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Post Reply Selfishness or Selflessness?
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Posted 3/1/17
Sometimes the most selfish act is done for something that's really selfless.
Posted 3/1/17
We're all selfish at heart
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Posted 3/1/17
Selfishness for my own sake
drbock 
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Posted 3/2/17 , edited 3/2/17

mxdan wrote:


drbock wrote:

"To be a biological entity is to be selfish." Nope - think of bees, ants etc.


Wait what? I think you are misinterpreting this. All biological life needs sustenance to survive. Most biological life needs protection to survive. You are arguing that a collective is more important to them than the individual? The reason the collective exists in the first place is the individual. Ultimately, if an ant doesn't eat, it dies. If a plant doesn't take in sun rays and carbon dioxide, it dies. The individual needs a level of selfishness, or else it can't live.

That's what it comes down to.


Yes all biological life needs energy to exist, but what I wanted to say is that the integral part nature and instinct of social animals is to be selfless. Taking care of yourself is important but the thing is that instinct will force you to sacrifice yourself for collective when necessary. Which brings me to stating that the only true selfish biological entity is genome sequence which may force its host to destroy himself or risk destroying himself if it benefits overall survival of genome (in form of offspring or relatives). Of course part of instinct is selfsurvival and it is true for every living being but for some living being - espescially social animals - selfsacrifce is also part of instict. That's what I wanted to say, I should have clarify this better, sorry.



drbock wrote:

Also saying that you have no value if you are not selfless just makes me think of... facism or communism where humans are just disposables for greater project.

That's not what I am saying at all. If it appeared that way, I apologize. I'm saying that to do something that goes against your very genes. Like jump on a grenade, or starve so your children can eat, or anything that goes beyond self preservation is to take part in something beyond your instincts. It's a beautiful act.


Yes, it is beautiful, I agree. That's what I feel as well, but I was sort of questioning myself why exactly I see it as beautiful and valuable. What you are saying about getting out of one's survival instinct might be it. However, I do wonder if it comes also from different set of instincts - instincts of social animal - both wanting to act selflessly and admiration of selflessness. Isn't love an instinct too?
The thing is that I do wonder where the line of being of use something bigger and letting yourself being abused of something bigger lies. That acting selflessly might not be necessarily good.
I fear (maybe a bit too much) that preaching selflessness without showing value to selfishness may lead to being abused. Because of how much weight you put on selflessness, it seemed to me that you treat selfishness as unpleasant necessity, even if you notice its value. You have right to say, that I am exaggerating your words as you do notice that being completely selfless is losing one's value.



Greater projects are fine but how much sacrifice it would be need to make to diminish oneself to be like cell in living organism - being devoid of self-value and becoming nothing more than a tool... It might be alright and right in some reservation but to become like this completely seems wrong for me. Far from "ideal"

I don't want to make people die for me. I might want to be able to die for others but I don't want to require anyone to die for me. Be able to risk someone's life would be nice but certainly throwing it away? Would I value those who would want to die for me more than those who wouldn't? Perhaps yes, but then isn't it selfish?


Look, I'm not saying you should die. You are inferring that yourself. I'm also not saying we should all pick up our things and be communist. Also something you are inferring yourself.

I'm romanticizing the proportion of sacrifice over urge and saying it is a beautiful thing when it happens.

Take from that what you will but don't make me out to be something I'm not.




The last part was more of general comment than reference to what you said. I could stated it better. Again, sorry. But still, I find it hard to depict when sacrifice is letting yourself being abused and when it is not.... It looks for me as sacrifice is always abusing... And I'm sort of terrified of being abused and being one to abuse others. Maybe being committed to act selflessly sometimes is better rather than sacrificing oneself to do so, if possible. Sacrifice can be beautiful but it is sad at the same time

I feel that it is right to fight for the things that are important to yourself but also it is right to be able to fight for others. And both ways can be beautiful and important and it's best to remember about both.

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Posted 3/4/17
"Do unto others," and all that. Is it selfish to want to make the world a better place? And when you consider mirror neurons, it seems like we are evolutionarily predisposed to feeling good by helping others feel good. I think an altruistic act is when we go out of our way to help someone without knowing whether they'll be appreciative. There's nothing wrong with feeling good about helping others; it's a normal, healthy reaction.
MJRaNa 
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Posted 4/26/17
holy cow.... that's some in depth conversation I love it... Neither of you are wrong... nor do I think there is an answer... I believe people really need to think about why they do things for others and themselves. When doing so they need to ask what their true intentions are. Suicide is selfish... depending on who and why they are killing themselves for. Sacrificing one's self is noble and the highest honor i.m.o... but in these situations you shouldn't over analyze it. The point of this topic is just to hopefully make people more aware of their selfishness... to be more selfless with the right intentions in their hearts... it's not bad to treat yourself as well. Treat yourself to the karma that you put out on others. And if they return the selfless acts onto you... then it's no longer "you and I"... instead it wis "Us".
MJRaNa 
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Posted 4/26/17
is* Us
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21 / M / Bundaberg, Queens...
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Posted 4/26/17

Roboteki wrote:

We're all selfish at heart


Speak for yourself not others
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48 / M / Auburn, Washington
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Posted 4/26/17

MJRaNa wrote:

I've always had a battle with in me. Questioned what my true purpose of doing something good for another person.


Who cares? Do good things for other people, and that will be good. Isn't that enough?
MJRaNa 
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Posted 4/26/17
simply put...yes. I wanted to share my feelings because I wanted to create a conversation to see if I could get different perspectives or maybe even an answer to being truly selfless... just out of curiosity. I used to feel so good about helping homeless people by giving them money... I spared 5 bucks and I'm cheerfully driving off... but then when I really think about it... I didn't really do much. They are still miserably hungry and with out a home... or maybe even so incredibly addicted to drugs or alcohol that I just buried them faster... my intentions are pure but alot of people seem to try to do good things for their own gain... and I've come to realize that it's what your intentions are really about what makes a selfless act... I try to do more for people, mostly for people I'm close to and a little to even the random... sure doing good things for people is always going to involve benefiting yourself in one way... but I used to do them to make me feel good. I also see alot of people preaching to do good , then on the flip side is down right nasty, racist, hypocritical, etc... no one's perfect. but at least try to help each other as much as you can.. with out sacrificing your own happiness... ok my rant is done.
MJRaNa 
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Posted 4/26/17
or for example... offering money to people who you feel could use a little help... people you hang out with you buy them drinks or you offer to pay their tab...you think you are doing a good thing... until they say... I don't need your money or your sympathy... what will you do then?
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The White House
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Posted 4/26/17 , edited 4/26/17
If you spend money buying yourself a motorcycle then you provide a job along with money for the salesman, the person transporting the bike, the person building the bike, the person designing the bike, the person who educated the person who designed your bike, the people building the parts for the bike, the people producing the metal used in building the parts for the bike, and the person getting the raw materials out of the ground to produce the bike.

Go out and spend money on yourself. If your really worried buy local or from small shops when you can.
MJRaNa 
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Posted 4/26/17
thanks for the economics...
MJRaNa 
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27 / M / Florida
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Posted 4/26/17
just fyi... I'm not looking for help. Just trying to open minds and have conversation on the tpoic
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Posted 4/26/17
I try to be less selfish.
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