Discontentment is the first step towards change. - St. Jimmy
Captain Cynic Guides
Administrative Contact
Talk Talk
Philosophy Forum
Religion Forum
Psychology Forum
Science & Technology Forum
Politics & Current Events Forum
Health & Wellness Forum
Sexuality & Intimacy Forum
Product Reviews
Stories & Poetry Forum
Art Forum
Movie/TV Reviews
Jokes & Games
Photos, Videos & Music Forum

ALTRUISM and SELFISHNESS

User Thread
 38yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Squarepants is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
ALTRUISM and SELFISHNESS
I don't believe its possible to be Altruistic or to be selfish. I feel every thing I do is influenced by the world I'm in. My actions are owned by this constantly changing world.

Has anyone got any thoughts on this subject?

| Permalink
"I hungry"
 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that NicOfTime is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Like many or even most things, appears to be a matter of definition to me.

"Altruism" is what it may appear to be to others. But, in my view, everything we do is a product of self-interest. That is, we behave "altruistically" because of the way the behavior makes us feel. We see someone else hurting. We feel their pain. We help them because, in relieving their pain, we relieve our own. I enjoy helping others -- I help others because of the enjoyment it gives me. Humans are social animals. We survived not because we're the fastest or the strongest or because we have long, sharp claws, crushing jaws, or inescapable teeth -- but rather because we worked in teams. It's in our own self-interest to protect the interest of the group, and one way we protect the interest of the group is by helping others.

That said, our own behavior is nonetheless a reaction to circumstance -- i.e., "influenced by the world we're in". We process those circumstances, then react in accordance with how those circumstances relate to our own self-interest. I'm influenced (programmed) by my genetic (nature) and epi-genetic (nurture) inheritance that has molded me into a person that gets enjoyment (i.e., serves his own self-interest) by interacting positively and constructively with the group.

"Self-interest" is almost "selfishness" -- but not quite. "Self-interest" might be referred to as "compassionate" or "empathetic" selfishness.

| Permalink
[  Edited by NicOfTime at   ]
 31yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Jacker_Jones is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
You might be interested in reading Plato's republic. In the dialog the character of Socrates argues with different characters about what it means to be just and whether it is better to be truly just or to appear to be just while actually being unjust.

An early definition of what it means to be just by Socrates is that it is to do what is truly good for the soul and avoid what is bad. In that what is good for the soul must be good in that something so pure must be what is truly good. Someone with a pure soul is better than material in that the person with material may have been unjust to get it and therefore has a wretched soul.

| Permalink
"I love to see people struggling for their purpose in life..."
 41yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Ziltoid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"I don't believe its possible to be Altruistic or to be selfish. I feel every thing I do is influenced by the world I'm in. My actions are owned by this constantly changing world."

How sad! How sad!

Only a selfish person can be happy, because s/he knows thats sharing happiness with others brings more happiness to his/her self!

| Permalink
 38yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Squarepants is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I see what you mean Ziltoid, I do find that cooking and eating with company is more enjoyable than cooking and eating alone. But I feel more free like a seed in the wind in knowing that I'm not independant from this world.

| Permalink
"I hungry"
 41yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Ziltoid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Whenever a choice is made the opposite always comes with it.
So with dependence comes independence and vice versa.
As long as the "I" is doing you will be following. When the "I" is without effort(not choosing-just enjoying whatever may be) self is realized, and from this moment self is liberated from the world.

| Permalink
[  Edited by Ziltoid at   ]
 36yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that eye is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
"Altruism" is what it may appear to be to others. But, in my view, everything we do is a product of self-interest



Altruism or in other words to be selfless, Is to "chose" your actions based on intrest of others regardless of the consequence it might produce on yourself.

It is not doing something because it makes me feel "good", it is regardless of the fact of how it makes me feel.
empathy takes no role here.

hence the concept of self sacrifice, it is an extreme form of altruism.

Selfishness, is doing actions "Only" because of their consequences to ourselves (or in other words people we like).

And selflessness as i explained it above is the other.

It is not the consequence of every action we take, it is the reasoning behind it, The why we did the actions.

If we perceive our actions as if i do something just cause it makes me feel good, then we are selfish.
If we perceive our actions as if i do something just because other people might feel good, then we are selfless.

Altruism is taking ourselves out of the equation of thought that we conduct when doing any action we presume would have consequence (on us or others).

We can not judge but ourselves on this matter.


cheers~

| Permalink
"i think therefore i think i am"
 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that NicOfTime is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Well, I hear ya there, Eye. But I suspect the notion of altruism is really just idealism. The reality is that you'll never take the "I" (self-interest) out of it. If it's your choice (as you've said), then there's always a reason you do something -- and, since you are the one doing the reasoning, it's always a product of your thinking, your reasoning, your criteria for what makes sense or what is the right thing for you to do, fulfilling some inner equation, meeting some inner need -- always tied to how you feel about it.

quote:
If we perceive our actions as if i do something just because other people might feel good, then we are selfless.


How does it make you feel to do something that makes others feel good?

quote:
Altruism is taking ourselves out of the equation of thought that we conduct when doing any action we presume would have consequence (on us or others).


If you are doing any action, then you are not taking yourself out of the equation. The mere fact that you are doing it, and the fact that you choose to do it, puts you in the equation. You're choosing to do it, and that choice is motivated by your own inner reasons, your own criteria for what's "right" or what "makes sense".

Altruism is a nice ideal, a nice idealistic spin to put on human behavior. But there's idealism, and there's reality. We do something because it meets our needs -- even if that need is to help others, even if helping others risks our own lives.

| Permalink
 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that NicOfTime is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
So -- are you saying that, if I help someone else because I like the way helping others makes me feel, because making someone else feel good makes me feel good, that I'm doing it for the wrong reasons?

| Permalink
 36yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that eye is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
So -- are you saying that, if I help someone else because I like the way helping others makes me feel, because making someone else feel good makes me feel good, that I'm doing it for the wrong reasons?


Nope, what i'm saying is that selfish and selfless are to define our actions,

we never know if we are selfless unless we face a choice that would either put us in a bad place or other people in a bad place.
If then we chose the good of the many instead of the good of "myself", that would be a selfless act.

i guess it could be said that true selflessness can only be discovered through a position that requires self sacrifice (up to a certain level of course, doesn't require extreme actions)

we can judge all acts as selfish or selfless, but we can never judge unless we are judging ourselves.

If we are judging ourselves according to these arguments, Then we are "trying" to be selfless, or selfish (depends on the person i guess).

In the end it's always gray, never black nor white.
it's just about how black or how white we are. (depending on which is the black, which is the white of course).

we all try or tried once, but I was trying to simply explain the words.


| Permalink
"i think therefore i think i am"
 36yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that eye is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
Altruism is a nice ideal, a nice idealistic spin to put on human behavior. But there's idealism, and there's reality. We do something because it meets our needs -- even if that need is to help others, even if helping others risks our own lives.


I was not judging the possibility of it, i doubt it is ever possible to consider ourselves utterly good or utterly bad.

We make our own choices, we claim knowledge of what's best for others, But isn't that another form of selfishness u ask.

Well, i did not explain the actions and their consequences,
If i am trying to help others without thinking of myself. I am selfless, IF i am trying to help myself without thinking of what it might do to others it is selfish.

Now these actions, how we perceive them as good or bad is up to us. But the thing here is that we can never make choices for other people, we can only help them make their own choices, and help them achieve what they thought was helpful for them.

Forcing choices onto others in terms of "helping" them is just plain stupidity in my view.

i think it is essential that we understand that good and bad are a matter of point of view before discussing this subject.

anyway, pointless discussion is what i do for self entertainment

So as in viewing the nature of the human animal, we are selfish But we try to be selfless and we fail on both sides most of the times.

selflessness is not wanting to appear selfless. Which is what u are talking about i think.

I'm not saying people do one without wanting the other. And if we do it, would anyone know. Hence why i said it should be a matter of inner judgment nothing more.

| Permalink
"i think therefore i think i am"
 53yrs • M •
Satyr is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
Altruism is an indirect selfishness.
it is usually a product of cultural indoctrination which makes selfishness a dirty word, so as to maintain social harmony.

| Permalink
"Live Lightly"
 36yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that eye is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
you are speaking outwards, not inwards.

the whole point of both words is to only think inwards, as in i can only judge my own actions if they are selfish or not.

appearing and wearing a mask of either has no significance what so ever in terms of what are we thining inwards.

anyway, no person is either this or that, our actions can be judged by us.

denying selflessness is just an easy route to take for us to justify our actions and stop this constant judgment we would have without that explanation.

It is not valid in anyway, helping others can only make us feel good if we are seen by others.

think of self sacrifice, think of helping without a person in the world knowing. Those are one of the few conditions when we can only truely know our own intensions.
i doubt it can be comforting.

I do not say we are capable of being truely selfless, But it is a nice ideal that we should keep in mind.

another is that we are selfish if we claim knowledge of "good", "bad", "right" , "wrong" and any absolution.
it's all a matter of point of view really.

selfless is thinkin of the good of the many instead of ourselves (we might come into the equation or not), selfish is to think of the good of ourselves before any other things (or simply including ourself in the equation in any way)

cheers~
(read posts above)

| Permalink
"i think therefore i think i am"
 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that NicOfTime is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
It is not valid in anyway, helping others can only make us feel good if we are seen by others.

Interesting comment, and probably true for you. But I've helped others, often anonymously, and I feel good every time I do it, whether anyone sees me or not. So what is not valid for you may still be entirely valid for others.

| Permalink
 36yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that eye is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
i'm not totally sure about the validity of my point, but i didn't mean that case. It's a sort of comfort in knowing you did what u thought was right. It is not what i was talking about by "feeling good" cause i help others. since i don't think it's what people who say "i only help others cause it makes me feel good so everybody is selfish" mean by "feel good"

In valid i meant, in my view it's not a healthy way of reasonning.

I often discuss in terms of how others might see things not my own point of view.

hence the idocracy of my nickname

cheers~

| Permalink
"i think therefore i think i am"
ALTRUISM and SELFISHNESS
  1    2  
About Captain Cynic
Common FAQ's
Captain Cynic Guides
Contact Us
Terms of Use
Privacy Policy
General Forum Rules
Cynic Trust Levels
Administrative Contact Forum
Registration
Lost Password
General Discussion
Philosophy Forums
Psychology Forums
Health Forums
Quote Submissions
Promotions & Links
 Captain Cynic on Facebook
 Captain Cynic on Twitter
 Captain Cynic RSS Feed
 Daily Tasker
Copyright © 2011 Captain Cynic All Rights Reserved.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy