It's the problem. Loving someone = hating someone else for just being different from or competing with the loved ones."

umm. That isn't love. If you think it is then you have a skewed understanding of it. What you are describing is a real problem, but its not caused by love. Its "love your neighbor, and hate your enemy" its not true unconditional love.

I truly feel sorry for you Gevlon if you can not see this.

Jonas said...

Wow, How do you think of these things gevlon? Its a good post, I can't argue if its right or wrong simply because I would never come to think of anything like this.

I need to eat a couple of brainpills!

Anonymous said...

I would posit this idea, if there was no love, then we would not be able to recognize hate, trolls and goblins.

Gold NoScripts said...

"Love" is nothing more then a chemical oxytocin which is used as a bonding agent. Hate is anger. There two aren't related. I can love my girlfriend, and I can hate her ex-boyfriend because I'm angry at him(anger stemmed through jealousy).

Just because I love my family, doesn't mean I hate other familys. The logic in this post is backwards, or sideways. Boo.

Anonymous said...

Love is an often used word and as a result its meaning has been very watered down. "I love chocolate" is an example. I don't feel romantic about chocolate or consider it a "significant other". "I love chocolate" just denotes that I have a strong preference for that kind of sweet. So in a sense, when Gevlon says he prefers "selfishness", what he is really saying is that he "loves" selfishness. So in fact Gevlon does feel love as defined in the usage above.

But the love that we should strive for is not that kind of love (the love of preference). The love we should strive for is the kind of love that helps elevate your fellow human being. Now before you write me off as an altruist let me explain. This method of love can also be defined as selfish. If through this kind of love I can eliminate the "drunk welfare leech" by elevating his state of mind so that he strives for improvement, wouldn't this be preferable? The selfish part in me sees the benefit of this type of love so when acting out my "love" I've actually just indulged my selfishness.

Maybe there isn't really a difference between love and hate/selfishness but rather how you manifest that emotion/desire that counts. Hating crime isn't bad just as loving peace/profit/etc isn't bad. What makes it bad is when your "hate" for crime or "love" for peace manifests itself in a way that is harmful to others thereby perpetuating the misery and proprogating more "welfare leeches/criminals".

Let's take the issue of slavery that has plagued mankind since dawn. Slavery is a form of selfishness. Anti-socials logically decided that they could make and sell goods cheaper via slave labor. Why should I pay someone to make ore/cotton/wood products when I can just enslave him, feed him low cost garbage, and sell my products for huge profit.

Well the enslaved don't like it so much and eventually do get free. Slavery, if you follow history, has never been a long term industry. Slaves revolt, masters get killed or imprisoned, and your profits go to zero. But now society has a massive influx of people who have little industrial skill, little education, and can't find any means to make a profitable living.

We can now thank the anti-social for unleashing a wave of "drunk welfare leeches" on society. This kind of "anti-social" behavior is damaging as much as the irrational love that leads to hate.

Personally I don't think Gevlon is a true anti social. I just think from childhood he was very intelligent and found his not equally intelligent companions boring. He misconstrued this feeling of boringness as being "anti-social". If surrounded by equal bright children/friends/family during his adolesence, I'm sure we would have a different Gevlon than what we see today.

Camp (the goblin in me decided it was easier to sign my name than waste time creating a google account - time is money friend).

Anonymous said...

loving or hating someone doesn't not preclude removing obstacles, like people who are opposing something you wish to do, out of your way. In Fact an anti social person will find it easier to kill someone, since they don't care one way or another.

Wars were not started for love. Love may have been used to rally the mob to your cause but wars were not started for love. Wars are about resources, they are about power, they are about antisocial reasons of personal gain. Yes, even Crusades.

Not all of the War starters are intelligent of course so they start wars about resources that would not provide enough gain, to counterbalance the price of war (money, people who can make more money and produce more resources). However, people are not social at the core. We are selfish, its our survival mechanism. Compassion, love is the reason our selfishness does not overtake all else. it is also a survival mechanism that prevents us from completely exterminating each other.

Will love save the day? not even close, One thing I'll agree with you is that love can and will overwrite the instinct of self preservation. But neither will complete anti-social selfishness.

Kraazyhealz said...

I just want to thank Blizzard Entertainment for providing me with a game that can lead to conversations like this. We all play a game, but this game leads to much more than just what most people think it is. Real world arguments, conversations, polls, statistics all from just what people call a “game”. I enjoy this blog regardless if I agree with Mr. Greedy or not, because we have real people writing, not politicians. You have to enjoy the discussions you can end up having that normally without this "game" you wouldn't have.

biz0unce said...

Yes, if only Love! = tolerance as well. You're never going to "love" everyone, but if you can be tolerant, you've definitely evolved.

Tonus said...

Love, like hate, is an emotion. If emotion is not balanced with rationality, then yes, I expect that it will lead to problems. This simply argues for a proper balance, not for the replacement of "love" with "selfishness."

Selfishness can't simply be assumed to exist in one specific form that is always guided by a long-range view. The selfish person may very well take advantage of someone who is weak because he enjoys the feeling that overpowering or controlling someone else gives him. Long term or practical considerations may well be secondary.

Organized crime works on this principle. mobsters, for example, talk about emotions like love and loyalty and honor, but it is a smoke screen. They exist to create strength that can be used to crush those who are weak and to steal from them. Their actions enrich many of them in the short term, but damage society in the long term. This doesn't bother them, because they're being selfish, and they don't care about the overall picture, so long as they have their power and money.

I don't see how selfishness is a solution any more than unrestrained 'love' is. One extreme is rarely any better than the other.

Gevlon said...

There is a serious problem with "unrestrained love". A society with 99% "unrestrained loving" people and just 1% of selfish or "I love my kind and hate the others" will collapse as the "unrestrained loving" is unable to defend themselves from the aggression of the others. Selfish on the other hand can defend himself from both other selfish and "I love my kind and hate the others" people.

"unrestrained love" therefore technically impossible.

Anonymous said...

A society with 99% "unrestrained loving" people and just 1% of selfish people would mean I would be rich! Yes, this is a game, and people play it how they want. That means that I would take advantage of the "unrestrained loving people" that you speak of and make a profit off of them.

CK said...

Your original poster states “the only truth is that there is no truth.” He is correct!

But then he tries to give a truth… /facepalm
His rule for a good coexistence is “respect and love”.
Then he states the only way to utopia is by “getting rid” of people like Gelvon, who apparently is a “person who can’t love”.

So by getting rid of a person who can’t love you are proving you can’t love…
Who decides who can and can’t love?
Does it matter who/what/where/when/why a person loves?

… The only truth is that there is no truth


Chris said...

@ Gevlon

Im almost too disheartened by mankind to continue reading the comments here.

@ People who dont get what he is saying:


What Gevlon is describing is EXACTLY what Adam Smith described in his treatise on capitalism. Enlightened Self Interest. The reason selfishness works, if its is reasoned, is because it is better for ME if you and I cooperate rather than compete. And if you do things to the best of your ability, and do them to the best of mine, we will both benefit. There is no love in that relationship, love would only harm the synergy if one person started falling behind and the other let it go because he doesnt want to hurt person A's feelings.

But seriously, no one should be allowed to comment here until they've read Smith and Keynes.

Tego said...

not even going to bother reading the comments but i will leave one:

Gelvon often strikes me as somewhere between an asshole and a savant, but i think he got it right on this one, mostly. Love in the pure sense (coming from a Christian background) is pure and has no limits, IE with perfect love we would love everyone. This is possible, but at least according to faith only for God, people can come close to some extent (Mother Teressa and others for example), but those individuals are rare. So, in a way the troll is right, a pure loving society could be utopia, but it is impossible because we are human. The amusing thing is that the troll proves his own point by expressing the amount of hate he shows for Gelvon. It is easy to show love for people who you agree with, that is no challenge, the challenge is accepting those who you do not agree with. In the end be it a true accepting love that ends war, or people simply thinking clearly enough about the risk/reward of the bullshit around them, the logical people can co-exist with the socials, they just make more money, and are thankful that they aren't ruled by emotion, but can the socials, those who "love" the socials around them accept and love the goblins of the world? in the end gelvon wins..

Anonymous said...

After reading all this about love and selfishness, it just seems like something is off and I think I know what.

Gevlon, the M&S troll in the post and Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations all express a perfect view of society, and if you want to be rational, you probably should just recognize that a perfect society in any form is not only unlikely but probably impossible.

There are selfish people in the world and they take on many different forms. There are people who truly love other unconditionally to one extent or another but selfish people can be irrational and the most loving person on the planet can be perfectly rational.

But the trick to all of it is when you get right down to it, they can't be grouped up in simple ways like selfish, goblin, M&S etc NORMALLY because of the complexities of human beings.

In WoW they can because of the limited framework the game provides.

I sure as hell hate the camping scum and idiots in pug raids, but I am pretty sure that in RL I wouldn't shoot them on sight and could possible be friends with them.


Anonymous said...

The problem with people who profess that we should all love all of each other is that they are necessarily promoting a highly conformist agenda, whether they think they are or not.

If such a social movement were to be successful, it would require that more people become authoritarian in bent, or that those who are not would be eliminated. Then this anti-goblin's utopia could be achieved.

See Bob Altemeyer's research on authoritarian personalities and how the primary feature of this personality is not the desire to lead, but the desire to submit and conform:

Markco said...

This is so backasswards... just because you are part of a group does not mean that you mutually exclude all other groups. You can be welcoming to all others without isolating yourself. Sounds like someone needs a hug...

CK said...


You said, “But seriously, no one should be allowed to comment here until they've read Smith and Keynes.”

Don’t you think your comment, above, is little overkill?

MyName said...

This whole conversation is a bit stupid. Gevlon can make the claim that you can design a society where everyone is a selfish bastard and that society would still work. And he's absolutely right. However, it wouldn't be a Utopia, it'd be much the same as now except it'd have more selfish bastards.

The other poster is also wrong about building a Utopia based on love. It'd be much the same only with more love addled fools.

A Utopia would require a society where there is no real conflict, and that could only exist where there are basically limitless space and resources so everyone can get what they want (as opposed to what they need). While the resources may be more rationally distributed in Gevlon's society, they would not be limitless, hence there would still be conflict.

While he can claim that people would not be upset about being shut out of some resources, as they'd be more logical about how it happened, I don't think that would be the case for most people. And even if it was, there could still be situations where it is logical for them to be outside the law.

Chris said...

@ CK

No i dont think its a bit extreme. What gevlon is describing, although with his own bitter twinge, is very conventional economic theory, from both sides of the fence. The right claims that enlightened self interest is forcing people to earn their own keep, while the left says its best if we have a leg up to reach higher heights.

The basis of modern economics is that i should whats best for me, and whats best for me is probably teaming up with someone with similar goals. That team isnt built on love, but on the fact that I get more out of the partnership than i do going at this alone.

Gevlon isnt speaking out against cooperation, but about harming oneself for the 'betterment' of another. And hes right.

Chris said...


The reason i said no one should comment here unless they understand the basis of what hes saying (ie has an understanding of basic economic theory) is because i see so many commenters missing the point.

Anonymous said...


I assume you have read this book:

If not I recommend it.

Sven said...


The trouble with your examples of Stalin,Hitler & Pol Pot is that they weren't motivated by the same things. There's a fair case to be made that Hitler was of the "love people like me, hate others" school, but that certainly wasn't the case for Stalin (or Mao). I don't know much about Pol Pot's personality, so I won't comment on him, but Stalin & Mao were driven primarily by sociopathic urges, not caring who got hurt in their rise to power.

So I'm afraid your example doesn't prove your point Bad people come in many flavours and rejecting social ties won't solve the problem.

I'd recommend Deutscher's biography of Stalin, Kershaw's 2-part biography of Hitler & Jung Chang & Halliday's biography of Mao if you want more information.

Note: previous post removed due to hideous typos.

CK said...


My question wasn’t about the validity of Gelvon’s argument.
You made a statement that if someone doesn’t read Book X then they should not be allowed to partake in the debate.

Why not?

Chris said...

@ CK

Because the its hard to say that someone is participating in the debate when they clearly dont understand the fundamentals of the debate at play here. They dont realize that by arguing with gevlon on this point, they are arguing with most of capitalist economic theory. There are some people here who disagree that clearly understand what they are disagreeing with. And others that pretty much going "he said love is bad, get him! I like love".

The debate is whether love is needed to provide cooperation between people (its not) and, now that we know its unnecessary, are there any negative implications (there are). Debate those points, not whether gevlon is a sociapath and didnt get enough hugs. These arent his ideas, but time tested ones.

Bristal said...

There are no more single answers to complex human social problems than there is a single way to bring down a raid boss.

Rampant "peace" would certainly be nice and fluffy, but without conflict of any kind, there would be no human progress. Love/hate, peace/apathy, conflict, selfishness, etc. all impact progress and suffering in some way.

The best balance is as beyond our control as bringing down a raid boss alone. But we still group and do our best, both for our own benefit and for either a conscious or subconscious (Goblins) drive to improve our tribe.

And your spelling/grammar problems seem to be getting worse. Get an english speaking editor. E-mail them the post, they edit and e-mail it back.

I'll volunteer.

Nagbag said...

There is no Love/Hate, there is Love/Not love. "Not love" is mostly "not caring", with some variations. Messed up therms can easily drive away any sense from original post, and most commenters are not coldminded.

CK said...


“they are arguing with most of capitalist economic theory.”
Isn’t that a good thing?
Economic Theory by nature is an attempt to give meaning to a chaotic system. Economic Theory is always 100% accurate… until it’s wrong.

I wish I knew who said that… Some mathematician who studied the chaos theory…

Back on point: The “Read book X before you can partake in debate” is silly.
You just eliminated all debate on planet earth!
Could you imagine if I could walk into a church and tell the priest he isn’t allowed to talk about creationism before he reads all scientific works that refute his claim… or vise versa????

Could you imagine if politicians had to actually read the bill before they could debate it?

You can’t dismiss the ignorant…


wikisteak said...

Politics and economics aside, love isn't black and white. There are many types of love. You will never experience the same type of love as you do for your parents as you would a significant other, your child, your friends, your pets, your interests, your hobbies, your wealth, your job, your life, etc.

Also, looking up facts on Wikipedia?

Tisk, tisk, you should know better.

Looking up facts on Wikipedia is like going to McDonald's for a steak.

The quality of information you get there is laughable at best anyone on there can write whatever they like, maybe they've changed it but anyone can sign up and change articles.

Chris said...

@ CK

I do dismiss the ignorant. Thats where we're conflicting

@ person doesnt like wiki

Harvard did a study of encyclopedias and found that wikipedia had a lower average error / article stat than any print encyclopedia. They require you to have a university degree in a subject and prove it for most mainstream factual articles. The ones on people arent really accurate, but if you are looking for facts, wiki is the biggest repository of them.

Anonymous said...

@ Chris,
Can you cite your source because as far as I know most teachers won't take wiki as a credible source because it's edited on the fly.

wikisteak said...


Provide a link of your "Harvard" study and I will gladly take a peek at it.

And I am really glad you left out the part where something instant (wiki) is superior of facts over print which takes months to take to print and distribute.

To argue that Wikipedia is more up to date than a print Encyclopedia, well would you like a cookie captain obvious?

I would go as far as to say Wikipedia is the M&S version of "doing" research.

And which half-bit University did you go to that allowed you to take your facts from Wikipedia? Hell, which grade school allowed you to do that too?

Anonymous said...

One reason social people love antisocials is because social people love blatant honesty, or at least think they should. Socials like to be lied to, just not told they are being lied to. They like honesty especially when I tell them I am being honest.

As for death. Who here knows that death is better than suffering? Just because suffering is bad, really bad doesn't mean being killed in genocide is better.

These are just a couple of comments about the comments I have read. Another acceptable post from G.

CK said...


You just dismissed the entire world!!!!
Including yourself!

Any theory that predicts or analyzes human behavior is based in chaos.
Therefore anyone debating it's finer points is ignorant...

So your arguing for no debate?

Interesting read:
Stephen Colbert asks viewers to vandalize Wikipedia.


SB said...

So, I'm wondering where the original troll is at. Having read the comments, I see none that have as much hate in them for Gevlon as the original that prompted this post. Mayhaps he has seen the error of his ways. Or has he been frightened off?

Tree said...

I'm sorry Gevlon, but I can love my wife without becoming a Nazi. Righteous fury is it's own emotion, distinct from love. Every day people feel and express the love they hold for particular others without breaking out any crucifixes and burning the unbelievers. Fanaticism and love are distinct emotions with their own perils and pitfalls. To equate the two is to drasticly and tragicly oversimplify both.

Gevlon said...

@SB: search for "imbecile" on the page

@Sven: it absolutely doesn't matter why Hitler did what he did. What matters is why simple people followed him. Without followers he would be nothing but babbling idiot in beerhouses.

@MyName: I don't claim that a selfish society "utopia" can be constructed. I claim that if you, me, the other guy act selfishly, your, mine, the other guy's life become better and the world becomes a little bit better too.

Anonymous said...

"Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?"

Because that's what this is all about- if you love something, would you kill to protect it? if something you love is taken away from you, would you kill to avenge it?

I may be wrong- I have no data to back it up, and an "average" person can surprise anyone- but I think the average person would say yes. Hell, the easiest way to make a movie's plot easy to relate to is to make the protagonist lose something they care about.

However, there is a difference between the righteous retribution of the lover who has lost, and the rantings of the man who has bought in to the propaganda of the hatemonger. Sure, love is a great basis to grow hate from... but without fear, there's nothing for hate to latch hold of.

Love may make you blind, but fear makes you see things that aren't there. A world of love without fear would be paradise (especially for any goblins who happened to stumble across it), but as long as people are afraid of losing what they love, it's all gonna go down hill.

TheCalifornian said...

A couple of things you have to be careful of w.r.t. Adam Smith: First, a lot of people today, at least in the US, (mis)use his work to justify their anti-regulatory, pro-corporate ideology [1], and to promote "free-market" measures that favor their own entrenched positions. Second, you have to account for externalities [2]. Meaning that a transaction between two self-interested parties often has economic effects that aren't accounted for in the transaction itself. Pollution of the environment is a commonly used example of this. Externalities are one reason that regulation is important.

Also, don't forget about Smith's *other* book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments [3].

Now, onto the "Love" bit...

Gevlon's troll doesn't make his case very well, but, if I may be presumptuous here, I think he's after something deeper than economics. Gevlon and several commenters have, IMO, the wrong idea about what is meant by "love" in this context. I suggest reading about Buddhism to get a better idea (not that I'm a Buddhist or anything, but it's good stuff). We're not talking about romantic love, or love of family, or more precisely, any kind of love that's born out of a *personal attachment*. Because, when you lose something you are attached to, yes, you can get angry, sad, or hateful. These are forms of suffering.

Buddhism recognizes that suffering (it's also translated as "stress") will always exist, because the world changes. Even the king of goblins cannot prevent this. The way to alleviate this stress is by seeing things as they truly are in the present, and by practicing love, or rather *compassion* (in latin "to suffer with"). (And, of course, you should avoid actions which cause suffering in others.)

Now, following these ideas doesn't preclude striving for your own interests, or beating someone in a marketplace. Compassion does not require harming oneself. And Gevlon, compassionate people are not incapable of defending themselves against aggression. We aren't talking Quakers here [4].

Finally... The thing about WoW is that it *is* a kind of Utopia. All characters enjoy perfect liberty, there are no externalities, there is no suffering because the world is completely controlled. It may reveal something about psychology, but it's not the best model of real life ;)


Okrane S. said...

I've followed the conversation so far and abstained myself from posting because I believe gevlon's post and most answers are lacking accuracy.

Some answers try to clear it up but most of the time the discussion and the main disagreements stem from different interpretations of the words used.

In other words: Gevlon,you failed to define your terms when approaching the topic.

You speak of:
*"Love" - love means a LOT of things. It means different things for different people. We dont know what it means to you. Please define it before you start using it.
*"Hate" - same as above
*"Answer" = Answer to what? What is the problem? what is the question you are trying to answer.
*"Utopia" - What kind of utopia are we talking about: a goblins utopia? what does that mean, what does it imply? (is it optimal resource management, less poverty, or some hippie all are happy ideal)

All I see in the conversation is the side who is talking about Adam Smith's work about whats ultimately related to Nash's equilibrium point in a free market, and another side rambling about their sexual love...

So my suggestion here is that, in the future, when dealing with such topics, you define more accurately the things you are talking about, because it can lead to such interpretations...

It is not entirely up to the reader to decipher the meaning of the words you use to back up your conclusion. If the premises you start from (i.e. the words you use), are skewed in the understanding of your reader, your conclusion cannot be perceived.

This is why philosophy is so hard to read, and philosophy books seem so vast and cryptic. Because of the limitations of our language and the fact that the writer must make a big effort to remove any ambiguity that his writing style could denote.

hope this helps!

Anonymous said...


So if 100% of the people on the planet Earth lived by the Golden Rule (common in most religions), then there would still be problems?


Secular humanism > organized religion. Carl Sagan would be a God, but such things don't exist.


I think Gevlon you are confusing being selfish with being rational.

Rational people think in long terms, in the long term benefits, but selfish people only think in short terms, today and now.

At least common selfish people.

Dr. Scepticu said...

Hello again, Gevlon, and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Could you explain this:

selfish <=> rational

and why doesn't the same rule applies to people who love? I'm not selfish the majority of the time but i do love a lot of people. Strangely, there's no one i hate. Am i irrational, Mr. Gevlon?

Also, could you ask your so-many-times-refered-that-it's-starting-to-look-fake girlfriend to comment on this? I would love to know the rational oppinion on this of someone who has the (bad?) luck of knowning you better.


Meff said...

At the core of the position appear to be two thoughts. The first is the idea that emotional extremes are not conducive to rational behavior. The second is the idea that a rational society is one that encourages individuals to consider consequence, among other things, before acting upon emotions.

If we isolate those two things I guess I can get behind you.


Lolcat said...

Even in a world of purely selfish rational individuals, emotion and irrational behaviour will evolve.

You say that a world of selfish rationals would be a better place. I disagree; it would just have its own specific problems and would be no better than the current world.

"A selfish person does not attack another selfish, rational person, simply because the risk is higher than the gain."

Just not true. Use your human creativity to minimise the risk and maximise the gain. As a selfish rational there are very good, rational reasons to attack another selfish rational (and none of the emotional drawbacks) as long as you gain more than you lose (profit).

A purely selfish rational SHOULD have as a goal to eliminate all threats to themselves, including other selfish rationals. After all, the world we live in has finite resources and competition exists.

The ONLY logical outcomes are perfect stalemate where all individuals are equally balanced and unable to gain the upper hand OR to attack first and attack smarter. To counteract this, power concentrating groups would form with differing justifications but functionally similar to the current in/out groups.

War and fighting are rational as long as the risk can be managed and the gain is greater than the loss. It is even easier in a selfish emotionless world. Extermination of your competitor is handled emotionlessly.

For example, if as a selfish rational, you know another person has a resource (eg money) you SHOULD attempt to get that resource for yourself. You never know when the weakness of letting that person keep their money would in some way impact negatively on you. If the opportunity arose you SHOULD shoot him in the back of the head in a dark alley and take his money. No other selfish rational cares, there is no emotion there. People will take steps to limit this happening to them. One of the best ways would be to form powerful groups to prevent resource loss.

So you can see two main points: Selfish rationality just promotes other problems (pretty similar to what exist already, solving nothing)

Secondly, and ironically, GROUPS of selfish rationals would develop to minimise the risks and maximise the gains that competitive real life brings about.

From the point where groups form, the most successful groups would be the ones tied together most strongly (even if that was by irrational means). They "care" about the group more, even if it is for irrational reasons. The group that has individuals that care about the group more, even for initially selfish reasons (such as access to resources and safety), will do better than groups where there are no extra bonds apart from selfish rationalism.

Emotions and irrationality have evolved for a reason. They powerfully select for groups of selfish individuals over groups held together by less strong ties.

Both irrationality and emotions are strong causes of humans even existing. Don't fix what isn't broken.

The best solution is a mix of the selfish and the altruist, as either in its purity will fail (or evolve to something different). Both provide the raw clay for evolution of humans. Gevlon your purpose is to be the internal predator, to keep us strong, even in times of plenty.

If the perfect solution was either altruists or the selfish then nature would have selected one over the other. Given that both exist in life forms as diverse as bacteria and humans shows that both are most likely necessary for survival of a species.

Basically, finite resources = competition = danger of loss = groups form for protection = group selection evolves = irrationality and emotions evolve. This occurs for either rational or emotional individuals. Justification differs, end result is the same.

TheCalifornian said...

I would add to lolcat's comment that neuro-scientists tell us that emotion, memory, and decision making are interdependent processes. Indeed damage to the brain that disables emotional responses greatly impairs decision making [1][2].

So, think twice next time you're about to tell someone your actions are completely and objectively "rational" ;)

Gevlon no doubt would say that having emotions doesn't mean being "social". I don't disagree. Though, it would seem such vehement anti-social-ness must have some emotional basis stemming from past experience with "socials". Kinda of a "social" behavior itself, isn't it?


Gevlon said...

@Lolcat: you miss two things: at first, gains have diminishing returns. If I'm powerful enough to gain $1M, I won't be too motivated to gain my SECOND $1M. So even if I theoretically could take someone's wealth with minimal risk, I won't since I don't need it. When I see a 1-3G range lowbie armor for 50s, I won't buy it and relist it for 2G, although it's just 2 clicks, so it's good G/hour. Yet, since I'm capped, I don't bother doing 2 clicks.

If you'd say that "rich people still crave for more", that's irrational social behavior: they want more to show off. The second Ferrari or the golden spoons or the $100K wine doesn't worth the cost. They buy it to amuse (similarly rich) peers.

Secondly: while crime can exist between selfish, war cannot. In wars people die, even in the winning side. While this can be a good deal for a GROUP, it's not for the individual soldiers. Among selfish, you'd find no soldiers for risky missions. (If the enemy is unable for any resistance, like bows and arrows savages on the top of a mine, it's not risky, and not a war itself, but necessary cleansing the planet from M&S)

Dr. Scepticu said...

"If I'm powerful enough to gain $1M, I won't be too motivated to gain my SECOND $1M"

Says the Greedy Goblin. Baesides, you're using the words "i won't", meaning maybe you wouldn't. But others may would.

"If you'd say that "rich people still crave for more", that's irrational social behavior: they want more to show off. The second Ferrari or the golden spoons or the $100K wine doesn't worth the cost. They buy it to amuse (similarly rich) peers."

Isn't this exactly the same thing as reaching the gold cap? It's jut to show off since you don't actually need it. And remember that there is no cap in real world. Greedy people want more because they want more. It's a drug.

Secondly: while crime can exist between selfish, war cannot.

So people could die, just not in wars. Great.