Originally posted by JAK
reply to post by defuntion
I suggested in my first post:
Because ultimately the argument has no other legs on which to stand the justification for every act eventually dribbles down to the
ineffectual suggestion of all acts of an altruistic nature must then be motivated through a subconscious desire to serve the self.
and here we are. How can anyone argue against "Ahh, but at some level, one you don't realise, lies self-serving motivation." 'Well I
can't see it.' "Yea, 's very deep. Hidden."
Since you keep insisting, I will take you up on the challenge.
Your argument sounds just as empty to me.
Survival instincts don't seem that "deep" to me, but I guess it depends upon how many layers of rationalisation and justification one has weaved
In the case of the animal one puts down (yes, I've been there, had to put down my first horse at a young age, and a dog and a cat)..... when you
empathize with another being, your mirror neurons increase the negative emotional experience you have when you see them suffer! Releasing them from
suffering releases you from suffering. A period of conflict between your conditioned attachment pleasure and the suffering may happen for a while, but
it comes down to making a choice between which is worse- the pain of separation from the object of our attachment, or the pain of empathizing with
If you see a person drowing, you are more likely to jump in and risk your life to save them if you DON'T take the time to think... why? Because of
the same mechanism- self/other separation is not clear in the subconscious, and probably much because of those mirror neurons! The reflex to fight to
live is automatic and can be triggered even by observing another
If you take a second to think about it, you will recognize intellectually that it is not YOU who is danger, it is someone else and YOU will become in
danger if you jump in, and then the reflex is detoured. If you have beliefs which favor risking your life for another as good, then you still might be
able to do it, but you'll have to overcome the separating... you created a loop.
I actually experienced this when my son almost drowned at one year old- the people who jumped in to save him immediately did not think about it- they
did not choose to be heros or do a good deed. It just was automatic. I was one fo them, and being his mother, one could say that is natural (I will
live through my child) but the others were strangers.
Anyway, the whole "selfless" idea turns upon the concept of self/other separation, which the subconscious and the body does not recognize. Our
nature realizes that the good of one is the good of all and vice versa.