Meta says you are trying to "treat a set of values as if they are facts."
1. It is a fact that objective benefits with respect to me do exist and are good for me as defined by reality itself (i.e. they are not whim-based), and
2. It is a fact that as an organism, I want goodness and not harm, and
3. It is a fact that iIn order to obtain the goodness that I want, I ought to act in ways that obtain it and I ought not act in ways that do not.
The first two statements are factual is-es. Factual statement number 3 derives oughts from the prior two. And you say,
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." )
I provided a direct response to your question. As for “metaphysics,” I doubt that you or anyone else even knows what they are talking about when they use the term, as is clearly exemplified by your brief commentary on it. And you say,
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.
I provided a direct response to his MLK question too. Regarding MLK’s personal benefit, I had said, “.... the satisfaction of hugely effecting the awareness of equality among men.” You say,
Something that extends beyond self-interest already seems implicit in that 'satisfaction' to me.
Satisfaction is the intrinsic quality of goodness realized. As such it has absolutely no coherent meaning beyond any context other than self. What are you talking about? And you say,
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)?
Of course it is a fact that MLK benefited mankind. That benefit is “something,” but the “something” that I was referring to is the personal satisfaction in knowing in fact that you benefited mankind in that way. Goodness is only goodness if it is experienced. If I willfully do something that brings you goodness and me harm, I have acted inappropriately, even immorally. And you say,
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...)
Yes, that’s right. I feed birds because I experience satisfaction in interacting with them. The key here is not to lose sight with what’s at bottom. I’m the volitional actor, and it is the objective benefits with respect to me that do exist and that are good for me as defined by reality itself (i.e. they are not whim-based) that define my hierarchy of values. Again, they are not based on what the bird’s benefit, an oppressed people’s benefit, society’s benefit, or even God’s benefit. The reason to act is rooted in the objectively defined hierarchy of values of the volitional actor.