Fallacy of the Selfless Act

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posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 08:41 PM
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reply to post by defuntion
 


in order to interpret this persons tragic scenario, you must mentally model yourself after them. "put yourself in their shoes".

this is, ultimately, an affirmation of the self (as other).




posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 08:47 PM
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Originally posted by tgidkp
reply to post by Afterthought
 


why should anyone give a damn about you?

how presumptuous.

how selfish.


Did this assinine comment make you feel good?
Besides, using myself as an example to make a point was a selfless act. I put myself out there and got nothing out of it. Thanks for making my point.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 09:17 PM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 


again you presume to be important enough to me that I should attempt to insult you. quite the opposite, I don't care about you nor do I care about offending you. my question was legitimately motivated by my own selfish desire to understand. you really think you're THAT important?

and now your selfishness lies in your defense posture. you are very, very full of self.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by defuntion


Hearing a tragic story and feeling sorry for someone. Is being sympathetic an act of kindness? I am not sure.
If so, what is the self serving behavior in that?




I would think it's not an act at all. But instead, a RE action. Something that's triggered unconciously and, at it very inception, uncontrollable. I don't think you can equate a reaction as a selfish or unselfsih action.

I very much like how you mentioned the very essence of any (original) action set forth is in it's self a selfish action because it's for either gratification or preservation for ones self. You said it much more eloquently though. You know, About selfish being binary and what not.

An action requires concious thought whereas and reaction can be pre programmed on factors not necessarily based on ones EGO.
edit on 11/20/1212 by foodstamp because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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Please look up the definition of selflessness. It isn't for any type of gratification or reward. I have to suspect that you have never met a selfless person, have not been the recipient of a selfless act and are not a selfless person yourself. Because one derives a 'good feeling' from helping others doesn't mean they are acting to bring about or desiring to bring about a 'good feeling'. It just happens to be a result of a selfless act. It's cause and effect. The act of doing something for someone for the gain of reward for any type of benefit nullifies and voids it being a 'selfless' act, i.e. it would then no longer be a 'selfless' act but instead be a 'selfish' act. A true selfless act is pure and unexpectant. It isn't adulterated with desire, want, greed or expectation for compensation in any way shape or form. It is free, unattached and sacrificial in that it is a gift of the giver with no want for anything in return. There is no fallacy here, just an experience waiting to happen.

The greatest example has already been posted....that of a rescue attempt for someone else with no thought or concern for oneself. It is not difficult to see or understand but may be rare in occurrence.
edit on 20-11-2012 by Gridrebel because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by tgidkp
reply to post by Afterthought
 


again you presume to be important enough to me that I should attempt to insult you. quite the opposite, I don't care about you nor do I care about offending you. my question was legitimately motivated by my own selfish desire to understand. you really think you're THAT important?

and now your selfishness lies in your defense posture. you are very, very full of self.



I gave an example of SOMEONE offering to help me. Unless you can point out exactly where I insinuated that I mentioned YOU caring about me or that I wanted YOU to care about me, you're trolling. I never mentioned anything about you and I interacting in any way, shape, or form. Please get over yourself.

Why would you be so horrible to think that someone doesn't deserve to be cared about by someone?
Anytime a person uses themselves as an example to demonstrate something, it shouldn't illicit such a negative reaction from the observer. Frankly, your aggressive and bullish attitude is disturbing. So, please, have a cup of tea and relax. I do care about how your negative state of mind is affecting your overall being.

Have a pleasant night.
edit on 20-11-2012 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 10:29 PM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 


I cannot point to it, which is why I used the word "presume".

your example was not about "someone" helping you. it was about the condition of this "someone", that they must GENUINELY be acting selflessly, or rather, that they must be acting in YOUR interest instead of THEIRS.

so my question, still unanswered, is...

...why do you imagine that anyone should care about you at all?

the way you have spoken about this is an indication that you, yourself, perform "selfless" acts so that others will interpret you as the type of person whom GENUINELY cares about others. if this were not true, I do not think that you would be concerned about the condition of the "someone" in your example.

you think yourself to be important.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by Afterthought
reply to post by OmegaLogos
 


If someone is doing something good for me or gives me something only because it's going to make them feel good, they can keep it. I'm sure someone will be along soon who wants to help me because they are more concerned about me and my condition. I'm a good person and would be more than happy to return the favor to this type of person than the kind who is just thinking of themselves.



you're calling ME sick?!

read what you wrote here ...and then re-read the OP.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by defuntion
 


Explanation: St*rred!



I concur 100% at the most base (crass?
) fundamental level it is a binary set.

So ... looking over the logic map of this ...

Generally altruism is, as defined loosely in the dictionary and as smeared or should I rather say painted ..into a more choice filled multiset, commonly held to be a spectrum.

But ... fundamentally ...

Specifically altruism, as defined by the strict confines of the binary set of +positive altruism and -negetive altruism, with -negetive altruism being purely selfish with no remorse (aka a conman) leaves us with a +positive altruism being ...?


Personal Disclosure: I leave the above question for everybody ... myself included .. to ponder deeply on.


edit on 20-11-2012 by OmegaLogos because: Edited to fix bbcode.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 02:21 AM
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To clarify before I use the word, I use it as in biology, where it is the consequences of an action for reproductive fitness that determine whether the action counts as altruistic, not the intentions, if any, with which the action is performed.



Altruistic behaviour is common throughout the animal kingdom, particularly in species with complex social structures.
...some of the most interesting examples of biological altruism are found among creatures that are (presumably) not capable of conscious thought at all, e.g. insects.




reply to post by JAK
 


As far what nixie-nox pointed out, in nature it can be observed that-



A process of between-group selection may thus allow the altruistic behaviour to evolve.
Within each group, altruists will be at a selective disadvantage relative to their selfish colleagues, but the fitness of the group as a whole will be enhanced by the presence of altruists. Groups composed only or mainly of selfish organisms go extinct, leaving behind groups containing altruists.

plato.stanford.edu...

So... altruistic behaviors benefit the individual in a social structure in that his particular group gains a survival benefit.
So from there, the instinct of altruism will arise according to our conception of our group- our identification with a genetic group or family, or with a town, or a state, or a nation, or a religion, or a political party, or a color of skin, or language, or hemisphere of earth, or the whole of humanity itself.

This is part of our social instincts, they have evolved this way because they benefit the individual survival.
Most people understand even intellectually that complete selfishness is disadvantageous to themself in the long run.

In certain modern societies, individualism being disproportionately valued has largely caused the natural social instincts to be repressed, and so altruism is believed to be something one chooses purposely, for intents that are solely "selfless". This is a continuuance of the individualist idea that all is competition and social adherance is without value.

JAK- to clarify my comment on your insistance, you posted repeatedly-



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.


Call it ineffectual, (and yawn, and all that you described...) but I can "dribble" out more evidence to support the hypothesis that our automatic deepest instincts and reflexes have evolved to support our individual survival and health, and that includes altruistic behavior!

Concern for the well being of others is advantageous to ourselves in the long run.


edit on 21-11-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 02:29 AM
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Originally posted by tgidkp

Originally posted by Bluesma
Not having anyone else see your act says nothing at all about your selflessness in it, I think.


but what DOES seem to be critical (according to my own observations), is that the doer perceives that their action will be noticed...not necessarily NOW but at some point.

in other words, even an act not directly observed will "make a KNOWN difference" in someone else's life. not simply to "make a difference".

thus, any type of action which does not affirm the self, if only in the abstract sense, does not (usually) get done.


Oh? You have never done something just because you will feel good that you did it? Even though no one will ever know you did it, no one may ever know it was even done at all???

Granted I observe that some people are more self determining than others, and more adept at using and serving their inner disciplinary mechnisms for reward and punishment, but neuroscience has shown that everyone uses them to some extent at least subconsconsciously!



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 02:56 AM
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Originally posted by OmegaLogos



Specifically altruism, as defined by the strict confines of the binary set of +positive altruism and -negetive altruism, with -negetive altruism being purely selfish with no remorse (aka a conman) leaves us with a +positive altruism being ...?



Martyrism. Self denial/destruction.

This is really something important to ponder, especially right now, in light of current world events and cultural conflicts.......

edit on 21-11-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 04:45 AM
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The whole question is moot.
we do good to others because we are all connected........seeing others in need evokes the reaction to do something about it......because of the racial genetic survival type program we all share.....we are hard wired to be like this.
Itis the selfish act that is anomalous.....though not readily apparent to most.......



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 05:10 AM
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reply to post by defuntion
 


What?
So me getting out of my car, which was on the road with other cars behind me, stopping, getting out the car, crossing the street quickly and helping an old lady who just fell to get up, picked her bags and walked them to her house, stayed there til she called her daughter.
Got late to work and nearly sacked.

Selfless act is when you're on your lowest point, and kids come knocking on your door for treats on Halloween night, and the very little money you have inside your money box you give them because you remember when you was trick or treating.

I could go on forever.

What compelled me to do this?
I thought about them.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 11:12 AM
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Does anyone want to be on the battlefield with those people that are not altruistic? My Momma didn't raise no fool!



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by TDawgRex
reply to post by defuntion
 

But feeling good about doing the right thing is a reward unto itself. Would you not agree?


I think what he is implying is that, that is exactly why its all selfish...you want to feel good...

Essentially you do good so you can feel good....its not that you do good then the a sudden surprise of feeling good about it...otherwise there would have been no initial motivator for the doing good. Feeling good about helping others isn't a consequence of doing good...it was known (probably subconsciously) way before hand and is why good was done in the first place.

Doing good also feeds the self righteous indignation part of our egos...it puts you up on mental pedestal of "do gooder" superiority...

This is why the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We aren't concerned with the possibility that our valiant heroic angelic efforts might actually cause more harm....were just concerned with feeling good about ourselves for "trying to do good"...that was the original end goal. This goal is accomplished regardless of outcome in some cases.

There are also people who do good out of their beliefs of karmic obligation. "Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you." subconsciously the acts of kindness are bound with our hope/expectation that we will be at the receiving end of those same good deeds.

I'm not saying any of this is wrong...in fact I'm trying to normalize selfishness as the standard by which we ALL operate. I don't think its necessarily a bad thing to be selfish...and accept that as part of who you are.

Instead of fighting it or running from it by overcompensating with "selfless" acts...that are really only being done so you can feel like your not being selfish....which is and of itself...selfish.

edit on 21-11-2012 by Sly1one because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-11-2012 by Sly1one because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-11-2012 by Sly1one because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by Sly1one
Essentially you do good so you can feel good....its not that you do good then the a sudden surprise of feeling good about it...otherwise there would have been no initial motivator for the doing good.


Actually I help people and then am suprised that it made me feel good to do so.

Maybe it's just ingrained in me to help others, maybe it's how I was raised, or maybe it's a unrecognized addiction.

But that being said, I am also a unabashed dickhead when I feel like it.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


you misunderstand. the ONLY reason that I ever do anything is because it pleases me. I take full responsibility and I never apologize. for many years now, I have come to regard selfishness as a high virtue.

in context of your previous comment, however, I meant that the deepest level of the "selfless facade" is rooted in the simple affirmation of the "self". typical human behavior (especially the "selfless" behaviors) requires, even if only abstractly, that one's actions are witnessed by the 'other'. most times, no witness = no action = watch TV (as a proxy 'other').


people (especially the "selfless" people) are willing slaves to each other. most people devote a substantial effort to surrounding themselves with people that "care about them"...pushing off their own happiness onto someone else. and they are "selfless" toward these people that their own sense of self might be affirmed. but God forbid (like my earlier friend in this thread) that you refuse to play their game. "selfless" people can become very nasty very quickly. (like my friend)

the holidays are the best time to observe this particular disease which I find disturbing and fascinating.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 05:31 PM
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reply to post by ParaSpy2012
 


and, what compelled you to "think about them"?

you thought about you. (back when you were a trick or treater).

self professed. on some level, everything really is about YOU.



posted on Nov, 23 2012 @ 09:00 PM
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God helps those who help themselves, and those who help others never do so to the exclusive benefit of all the others. People can't do something without some benefit to themselves pushing them towards it. This doesn't mean they are bad by doing something to help others if they gain happiness by doing so.





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