This is about as close to pure evil as I’ve seen: Destructive behavior has mostly been investigated by games in which all players have the option to simultaneously destroy (burn) their partners’ money. In the destructor game, players are randomly paired and assigned the roles of destructor versus passive player. The destructor player chooses to destroy or not to destroy a share of his passive partner’s earnings. The passive partner cannot retaliate. In addition, a random event (nature) destroys a percentage of some passive subject’s earnings. From the destructor player’s view, destruction is benefit-less, costless, hidden and unilateral. Unilateral destruction diminishes with respect to bilateral destruction studies, but it does not vanish: 15% of the subjects choose to destroy. This result suggests that, at least for some, destruction is intrinsically pleasurable. (
Indeed, anyone who has ever played an MMO is familiar with the concept of "griefing", which is causing other players grief for the sheer joy of it. Luckily, the amusement derived from griefing does tend to drop as people get older.
If you think you want to study this in an environment that caters to this sort of behavior, just play Eve Online. In this environment, the destructor is collecting/harvesting "tears".
The difference between phones and dollar bills is in the amount of resources spent manufacturing a phone vs a dollar bill, and with the beneficial effect of existence of piece of paper vs beneficial effect of existence of the iphone.
Burning a big denomination bill is still a net loss as it will be re-printed by the government, but a very small loss, compared to destruction of something like a phone.
Broken window fallacy.
Don't be silly, it's just a game. And reminding people that there are more things to life than money has value.
If it was real money: well then, you just gave everyone with a dollar an extra $0.000001 due to a lower inflation rate.
If it was iPhones instead of dolars, well then you just created an extra hour of work for various workers in the Apple supply chain, and the unemployment rate goes down slightly.
Bad experiment. Nothing to do with what it claims to study. Should of destroyed something physical. E.g. one can receive a wallet or t-shirt or something, and the evil can opt to burn (physically destroy) this item
LV outlet are several businesses making many items and many of them are very enthusiastic about obtaining the top quality ones with the passage of time. It’s all-natural that the top quality goods like the gucci sneakers, sun shades or totes are very costly where the regular man will certainly find it hard to continue the buying with the passage of time.
This is a common objection to MANY experiments on social preferences. So for some people have tried to actually destroy resources, and my understanding is that they usually get the same answer. Which is why most others don't bother.
Others (starting with BDG1) have observed that this experiment has nothing to do with destruction. Your response was that if the experimenters HAD done an experiment involving destruction, you expect that the results would have been similar.
But if we're going to base our analysis on the imaginary outcomes of imaginary experiments, why invoke the real outcomes of real but irrelevant experiments in the first place?
Suppose I quote a study showing that 30% of adults will push a child out of the way of a speeding bus, and conclude that 30% of adults will push children for no reason because "I expect" that the bus had no effect on their behavior. Would you find this terribly convincing?
Something that just occurred to me...What exactly do you mean by "evil"? I find that in general conversation that word tends to be sorely underspecified.
With these stakes, I would choose destroy even if only to mess with the experiment design. Maybe that makes me doubly evil.
Unfortunately, your thought experiment begs the question unless the button also results in the destruction of wealth.If wealth were zero-sum (and for the record, it is not), such a magical button could not exist without resulting in the destruction of an equivalent amount of resources. In which case, the decision of whether to press the button would depend on your belief as to whose resources would be destroyed. (Likely, rational poor people would be inclined to press the button and rational wealthy people would be disinclined, as the button would result in a more equitable distribution of wealth).
Oops, double-post. Sorry.
I challenge the statement that "destruction is benefit-less". By depriving an opponent of resources you decrease the average fitness of the group and increase your relative fitness accordingly.I'm afraid I don't find this result particularly surprising.Also, schadenfreude.
Wealth in positional goods is obviously zero-sum. If you buy an apple so you look better than other people who don't have apples, you want apples to stay expensive.