Wednesday, October 28, 2015

[tcpnnvra] People are rational

Assume people are rational.  Despite how obvious it sounds, this is highly controversial.  We don't like to think that, when someone does something highly destructive or self-destructive, they are behaving rationally.  We don't like to imagine what else could be going on in their lives that made their action rational from their point of view.  We don't want to change society to change their incentives, or even think about change.

Inspired by economic studies: Poor people are spend their money rationally.  Those in the illicit drug business chose to be and remain in that industry as rational decision based on the economic opportunities available to them.  Gang members also.

Hypothesize that rationality extends to crimes like harassment, murder, and mass murder.  It's controversial because we don't want to change society to prevent (say) rational mass murders; we would rather dismiss it as a mental health issue.

Opponents of gun control say, "Guns don't kill people.  People kill people."  Proponents of gun control dismiss that argument, because they would rather not think about why people kill people, or about changing society so that they no longer have incentive to.  Such dismissal seems like a bad idea because even if you restrict or remove access to guns, the incentive to kill remains, so they will turn to the next available weapon, like a car or a knife.

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