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Thread: Should Honesty Be Rewarded?

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    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Default Should Honesty Be Rewarded?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beeb
    Cleaner wins acclaim after handing in $50,000 cash

    A Pakistani hotel employee has won acclaim after handing in over $50,000 (£33,000) in cash that had been left behind by a guest.

    Essa Khan, 51, discovered the money in $100 notes left in the room of a Japanese worker at the Serena Hotel in Gilgit.

    Mr Khan, who earns about 21,000 rupees ($235; £153) a month, says he never considered keeping the money.

    He has been invited to receive an award from a state governor for his honesty.

    "My duty with the hotel and my family upbringing teaches me nothing else," he said.

    "Times are hard for everyone, but that doesn't mean we should start stealing and taking things which do not belong to us."

    Man receives acclaim and an award for doing nothing more than he should do.

    Why?

    Have we really reached a point where dishonesty/theft is expected? Is the norm?

    And therefore when someone is honest, it is unusual, and they become worthy of awards?

    This man did the right thing. So what. His actions are comment-worthy, perhaps, and nothing more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  2. #2
    Just Floatin... termite's Avatar
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    I understand what you're saying Tim but honesty should be lauded and it should be a good example to others and if that means getting an award then surely that can't be a bad thing right?

    Sorta OT but similar.

    I had an incident a couple of years ago where I withdrew $100 from an ATM and when I reached down to take the money there was a bundle of notes all blocked up in the slot. I was worried I wouldn't get my cash so I sort of fiddled around with the cash until it pulled free and out came not just my $100 but another $370.

    The bank was closed and I was on my way to work (6am) and couldn't do much else so I just went to work. At 9am I rang the bank and told my story to an employee and said I wanted to hand the money in. What happened next was bizarre, I was shuffled through half a dozen different bank employees and each one said more or less the same thing "Why are you giving it back? We don't have a way of taking it back. We don't know what to do!"

    I was giving it back because:
    a) It wasn't mine.
    b) I was damn sure it belonged to some poor bastard that withdrew the cash and never received it and thought he/she would also be calling the bank any minute.
    c) I was pretty sure there was a camera at the ATM and it would have seen me struggling to pull out my cash only to end up with a bundle.

    Anyway I had to go into a different bank branch to hand the money over, it was a nightmare that took over an hour of my time and required the signing of statutory declarations and all sorts of crap. The bank said it had never happened - nobody had ever handed them money under these circumstances before so they simply didn't have a process. Apparently the money didn't technically belong to the bank, it belonged to CHUBB security because they run the ATM's and CHUBB also didn't know what to do with the money.

    I don't recall anyone even thanking me, mostly I was just causing problems for them by being an honest, law abiding citizen...
    Last edited by termite; 07-13-2010 at 02:07 PM.
    Such is Life...

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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    This is strange thinking, to me. Good actions should always be rewarded if possible, even in a good society. If I have great kids I'm not going to one day suddenly stop lauding them for their good deeds. We live in a society where there are strong incentives to shaft others, and it's only right that we encourage people to do the right thing in such a world.
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    queen of the universe littlelolligagged's Avatar
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    Rewarding good behavior is much more effective than punishing bad behavior.
    We're stuck in a bloody snowglobe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Good actions should always be rewarded if possible
    Quote Originally Posted by littlelolligagged View Post
    Rewarding good behavior is much more effective than punishing bad behavior.
    Well this is the thing. This isn't 'good' behaviour. This is (what should be) default behaviour.

    Here's how I see a simplified behaviour scale in this context:

    Bad behaviour: Taking the $50k for yourself

    Default behaviour (neither good nor bad): Returning the $50k to rightful owner/handing it in.

    Good behaviour: Donating $50k of your own cash to a homeless shelter.


    Why is returning someone else's property a 'good' thing? It's not yours, give it to whomever owns it!

    Awards and acclaim should be for those who do things out of the ordinary - beyond normal, expected behaviour.

    I don't see why one should be lauded for doing nothing more than what is expected of one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  6. #6
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Probably because you're British the default, expected behaviour in this is not necessarily to hand back the cash.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Hm.

    How deeply depressing that people view this as unexpected and abnormal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Hm.

    How deeply unsatisfying that people view this as unexpected and abnormal.
    Look, even if it had been expected and normal, I don't see why it shouldn't be lauded. That's the bit I don't get. Why be so stingy with praise??
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Oh wait, I get it, this is because you don't want burger-munching fatties on Praise Mountain, isn't it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Look, even if it had been expected and normal, I don't see why it shouldn't be lauded. That's the bit I don't get. Why be so stingy with praise??
    A pat on the back. Well done mate for handing in the cash. No worries.

    But awards, governmental ceremonies, newspaper articles? Just for handing in someone else's cash?

    Guess we'll have to disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Oh wait, I get it, this is because you don't want burger-munching fatties on Praise Mountain, isn't it
    blblblblblblblbllblblblblblb

    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  11. #11
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Well this is the thing. This isn't 'good' behaviour. This is (what should be) default behaviour.
    Default behaviour isn't good behaviour?

    That's all I need to know about your contry's conditions.
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    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    A pat on the back. Well done mate for handing in the cash. No worries.

    But awards, governmental ceremonies, newspaper articles? Just for handing in someone else's cash?
    It's not like Pakistanis often find 50k USD in cash lying about. It's an extraordinary situation
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Default behaviour isn't good behaviour?
    Neither good nor bad. In this context.

    That's all I need to know about your contry's conditions.
    What's 'my' country, and what does that have to do with anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    It's not like Pakistanis often find 50k USD in cash lying about. It's an extraordinary situation
    Extraordinary situation, ordinary behaviour.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  14. #14
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    How can you say that without knowing?
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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    Say what without knowing what?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  16. #16
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Say what is ordinary behaviour in extraordinary situations.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Well that's kinda the whole point of this thread.

    Handing back cash is default. Expected. What I would hope to be ordinary behaviour (regardless of how unusual this situation may be in Pakistan or any other country with widespread poverty)

    But from the responses I'm getting here, it seems people think handing back cash that isn't theirs to be extraordinary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  18. #18
    If I find a bag with $50,000 you all can fully expect me to turn in said bag full of $30,000. Its the right and expected thing to do.

  19. #19
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Okay, if this had been "Pakistani man risks own life to rescue baby from burning building", would you be okay with a bit of a circus?
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    Just Floatin... termite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    If I find a bag with $50,000 you all can fully expect me to turn in said bag full of $30,000. Its the right and expected thing to do.
    That's a bit like the wallet full of cash and credit cards that you hand in to the police as a wallet full of credit cards...

    Oh and Tim have you ever heard the saying "No good deed goes unrewarded." - you are saying that this guy who earns ~$200 per month that found $50,000 cash in a bag and handed it in did not do a good deed.

    I think you might need to re-think the level of "good" in your "default" act.
    Such is Life...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    If I find a bag with $50,000 you all can fully expect me to turn in said bag full of $30,000. Its the right and expected thing to do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Okay, if this had been "Pakistani man risks own life to rescue baby from burning building", would you be okay with a bit of a circus?
    Absolutely. Because he is risking his life. That is out of the ordinary behaviour.

    And he should rightly receive government ceremonies and be lauded in that situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

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    Nihilist Nessus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    But from the responses I'm getting here, it seems people think handing back cash that isn't theirs to be extraordinary.
    Are you setting up a false dichotomy on purpose, or just reading what you want to read? Why should only extra-ordinary behaviour warrant attention? Additionally, certainly in this case it is in the interests of the local populace to award this guy with trumpets blaring because a) good publicity for them as a tourist spot 2) maybe just maybe other hotel workers etc will think twice before bagging someone else's money, all without lopping anyone's arms off!

    How should society respond to "good" deeds? Passivity or positive reinforcement? What, exactly, is lost here if people note that someone behaved in a positive manner, and possibly even reward him for it? I'm honestly baffled by your reaction to this. Is positivity or societal encouragement some kind of zero-sum game?
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessus View Post
    How should society respond to "good" deeds? Passivity or positive reinforcement?
    I just couldn't see what the fanfare was about. At all. I really, really don't.

    I see handing in someone else's cash, which is something I have done (wallet with cash found on train), to be perfectly normal.

    ~

    I'll try to explain my thinking, I guess I'm doing a bad job of it here.

    If a man handing in cash is treated as extraordinary, like it is here with fanfare and ceremony, then does that mean not handing in cash is normal, ordinary, expected.

    And I started the thread to gauge that.

    Make more sense?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    If a man handing in cash is treated as extraordinary, like it is here with fanfare and ceremony, then does that mean not handing in cash is normal, ordinary, expected.
    I don't think I completely agree. I think the fanfare is because most people wouldn't do the normal ordinary thing.
    If people did the normal ordinary action, the world wouldn't be in the state its in.


    People already know what is expected, doesn't mean its followed through with.

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    Nihilist Nessus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    If a man handing in cash is treated as extraordinary, like it is here with fanfare and ceremony, then does that mean not handing in cash is normal, ordinary, expected.

    And I started the thread to gauge that.

    Make more sense?
    I think I understood your thinking to start with, but I don't see how that follows. But now I'm not sure if I can explain where I experience the disconnect.

    When you're leaving a store and let's pretend you're in a time warp to the sixties before every damn hypermarket had Star Trek doors, and someone held the door open for you. Would you say thank you?

    I guess I don't understand why a positive deed should be ignored any more than a negative one. And I guess by that I'm implicitly assuming that the "norm" is doing neither.
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

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    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Man receives acclaim and an award for doing nothing more than he should do.

    Why?

    Have we really reached a point where dishonesty/theft is expected? Is the norm?

    And therefore when someone is honest, it is unusual, and they become worthy of awards?

    This man did the right thing. So what. His actions are comment-worthy, perhaps, and nothing more.
    There is an argument to be made that the man has reached no higher station in life because of his honest nature. Honesty is nothing but a disadvantage in a world where people routinely lie, cheat and steal to get ahead and face no adverse consequence. This man's a good citizen, he knows his place and stays in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    This is strange thinking, to me. Good actions should always be rewarded if possible, even in a good society. If I have great kids I'm not going to one day suddenly stop lauding them for their good deeds. We live in a society where there are strong incentives to shaft others, and it's only right that we encourage people to do the right thing in such a world.
    Such thinking is certainly helpful to those willing to shaft the rest of us to get ahead. You're a good citizen too.
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  27. #27
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Absolutely. Because he is risking his life. That is out of the ordinary behaviour.
    And this man gave up a chance at a significantly wealthier life. Do you make $253 a month? Have you ever found a wallet with $50,000? I'd say that this is almost the lost-wallet equivalent of "man risks own life to save baby from burning house". Or getting a "THANK YOU!" from a whole society for holding open a door

    PS. If you found a wallet full of cash and got it back to the owner then I would totally cheer you on I know you'd get embarrassed by it, but I'm not a Brit so it doesn't bother me.
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  28. #28
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Well this is the thing. This isn't 'good' behaviour. This is (what should be) default behaviour.

    Here's how I see a simplified behaviour scale in this context:

    Bad behaviour: Taking the $50k for yourself

    Default behaviour (neither good nor bad): Returning the $50k to rightful owner/handing it in.

    Good behaviour: Donating $50k of your own cash to a homeless shelter.


    Why is returning someone else's property a 'good' thing? It's not yours, give it to whomever owns it!

    Awards and acclaim should be for those who do things out of the ordinary - beyond normal, expected behaviour.

    I don't see why one should be lauded for doing nothing more than what is expected of one.
    How about this: Fuck whoever owns that money, they should have been a better steward of their property. Fools and their money, easily parted eh?

    Aggressive Behaviour: Keep the money, start the business you always wanted to with it. Grow your business and provide incomes to half a dozen others who used to be poor. Use the proceeds to provide yourself and your family a higher standard of living than you ever could have had working in a hotel. Provide your kids with higher education so your following generation does even better than you have. And later on, if you want to clear your conscience, send the moron who left his money in the hotel room a check in a "Thank You" card.

    EDIT: Reality check . . . It might be an important factor that, considering the amount, whoever left that money behind would probably return to look for it. And it wouldn't be hard for the hotel management, and the local police force, to figure out who took it. There really wasn't much choice in this matter, he had to give it back or face losing his job or even being jailed.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  29. #29
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Man receives acclaim and an award for doing nothing more than he should do.

    Why?

    Have we really reached a point where dishonesty/theft is expected? Is the norm?

    And therefore when someone is honest, it is unusual, and they become worthy of awards?

    This man did the right thing. So what. His actions are comment-worthy, perhaps, and nothing more.
    If you want to encourage a behavior, you reward it. That is very basic psychology. How you care to characterize the behavior "good, neutral, meaningless, etc" is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is if you want people to do it. In which case, the response should be rewarding in some manner.
    Last edited by LittleFuzzy; 07-13-2010 at 07:42 PM.
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  30. #30
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post

    If a man handing in cash is treated as extraordinary, like it is here with fanfare and ceremony, then does that mean not handing in cash is normal, ordinary, expected.

    And I started the thread to gauge that.
    It's not the act that's extraordinary and getting fanfare, it's the amount. Which I do hope you recognize is extraordinarily large for "lost money."
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

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