June 4, 2007
I am a cynic. A cynic is defined as “one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest”. I’d change the wholly to usually, but otherwise this is what I believe. It’s similar to the economic idea that most people usually make rational (i.e. selfish) decisions. However, this belief is undermined by behavioral economists and psychologists who’ve demonstrated that people often make decisions that act against their declared self-interest. So maybe I’m wrong to be a cynic? Rather than assume people are selfish, I should assume most are stupid. But what term would best describe this view? Probably supercilious.