We always think of ourselves first

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Dudeyhed, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

    Nope, I wouldn't feel like a shithead. I'm pretty emotionless. Heck, I could probably have a better time using that money towards other things like travelling but that's not a neccessity of mine so I choose not to do it. It's more beneficial to help my family, friends, or other people than for my unneedy needs. Just give me the bare essentials and I'm happy. And no, I'm not some hippy that lives out in the wilderness and belongs to every charity there is (I actually don't belong to any).

    I don't do what I do because it strokes my ego as a charatable person. I rarely even talk to my parents or my sister yet I help them with their bills. I rarely receive a thanks or see a smile on their face for what I do. Having one of those two things actually would make me happy for what I do, but that wouldn't be the driving force for what I do.

    Oh, I know when doing something for one's own benefit doesn't just have to do with wealth and luxury. I agree that it's mental as well. I'd say mental is the biggest reason. But when one runs out ideas of where to categorize something, they all shouldn't be lumped into the mental category just because one doesn't have an understanding of everything. Even that .0001% of missed understanding can be a huge deal. That's the reason why there's an exception to every rule. I really do not receive any self-gratification for putting whatever money I may have to something more beneficial rather than it just sitting there. I'm sure if I all of a sudden stopped doing what I do and let money sit there, I'd be mental satisfaction just to somehow prove you wrong, lol. I could care less.

    Since I'm not a materialistic person, those are really the only two options there are. Let my money sit there or do something with it. What is the better option? I'm not dumb so of course I'm going to at least do something with it, but since I already have all that I need and want, the only option is to give it to others instead of using it for myself. It seems no matter what option I pick, in regards to anything, it will be a selfless act. Be selfless and greedy and let my money sit there so I gain interest, or give it to others to somehow gain mental happiness (your words, not mine). But what about those people that just don't give a damn?

    What if I decided to have someone flip a coin and have have them choose the option that would have come up without me ever knowing? Then you'd say I knew both options were beneficial to myself so I didn't mind which was chosen. And if I had them never show me which two options there were, I'm sure I would have assumed both were good ones so I didn't mind either. And what if one was a good option and one was a bad one or even both were bad? I'm sure I have secondary mental gratifications where I want to please the sado masocistic or evil side of me so I wouldn't mind either. I mean c'mon, heh. Round and round we go.

    - N
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Absolutely. And it's a motivating emotion that only a few other species share with us. For example, big cats will sacrifice their cubs for their own lives every time. It's a species survival instinct. They can give birth to more cubs next season, but without a mother the cubs will die anyway so self-sacrifice is pointless.

    The other social apes (chimps and gorillas, I know orangutans are not social and I don't know about gibbons) are more like us. An adult will give its life to save her child, because the tribe will take care of an orphan, just as a human tribe will.

    And also one other species, which I write about a lot so you're all probably getting tired of it. Dogs. The one that we have the closest and oldest relationship with. A female dog will defend her pups with her life, and if she dies the other lactating females will take them in. This isn't something that dogs developed after hanging out with humans, wolves do it too. (Wolves and dogs are actually a single species, as recent DNA testing proved.)
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  5. MISSunderstanding@ Registered Senior Member

    What is wrong with a selfish act that is good? What is wrong with well-intended hypocricy when people benefit from it?. What is wrong with helping a homeless man not for his sake but for our selfish desires.?
    Lord Jesus Christ

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    says when you want to give alms, let not your left hand gets aware of it. This is hard to do for most of us.
    I do not see anything wrong if people are good even for their selfish desires. It is not on me to judge.
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  7. Rogue Consciousness Registered Member

    It's been my experience that this is almost always the argument of selfish people to justify selfish actions.
  8. Ozymandias Unregistered User Registered Senior Member

    I think that in a sense, you're right. We do "selfless" things because they make us feel satisfied that we are capable of doing things like that. We might sacrifice something of ourselves for a loved one, because it is our desire to help that loved one more than ourselves. So, in a sense, you're right. But it depends on whether or not you choose to qualify those acts, the acts of desiring to be selfless, as self-ish, since ... it is our desire behind them.
  9. Dudeyhed Conformer Registered Senior Member

    The way I see it, our own interests will be the 'final' motivation. But before that comes up, our actions may be initiated by another trait, such as charity.

    If I see a homeless man, I don't just decide that I'm going to feel good by giving him money. There's something there before my desire to satify myself that comes out. I'd say that that is charity.
  10. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

    The self is really all there is. All the other factors roll into the self so of course any decision that is made is selfish.

    If you flip a coin you do so because you choose that as the best course of action. There is no way around this. Charity, altruism, etc.- all are selfish acts in which others happen to benefit. This doesnt make it any more right or wrong. It is simply the way it is and only way it could be.
  11. Dudeyhed Conformer Registered Senior Member

    Only so long as we continue to believe in our ego.
    If we abandon the entire concept of 'I' and 'self' then I a charitable act would be entirely charitable.
  12. Hevene Registered Senior Member

    We don't need to abandon anything, but enlarge it. There is no need to abandon the "self", but enlarge it to include everyone, everything! Get rid of the things that does not work and add in the things that works given where we want to do, be and have as a specie.
  13. Dudeyhed Conformer Registered Senior Member

    Perhaps ultimately that is the same thing.
    I would find abandoning my sense of myself as hard as comming to include poeple who would like to see my suffer into 'me'.
  14. roun Registered Member

    “ Originally Posted by John Connellan
    OK if u are expanding it to include just making ones self feel happy then I can come up with anohter one. What about the mother who is being held hostage with her child. The gunman decides one has to die. The mother has a strong survival instinct and so reluctantly (no happiness) decides to spare the child. That is pure selflessness is it not? ”

    Is the avoidance of emotional pain something that's self satifying? Of course. If a mother, who we stipulate loves her child, should let her child die, she knows she'll live forever in grief and self pity. In this case the act of death is more self satifiying - however absurd this sounds - than remorse the mother would feel should she let her child die in her place.
  15. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

    No I really think u are taking this thing too far now!!! I doubt it is in her interests to die.

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