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Selfless or Selfish?
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17 / F
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Posted 5/7/11
thank god i wasnt the only one thinking bout this. wen i see homeless ppl, i really do feel sad and want to help but inside my head im always thinking "am i really doing this to help that person?", "or am i doing this to make my discomfort go away?", "or am i doing this to make others around me think im a really good person?" but i still do think the word 'selfless' should come to describe because its u who decides to feel uncomfortable or sad and want to do something to help. other ppl may just brush off the pity and feel nothing, deciding not to help at all. ur 'selfless' for wanting to help no matter wat the reasons i guess even tho the reasons here r kinda flawed.
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16 / F / New York
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Posted 5/7/11
haha well for my age, I would say I am generally more mature and that's why I have problems with people my age...

I know that some people may argue that there are people out there that are really selfless and more concerned about others, but really what it is, is this;

your conscious could be selfless

but your subconscious is always selfish

or at least that's what I think.

I also think it's better to be selfish in some cases..
Posted 5/7/11
I'm selfish. End of story.

I'm always going to do things that'll benefit me, because I've consciously come to the conclusion most people are shit and need to die in a ditch. Or at least give me something I want, then die in a ditch.

I've lived on the bottom my entire life, I'm not sharing what little I do have. Because it's better then nothing. What I do give is to advance medical studies, and to help cure diseases and defections. I don't even know if the money I am giving is going to the pockets meant to. I don't care, regardless.

What I want out of life is to live happily, and to get somewhere beyond the sinkhole I've lived in my entire life. I think I have an actual right to be selfish, because I'm not middle class or a 'noble' of the high class that get everything handed to them.

If I see a homeless person, I'm more liable to tell them that if they want something they should take it. I'm not empathetic, I'm sympathetic. Them being pitiable doesn't bring the slightest remorse to me. Because I don't care, and I won't. Because it isn't me.

I'm going to be selfish because if I'm not, I won't have anything. I'm not self-destructive; I have self worth, which is why I'm more interested in preserving it instead of handing it out.

Everyone deserves their happy ending. Most people just don't get it.
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16 / F / New York
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Posted 5/7/11
^
I agree on the part that people should just do whatever makes them happy. if you don't find joy/comfort in handing a homeless person a dollar, then don't. if killing people makes you happy, go ahead. if fighting for world peace [ironic, isn't it?] brings you happiness, by all means, please, do it. if indulging in guilty pleasures is your thing, I'm not going to judge you.

but if you look at things from such a cynical standpoint, people will see you in a different light, and that might not necessarily be a good thing. but maybe you don't even care. in that case, keep on doing what you're doing.
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22 / F
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Posted 5/7/11

-yukin wrote:
your conscious could be selfless

but your subconscious is always selfish


This is exactly what I say.

I do believe that everyone is selfish in some way. Even though they may seem selfless, in reality they're doing it for themselves. It could be out of guilt, the pleasant feeling of helping someone else, for the attention, or maybe some part of them is expecting some sort of reward. Someone might think that by doing good deeds they'll be able to go to Heaven, or if they don't they'll go to Hell.

In any case, if the reward for doing something isn't worth it, people aren't going to do it. However, what's 'worth it' isn't the same for everyone. I'm not going to risk my life to save a stranger because I'd rather be alive and live with any negative feelings I might have afterward rather than die for the sake of another person and be viewed as a hero. Others would.
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22 / F / Florida
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Posted 5/7/11
I think that there aren't that many people who will commit a truly selfless act. IMO the only truly selfless act is to put your life on the line for someone else. Anything other than that can be taken out of context by someone else or twisted into something else. No good deed goes unpunished. So yeah most people will have an ulterior motive in the actions that they take.
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16 / F / New York
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Posted 5/7/11

KawaiiBree010 wrote:

IMO the only truly selfless act is to put your life on the line for someone else.


hm well this could be seen as some degree of selfishness too. because what if you are someone who has done nothing, gotten nowhere in life, hasn't contributed to society in any way, and no one will remember you when you die if you continue to go on like that. by sacrificing yourself, you are making your life worth something, and making others seeing you as a hero. the story could be featured on the news, or just by the people around and that person who you saved would be forever grateful.

but flip the chessboard upside down, and it's a man who has everything to live for, very successful, very bright, hell, he's a prodigy. but he gave his life to save a man who has not done anything as great as he.

that, would really, be as selfless an act that I can think of.

or maybe it's a person saving a loved one, which has all sorts of benefits. first off, your loved one is alive and well. but if you hadn't saved them, you would hate yourself every day from when you wake up, to when you get in bed, and it'd just be a living hell.

what I'm trying to say is that such an act is very arguable, depending on the persons involved.
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22 / F / Florida
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Posted 5/7/11 , edited 5/7/11

-yukin wrote:

because what if you are someone who has done nothing, gotten nowhere in life, hasn't contributed to society in any way, and no one will remember you when you die if you continue to go on like that. by sacrificing yourself, you are making your life worth something, and making others seeing you as a hero. the story could be featured on the news, or just by the people around and that person who you saved would be forever grateful.


Wow, you do have a point there. I never really thought of it like that. But is being a bit selfish a bad thing? Doing good deeds for others is fine, but it's o.k. to do good things for yourself as well. So is it really bad that you mix the two? I think it's better to give money to homeless people because it makes you feel good and it helps others than to do things that makes you feel good that harms others.
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23 / M / Canada
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Posted 5/7/11

-yukin wrote:


KawaiiBree010 wrote:

IMO the only truly selfless act is to put your life on the line for someone else.


hm well this could be seen as some degree of selfishness too. because what if you are someone who has done nothing, gotten nowhere in life, hasn't contributed to society in any way, and no one will remember you when you die if you continue to go on like that. by sacrificing yourself, you are making your life worth something, and making others seeing you as a hero. the story could be featured on the news, or just by the people around and that person who you saved would be forever grateful.

but flip the chessboard upside down, and it's a man who has everything to live for, very successful, very bright, hell, he's a prodigy. but he gave his life to save a man who has not done anything as great as he.

that, would really, be as selfless an act that I can think of.

or maybe it's a person saving a loved one, which has all sorts of benefits. first off, your loved one is alive and well. but if you hadn't saved them, you would hate yourself every day from when you wake up, to when you get in bed, and it'd just be a living hell.

what I'm trying to say is that such an act is very arguable, depending on the persons involved.


That is a terrible argument against self-sacrifice as being selfless. Basically what you're saying is that it's only selfless if someone high class saves someone low class, and if you're low class, you're only doing it for some sort of prestige. You're only looking at this through the most pessimistic aspect possible and using selfishness as an excuse to fill in the holes. Everyone has something to live for, and no one truly belongs to themselves. If you think otherwise, then you're poorly measuring you're own self-worth and the self-worth of others. In that moment when you're about to lose your life, you won't be looking at it like that. If I were in that situation, all that would be running through my mind is that I have to protect someone I love, not any kind of rationale, nothing. The situation where someone will give up their life for a stranger goes beyond selfishness and selflessness, and falls under the category of stupidity. It's not about being any kind of hero, or arbitrarily giving up your life for some stranger you don't even know just for some prestige you won't be around for to receive; we have policemen, paramedics, firemen, doctors, and soldiers for that.
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16 / F / New York
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Posted 5/7/11
well I'm obviously looking at things from a very cynical point of view, because that's just my personality and the way I see/think about things. also policemen, paramedics, firemen, doctors, soldiers, and all of those kinds of people do not just linger around everywhere, so it is very possible and likely for that kind of situation to happen where an average civilian has the choice of saving another.

in some cases, selfishness can be a good thing (as in you live by the carpe diem, seize the day) but a bad thing if you take it too far and think solely for yourself (the carpe omnia, take it all)

these days, terms like "selfish" have taken a very bad impression, so most people think of it as a bad thing
Preyar 
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M / Inside My Head
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Posted 5/7/11
Well, I'm not the person to help other people with their problems, because I don't give a damn about other people. The only way to make me do it, is by giving me money for it aka. work
Guess I'm selfish then? Best way to be according to me
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20 / M / In the Cosmos
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Posted 5/14/11
I don't really know if people can be truly selfless or not. For me, being selfless is putting your own interests below the interests of other people. That's just how I see it. Idk.
Posted 5/16/11
lmaoo i believe there are truly selfless people out there, who would sacrifice themselves to ease the pain of others. i find myself alternating on both ends of the spectrum i can be incredibly selfish most times, but when i help someone i know i do it out of the goodness of my heart and i really want to.
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28 / M / Germany
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Posted 5/16/11 , edited 5/16/11
A person who helps others just because it feels good is still a good person (at least I would consider him to be a good person). Maybe I just consider him a good person because I might think that such a person would also help me in bad times. Anyway, there is nothing absolute in this world, therefore there is no absolute selflessness and so we may define selfless in the way we use it. The meaning of each!? word has a limited scope.

In the end it´s all a matter of good and bad, right and wrong, but I think that these terms are relative and therefore every person has to choose them on their own.
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Posted 5/16/11

4562558 wrote:


-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 :)


It's hard to believe, but there are many kids that are 12-13 years old on the internet that are actually intelligent and know what they're talking about.
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