Fallacy of the Selfless Act

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posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 06:37 AM
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Originally posted by purplemer
reply to post by defuntion
 


An act can be selfless when the ego is subdued...This take practise and is an natural state for humans to be in...


The only way you can be sure to make your act truly selfless is to rid yourself of any belief in right and wrong, so that you do not judge your act as "right" or "good" to do.

As long as you have such notions in your beliefs then doing those acts will give you the dopamine reward, so you cannot trust that your mind isn't just creating a very elaborate justification for the urge to get that high.




posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 07:34 AM
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Not gonna lie, myself, I believe in Karma so in doing good, I am hoping that I pay it forward meaning that it will return to me via karma. Everyone I would imagine is really doing good because it is the karma they want, and by not doing anything evil, this hopefully clears them of bad karma, from prior lives lived, maybe will even take their soul out of the karmic wheel, with any luck.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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A truly selfless act?
That's easy to answer.
When you know it's time to put your beloved furry best friend out of his/her misery.
I know this is the answer to your question because I just had to do this myself and am suffering great anguish even though I know I did the right thing. The pain of losing him is slow to fade, but I will forever be changed for the better because I know in my heart that I gave him the best life I could and never took his love and loyalty for granted.

Maybe one day, the same respect will be available for humans everywhere. We're all allowed to live our lives as we choose, so knowing when it's time to go and having the choice to end our lives should be a part of life. When the joy of living is no longer, helping a loved one into the great beyond is the greatest sacrifice one can make.

Keeping that loved one around when they're in pain just because you can't bear to be without them is the most selfish thing someone can do.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 09:47 AM
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Originally posted by defuntion
The American holiday of “Thanks Giving” got me thinking about this, so here it is:

I contend that all good deeds executed in the name of “goodwill” actually come to fruition solely from the seeds of self-service.

Please keep in mind that “self-service” can be many things. Some of those things not even being healthy or prosperous for said person…

There is no such thing as a selfless act of goodwill.
I know I am not the first person to put this notion forth.
I am sure that many of you will agree, but I am curious about the reactions of those who would disagree. If you disagree, please provide one example of a truly selfless act.
If you agree, please put forth your support for my argument.

Where is the conspiracy you ask? Here is the conspiracy:
The religious. Vegetarians. Animal rights activists. Anti-war protestors. “do-gooders”. And the list goes on.. Everyone pretending to do things in the name of goodwill and/or morality are all fakes.
Why is it important for these people to pretend that their acts are selfless?
Because, it is their tool of indoctrination. It brings additional people into their fold to further their selfish act.

Please prove me wrong. Doubtful though.


Can't prove you wrong. You're absolutely right. I know you didn't want these kinds of posts. But hey! When you're right! You're right!

The Buddha touched on this in many of his teachings that there Is no such thing as a selfless act. And he was right then. And you're right now
edit on 11/20/1212 by foodstamp because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by Afterthought
A truly selfless act?
That's easy to answer.
When you know it's time to put your beloved furry best friend out of his/her misery.
I know this is the answer to your question because I just had to do this myself and am suffering great anguish even though I know I did the right thing. The pain of losing him is slow to fade, but I will forever be changed for the better because I know in my heart that I gave him the best life I could and never took his love and loyalty for granted.

Maybe one day, the same respect will be available for humans everywhere. We're all allowed to live our lives as we choose, so knowing when it's time to go and having the choice to end our lives should be a part of life. When the joy of living is no longer, helping a loved one into the great beyond is the greatest sacrifice one can make.

Keeping that loved one around when they're in pain just because you can't bear to be without them is the most selfish thing someone can do.


It's not selfless because the pain of YOU seeing him/her in pain was greater than the pain of you losing him/her. That's a selfish act.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 09:52 AM
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Originally posted by defuntion

Originally posted by TDawgRex
reply to post by defuntion
 


I know that when I do something as simple as opening a door for someone that it is not a selfless act.

It still makes me feel good though.


Thanks for responding TDawg.

I appreciate all your kindness. I also hold doors (even past the standard 15 foot rule)
.
It also make me feel good.
Selfish.



Some people do things that hurt themselves to purposely inflict pain upon themselves too.. Also selfish...



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 10:05 AM
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reply to post by defuntion
 




There is no such thing as a selfless act of goodwill.


While it's true that even desiring the reward of "feeling good" about a deed can be considered selfish, if one gives without taking from or harming another, then no act of greed was committed.

Emotionally selfish, perhaps, but not greedy...
Greed is a distorted, amplified, corrupted form of selfishness.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 10:08 AM
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reply to post by defuntion
 




in a nutshell, Ayn Rand, you're wrong only because you are limited by your ignorance of the nature of the "self"

i think that in America, yes, posturing and posing are the norm, and selflessness is a commodity, but in reality (i.e. most of the rest of the world) there is true selflessness stemming from the understanding that there is NO distinction between self and other.

you see, the 'self' is merely a concept that we carry with us throughout our lives, programmed in us by authority and constantly changing to meet its own needs for survival.

don't get me wrong- i think the things you think are great are actually self-serving, like having children, driving a half an hour to buy McDonald's, the Thanksgiving 'holy'day wherein Americans eat and throw away enough food to feed the entire world, like kings and queens of old gloating over the serfs. sick and disgusting. however i disagree with your statement that every action is self-serving and self-motivated. you've never seen someone sacrifice their lives to save another person, or even risk their lives at all for another? you need to get out more.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 11:51 AM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by defuntion
 

I'm proudly selfishly selfless and spend a great deal of my time trying to share the pure joy of this variety of selfishness with as many people as I possibly can.
~Heff


Thanks Heff!

I agree. It feels good to be selfish in that way.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by PatrickGarrow17
But, there is such a thing as real sacrifice. People aren't completely in it for themselves. Nearly everyone sacrifices some level of personal gain for someone else at some point. People do care about the well being of others, and are willing to serve to an extent.


I don't disagree with you.

But, what came first, the chicken or the egg?
If there wasn't that spark of selfishness, would we act?



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by TKDRL
Letting someone go, when your heart is screaming no. Only a masochist could be doing that as a selfish act


But don't we let go as a means of survival? Holding on to things/people can be detrimental when they are no longer self serving... No?



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by watchitburn
But I have done things for people, for no other reason than because I was the only one who could. I gained nothing in return, and suffered significant financial loss because of the acts.


Did you feel as if you did a good thing? Feel good about yourself for sacrificing?
That is a bit of reward to yourself..



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by Deaf Alien
reply to post by defuntion
 


What about mother and son?


Both having children and caring for them stem from the selfishness of wanting to spread your genetics...
One could argue..

But, then again, not having children is equally selfish.
See how this works?



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by defuntion
 


I actually think about this all the time, for this reason I call myself a selfish person.
I don't expect anything from others, they shouldn't expect anymore from me.
Its just how we are, our natural instincts tell us to survive, no matter what.
Those who call themselves selfless usually expect the same from everyone else, a kind of "you help me and I'll help you" thing and they don't even realise it.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by JAKWhy save someone for a brief ego massage, a fraction of a second perhaps, when the price for that at least hold the very real potential for death? We know people have acted in such a way, not only with friends and acquaintances either, and I'm not particularly impressed by the absurd suggestion that all those who have acted so believe in an afterlife. In consideration of the above, the ultimate sacrifice to save another not only someone directly genetically related, (let's quickly toss aside this weak direct relationship argument and while we're here I'm not buying the attempt at a legitimising extension of that argument in that all mankind can, in a way, be considered family therefore...) or even known to the individual seems absurdly pointless insofar as acting on the promise of some later reward. Unless mankind's short-sighted stupidity outweighs his selfishness.


I really do like your argument.
Very convincing.

I really hate to poo poo all over the heroics of any person. Especially in the examples you gave.
But, for the sake of argument, doesn't heroism offer rewards? Can we say for sure that people (when acting "selflessly" to save another person) don't on some level think about how good it would feel to save the baby from the wolves?



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Listen to Heff, he knows what he's talking about. It is irrelevant whether or not these acts you speak of are selfish or not. What is relevant is their positive affect on society.
edit on 20-11-2012 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by Afterthought
Keeping that loved one around when they're in pain just because you can't bear to be without them is the most selfish thing someone can do.


Sorry for the loss of your furry companion.
That is indeed a very hard thing to do.

But, doing the "right" thing, letting go, these are survival tactics. Self serving.

Please don't take what I am saying as a bad thing. I am sure that the drive is not even perceptible to us.
I know you did what felt like a selfless act, but there was gain in the act also.

There is guilt and sorrow in keeping someone/something alive when they are in pain and ready to go.
Letting go allows you to move on.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:17 PM
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reply to post by darkbake
 


Even if you were able to prove that the acts were, in fact, altruistic - and I have been down this path - it doesn't change the fact that they are useful and productive for society.

Altruism is something studied a lot in philosophy and psychology.

As a former psychology major, I have an example for you. Some monkeys live in a society where, if the young are in danger, one of the older monkeys is willing to sacrifice his life to save them. Was this a selfless act?

Well, it could actually be considered selfish, because that social contract allows the older monkey to live in a society where he is more likely to reach the age he did.

There are two places you can go with your line of thinking - some psychologists go the route of trying to understand why animals are altruistic at all, because it doesn't fit in with their theories of survival of the fittest, and to them I can point out that the monkey wasn't being altruistic at all if you take the whole society into account and add a temporal flair.

There are some people out there who won't accept anything as moral unless it is selfish. I've worked with them.

On the other hand, you seem to think that just because something is selfish, that makes it wrong. Not only would "modern" philosophers disagree with you, but I would like to point out that in reality, altruism helps society prosper and thus makes it better for the individual.

So yes, selfish. But it is working together on a team to be more selfish together. And that deserves a label of its own, right?
edit on 20-11-2012 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by IandEye
reply to post by defuntion
 

in a nutshell, Ayn Rand, you're wrong only because you are limited by your ignorance of the nature of the "self"


Sure. I am ignorant of many things. Who isn't?
But, the nature of "self"? No. I am sorry if you don't see my point, and sorry that you interpret what I am saying as something insulting.


Originally posted by IandEye
you've never seen someone sacrifice their lives to save another person, or even risk their lives at all for another? you need to get out more.


I have seen such acts. performed such acts.
Again, you seem to have an aversion to considering your"self". I promise that it is not as bad as it sounds, and I promise that even in your convergence with the collective that you describe (that Americans are somehow excluded from
) there is selfishness.
You believe that in order to survive, that you should join a large sharing group.
Nothing wrong with that at all.

I hope you realize that these are motivations on the lowest level of subconsciousness.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by Wongbeedman
 



Thanks for your reply.

Nothing wrong with seeing things as they are.
This is why I like Heff's post.. We can accept that we are motivated by some form of selfishness, and it does not have to be a bad thing...





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