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Old 05-21-2014, 08:02 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Xist View Post
Friends and family actually get upset at me for working on my own car instead of paying someone else to do it poorly and they get upset when I ride my bike instead of driving. I am rude when I try to explain why I disagree with their advice.
Your post reminded me of something I read recently from political philosopher and smart mo-fo extraordinaire John Stuart Mill that was like an epiphany to me that explains why “people” or society collectively engage in habits or acts that are unsustainable and/or immoral while shunning those self-thinkers who go seek their own paths to “righteousness” or at least “truth” if you will which is to say habits or acts that are more sustainable both individually and collectively and therefore more moral and “useful" for the long run, like saving fuel, for instance.

Mill in “Utilitarianism” was discussing a problem with something German philosopher Immanuel Kant said when attempting to create a first rule, or golden rule, of philosophical good. Kant said, "So act, that the rule on which thou actest would admit of being adopted as a law by all rational beings.”

The problem that Mill points out is that Kant “fails to deduce from this precept any of the actual rules of morality” and also points out that Kant fails to consider by this rule the very real possibility that “all rational beings”might very well be inclined to adopt, almost universally "the most outrageously immoral rules of conduct.” Slavery comes to mind as an example of this conduct that Mill references.

I guess I’m here to argue that Mill would probably consider collectively wasting gas to the degree that our Nation does to be an example of our society engaging in a behavior that is generally agreed by most to be “rational” or at least tenable, (this is necessarily so because the U.S. burned through 7 billion barrels of crude last year) but that is really, when you think about it, immoral to the highest degree to the extent that future generations will and should judge our generation harshly for leaving them no oil.

So, to hell with anybody who chastises you for riding a bike instead of driving.

I close by stating that hypermiling is an obsession onto itself and that the great societal benefits of saving fuel beyond all of us individually saving tons of money at the pump are mostly incidental and often not even considered…we’re not environmentalists, necessarily, we’re just trying to put up a big number, aren’t we? But we all ought to stop and be proud of ourselves--that we are blazing a trail that MUST and will be followed, ultimately, lest the future fortunes of generations of mankind take a severe downturn for a want of adequate petrochemical resources.
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