X-Message-Number: 6311
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 1996 11:21:29 -0400
Subject: insurance, self interest

1. Will Dye asks about life insurance. We have recently had some interesting
material from a relative of a CI member--Jeffrey Bell at the Jacobson Agency,
26011 Evergreen, Suite 312, Southfield MI 48076, (800) 827-8031.

2. David Stodolsky (#6308) suggests that [self interest] may not be enough
[for satisfaction in life or for wise decisions], and that explicit rewards
for "good" behavior may backfire, and that we may need better understanding
of social factors.

Of course we need better understanding of social factors, and explicit
rewards for specific behavior could sometimes backfire; but that must not
obscure the fact that, at bottom, self interest is the only kind that exists.

Barring some extremely tenuous speculation, the only things that can possibly
matter to you, ever--directly--are the things that happen in your own head.
Or, what is important to you is what is important to YOU. Or, you want what
you want because YOU want it. Or, the things you value are the things that
tend to make YOU feel good. No sacrifice is possible, except the sacrifice of
one of your values for another which at the moment you give a higher
priority. In the end, altruism in any true or basic sense is PHYSICALLY
IMPOSSIBLE. Any  tenable philosophy or psychology must begin here.

Robert Ettinger

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