Is this how most of you view the world?

Competition is necessary for a moral world; without it, people would not have to develop discipline and so would not become moral beings. Worldly success is an indicator of sufficient moral strength; lack of success suggests lack of sufficient discipline. Dependency is immoral. The undisciplined will be weak and poor, and deservedly so.

Strict Father Morality demonstrates a natural Moral Order: Those who are moral should be in power. The Moral Order legitimizes traditional power relations as being natural, determining a hierarchy of Moral Authority: God above Man; Man above Nature; Adults above Children; Western Culture above Non-western Culture; America above other nations. (There are other traditional aspects of the Moral Order that are less accepted than they used to be: Straights above Gays; Christians above non-Christians; Men above Women; White above Non-whites.)

Since discipline is paramount, social programs “spoil” people by giving them things they haven’t earned and keeping them dependent. Social programs are immoral and are to be eliminated in favor of forcing people to be disciplined and self-reliant. It is immoral to coddle immoral people.

Well, I do not like the emphasis on disciple. In general conservatives tolerate inequality, but as a liberal, I want to protect people from the adverse effects of poverty without having the unfortunate pathetically grovel at a private charity.

Not me.
To me morality is a matter of both doing good and refusing to do wrong, dependency is OK if it is a mutual choice and doesn’t tie anyone into a relationship that distorts anyone’s humanity or crush anyone’s spirit, and discipline is a need and a responsibility but no one knows how much discipline it may take some people just to breathe every day. I’m not a Strict Father moralist. I’m a Firm Guide moralist if anything and I think strictness must be based on reason and truth or it is just power games.

mean to say “discipline”

Competitiveness isn’t a social construct; it’s a vital animal instinct, and an indispensably vital one at that. Truth, right?

When I used to compete regularly in Karate competitions, I found it extremely difficult to focus. In class I was accomplished at sparring, I had no problem beating up on my friends, people I knew and felt comfortable with. Put in the pressurised arena of a competition however, I would usually end up giggling at my opponent’s serious face; or try and start a conversation before or even during the match.

When I was a kid, I never excelled at Soccer or Rugby because I was never that bothered about winning. If winning meant that someone else would loose, and it seemed to mean more to them, I would rather they won and didn’t feel bad.
I was rather better at swimming, and recently I realised that swimming is less directly competitive. When you are belting down a lane doing front crawl, you are concentrating on putting everything into your stroke, your pattern of breathing, your form and the speed with which you can swim and you can’t even see those competing against you.

Now as an adult in business, the same ethic has translated to a co-operative attitude. As the boss I expect everyone to pull their weight, but everyone shares in the profit. People don’t so much work for me as with me.

I have also found the total disregard of others required for successful competition impossible to fathom, like some kind of suspension of reality, it seems false and so; hypocritical and short sighted. In business I have witnessed companies lose all their staff, or key members. The company displays no loyalty to, or regard for them, why should they for the company? You see people shrugging their shoulders and espousing the eternal wisdom of “business is business!” a mantra which allows one to treat competitors without a shred of decency.

Do we all see competition as healthy? Promote it in our children? I have noticed in my 10 year old son’s football team, the coach is willing to overlook bad behaviour and excuse violence and bad/ abusive language as “going for it”; competitive aggression, something to be admired.

Is this sort of attitude one you want to foster in young people? What is aggression as it relates to success? If you are competitive- in that competitive arena, how do you consider your opponent? Less than you? Someone who needs to be punished? Someone you hate? An obstacle you have to overcome?

Does being competitive mean that you somehow de-humanise your opponent? Is this true of all competition?
I’ve done a lot of outdoor sports and I’ve noticed an attempt to introduce “competition” over the last decade or so. Mostly on the part of sponsors and broadcasters trying to appeal to a wider “market” - a market made up of people who just don’t get doing something for the pleasure of doing it.

Everyone competes to some extent. Is it hard-wired into our systems so that we can survive when resources are limited? Perhaps.

An extremely important part of martial arts (and any sport IMO) is learning to put competitiveness into perspective. Some folks are very aggressive, let their egos take control before/during/after the fight (and there goes the John McEnroe temper tantrum). Others don’t seem aggressive, don’t preen or posture, and whether they win or lose not much attention is paid to them.

A century ago, putting competitiveness into perspective was considered critical to proper development of the man. Preening and posturing was looked down upon. Team sports were added to school curricula specifically to develop the positive benefits of competition and to downplay coarser elements.

Today, thanks to the money around pro sports and all the marketing hoopla surrounding it, people have developed a totally wrong idea of what competition is about – not just athletic but in business & life arenas, too. IMO the promotion of the *individual *in historically *team *sports is killing off sports in general. Why should a kid play basketball if he has no chance of becoming a pro? Waste of time, right?

Plus, sitting in front of a video game will develop competitive instincts, right? Of course – not many people consider that video games totally fail to help kids develop interpersonal skills.

Received wisdom states that in the wild, competition is natural selection. Competition is good. We would have never gotten to the place we are without it and if we lose it, the human race could find itself in a very, very bad place; someday when we don’t the have comfort and safety of technology and industry.

However, did you know that competition is only at best 50% of natural selection?
Co-operation plays a huge and vital role. If it didn’t, babies would be killed off immediately for a start… The human race is in big trouble without the comfort and safety of technology and industry - sooner rather than later if they don’t stop competing to see who can squander most resources. If you study tribes living at a subsistence level you will see co-operation far in excess of the competition you see in industrial societies.
For the vast majority of recorded history cooperation with the group and submission to its leaders has been a far better survival strategy than competitive behaviour. Pick any period and take a look at what happens to those who offend leaders or are considered “different”. Some try to argue the importance of competition in providing group leaders but there again becoming a leader has often been the result of a totally non-competitive process or led to achieving prime target status, which isn’t a great survival strategy.

Outside recorded history hunter gatherers do compete with each other violently but they also co-operate extensively - more than they compete - and competition outside certain very limited (if violent) bounds results swiftly in death - not a great survival trait.
We keep reading about “civilisation” and how without its amenities humanity will somehow enter a violently competitive state. I’d like to see some detailed explanation of how people can be so sure. Even non human primates (who you can’t call civilised) co-operate more than they compete, and compete only in certain controlled ways. Even in primate “society” competition is carefully restricted and managed by ritual “challenges” and the victor is often allowed to preen himself on his competitive instinct while less competitive members of the pack take advantage of his supposed privileges.
So what do you think? Can we say that competition is in reality, subservient to co-operation? That co-operation and not competition is the ethos we should be espousing? Think about it competition has been vaunted over cooperation to the detriment of real society. People watch “Conan” movies and think that’s how it really was back in ye olde Sumerian days. The Neitzchian superman standing alone while co-operative weaklings cowered.

The idea of competition as superior to co-operation is as flawed as the modern idea of the “alpha” human being superior to other personalities. No community, no matter its size or level of technology, can survive without co-operation of the majority of its members.

The latest movie to hold up the ideal of the individual competitor is “300.” Like Conan, the Spartans are held up as the ultimate warriors. What the movie didn’t cover was how the regard in which Spartan citizens held themselves ultimately led to their end. Only those who could trace their lineage to Sparta’s founders could be part of the ruling warrior class; all others were basically servants who propped up the Spartan lifestyle; within a couple centuries of the Battle of Thermopylae so few actual Spartans were left that they could no longer adequately defend their borders and Sparta was, no more.

The average human is part of that supposedly weaker, cooperative class, and extraordinary measures must be taken to turn him/her into a glass-chewing competitor or fearless warrior. And while such an individualistic competitor is often rewarded with songs and the best resources (and best women), the reason that individual is so treated is not because he is so awesome but because the community relies upon his particular talent to ensure the group’s survival. A community of pure competitors, as the Spartans demonstrated, will not endure.

Nope, not at all.

In general conservatives tolerate inequality.

If you mean they tolerate natural inequality, sure. Why not?

If you mean the tolerate unjust inequality, then that is a scurrilous generalization,

The quote you used is not how I view the world in its entirety. I do believe that it is *part *of the world: for those who are healthy and capable.

But there is a whole other part to this equation, which is care for those who *can *not take full care of themselves; the elderly, the handicapped, those who have made mistakes (sinful or non-sinful), or encountered overwhelming difficulties.

It is the second to which Christians are called, to care for those who cannot do it themselves.

OTOH, we as individuals cannot help others if we lack the resources. it is true that there are those who make a lot of money. Making a lot of money is not a sin, but considering that one oneself is the sole source of the money, that God had nothing to do with it, *is. *We must render until to God what is God’s… and one very specific and important way to do that is to help those in need.

Another aspect that people do not often think about is that there are resources other than moeny. Just giving money is not enough. There is also time and labor. Someone may have very little money, but could still go and visit an elderly person, or volunteer to help a single mother.

Well, I do not like the emphasis on disciple. In general conservatives tolerate inequality, but as a liberal, I want to protect people from the adverse effects of poverty without having the unfortunate pathetically grovel at a private charity.

You see needing to ask for help as pathetically groveling; God sees it as an exercise in humility: admitting the truth about oneself.

I cannot imagine any private charity as being so structured as to encourage that the needy pathetically grovel, altho it is necessary that the needy explain their needs, which they must do also when they go to the government for help.

Your comment reminds me of Al Gore during his run for the presidency: he had an elderly woman who was praising government-funded medication. Turned out her son was pretty rich and she was asked to comment on this. What did she say? If she’d turned to her son, she would have been dependent, but by going to the government, she remained independent.

The reality is that by turning to her son, she would have been turning to someone to whom she had given life, and everything else. She was not independent by turning to the government: instead she was dependent on a lot of strangers.

I cannot do the latter activities because I am unable to empathize with many people (but I have that capacity to sympathize) – this further isolates me from the world. I also feel unfortunate that I will never acquire the type of wealth that George Soros has so I could help the poor.

Sounds more like Ayn Rand than Jesus to me.

The assumption that competition is the **only **reliable form of motivation is a sad, sad idea.

Competition both motivates us to do out best and sets a standard that is unlikely to sink into our comfort zone.
It does great good by encouraging people to invent, innovate and improve everything all the time.
Cooperation is good too. Cooperation teaches us to identify with one another. It allows us to use resources more efficiently by pooling them. It also allows room for relaxation, a basic need just as challenge is a basic need.
Cooperation ceases to be cooperation when it is forced.
Competition ceases to be competition when there is no goal.

You don’t have to be as rich as George Soros to help the poor. Skip dessert and donate the money to the Vincent de Paul Society (the poor box near the entrance of the church). Go to a park instead of a movie and donate the money to Food for the Poor. Say an extra Rosary for the Holy Souls in purgatory while you’re riding the bus.

You don’t have to empathize. If you see a woman trying open a heavy door when she has a stroller, wouldn’t you open the door for her? And if you saw that a housemate with a broken leg was having trouble keeping up with the housework, wouldn’t you pitch in and do a bit? And if you saw that a friend was very upset, you’d sit and listen, no? Maybe even a pat on the shoulder?

If you want to become more empathetic, go and find some volunteer work to do. If you have a car, drive for Meals on Wheels. If you are in college, ask to help some handicapped students. Ask at your church if someone needs a ride to Mass.

Most things that we are not is just a lack of practice.

And always pray for God’s help.

Competition necessitates a loser. So in order to be truly motivated, there has to be an undesirable outcome for another.
There are many people in this world that have been motivated to work hard, inspired to invent, for reasons other than that. The idea of contributing, being the best you can be, being motivated by your peers doing so, or simply having an INTEREST in what you’re doing.

I do not have a Church nor do I believe in a God.

That’s too bad. I used to be there myself, and I have to say that, because my expectations were so low, I thought I was happy but looking back realize I was not, really.

But you can still do the other things—you don’t need to believe or a church for that, and I will pray for you.

I don’t think that this is true. It would seem so in a game of chess or at school or similar, but in the real world, competition is often more like a puzzle, of finding your own way. You don’t have to have someone losing in order to win in the business world, or in family life, or in communities. Each person finds a way to benefit others, and people can use a wide variety of benefitting :slight_smile:

Let’s take a look:

Morality is absolute. It is not dependent on competition.

Worldly success is an indicator of sufficient moral strength; lack of success suggests lack of sufficient discipline.

Worldy success is a poor indicator of morality, since success can be obtained through either moral or immoral means.

Dependency is immoral.

Dependency is not immoral. Dependency can be a mark of the virtues of humbleness and humility.

The undisciplined will be weak and poor, and deservedly so.

For also, when we were with you, this we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat. 2 Thess 3:10

Strict Father Morality demonstrates a natural Moral Order: Those who are moral should be in power.

No, those who are in power should be moral. The situations of the remainder of the article are subject to the above standards.

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