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Selfless or Selfish?
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Posted 12/25/12
In my point of view, I help selfishly.

I only help if I think it will help the other person in the long run.

Thus, I do not give money to random beggars, but I will help out people with work to improve one's value. (This follows the economic idea of utility, and human utility)
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Posted 12/25/12

-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?


I think your problem is with your emotions, not the act itself. We are only human, so there is not much that you can do about that. I have a question for you: Would you rather have those negative feelings and know that you did something good because of it, or not have those feelings and never do anything nice in your life? You seem to think of selfishness more as a state of mind rather than a character flaw. I appreciate your opinion and existentialism, but I think you are torturing yourself for the wrong reason.
21455 cr points
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20 / M / Delaware
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Posted 12/25/12

-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?


Your wisdom has touched me, thank you for enlightening me.

Next time i see someone handing out money to homeless people, I will scoff at the very ACT (and maybe spit at their feet too)... dang selfish bastaRDs!!
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20 / M / U.K
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Posted 12/26/12
ummmm..... if i need something i manipulate...them until they agree to do what i want ...not like hypnosis and everything thing i do , i do for my own good over other ,,i wasnt like this but the past few years changed me but still im not like an evil person ...matter of fact i can be pretty evil but i have a weak spot for kindness but anyway you should know where you are going .....a path to kindness , forgiving and selfless or the path to cruel, rebellious and selfish either way its in the human nature ..if it wasnt there the world would be such a boring place to live
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Posted 12/26/12
Yeah people like to think of themselves as altruist, but seriously we're not, we do it for either our own ego, interest or other ulterior motives.

No offense but for me personally the idea of altruism (personal opinion) reeks of bullshit!!
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M
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Posted 5/21/13
Human beings have both
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M / Texas
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Posted 5/21/13
I used to always stick my neck out for my friends when I was a teenager. I used to sneak out my mother's car to take them to go see their girlfriends, even when they couldn't give me gas money. I always caught hell the next day because I'd used up all that gas. I had hoped that later own they'd do the same for me...but no.

Eventually, I stopped doing favors for them and because of that, I was the ***hole. That's gratitude for you.
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Posted 11/20/13
Closed due to inactivity. Its been over 6 months and no new posts. Locked.
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