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Post Reply Is it possible selfishness isn't the real problem?
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Posted 6/9/15 , edited 6/9/15
I think I know why people are so greedy, and it's not just because of the desire to please ones self.
I think that generosity isn't strong enough in our core values.
I think that people by nature will act according to ones own interests, it's just that generosity isn't in some peoples interests. If generosity was more strongly ingrained in our core values then people would be much more willing to give. Because giving to others would be a part of ones interests and therefore would end up satisfying them.

And if one has generosity as one of their core values, then giving to others will be pleasurable, people would have the incentive to give since it would give them a sense of pride and joy. By serving others, they would be serving themselves. So I think the problem isn't that people serve to indulge themselves, that's just being human. The problem is that people don't know the joy of giving because it isn't part of a lot of peoples system of morals, values, and ideals.

There's nothing wrong with having a code of morality or religion or holding onto values, unless you're a radical. To practice, and further ones own ideals and values gives one great satisfaction, regardless of their beliefs. If being generous to others is part of that code, then people would understand the satisfaction of giving.
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Posted 6/9/15
Okay there Ayn Rand.
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Posted 6/9/15 , edited 6/9/15

megahobbit wrote:

Okay there Ayn Rand.



I don't know about you, but I'd tap that.
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Posted 6/9/15

silversongwriter wrote:


megahobbit wrote:

Okay there Ayn Rand.



I don't know about you, but I'd tap that.


Be my guest. I despise the women. Fountianhead is the worst book I ever read with the most unlikeable protagonist ever.
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Posted 6/9/15

megahobbit wrote:


silversongwriter wrote:


megahobbit wrote:

Okay there Ayn Rand.



I don't know about you, but I'd tap that.


Be my guest. I despise the women. Fountianhead is the worst book I ever read with the most unlikeable protagonist ever.


I like her in a lot of ways, and in other ways I don't. I'm not a libertarian. I mean, I think if you modernize the philosophy just a little bit, it would be perfect, however, I'm not against large government.
I'm against intrusive government. I'm against a government intruding on personal liberties. Which is why I have the views I have on discrimination laws. I think religious people's rights are being violated. But that's out of my own sense of righteous indignation, not from an ideology. I have no ideology. I refuse to bend my judgement towards one single viewpoint. I believe in a minimum wage, I believe in creating a powerful public sector. You see, I agree with less regulation on business's, but I think creating a large public sector job growth would create competition and inevitably improve the private sector.
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Posted 6/9/15
*sigh*


...
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Posted 6/9/15 , edited 6/10/15

silversongwriter wrote:

I like her in a lot of ways, and in other ways I don't. I'm not a libertarian. I mean, I think if you modernize the philosophy just a little bit, it would be perfect, however, I'm not against large government.
I'm against intrusive government. I'm against a government intruding on personal liberties. Which is why I have the views I have on discrimination laws. I think religious people's rights are being violated. But that's out of my own sense of righteous indignation, not from an ideology. I have no ideology. I refuse to bend my judgement towards one single viewpoint. I believe in a minimum wage, I believe in creating a powerful public sector. You see, I agree with less regulation on business's, but I think creating a large public sector job growth would create competition and inevitably improve the private sector.


Rands philosophy was against all such things. If you think it needs to be modernised and softened know remember she wrote her books in the 30s-40s.

Edit fucked up the dates
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Posted 6/9/15 , edited 6/9/15
I think the perception of human selfishness seems pretty consistent in most cultures and societies. Before any systems of morals were in place, people probably realized that, after seeing people acting always in their self interests all the time, that something had to be done because this trait would not be very good for group survival because allowing each person to be completely selfish didn't make group survival any better than lone survival. Just a theory, but it seems that being self-serving is an innate trait of even the most simple organisms. Selflessness probably came later than selfishness.
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Posted 6/9/15

Morbidhanson wrote:

I think the perception of human selfishness seems pretty consistent in most cultures and societies. Before any systems of morals were in place, people probably realized that, after seeing people acting always in their self interests all the time, that something had to be done because this trait would not be very good for group survival because allowing each person to be completely selfish didn't make group survival any better than lone survival. Just a theory, but it seems that being self-serving is an innate trait of even the most simple organisms. Selflessness probably came later than selfishness.


Selflessness is an ideal.By pursuing that people tend to gain more sympathy for other people when dealing with them and also become able to see the bigger picture of things;your not alone in this world,you can't just do as you please all the time. Then again because its an ideal,its not seen anywhere in its purest form.It's not possible for a person to be completely unselfish,because everyone has selfish needs and desires.
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Posted 6/10/15

Jan- wrote:

Selflessness is an ideal.By pursuing that people tend to gain more sympathy for other people when dealing with them and also become able to see the bigger picture of things;your not alone in this world,you can't just do as you please all the time. Then again because its an ideal,its not seen anywhere in its purest form.It's not possible for a person to be completely unselfish,because everyone has selfish needs and desires.


I'll add to that and say that it's impossible to be completely selfless because of basic survival instincts. Any organism's ultimate goal isn't to reproduce, but to survive (though reproduction comes close second). In other words, selfishness is a natural instinct designed to promote your own well being.

So it's an issue of trying to override generations of natural instinct. Biologically selflessness doesn't make sense, but then you realize that society is all about challenging nature. Some challenge that selfish nature and some don't, but regardless it will always be part of us so long as we're living organisms.
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Posted 6/10/15
Personally I don't see selfishness or greed as necessarily bad traits, it would be how you go about accumulating your wealth. For example my nickname at work is dinero because I work side jobs, internet jobs, and my main job to make money but all my work is legal."can't stand people who will break the law for any reason"
I almost never buy new games, cook my own meals" so much cheaper than doing take out everyday", don't pay for cable "with dishnetwork I was paying about a 100 month but since I have so little time to myself I just pay for crunchyroll, hulu and netflix 25 a month.
As far as giving I really don't unless its someone I care about and there living their life in a responsible way.
As far as economic ties I believe a little greed is good for competition and progress in the private sector.

I believe this line from a poem best describes how I feel about the subject. After talking to the guy who wrote it I was more open about being selfish.

Greed
Is it a sin?
Some say so.
It's amassing,
Large quantities,
Of money and wealth.
I'd call that
Ambition.

Envy
Is it a sin?
Some say so.
It's wanting,
What you see
Others owning.
I'd call that
Endevouring.
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Posted 6/10/15
I suppose it would depend on what context you were using the word selfish.. There are lots of forms of selfishness after all...

Selfish like, you always roll over and go to sleep after you finish during sex.
Selfish like, you always take the most/best pieces of food when you sit down at a shared meal.
Selfish like, you spend the most or all of the money you and your spouse earn.
Selfish like, you never share anything you buy.
Selfish like, you never tip.
Selfish like, you are upper management for a company and choose to cut the labor at your company by over working and under paying them to get a bonus/higher salary for yourself.
Selfish like, you control all of the wealth/resources of your community by using force.
Selfish like. you have your parents put into a retirement home in order to use their life savings for yourself....

Etc. Etc....

Usually, when a person is too selfish, they end up suffering for it. Maybe not in terms of assets, but in terms of positive human contacts. The ultra selfish usually have plenty of equally selfish sycophants but rarely any meaningful friendships/loving partnerships.
Posted 6/10/15
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Posted 6/10/15 , edited 6/10/15




What can I say?

This guy, I just...


I can't say it, I just can't.
Posted 6/10/15 , edited 6/10/15
Nope. Peoples selfishness is the real problem. They often use others to get what they want. And the numbers increase. And they will just get more selfish. Selfishness is the reason why the world is like this today.
We need more generosity & consideration for other people in this world. But, I doubt we will.
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