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User Thread
 58yrs • 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.
Every act is an act of self. It is a manifestation of will.
Therefore it is selfish, no matter how this self justifies it, explains it or understands it.

Every act hides a motive that offers soemthing to the actor, even if he may not be aware of it consciously.
Feeling good, means you are gaining from what you are doing.

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"Live Lightly"
 43yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Squarepants is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I feel that all my motives are feelings on towards my awareness of the world and that helps me to live in the world.

Where does the 'self' and 'world' meet?

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"I hungry"
 72yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that NicOfTime is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
If there's no difference between self-interest and selfishness, then there's no difference between confidence and arrogance.

Self-interest is simply selfishness rationalized; confidence is simply arrogance rationalized.

Words have connotations, baggage, shades of meaning, subtlety, detail, nuance for a reason. Sometimes it's simply rationalization. Sometimes it's the difference between understanding and war.

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 41yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that eye is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Everything is towards self intrest. In the end we are oursleves and nothing else.

Selfishness and selflessness are terms that define our actions, If we rationalize everything to be in our self intrest. Then it stops us from putting any values on any of our actions.

In the end we lie to ourselves to hope make this world a place "we" would want to live in.

selflessness is towards the world, selfishness is towards ourself and ONLY ourselves.

if we could not understand these dull terms, than i can explain no more.

The 2 terms are to inner judge the reason we follow in terms of what we shoud "do".

if we take Nothing to be valid or "rational" unless it provides a basic need for us (in other terms a material need). Then we are selfish.
If we take nothing to be valid or "rational" unless it provides a basic need for others (in terms of material needs). Then we are selfless.

These 2 terms can not be used in terms of feelings. They were never defined as such.

when we talk of selflessness, we never talk of emotion. That was the key to defining the words.

I doubt they are in any way an expression of "emotion" being a selfish aspect.
(emotions if not acted upon do not effect anyone but ourselves, thus they can not be selfish nor selfless without actions based upon them)

emotion is not within the equation here. Actions are.

Again, to be selfless is also to take your personal emotions out of the equation.

It is in other terms, not to exist as a "person" but only to exist within ourselves taking nothing from the world.

It is a utopian concept, that is never achieved.

But the concept of selflessness is not to be negated by the quickest rational explanation we tend to explain it by.

It is one of those things better left untouched, and we can only try to become more selfless (in terms of our actions, not our feelings of course).

What we feel on the inside as a consequence of our actions does not alter the fact that we did those actions, and for whatever reason we did.

we help others, not because it makes me feel good, but because i "feel" it's the right thing to do.

after all it's an insight that we all have, but the lot of us refuse to accept simply because they explained it as a selfish need.

explaining the concept, does not deny it's benefits. Even if i am to help others "because it makes me feel good", then i am helping others, and that's all that matters in the end.

if we discover that our personal emotions had nothing to do with the actions we did, then we can only then learn at a very basic point that we are trying to be selfless.
And we can never assume it to be true, since when we do we are selfish, and only persuing our own egotistical need to prove that we are in our own terms better than others.

here comes the ego problem.

we can only try.
and if we try we need not to rationalize everything as to only be in our own self intrest, since if we did that assumtion. It stops us from achieving something we thought was impossible.

again, belief in good is the good in people.
the abscence of belief in good, is the bad in people.

i dare not say which is which, it's all a matter of opinion.
again, if we claim knowledge of something. We've already lost the battle.

i hope this explained anything, since i doubt we can explain the terms if we relate them to emotion.

we can also say, selfishness if to act from personal emotion. selflessness is to act from rational thinking about everyone, without including or excluding anyone, even ourselves.

it's an improbable ideal, but it does exist (relatively of course).


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"i think therefore i think i am"
 72yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that NicOfTime is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Well, I agree with everyone here. And disagree, too.

I agree with Ziltoid in that there is nothing that can't be considered as a degree of "selfish". In that respect, I disagree with Eye because the term "selfless", interpreted literally, doesn't really exist, and the word, interpreted literally, doesn't really match the thing it's describing.

But I disagree with Ziltoid in the sense that the term "selfish" is too loaded with negative connotation to really describe the "rational" behavior that Eye is referring to, a distinction that I label with the term "self-interest". So I agree with Eye's distinction between the negative behavior usually characterized by the word "selfish" and a more enlightened kind of "rational" behavior that isn't so negatively categorized.

To me, it's all self-interest. Selfless self-interest (almost an oxymoron) is the more rational, considerate, compassionate kind of behavior that humans actually live; and selfish self-interest is the "me-first in spite of anyone else" type of negative behavior that humans actually live as well.

I think the distinction is important because either one or the other doesn't really describe all that humans do.

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 41yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that eye is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
If we were to describe being "selfish" as in gaining an emotion from our actions, (here is left to be defined as which emotion is good, which is bad. to each his own i think).
then we are all selfish.

But again, if we discuss the terms of which hurts whom, instead of which benefits whom. we get somewhere.

that's the path i took in my last post.

if we think of "who" would be discomforted by our actions, and we think only of ourselves, then we might be selfish.
if we think of "who" would be discomforted by our actions, and we think only of others, then we might be selfless.

again i was trying to categorize the words in terms of better understanding of the subject.

again comfort and discomfort are a matter of opinion, thus the whole issue here becomes vague.

as i said in my previous posts, we can only know if we are selfish.
we can never know if we are selfless.
we can try to be selfless, but that's the whole point of an "ideal" to begin with.

reaching for something we know we can not attain should not stop us from trying, since the whole point of reaching for an ideal is the process, and what it "can" do to better our world.

there's a saying that all actions are seen as they are in their intentions.

i think combining the words selfish and selfless under one roof of self interest would not benefit us as a whole in any way.
Hence why i refuse to combine them.

But we all know it all circles down to how good of a person we want to be.

Now but if we were to discuss everything that happens within ourselves knowing that it doesn't affect anyone but ourselves, in the terms of being selfish. Then we would stay within ourselves being nothing of the world.
The terms are SOCIAL terms to define our inner intentions.
Hence the common confusion with the 2 terms.

We need to learn to separate their social meaning from their personal meaning.
Me wanting to "be" selfless has in no way become selfish.
Me wanting to "appear" selfless with less regard to the truthfulness of the definition, has been a selfish path to begin with.
Me wanting to not abide by such a common ideal as being selfless, is selfish.
Me wanting to "be" selfless to please God, is selfish.
Me wanting to "be" selfless from fear of Hell, is selfish.

Again, these are very common terms taught in most religions.

Assuming their meaning as being the same has taken out our potential ability to be selfless.

Learning how the 2 terms are different from each other, helps us understand their meaning and benefit.

Again, we all know the meaning of the words, we can tell if we are being selfless and selfish if we empathize.
If we can not empathize, then we are not quiet sure of what we are.

If we haven't seen any selfless act, or been able to imagine one. That's a whole different matter.

as i said before, think of self sacrifice..

I still like to believe that not all of our actions are out of self interest.
Well self interest rules 99.9% of the actions on the planet.
But still, it's not to be negated just because we haven't seen it.

(the words aren't what they are to me, they are what they are to the general population).

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"i think therefore i think i am"
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that BethewateR is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
jumping in front of a bullet without a moment to think twice its possible to be unselfish, raising a family, even waiting in line instead of cutting

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"all you know is all you know"
 38yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Sreru is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Altruism ends up being a desirable state of mind because irrespective of it being selfish, it is inherently good for the whole. It is therefore in society's programming to look positively at people like that and negatively at those that are not.

The only difference, however, is what we view as optimal for our self interests: helping others, or screwing others.

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