There's a number of different arguments here with you, Rob, I think....
- Meta says you are trying to "treat a set of values as if they are facts."
- I seem to disagree with you on metaphysical questions. ( You seem to feel that our metaphysical natures can be inferred from logic & I disagree, feeling that nothing metaphysical can be deduced
by our brains since there is no logical reason for anything metaphysical to be comprehensible to our intellects, which are, after all, from any rational perspective, merely part of our survival equipment as 'organisms." )
- runamok seems to have trouble understanding how the actions of a figure like MLK can be understood in terms of 'self-interest." Here, I tend to agree.
Robin Yergenson wrote: .... the satisfaction of hugely effecting the awareness of equality among men.
Something that extends beyond self-interest already seems implicit in that 'satisfaction' to me. Also implicit in your acknowledgment that MLK had an opportunity to achieve "something much greater than we typically do on a given day." Isn't that 'something,' something that extends beyond his own mere self-interests? How, then, can that motivation really be termed "self-interested" and, if it lacks real self-interest, isn't that contradictory with your basic principles (as stated)?
Is that like arguing, eg, that some old man in a park somewhere is not being altruistic when he feeds the birds his breadcrumbs, since feeding them gives him personal "satisfaction" (at some level). But would the old man receive any satisfaction unless he had real
compassion for the birds? Isn't caring about the birds still at the heart of his actions? Why otherwise, if he is not motivated for concern with the birds, would he care, why would he feel anything at all ?
Does the old man feed the birds to make his ego feel
as if it had altruism, to feel that somehow his 'self' can be extended beyond its own puny boundaries? Is that how you would interpret such actions?
If so, is that like the case with MLK? (i think you need to explicate this some more...)