First  Prev  1  2  3  4  5  Next  Last
Selfless or Selfish?
7430 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
17 / F / New York
Offline
Posted 5/6/11
Do people really do good things because they are just generally good people and have no ulterior motives?

I've been lead to believe that everyone can be considered narcissists. why? because if you think about it, everything you do, ultimately benefits yourself.

if I see a homeless man on the street, begging for money, it makes me uncomfortable. this is due to a simple but complex emotion called empathy, which all human beings have. now, if I give him money, some people would think that I am a very nice person, and very selfless. however, this is not the case. if you really analyze and look at it, I could be doing this for two reasons; 1] to ease the uncomfortableness that I feel, and to promote my own positive emotions because I have realized that I just made a difference in someone else's life, or 2] to boost my ego and self image, because other people can see that I have just aided a person in need

and this kind of thinking can be applied to any situation. (the idea that we do everything to ultimately benefit ourselves)

say I want to volunteer at a charity. I want to do this because I'm just a genuinely good person, who wishes to save the environment by picking up litter or donating money to help clean up streets/bodies of water. but really, I could just want to save the earth because I don't want myself, or my kids or grandkids to die because of the poor condition the environment is in, because my genes must survive and be forever passed down to future generations. or maybe I have to apply to college soon, and it would just look good on the application, the fact that I have done charity work in my own free time.

what do you guys think?
Posted 5/6/11
All actions we take are self serving.
7430 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
17 / F / New York
Offline
Posted 5/6/11
if that's the case, I don't really understand why the term "selfless" exists.
50511 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / M / United States
Offline
Posted 5/6/11
yes I believe everyone does things for themselves. The genuinely good people are the ones who don't need the recognition (for themselves or status) but continue to do good things that help others. Although generally this only happens when that person feels discomfort or pain from that very thing which they are trying to help people (such as a person close to them dying from an illness). The fact of the matter is no one can be completely selfless, to do that you would literally have mean to do or give away something on purpose that left you with a void that didn't make you feel good. Thats just not going to happen!
Posted 5/6/11

-yukin wrote:

if that's the case, I don't really understand why the term "selfless" exists.


use it [selfless] as a mathematical term instead. Not as sentimental means.
1928 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
19 / M / California
Offline
Posted 5/6/11
It's possible to make selfless decisions when you're thinking solely about the other person's well-being instead of your own. However, the amount of times you'll have to make a decision like that is vastly outnumbered by the amount of selfish decisions we make as human beings. I have to agree that most decisions we make are for our own benefit in some way, even if you haven't realized it yet. Despite that, I wouldn't consider us to be narcissists; it's not that extreme. I think it's just instincts that we would only do what would benefit us.
1043 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
34 / M / Las Noches
Offline
Posted 5/6/11

-yukin wrote:

Do people really do good things because they are just generally good people and have no ulterior motives?

I've been lead to believe that everyone can be considered narcissists. why? because if you think about it, everything you do, ultimately benefits yourself.

if I see a homeless man on the street, begging for money, it makes me uncomfortable. this is due to a simple but complex emotion called empathy, which all human beings have. now, if I give him money, some people would think that I am a very nice person, and very selfless. however, this is not the case. if you really analyze and look at it, I could be doing this for two reasons; 1] to ease the uncomfortableness that I feel, and to promote my own positive emotions because I have realized that I just made a difference in someone else's life, or 2] to boost my ego and self image, because other people can see that I have just aided a person in need

and this kind of thinking can be applied to any situation. (the idea that we do everything to ultimately benefit ourselves)

say I want to volunteer at a charity. I want to do this because I'm just a genuinely good person, who wishes to save the environment by picking up litter or donating money to help clean up streets/bodies of water. but really, I could just want to save the earth because I don't want myself, or my kids or grandkids to die because of the poor condition the environment is in, because my genes must survive and be forever passed down to future generations. or maybe I have to apply to college soon, and it would just look good on the application, the fact that I have done charity work in my own free time.

what do you guys think?


Omg are u really 13? if you are i will say ur very smart and keep it going thinking like that

And i agree with u
Posted 5/6/11 , edited 5/16/11
Not necessarily. I mean we do love ourselves even if we sometimes say we don't, though I believe we don't always seek to help someone to soothe our thoughts or out of empathy.

Sometimes you just want to help them.

I see it as you're desire to help them stemmed from your self worth. It's because in a brief moment you figured I got what you got and you seem to have forgotten it.

It's all from self worth.

That gesture is to let yourself and everyone know they're okay and always worth it.
48545 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / M / Canada
Online
Posted 5/6/11
What about option 3? Give the homeless man some money because you know he needs it far more than you do... I don't know, maybe that's just me... I mean, yeah, I realize he'll probably end up spending it on drugs or something, but it's better than the harsh reality he has to live through day to day. Yeah, I'm a glass half-full guy.
Considering everyone to be a narcissist really sounds like you're just trying to justify your own selfishness.
8619 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F / Dreamsicle
Offline
Posted 5/7/11 , edited 5/7/11
I just gave money to homeless people, and I still think I am kind of self-fish person. Even I gave money to them, they are still living in harsh condition, so I do not think I am much of help. I still have desires to do things that makes me happy.
32657 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
19 / M / Memory Lane,Dream...
Offline
Posted 5/7/11
I wouldn't really call it narcissism, but i get what you're saying. I would also like to say that i partially agree with you. I feel that being selfish and making selfish decisions is just a part of the human condition. It also comes down to how you want to be seen by others. You can also say that greed is another part of being a person, and that we will want to keep taking. However, i believe that if you were to see someone in need of help, you would try to find a way to help them. The decision to help may be a result of something that has happened previously in your life, but that may not be a selfish thing at all.

I'm just going to end my thoughts on this here for now. It's late, i need to wake up early tomorrow, and i'm dead tired. I'm not even sure of what i just typed up there, but i'm sure that it's just ramblings. Although i must say that this thread is quite interesting. Got me really thinking.
Posted 5/7/11 , edited 5/7/11
I think you're a genius. People at your age don't normally think like that. I agree with you that human actions are all self-serving as well.

14895 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / M
Offline
Posted 5/7/11
we all do things to benefit ourselves just the way it is =)
1273 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
18 / F / right behind your...
Offline
Posted 5/7/11
I'd rather be selfish than selfless LOL
Because when you are selfless, you're always taken for granted--and that's what i hate the most...
19324 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
70 / M / Motor City
Offline
Posted 5/7/11
I stick my neck out for no one!
First  Prev  1  2  3  4  5  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.