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Selfishness
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19 / M
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Posted 5/7/14
Born out of my last forum post was this topic.

I don't really think of myself as a cynical person, but I do tend to percieve most human behaviour is selfish. Besides obviously selfish actions, I think that actions we think of as selfless are in truth actually selfish.

If a person donates to the poor and by doing so also gains positive emotions, is donating to the poor self inflicted deception done to get good vibe?

If a person is nice to the other person and gains satisfaction by seeing others happy, is niceness just a tool for obtaining satisfation?

(my favorite)

If a person wants to go to whatever afterlife they believe in, and are good to others because that person's god commands it, is that person selfishly trying to get into the Elysian Fields?

Is selflessness just selfishness in disguise?
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30 / M / Central KY.
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Posted 5/7/14
You raise some good points. I'll just say this...In the end, We die alone. If You had no concept of an afterlife, those People; Myself included, have not that much to lose during Our traverse on this lonely blue marble. So that in itself could make People more inclined to want to use, or get over on others. I'm totally the opposite though. Not being a braggart whatsoever, but I'm fairly wealthy. Having Myself been involved in philanthropy of sorts, I'm also inclined to WANT to believe the best in People. I'll go out on a limb and say that YES, there ARE [/b ]some People in this World who do things just for the want of doing good things, expecting, nor wanting anything in return. I try My best.

Though I admit, much of the good that I have done has come from insecurity in simply wanting to be noticed for My actions and not in it just for the beneficence of the greater good. Though its not to want to "LOOK GOOD"...It's more that I want to be noticed...maybe by some cute girl out there that would say, "Hey...that was so sweet, lets do something"...I dunno.

I'm a lonely Person who spends too much time mulling over Medical studies and watching Anime. Havent been in a relationship since 2003, and it's getting a bit stagnant. Thanks for allowing Me to speak.
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30 / M / Central KY.
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Posted 5/7/14
Fudge...that turned out looking terrible.
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19 / M
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Posted 5/7/14

x-Cellar_Door-x wrote:

Fudge...that turned out looking terrible.


No worries, I can still read it
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26 / M / NYC
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Posted 5/7/14 , edited 5/7/14
my question to you is why do anything at all if it doesnt make you happy? if helping others makes you feel good about yourself, is that such a bad thing? that means that you take joy and satisfaction in helping those less fortunate. of course you're doing it for the sake of helping others, but if you're a selfless person, you're obviously going to get something emotionally out of it.

would you call Scott Neeson a selfish person?
https://www.cambodianchildrensfund.org/about-scott-neeson.html

He was the ex president of 20th century fox who stepped down, sold his mansion, porsche, and yacht and moved to Cambodia where he used his wealth to establish and personally oversee his childrens fund. he obviously gets happiness from what he does and it makes himself feel good.

im sure he has greedy family members that consider him selfish for spending his fortune on kids in Africa instead of financing their materialistic lives. its all about perspective.

sorry to say bro, but the way you think about things is quite cynical. in the end, people want to do things that make them happy. and if someone gets happiness from helping others, I cant really see how that is a negative thing.

and just to clarify, being selfish isnt necessarily a bad thing. going after what you want is what you should be doing as an individual. its how you go about it that defines whether or not you're a good or bad person.

i know im a good person, and i'll always help people in any way i can, but at the end of the day, my main priority is my own happiness
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30 / M / Central KY.
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Posted 5/7/14


Yoooshh!
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27 / M / FOCO, CO
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Posted 5/7/14
I think the only really important thing is whether you value more how people perceive you or how you PERCEIVE yourself.

In my opinion there is a fine balance but people tend to sway back n forth as they please. Either way everything you do can only change your world as you experience it. The rest is left up to your utter imagination.

BOOM

NOT SCIENTIFIC BUT EASY TO UNDERSTAND
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Posted 5/7/14
An individual should only live for themselves and their family, and, if given the chance and can afford to, then submit to generosity. However, always put yourself before a stranger, as sacrificing which can be used to your advantage is simply a foolish action born of the need to be kind.
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33 / M
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Posted 5/7/14
People can make selflessness become selfishness or become somewhat selfish. People can also be truly selfless at times, and if someone gets something good and positive out of any given selfless act, that is more than okay, just so long as that isn't the basis; the drive for why they do selfless things and acts of good. It just so happens that being selfless, loving others, doing good for others, being kind, and so forth, tends to bring positive and desirable things to those who do good.
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33 / M
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Posted 5/7/14 , edited 5/7/14

jordancharacter wrote:

An individual should only live for themselves and their family, and, if given the chance and can afford to, then submit to generosity. However, always put yourself before a stranger, as sacrificing which can be used to your advantage is simply a foolish action born of the need to be kind.



That is what a lot of Americans believe. Not surprisingly, a lot of Americans don't know what is truly important in life. Some cultures are kinder, warmer, and more caring of their fellow citizens when compared to Americans.

I'd say, if you go out of your way to help others, including strangers, and it is at the cost of good things to you, that is honorable. But you should put your close loved ones (like family and friends) before strangers. But help strangers when you can. It helps make the world a little better.
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27 / M / Seattle
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Posted 5/7/14
I believe that people can have spontaneous good will towards others without selfish desires, but, it is rare. Deep down and on a technical level every action that people make is for some selfish reason or another...plain and simple. Everything a person does can be rooted back to selfishness in some degree or another. Why do people have jobs? To get money. Why do people have leisurely activities? So they can waste their time in a manner of their choosing. There are many more examples. In essence every action can be associated with a selfish desire of some sort.

When thought of in that way, is selfishness a bad thing? Is it a character flaw? Or is it something people recognize in others because they are jealous and their personal selfish desires are not met?
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Posted 5/7/14
Well, if you were selfish in the sense that you wanted the best for yourself and everyone else, I wouldn't see that as a problem. The best kind of person is good towards others and him/herself and enjoys being that way.
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Posted 5/7/14
Selfish is a word that's used a weapon, a socially engineered term to rally support of others to forcefully take something that " you " want from another.
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24 / F / United States
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Posted 5/7/14
Is selflessness just selfishness in disguise?

In my opinion, yes. No one really does something if it doesn't benefit them in some way.

When you ask someone why they help others, often they say that it makes them feel good to help others. They like that positive feeling, so they keep helping others.

When someone saves another person's life, it's usually to avoid feeling guilty afterwards. If you see someone dying in front of you, and you just let them die, usually guilt would suffice, so you save them to avoid it (unless they they are a psychopath).

I think that everyone does something, as long as it benefits themselves in some way, even if the action isn't "selfish" by social definition.

It's not necessarily bad though. It motivates people to do good deeds and prevents people from killing each other.
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23 / M
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Posted 5/8/14
It irritates me.
I feel like it shouldn't, because at the end of the day, people who've helped others for selfish reasons have still helped people, but I can't help remembering reading about a study that said when a monetary incentive was offered to potential blood donors, fewer people were willing to donate blood.
I don't think people should help others for the sake of a benefit.
I think people should help people because there are people that need help.
It's hard to put in words, but I think that before you help others, you should be in a position where you don't need help.
Regardless of whether or not you help somebody else, you should be happy, because otherwise it comes off to me like
"Oh, poor thing, pitying you makes me feel better. Where are other people I can pity?"
And that makes me feel.... sick? angry? disgusted? I don't even know, It's not kindness, it's an imitation of kindness, as if somebody took all the ingredients in your favorite food and switched them out on you.

I remember Zeff, from Sanji's backstory, when he gave Sanji all the food and starved. Which had a small influence on the way I think about money.

So, Yes, selflessness can be selfish, in the case of some people who try and manipulate the way society views them. I don't think all people are like that, but it's like opening a treasure chest and finding a mimic.

My current view of the afterlife is that you will be as you are, so the happy stay happy, the miserable stay miserable, and those in the middle stay in the middle. So people begging for others to say they approve will be begging for approval in heaven too.

There are genuinely nice people out there though. I've known a couple. They weren't completely selfless and desperate to help people, but that final frame of mind where you can say "I've got enough" is all anybody really needs, and something the world could use a little more of.
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