This is part two of the blog we ran last week. Today, we’re examining whether or not a spiritual concern exists around how the Net Benefit Algorithmic process works.
Here’s what the person wrote (edited for brevity):
I introduced Copiosis to a libertarian friend…
She’s a Christian and was concerned that Copiosis provide[s] a temporal reward for every good action, therefore precluding genuine charity.[Getting] a temporal reward, might change the internal incentives for moral behavior. You do [things] not because it’s the right thing to do but because you get NBR. That’s a problem.
Copiosis’ Net Benefit Reward concept offers revolutionary approaches to getting things done. Through it’s process, people get rich taking action that creates more benefit than harm.
Given that, people likely would do more “positive” things than today. That’s how people get rich in Copiosis. They don’t work jobs. They do net beneficial things. And, so long as the net beneficial result persists, they keep getting that income.
Is this a problem?
An aspect of Christianity suggests one should do things for the “heavenly” reward God bestows on the actor. Not for any material or secular benefit. In this way, human acts become “charity”.
Looking at the world, people act in self-interested ways. While charity happens, the vast majority of people take action that benefits them. Even charitable actions benefit the actor. They give charitable people good feelings. For Christians, such acts, supposedly, guarantee that Godly reward.
A deeper look at this proposed problem reveals an interesting conclusion. Removing religious values, the objection really involves valuing intrinsic motivation over extrinsic motivations. That’s a value with which Copiosis agrees.
Does a difference exist in the actor’s mind when they do something for a temporal reward, vs doing something for an eternal reward? If so, what problem springs from that?
Let’s say a person reaches for good acts only because he expects an external (temporal) reward. In such a case, the actor’s motivation is external or extrinsic. That person considers “eternity” not at all. They want the material reward only. And they want it now.
When the person does that he does create a problem for himself. Not a fatal problem though. Nor an eternal one. Let’s look at it deeper.
Getting into trouble
Within every human exists an eternal being. All religions point to this. Many meditative processes, when effectively applied, will convince anyone that they eternally exist.
It’s important then that people nurture that eternal perspective. That’s because, absence of that, people easily get caught up in superficial situations which cause them less than satisfying life experiences. All spiritual paths center on relieving people from these experiences.
So when a person acts only for an external reward, they act from an extrinsic motivation. Doing that they deny what they are in order to satisfy someone else. Usually someone or something “external” to what they are. That someone else could be an employer, a spouse, children or “God”, however one might interpret that word.
The problem comes when the person one seeks to satisfy isn’t satisfied. When they’re dissatisfied, the one seeking their satisfaction immediately feels “in trouble”. Unhappy bosses sanction the person, fire them or pass them over for promotion. Spouses withhold sex or scream and yell. Children throw tantrums and “God” sends the person to hell.
NBR’s timeless recognition
Great freedom exists in pursuing intrinsic motivations, or eternal rewards over temporal ones. Understanding what “eternal reward” actually means further supports this assertion.
Eternal means timeless. An eternal reward exists outside time and space. The actor can enjoy this eternal reward right now, in this moment. Not at a future time. And the reward’s value doesn’t lessen as time passes.
The reward exists not because the person “earned it”. It exists because of its eternal nature. By its very nature, one can’t possess it. But he can delude himself into believing he doesn’t enjoy its fruits.
So, what happens if the actor realizes he owns this eternal reward right now in this eternal now moment?
He’s no longer needing to perform to earn it. He can rest knowing he’s worthy right now, as he is. In that he can know he’s treasured, as he is by virtue of enjoying the reward now and forever.
Seeing not only his reward as eternal, but also seeing himself as eternal too, he can rest knowing he is eternally woven into the fabric of divine essence. This “resting” comes with profound security, joy and satisfaction. Nearly all religions and spiritual paths describe this state.
Resting in that knowing, the actor then can see he needn’t strive for the eternal reward. Instead, he too springs from the eternal reward’s source. The same way all his deepest desires spring from it.
And when he deeply knows this, that the reward he’s always wanted exists in him, nothing can stop him from being driven from the inside-out. And that allows how he expresses himself to flow freely, unrestricted by any external circumstance or situation.
NBR doesn’t represent that eternal reward. Nor can it ever. But its design aligns with the eternal reward. That’s because, from the broadest perspective, we expect NBR will influence more people profoundly towards their intrinsic motivation. It will cause them to rediscover a treasure of immeasurable value. A treasure existing within them.
That internal, unlimited, inexhaustible treasure is their eternal reward.
So the process embodied in the Net Benefit Concept acts as an elixir. Through it people discover their intrinsic value. When that happens, they can’t help acting from that. And when that happens, the planet becomes transformed.
Where’s the problem in that?