Are expensive luxury items morally wrong?

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Vaniver
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Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:44 pm UTC

Essentiall you will have to set up your own system, but the fact that there exists a limit should be knows, glutony is not nice, as I hope I have already explained.
But, you're not attacking gluttony; you're attacking eating. If you only mean to attack the first, then you need to qualify your statements better; and provide a definition of gluttony.

And the definition of gluttony is one that varies so widely it's telling to see where one puts it- is buying Ghiradelli chocolate gluttonous, due to its cost per pound? Or is gluttony just a matter of caloric intake? Is gluttony an absolute value (like, say, 3,000 calories a day), or is it based off an average (i.e. eats more than two significant figures more food than an average person of their height and exercise level)?

I think most psychologist will say that Gold Jewelry to feel good about how you look would hardly be very healthy.
But those psychologists, while wanting to wean me off using material goods to feel better about myself, can certainly measure the impact it has on me. Most psychologists will say that agoraphobia is unhealthy; that doesn't mean they just tell people "don't be afraid of leaving your home" and leave it at that.

But certainly I would never claim to be perfectly moral, nor anything near it, as anyone who claims so is full of shit
Or they've just set their standards rather low.

as the spirit of charity will really do more good than large sums by some individuals.
The goodwill in your heart won't feed people; the wheat bought by a robber baron will.
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Postby fjafjan » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:23 pm UTC

But, you're not attacking gluttony; you're attacking eating. If you only mean to attack the first, then you need to qualify your statements better; and provide a definition of gluttony.

Necessity. Productivity. results. keeping with the gold, you hardly suffer without gold. I mean people have lived without jewlry for a long time, now if you want to buy some jewelry, that's fine, but you should accept that the money could have been spent for better use.

And the definition of gluttony is one that varies so widely it's telling to see where one puts it- is buying Ghiradelli chocolate gluttonous, due to its cost per pound? Or is gluttony just a matter of caloric intake? Is gluttony an absolute value (like, say, 3,000 calories a day), or is it based off an average (i.e. eats more than two significant figures more food than an average person of their height and exercise level)?


Well it's really about the cost vs cost necessity, but ofcourse if you buy Fair trade market foods the higher cost is a moral cost, while the ones more expensive for other reasons don't necessarily share that. But Food is rarely luxury, which is really what this is about, yet ofcourse it can be.

But those psychologists, while wanting to wean me off using material goods to feel better about myself, can certainly measure the impact it has on me. Most psychologists will say that agoraphobia is unhealthy; that doesn't mean they just tell people "don't be afraid of leaving your home" and leave it at that.

I am not sure what point you are trying to make. My point was that Gold is essentially a very expensive luxury item. you might like it and if you have some sort of mental disorder you might be addicted to it in some way, but it is still a luxury item, in a way which something with a productive use, like a car, or a compter, or a radio is not.

Or they've just set their standards rather low.

Which means their standards of perfect morality are pretty shit, ofcouse, in my opinion.
The goodwill in your heart won't feed people; the wheat bought by a robber baron will.

Well first of all a robber is hardly moral as they do more or less as much bad as they do good. But essentially I see morals depending on your means.
If you have done as much as you possible can, which is ofcourse subjective, but that that is the goal, then you are as moral as someone else who has done so, even if their means are greater. If I die, feeling I have done pretty much as much good as I feel I could have, I would be perfectly content with my morals.
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Vaniver
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Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:09 pm UTC

keeping with the gold, you hardly suffer without gold.
My argument is that the fictional me will suffer without gold.

but you should accept that the money could have been spent for better use.
I don't accept that, because I don't believe feeding starving orphans is "better" than entertaining myself.

you might like it and if you have some sort of mental disorder you might be addicted to it in some way, but it is still a luxury item, in a way which something with a productive use, like a car, or a compter, or a radio is not.
How is spending $200 on some gold earrings when I could have had nothing more wasteful than spending $1000 on a nice computer when I could have gotten a terrible computer that could still access the internet and process words for $500?

If you have done as much as you possible can, which is ofcourse subjective, but that that is the goal, then you are as moral as someone else who has done so, even if their means are greater. If I die, feeling I have done pretty much as much good as I feel I could have, I would be perfectly content with my morals.
My point is that you might feel better about yourself, but you feeling better about yourself really doesn't help the charities or those that are kept alive by them. If anything, they want you to feel guiltier, so you donate more.
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Postby Belial » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:38 pm UTC

My point is that you might feel better about yourself, but you feeling better about yourself really doesn't help the charities or those that are kept alive by them. If anything, they want you to feel guiltier, so you donate more.


When did this become about the charity's wants, rather than the obligations and morality of the individual?
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Postby Vaniver » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:36 am UTC

When did this become about the charity's wants, rather than the obligations and morality of the individual?
As soon as he said "the spirit of charity will really do more good than large sums by some individuals." That's a quantifiable, contestable claim.
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Postby Belial » Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:22 am UTC

I believe he meant "charity" the virtue, not "charity" the organization.
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Postby fjafjan » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:42 am UTC

I believe he meant "charity" the virtue, not "charity" the organization.

This is infact true! :)
My argument is that the fictional me will suffer without gold.
My point was that a luxury item is a luxury item, even if you might want to invent a universe where it is not. This fictionaly you might suffer, but suffer like a crack head would without crack, or a OCD without being able to act compulsively etc. He has some form of mental problem, and givvin em gold won't solve that. Stop avoiding the fact that luxury items are luxury items with stupid hypotheticals.

I don't accept that, because I don't believe feeding starving orphans is "better" than entertaining myself.

Sure, but then you abiding to nearly the same moral system as me, where life is mora important than momentary entertainment.

How is spending $200 on some gold earrings when I could have had nothing more wasteful than spending $1000 on a nice computer when I could have gotten a terrible computer that could still access the internet and process words for $500?


Well it is certainly an amoral purchase, I won't deny that, yet considering the amount of time I actually use it, it was definately a less immoral act than it could have been. It is rather contextual, and as I said it's better to accept the general principle, and decide for yourself.
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Postby Vaniver » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:27 pm UTC

Emphasis mine. The distinction is irrelevant; I'm measuring good done, and charities (the organizations) tend to be fairly good at measuring that.

Yes, in the sence that the population actually caring will in various ways, through consumer power, through policy, through X Y Z, do more good than lumping money on an organization. A fairly substancial part of charities is after all spent on "marketng", in terms of getting people to care. Ofcourse they need money aswell as public opinion, but really, if you are doing as much as you can, you are as moral as you can
Huh? Hpw os that abiding to nearly the same moral system?

Woops, big error, i meant to write "not nearly", but I missed the "not" :P

But, for luxury to be meaningful, it has to have an absolute definition. Otherwise, "oh, I drive my BMW all the time, it isn't a luxury". "Oh, I use my 72 inch screen plasma TV for parties, it isn't a luxury". Everyone can justify their purchases as being crucial and their neighbor's as being luxurious; that's not a useful system.


Well they are luxuries, to an extent my computor is a luxury, as is a BMW or a plasma TV. But I would say the BMW is more immoral than the plasma. But ofcourse if you drive that BMW for fifty years every day, and really put it to use, then sure, and if you buy that plasma TV and leave it in a closet, or buy it to smash, then the Plasma is more wasteful. As I said it's very contextual, I imagine in specific cases, rather than asbtract examples where you can change the context (what if the TV is broken? what if X, etc), then the morality is more obvious. Basically it's about being wasteful and self serving.
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Postby fjafjan » Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:45 pm UTC

WOOPS! :oops: :oops:
it appears I pressed the 'edit' instead of 'quote' button, and thus edited Vanivers post, so here is my post and my apologies


Emphasis mine. The distinction is irrelevant; I'm measuring good done, and charities (the organizations) tend to be fairly good at measuring that.

Yes, in the sence that the population actually caring will in various ways, through consumer power, through policy, through X Y Z, do more good than lumping money on an organization. A fairly substancial part of charities is after all spent on "marketng", in terms of getting people to care. Ofcourse they need money aswell as public opinion, but really, if you are doing as much as you can, you are as moral as you can
Huh? Hpw os that abiding to nearly the same moral system?

Woops, big error, i meant to write "not nearly", but I missed the "not" :P

But, for luxury to be meaningful, it has to have an absolute definition. Otherwise, "oh, I drive my BMW all the time, it isn't a luxury". "Oh, I use my 72 inch screen plasma TV for parties, it isn't a luxury". Everyone can justify their purchases as being crucial and their neighbor's as being luxurious; that's not a useful system.


Well they are luxuries, to an extent my computor is a luxury, as is a BMW or a plasma TV. But I would say the BMW is more immoral than the plasma. But ofcourse if you drive that BMW for fifty years every day, and really put it to use, then sure, and if you buy that plasma TV and leave it in a closet, or buy it to smash, then the Plasma is more wasteful. As I said it's very contextual, I imagine in specific cases, rather than asbtract examples where you can change the context (what if the TV is broken? what if X, etc), then the morality is more obvious. Basically it's about being wasteful and self serving.
//Yepp, THE fjafjan (who's THE fjafjan?)
Liza wrote:Fjafjan, your hair is so lovely that I want to go to Sweden, collect the bit you cut off in your latest haircut and keep it in my room, and smell it. And eventually use it to complete my shrine dedicated to you.


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