After a while, it hit me: this strategy made me deeply unhappy.
With time I observed a lot my mental process, mood and behavior, and I noticed that things like being rude, cheating, being selfish, etc. while paying off on the short run, were affecting my long time happiness.
Apparently I was not made for that.
Lying, is one of those things. I can lie. I'm actually a very good lier, and a decent actor.
But I keep it in check, doing it mostly because humans tolerate badly total honesty, or sometime because I'm weak. Otherwise I avoid it, not for moral reason, be because somehow, I find it strongly unsatisfying. It's not even a judgemental voice in my head stating that it's wrong. It just feels like writting with the left hand with a boxing glove: I can do it with training but it's just not the experience I wish for.
I met many people sharing the same experience, but I can't say everybody feels like this.
However, it seems a damn good reason to be honest, even when it doesn't pay.
I'm sure there's a balance there to be attained. But knowing you are capable of lying, being a jerk, cheating and what that gives you, is very powerful.
In general I think there's a lot to learn from bad people. Which is an idea lot of people dismiss.
If you want to learn from bad people: Do it, but use it for good. For example in identifying people who are bad, or want to take advantage of you/others. But certainly not to get a balance.
And btw, I always hope, people with questionable opinions get screwed by someone with the same questionable view. Let's hope you'll learn your lesson.
Now, building strengh, characters, and participating to alternatives to the status quo are better long term strategies.
But on the short term, always playing by the rules is a serious disadvantages in some environments.
Your argument started with "it's easier to get laid, if I'm a jerk". And now your argument is "it pays to be a jerk in harsh environments".
First of all, I hope women aren't included in your harsh environment.
Second, you're right. Absolute commitments without exceptions is rarely good advice. There are always exceptions. My criticism is about finding a balance of being a jerk. There is no balance to be attained. There might be exceptions, but not something to balance for.
I'm aware that I feel very strongly about it. That's why I couldn't hold myself back from writing a comment. For me this is very important, because I get the feeling, that humanity is drifting towards dishonesty. It's even expected to be lied at. For example, my co-workers lie to our customers if we missed something or implemented a bug in our software. It's not an option anymore to say to them straight, that we made an error! How stupid is that? The customers wants to be lied at! On the other hand, if they did something they're not supposed to do with our software, they lie about what they really did. This gets me so angry... Sorry, I'm going to stop now.. :)
If you have to play monopoly, and somebody cheats, you have 4 choices:
- loose. It's not a game you can win by skill
- stop playing. It may very well be a terrible option for you.
- call for authority. Unfortunatly this is one of the least effective strategy IRL.
- level the playing field. Not great, but the least of evils until you get yourself into a better situation such as playing another game, have friends to help you, etc.
First, your quote is not from a post I answered.
Second, it's interesting to have a link to Jung's material. But stating "something is true, since Jung discusses it at length" is just a very bad argument. Why? Because duedl0r said so.
Third, actually, I share your opinion about the quote and all....but the way you wrote your post is not ok for me
Please educate me about what wasn't okay about my reply - it's all blandly factual. "Principle of Charity" is a thing, not a phrase of mine.
I'd say it's a layered thing. You start with the right core, but you layer some of these bad characteristics on top. Depending on your environment, you will have to deal with different kinds of people.
Your example is exactly what I mean by balance. But there are more. But itt difficult to showcase my point when your response just leaks out moral superiority, as if you know the backstory to these opinions.
Looking at the relationship between Trump and the media vs any "good guy" and the media. He can, would and did say everything he wanted, and no one batted an eye, it moved no one. Fundamentally a lot of people already thought he was bad, or that he says shit.
But take your "good guy" Joe. That if his image was built on pure goodness, one slip, one mistake and the press would be all over him.
What I'm trying to see is that the arsenal of weapons ( physical, mental) at a bad person's disposal is larger than a purely good person's.
And that is maintained with scale. I'm looking at the weapons bad politicians have and use, vs those that the purely good ones have at their disposal. Especially when the former have power.
There's more to this. But it's hard to have a discussion with someone, who can't see that some of the things bad people do, have a place in this world, and can be employed for a better purpose.
IMO, all lies are not worth it. Feel free to shoot counter examples at me!
But today you can screw millions of people over and feel pretty safe about it. People are generally not armed, police work is of a much higher quality and a perceived quality even higher than that (CSI effect ), and criminal courts don't tend to consider justifiability except in an extremely narrow set of situations such as self defense.
It means that, in practice, the worst consequence you can ever expect to face for a bad action is the legal consequence for such. And even if everybody 'knows' you did it, so long as you can pose any sort of a defense to offer reasonable doubt you stand a pretty decent chance of getting off. And highly paid lawyers, alongside a convoluted and ever more esoteric legal system, tend to be pretty good at doing just that.
I'm not making a value judgement on systems of past or present. I simply find unintended consequences remarkably interesting. A reasonable argument that better police forces and improved legal systems could somehow drive dishonest and unlawful behavior would rank pretty high up there on something nobody would ever intend.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSI_effect
Be honest so you can live with yourself. So that you have nothing to feel guilty about. So that you can reasonably expect and demand other people to treat you as well as you treat others.
Where I see people saying, "honesty doesn't pay off," what they are usually talking about is being a doormat. You can be an honest, nice person without letting people exploit you. In fact, it is more honest, to tell people "no, I can't do that" than to constantly bend over backwards to get people's approval.
It's tough because they both have the same intention, but the execution of it is different. I feel somewhat shameful of not learning the distinction until very recently, but am still grateful for learning it at all.
The longer version: there is a God, this life is not our beginning nor our end, we will be rewarded or punished according to our choices, someday everything about us will be known, but God can help us change now, to have peace, and happiness that lasts, families that are happy, tools to address the problems of life, and a reason for confidence to go on when things are really hard, etc, etc. That sounds like a sermon but I have thought about it for a very long time and considered my reasons for belief, which I have tried to explain:
http://lukecall.net (a lightweight site, just text; it attempts to be a skimmable outline of info where you click what you find interesting, for more info.)
EDIT: And no matter one's worldview: after many years of observing, reading and learning from experiences, it seems so very clear that we all get farther if we work together and can help & trust each other.
Downvoted because this is an extraordinary claim without falsifiable evidence. And my experience following that path was not a harmonious one. Perhaps it is better for us to cooperate more, but I'm not convinced that wildly varied interpretations of imaginary authorities are the best way.
One person pointed out there are more ways to determine truth than science alone (essential and valuable as it is):
Again, there is more info at my previously-linked web site.
I'm not sure whether that can be a helpful answer for you, but has certainly been convincing to me, both the easy way and the hard way.
Truth is, it doesn't matter. Ideas of an after-life and such may or may not be true, but the instructions for how to live here on Earth are the same regardless of the belief: Try your best to be a good person and when the time comes, leave this world having made it better, not worse.
Any religious story comes down to teaching that lesson ultimately, perhaps ideas of reincarnation or after-life are to provide a story to believe as extra motivation when people come to believe things like "Why be honest if honesty doesn't pay". If you've come to believe that, if you also believe dishonesty will result in very real very bad things for you eventually, you may act honestly anyways.
Just because religion isn't falsifiable in a strict scientific sense doesn't mean there is no value to discussing it. There is still a logic to it that can be understood and interesting consequential conclusions drawn from.
At the same time, and in addition, I believe that there are reasons for which it matters, because by knowing the truth there are much greater benefits available. Through the teachings I try to follow, one can have greater peace and joy in this life, a perspective and accompanying tools to better solve the inevitable problems of this life, and also that through those teachings and the accompanying ordinances, one can have blessings after this life which can come in no other way, such as family ties that persist beyond the grave, and Eternal life with God. There are different options for those who want only to be a good person: good, but not as good. There is more in the earlier link to my web site ( http://lukecall.net ).
This is in no way a declaration of superiority. Some of the lessons I have learned were unfortunately learned the hard way, rather than the easy (obedient, humble) way sometimes, but I am, by all those good & bad experiences, fully convinced that the specific teachings are true. (I'll add another comment in this immediate thread about that part -- relative to falsifiability.)
There are however those who aren't content with just being sophisticated animals. They want to to dive into the depths that no animal can reach, and that requires self-honesty, and uncompromising honesty at that. And there is no way you can truly be honest with yourself while being dishonest with others, for reasons which become evident once you walk this path. This path (if traveled to its full extent) pays way more dividends than any benefit gained from prizes given by the sophisticated jungle. So, whether honesty pays or not, really depends on what sort of existence you seek.
When you're honest, on the other hand, it's easy most of the time because you just tell people what you know to be true.
I wish that were the case, but it isn't. There are many other strategies for avoiding the negative consequences of lying that scale better. Society is really, really bad at holding liars accountable. Just look at President Trump -- or a couple of rungs up your corporate hierarchy.
EDIT: Having said that, I also believe trust is earned and important questions deserve corroboration and ongoing verification whenever that makes sense.
Where you fall on this spectrum is determined by a combination of genetics, family values, and societal values.
There are people who don't feel bad about lying in any situation e.g. sociopaths and pscyopaths. There are people who only feel bad lying in certain situations (the situations that society doesn't give a pass to). Then, there are people who feel bad lying in all situations (typically, bc of the values they inherited from their parents and upbringing).
I say all this because I think the optimal behavior when it comes to lying frequency is entirely dependent on where you fall on this spectrum. If you are a psycopath, you can be happy with a code of conduct that allows frequent lying and covering up your lies. If you feel terrible about lying in all situations, then you shouldn't lie at all.
Unless you do really hard work on changing your value structure, you're sort of tied to a solution, and if you want to be happy, it behooves you to follow it.