An Englishman in ... Kansas City?!

Nonoffensive Selfishness

"I think that so long as you’re basically a good person, you will go to heaven."

What’s wrong with this statement? Well, several things, but one of the main ones is nonoffensive selfishness. When most people say that, what they want to imply is that if someone does more good deeds than bad, they will get into heaven. What they mean is that if someone does more big good deeds than big bad deeds, they will get into heaven. Here’s where nonoffensive selfishness comes up to bite them.

First off, a definition. Nonoffensive selfishness is the term I’ve coined to describe a belief where a person excuses their own selfishness because either “it’s not that bad”, “it’s what everyone does”, or “it’s not hurting anyone.” A simple example might be purchasing something nice for yourself. The selfishness comes in when you look at the opportunity cost for the purchase: a bill unpaid, a chance to pay off debt early, lunch with your friend, or a meal for the homeless guy on the corner. (Definition: Opportunity Cost - an economics term that refers to somethings cost in terms of opportunities lost or abandoned) Some of those choices may also be selfish, but perhaps they’re more prudent. Others may be properly selfless. However, the decision to spend on yourself when others might benefit may be a selfish one. (Note: obviously, there are times when you need to spend on yourself. That’s not the point of this discussion). This is the type of selfishness that most people will simply ignore. It’s easy to look at some people and see greediness personified, but how often do simple indulgences get overlooked?

Let me be the first to stand up and admit it: I am as guilty of this as anyone. This post is intended to be a self-diagnosis as much as anything.

Coming back to the original point, when the opportunity cost of your indulgence is big enough, then it follows that the indulgence is probably a “bad” deed. This is the threshold where nonoffensive selfishness comes about. I am doing a bad thing because I’m not choosing the lesser of two evils, or because I’m choosing between a small evil and a small good. Nonoffensive selfishness is the little white lie that needs to be maintained in order for that first statement to seem plausible. In light of what we’ve just thought about, let’s revisit the statement.

"I think that so long as you’re basically a good person, you will go to heaven."

How many good people are there, really? How many people who consistently avoid the selfish decision - even the small one? The numbers start to shrink pretty quickly. If I were to be judged on every opportunity that I had to help someone that I eschewed for a moment of nonoffensive selfishness, that list would far dwarf any list of good deeds I have so far. The second problem with the statement is that it presupposes some cosmic balance scale (which we’ve already suggested will be nigh impossible to come out ahead in). What if the question is not did you do more good deeds than bad, but did you do bad deeds at all?


I have a new destination. My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone’s. It’s taken me so many years and so many lifetimes, but, at last, I know where I’m going. Where I’ve always been going.
Home. The long way round.

I have a new destination. My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone’s. It’s taken me so many years and so many lifetimes, but, at last, I know where I’m going. Where I’ve always been going.

Home. The long way round.

(Source: padfout, via doctorcaslock)

tiefighters:

War on Kinkade Series

Artist Jeff Bennett has created some amazing Star Wars remixes of Thomas Kincade’s original works. 

jeffisageek:

I just made love to this trailer! Man of Steel Trailer 3: John Williams Re-Edit/Re-Score

(Source: youtube.com, via jeffisageek)

Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.

(Source: stupidape, via thedoctorsjawn)

nerdache-cakes:

It’s Who Week! We start off with an order I got this week from Baby Mason and his Whovian parents who wanted to celebrate his 3rd birthday is true who style.

With a Winnie the Pooh/Doctor Who crossover cake! I just love crossover cakes.

The quality parent’s wanted the cake based on this T-shirt (Which I had trouble tracking down, but eventually found the true artist. Thanks, Google Images!)

They also thought Tigger needed a companion- So in steps Piglet the crafty Dalek, made from things he found around his house.

Tigger and Piglet are free standing fondant/chocolate figures and the POLISE BOCS is made from chocolate-hazelnut cake with tri-chocolate buttercream.

More photos in the Facebook album!

Facebook

(via doctorwho)

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow 
Between the crosses row on row, 
That mark our place; and in the sky 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly 
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago 
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie 
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw 
The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
If ye break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow 

Between the crosses row on row, 

That mark our place; and in the sky 

The larks, still bravely singing, fly 

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago 

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 

Loved and were loved, and now we lie 

In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe: 

To you from failing hands we throw 

The torch; be yours to hold it high. 

If ye break faith with us who die 

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 

In Flanders fields.