Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

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Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
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Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

After several months of deep reflection I have to the conclusion that I am not going to pursue obtaining a job in the legal field.

Several reasons why I made this decision:

 

(1) Lawyers are crappy people, in general, although there are SOME good people that are attorneys. The idea of working with crooked and miserable people doesnt sound very appealing

(2) Mental health of attorneys is very poor as 1 in 4 suffer from depression. Attorneys have the highest depression rate out of any other profession. I am a odds person and dont like those odds at all. I love my wife very much and would hate to lose her because i am miserable due to my work.

(3) Horrible job prospects with the fundamentals of the law degree deteriorating by the year. Check out craigslist as job adds offer $15 per hour for starting lawyers. Salesguys with no college make more than that when u factor in commission. In addition, me graduating from a tier 4 law school with average grades doesnt help me at all with so many other lawyers coming about much better schools applying to the same openings. This was my mistake as i should have looked into the JD program more intensely before attending school as I foolish believed the ABA approved employment data. Similar to the subprime borrower i got duped. Im cutting my losses now and getting out.

(4) In the next decade as the economy continues to enter its paradigm shift many tier 4 schools will shut down, including mine (hahahah). Im, looking into shorting Thomas Jefferson School of Law bonds (rated BBB+). Trying to find some conduit any help would be great. Back to the point, as the economy changes there will be less lawyer work. As the supply of attorneys continues to grow due to the 45,000 grads being pumped out every year you will see many attorneys driving cabs and serving coffee, similar to greece, argentina, italy, etc. Buyer beware. As i am convinced that we will have a paradigm shift i dont want to get caught in the storm.

(5) I am being a stubborn ba*tard. As i have stated before my father is a wealthy man who owns a chain of restaurants. He owns the properties free and clear, so no rent and no mortgages. Been in business for a looong time. Its all going to me and my brother in trust. Initially i took my fathers advice and "went to school so I could work in a office, not get my hands dirty like he had too". I never really wanted to go to law school and felt that my BA in political philosophy was enough. I did what my parents wanted me to do and their happy i got my JD and law license. As i see the yield that the law career will bring i think its much more economical to work with the family business. Better to be a king and smell like french fries than to be a slave and wear a suit. Thats my reasoning anyways. It makes me sick to have to beg for work for $15 per hour when i could go to the restaurants and not have to take orders from no one (other than my father who is a great great guy). Not that im dogging the $15 per hour but if i had taken out $150,000 in loans like my class mates $15 per hour IS a slave wage.

For the last 2 months i was very sad and depressed about this issue. Sending out 100's of resumes and not getting a phone call sent the message loud and clear: your credentials dont mean sh*t when there are hundreds of others from better schools with much more experience. 30 yrs ago a grad from a similar tier 4 could walk into the public defenders office and go into court the next day. Now, there are tier 1 grads begging for work at the PD office. What are the odds that they will hire a tier 4 mutant retard like me?? Not being a masochist here but the legal field is EXTREMELY selective in its hiring practices and that is how they see TSJL graduates. Law school was the biggest mistake in my life so far, and i have made plenty of mistakes and will make more. I truly believe that changing direction by NOT trying to work in the legal field is a smart move. People might laugh at me saying "hes a lawyer and hes cooking pancakes and burgers". I could give 2 sh"ts as I find great pride in my work. I love being in the restautants and the last 2 months where ive been in there 7 days a week have greatly increased my emotional states. I focus less on how much of a loser i am and focus more on what new ideas i can implement to help our business survive in this truly difficult times.

 

Peace

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Hi BMT

I say good on you.. Its great to see someone brave enough to "think out loud" on these forums like you do.. Many a time ive seen you post issues that are current and personal for you.. Despite the criticism you potentially face you still wear you heart on your sleeve.. Fantastic mate.. Keep it up..

I identify with your story... After completing a B.Mus.Ed i only worked in schools for a short time.. Then had a change of career.. Not because of a lack of opportunity but because of the nature of the (Ed) system.. So now i work as a signal engineer on the railway.. Absolutely worlds apart i know and nothing to do with what i originally studied..

So go for it.. At least you are one step ahead and capeable of observing current trends before you invest more time and effort in a career thats already saturated..

Regards

West

 

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

I'm happy for you.  When I was applying to law and b-schools, EVERY lawyer I talked to wasn't happy.  A few claimed they liked it, but you could feel the truth...they were miserable.  I think it's one of those professions that's marketed well but it's really just a narcissistic power thing.  And after you get into it, you realize since the UCC has replaced common law that there's not many true public servants anymore but only stooges of the corporate system, and about the only way to succeed (make money) is to serve the banks and corporations or successfully fight them. 

Those who might call you a "loser" just have "loser" inside them.  Plus the measuring stick this society has used to gauge someone's success has been warped, and it's now dying.  If they still use that gauge, I feel sorry for them.  My view is that staying connected to family and local roots in something like a restaurant is noble...and it will certainly help as we move into the depression.

I think you'll find this decision to be a big blessing over the course of your life.

 

 

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Good for you BMT!  If you're comfortable with it...go for it!   Just don't piss your father offInnocent

Subprime JD's picture
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Dad understands how bad the legal job market is. We were together as it is. Besides, i could always retain a client or 2 for fun lol.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Bear,

Great story and it sounds like you are making the right decission.  I am glad to hear that you have a nice situation to fallback on unlike most of your peers.  Good luck and keep us informed how things go.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

BMT

I think when you look back on this several years from now you'll find it was the best decision you ever made. I have an architectural degree but I work maintenance at a very nice assisted living community. Not only do I make more that the architects I know I also love my job. Its a straight Monday thru Friday gig so there is plenty of time to spend with my family and the people that I work with are genuine and caring people.

You aren't missing anything. If you and your pops get along then it is even more worthwhile as you can get to know each other better working elbow to elbow. Enjoy and don't look back.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

The reason so many lawyers are bast*rds and the reason so many are unhappy is that our system is predicated on competition and swindling and twisting justice in the name of the law......

Just do me and the rest of us who do not have what you have the one kindness of never losing sight of the fact that you have something absolutely priceless that you did absolutely nothing to earn - you have options.  It is the people who have these options who insist on believing that everyone had them and they don't understand why people aren't as successful (and/or happy) as they are that drive me insane.  You have a safety net.  My parents were both dead before I even graduated from college.  Flying without a net makes life a little less full of options.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Good for you! Nothing is worse than doing a job that makes you miserable. 

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Loser

BMT,

I don't really know you, but since you like to air your personal business in a public forum I'm going to tell you what I think about what I do know of you.

Your are currently a miserable loser.

You entertained all kinds of illusions about your future during law school, and now that your in the real world and its time to "put up or shut up" , your not doing either. All you do is whine and complain and sit on your ass.

If you want to be happy, quit focusing your every thought on yourself. Why not use the fact that you have no need for money, and a law degree, to help someone else? 

Get creative and use your situation to make someone else's life better. Make your own path and be your own man. There is truly no higher calling than to be of service to your fellow man.

I know this sounds harsh, but I'm not going to apologize if I hurt your feelings. I've been in your shoes and my life was absolutely miserable until someone "hit me upside the head" and didn't pull any punches. Looking back now, it was the kindest thing anyone ever did for me.

 

 

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Re: Loser
JAG wrote:

BMT,

I don't really know you, but since you like to air your personal business in a public forum I'm going to tell you what I think about what I do know of you.

Your are currently a miserable loser.

You entertained all kinds of illusions about your future during law school, and now that your in the real world and its time to "put up or shut up" , your not doing either. All you do is whine and complain and sit on your ass.

If you want to be happy, quit focusing your every thought on yourself. Why not use the fact that you have no need for money, and a law degree, to help someone else? 

Get creative and use your situation to make someone else's life better. Make your own path and be your own man. There is truly no higher calling than to be of service to your fellow man.

I know this sounds harsh, but I'm not going to apologize if I hurt your feelings. I've been in your shoes and my life was absolutely miserable until someone "hit me upside the head" and didn't pull any punches. Looking back now, it was the kindest thing anyone ever did for me.

Jag, while I don't myself have anything but respect for someone who wants to drop out of the Matrix, and therefore classify them as a winner not a loser, I will totally agree that helping others is first and foremost and if there is an out of box idea that would do this then this particular part of your post I admire you for and regret not thinking myself along those lines.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Legal skill and knowledge is an asset that can be useful in many ways outside of a career in the legal profession. I recommend considering your training and experience gained in a positive light - put it to work, no matter what path into the future opens for you.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

I second what Davos said.  BMT, you're finally being your authentic self and to come to this point at such a young age puts you way ahead of about 99% of the folks breathing air.  The college years are THE time for self reflection and personal assesment which is exactly what you should be doing right now so good job.  It sounds like your dad will recognize the love and respect that you have for him and that you are eager to express that through your work with the family business which will only further your relationship.  Discover your bliss and the world as a whole will benifit from your passion and joy.  Don't underestimate the power of food prepared and served with joy !  As a mom myself I'd just like to say that I'm proud of you and keep going because you're on the right track.  Please do be mindful of your opportunity to be generous in your monetary wealth and the food that you handle in your family business can go a long way in helping those less fortunate. 

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Hey BMT, I applaud you for getting clarity  early on and not spending years of your life doing what your Dad thought you should do.

JAG, man, no need to be so cranky first thing in the morning, on a Monday no less. It's entirely possible to disagree with someone or offer them a different view without being insulting. I don't agree with you  that he's in any way a loser (who among us has not focused on ourselves with great intensity from time to time in our lives, if not constantly!), but I do like your idea of finding ways to make the world a better place, especially if you've got your needs met already. I think that's spot on advice for all of us.

I'm fascinated to read how many people are working outside of the profession they spent years in a university for, and are happier for it. I guess I fall in that category as well and I just didn't realize how much company I had! (After a BS in PoliSci, I became a journalist for a decade, then media relations, then stayed at home with two kids, then retrained as a massage therapist and am currently back home with the kids, homeschooling. When I return to work, it will more likely be as an MT or a truck farmer than anything to do with journalism.)

Warmly,

Sue

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Re: Loser
JAG wrote:

BMT,

I don't really know you, but since you like to air your personal business in a public forum I'm going to tell you what I think about what I do know of you.

Your are currently a miserable loser.

You entertained all kinds of illusions about your future during law school, and now that your in the real world and its time to "put up or shut up" , your not doing either. All you do is whine and complain and sit on your ass.

If you want to be happy, quit focusing your every thought on yourself. Why not use the fact that you have no need for money, and a law degree, to help someone else? 

Get creative and use your situation to make someone else's life better. Make your own path and be your own man. There is truly no higher calling than to be of service to your fellow man.

I know this sounds harsh, but I'm not going to apologize if I hurt your feelings. I've been in your shoes and my life was absolutely miserable until someone "hit me upside the head" and didn't pull any punches. Looking back now, it was the kindest thing anyone ever did for me. 

 

 

+50 to JAG.

I'd do anything to be in a position to pursue justice for the sake of justice.

Bear, Jeff's right on this. It sounds like "the next step" just hit you square in the face. Do you realize what an opportunity you have? Think about it. Material and status personify the  externalization of happiness. And you have the tools and opportunity to break free from that. Free from want, you can engage in bona fide service. You have the chance to do something that can bring a deep inner satisfaction by alleviating suffering in others.

Sorry, cry me a river. I wish that I was in your position. 

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

BMT,

If you want to put your legal skills to work, there are lots of great places fighting for freedom on many levels, here is one, with job openings including one for a young new lawyer volunteer which it sounds like you many be in a financial position to do.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Its funny, I probably sound like a whining little spoiled brat on these boards. But that is farther from the truth. The reason that I personalize some of my posts is because it has a stronger effect on people. It moves more. Not just that, its my personality. I can walk into a gas station and tell the gas attendant all kinds of things about my personal life and leave. Its just the way I am. However, I listen to people as well. It goes both ways.

Heres some bad news on the volunteer jobs: all the tier 1 BIGLAW associates that have been deferred from their jobs have been told that they "should" volunteer at the non profits. The deferrment policy gives non profits a great selection of top talent. So before when I could have had a chance to get in, now its even tougher. And yes JAG i hav already tried have not heard back from anyone.

Jag, I take constructive critisism very well. You'll notice that when some of my posts have harsh reactions i typically ignore them. I help people all the time I love doing that. And remember, just because my dad is wealthy doesnt mean that I am. Ive got $1500 in my checking/savings. He pays me $450 a week. I live with my parents (age 27) and yes my wife lives here too! Yes, i have a place to stay but not my own place to stay. How much longer will she tolerate living with mom and dad? Mom is very vicious at times. 2 yrs, 5 yrs? Maybe she will, maybe she wont. How about starting a family? You see, its not all roses for me.

Heres some pro bono work im doing for my employees:

foreclosure defense for my cook

child support for my cashier

landlord stole $1600 deposit from one of my managers

So i help people out, but need to help myself first and foremost. Only those who can help themselves are in a position to help others.

Peace

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

oops double post

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

"There is truly no higher calling than to be of service to your fellow man."

Jeff, I see you've been sucking down the altruist kool aid, the actual definition of altruism is "live for others", your own life not being of any value other than to be of service to people less fortunate than you. What crap! I live my life without expecting or wanting others to help me, if I do want help with something that I can't do myself I will either trade money or my labor in exchange for it. In my twenties I decided that I never wanted to be a burden on anyone so I have acquired the means to achieve this.

Origin of the term

The word "altruism" (derived from French autre "other," in its turn derived from Latin alter "other") was coined by Auguste Comte, the French founder of positivism, in order to describe the ethical doctrine he supported. He believed that individuals had a moral obligation to serve the interest of others or the "greater good" of humanity. Comte says, in his Catechisme Positiviste,

[The] social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service…. This ["to live for others"], the definitive formula of human morality, gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity, who we are entirely.[1]

Both the name of this ethical doctrine and doing what the doctrine prescribes are referred to by the term "altruism" — serving others through placing their interests above one's own.

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Altruism

The question that comes to my mind is, Why are other peoples interests more important than my own interests? This is not to say I won't help anyone, when I had a patio boat on Shasta Lake if I saw that someone was stranded I would tow them the nearest resort free of charge. I looked at it like I might breakdown someday and want a tow myself although I would offer payment.

 

V's picture
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Altruists - Buddha-2500 years ago

                  Jesus- 2000 years ago

                  Gandhi- 20th century

                  Mother Theresa-20th century

many more unnamed. common link they not only changed the world they changed it for the better.

Anyone care to start a list of narcissists and their contributions?

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

BMT thanks for posting all this about your Profession. I have shown your posts to my children to show them the value of trying to make sure what you study is worth your time.

Hope all works out for you. Good you see this early & do not try to fight an impossible situation.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Thats what i do best, have always been very saavy at getting myself out of traps. Im surprised that i actually went this far into law. Well, thats the power of parents wanting a "trophy child". Im only 27, thank god.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

BMT,

Attending Law school wasn't a mistake. The mistake is not incorporating this experience into your future. If you don't like your options, don't give up, just find your own path.

Greg said:

Jeff, I see you've been sucking down the altruist kool aid, the actual definition of altruism is "live for others", your own life not being of any value other than to be of service to people less fortunate than you. What crap!

Greg, I completely agree that altruism is crap, and totally unrealistic. However, I was not advocating a dismissal of the self, only the recognition that the "self" doesn't have to be limited to one's self-image and/or needs. Show me one cell in the body that is exclusively concerned with its own viability and does nothing to contribute to the viability of the organism as a whole? Outside of cancer cells, this doesn't occur in biological systems.

Extrapolate that observation into an ecological context and what do you have? Extrapolate that observation into an economic context and what do you have? Outside of Man, a complete focus on self doesn't exist in nature. 

Self-reliance is a worthy goal, but if you think your doing it in isolation, you are mistaken.

Now where is my kool -aid? I'm thirsty.

 

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Re: Throwing in the towel -- a lawyer comments

Bearmarket,

I am an attorney.  I have been practicing for more than 15 years.  My wife is also an attorney and has also been practicing for more than 15 years.  I am friends with many, many attorneys.

Most of what you say is not accurate.  I have had my frustrations, but overall I have been very, very satisfied with my choice of profession.  My wife loves her work.  The vast majority of my colleagues like what they do.  I know very few attorneys who I would say are "crappy people."  I know very few attorneys who have any kind of mental health problem or visible "depression."

I know adoption attorneys, estate attorneys, appellate attorneys, all kinds of litigators, business attorneys, etc.  Many of them are very satisifed with their work.

The legal profession has its problems, because the legal system has its problems.  But your generalizations are not true. 

It is true that the "job market" for attorneys is very bad.  So it is with most other professions.  But I have never liked the idea of thinking of being an attorney as "a job."  It's different than that.  It's an interesting and intricate profession if you have the conviction to do what interests you rather than to just find the highest paying position that you can. 

I graduated at the top of my class in a not-very-prestigious regional law school.  I "got a job" working at a big law firm.  Within the first two years, I second-chaired two major federal trials, took depositions in Moscow and New York, and travelled all over the US.  I was on track to be a partner at a big firm within 5 years.  Everyone at that firm loved me.

I left that job with only two years experience to found my own plaintiffs' litigation firm.  I always wanted to help "little people."  It's been an exciting time since then.  I've had the most dramatic and interesting cases you can imagine.  I've recovered a lot of money for families who otherwise would have been totally screwed.  I've grown close to many of my clients.  I've been in their homes, and eaten their food, and gotten to know their families.  I've helped a lot of people who had nowhere else to turn.  And I've made some money in the process.

So it's been a very rewarding career even though it has had its frustrating moments.

I agree with you that the job market for lawyers sucks right now.  But you might also have a little bit of an attitude problem.  Maybe you are looking at the legal profession a little myopically.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

I have a huuuge attitude problem right now and I accept that. My attitude about the legal profession is so negative that even if i get a phone call i could possibly tell them to f off. Dont forget though that you have been in the game for 15 yrs (better market back then) and you were a top student. Top 5% percenters are finding work its the middle of the pack people like me that are screwed. And i dont want to hear anything about not studying hard enough its a mathematical certainty that only 10% will make top 10%. The other 90% are in a much worse position. Besides, the fact that you can get top grades shows that you have what it takes to practice law. I cant write a motion for the life of me.

Im happy that you and your wife are happy in your careers. Thats wonderful. Good for you guys Cool

I think ill be happy taking care of the restaurants. Thats where i belong.

Perhaps watching the crash course and knowing that things are going to hell very quickly is exacerbating my negative outlook?

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Bearmarket,

Do you even know anything about the legal profession?  I sure didn't when I graduated law school.  I didn't have the slightest idea what it was all about.

BTW, the job market sucked very badly in 1994.  I was top of my class, editor of the law review, and I got ONE job offer.  It is even worse now from what I understand.

How far away are you from graduating law school?

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Anyone care to start a list of narcissists and their contributions?

I'm not a narcissist, I'm an individualist.

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

bearmarkettrader - don't be too quick to close an option.  Yes, many work very long hours, especially litigators and trial lawyers.  The long hours wear on your health and can tear you away from family and other pursuits.  On the other hand, a legal background is great to have for business, etc.  It might be wise to gain some experience before deciding while watching for other opportunities.

Attorneys are privileged people in many respects and that might be a blessing as we move more towards a two class system.  I am mostly optimistic that people will wake up but if they don't, why be oppressed by the ignorance of others?  My point is that if I were as young as you, I would be very careful in closing any door. 

Larry

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Heres the problem doc, there are NO DOORS for a tier 4 grad like me lol. Been looking for work since sept 09. Not a phone call, not a interview. Dead end endeavor. Got suckered into the law school ponzi scheme. Do realize that if market forces were in play i would have never even gotten into law school. The same way subprime borrowers should have never been homeowners, i should have never been a lawyer. I cant even stand saying that word it makes me sick. 212 aba approved law schools. Many tier 4 grads languish in debt with no job prospects. Most of my graduating class is unemployed and will remain that way until they jump ship like i have.

 

subprimejd.blogspot.com

lawschoolscam.blogspot.com

 

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Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Altruists - Buddha-2500 years ago

Athough it is widely believed that "the Buddha" was a real person who lived about 2600 years ago, it can be demonstrated that, as he is portrayed within orthodox Buddhism, Buddha is legendary and mythical.

http://www.truthbeknown.com/buddha.htm

                  Jesus- 2000 years ago

The central figure of the New Testament is Jesus, and the question we are trying to answer is, whether we have sufficient evidence to prove to the unbiased mind that he is historical. An idea of the intellectual caliber of the average churchman may be had by the nature of the evidence he offers to justify his faith in the historical Jesus. "The whole world celebrates annually the nativity of Jesus; how could there be a Christmas celebration if there never was a Christ?" asks a Chicago clergyman. The simplicity of this plea would be touching were it not that it calls attention to the painful inefficiency of the pulpit as an educator. The church goer is trained to believe, not to think.

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/m_m_mangasarian/truth_about_jesus.html

                  Gandhi- 20th century

For in reality, Gandhi was a first class Indian racist who not only despised Blacks, but also lower caste Indians!

Those who have been subjected to some "conventional" Gandhi propaganda will know that he was born in India, studied to become an attorney in England, spent many years "organizing passive resistance" in South Africa, and then returned to India to lead the passive resistance movement against British rule in that country. He was finally assassinated by one of his own kind.

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=2419

                  Mother Theresa-20th century

The words of your hero,

"HITCHENS: I hesitated to cover this in my book, but I decided I had to publish that she has said that the suffering of the poor is something very beautiful and the world is being very much helped by the nobility of this example of misery and suffering.

FI: A horrible thing to say.

HITCHENS: Yes, evil in fact. To say it was unChristian unfortunately would not be true, although many people don't realize that is what Christians believe. It is a positively immoral remark in my opinion, and it should be more widely known than it is."

http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/hitchens_16_4.html

many more unnamed. common link they not only changed the world they changed it for the better.

Anyone care to start a list of narcissists and their contributions?

West Oz 9999's picture
West Oz 9999
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 26 2009
Posts: 53
Re: Throwing in the towel on the legal profession

Ha good point..

Whenever there is a discussion about altruism it always makes me think of the Richard Dawkin's book "The Selfish gene".

An excellent look at social biology.. On the surface what may seem to be ultruistic behaviour is just masking the same old same old of doing good things to ultimately still benefit self.. Even working together in a community and the idea of cooperation is to improve ones chance of survival and their offspring.. Still essentially selfish.. And when you think genuine acts of ultruism are evident and it dos'nt have a selfish agenda Dawkins points out that the "pay back" is often an improved standing in ones social circle/ community.. "Kudos" for that person being so generous and giving etc..

We know that Gandhi and Mother Theresa were human right? So why would they be exempt from the selfish gene? Buddha and Jesus yeah not too sure whether they only represent as a metaphor??

I think its ok to question these things as it often puts in perspective ones own motivations.. Problem for a lot of people is that you have to be rigorously honest..

Regards

West

 

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