- > This is also strikes me as a useful heuristic for determining whether someone needs more motivation or more sympathy. If person a would be happier if he or she accomplished x but seems to lack the ability to do so, ask yourself, “could person a accomplish x if offered a suitably large sum of money to do so?” If the answer is “yes,” they need more active encouragement. If “no,” sympathy and accommodation.
- I see this view a lot. From a certain point of view it's obviously wrong. Assuming encouragement means threatening or pressuring them, it's the right thing to do *only* if you're able and willing to apply *enough* pressure that they're going to actually change their behavior. Otherwise, if you're applying insufficiently strong pressure "because they could do it if they were sufficiently motivated", you're just causing pointless suffering because you are *not* in fact making them sufficiently motivated. Too little is worse than nothing - get serious or get out.
- The argument works symmetrically for rewards but causing "pointless happiness" is not as big a problem as causing pointless suffering, as far as I'm concerned.
a guest Apr 27th, 2015 208 Never
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