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altruism does exist

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posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 07:35 AM
Altruism on wikipedia

Altruism is selfless concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and central to many religious traditions. This idea was often described as the Golden rule of ethics. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness

And the point of discussion here is the following

According to psychological egoism, while people can exhibit altruistic behavior, they cannot have altruistic motivations. Psychological egoists would say that while they might very well spend their lives benefitting others with no material benefit (or a material net loss) to themselves, their most basic motive for doing so is always to further their own interests. For example, it would be alleged that the foundational motive behind a person acting this way is to advance their own psychological well-being ("good feelings").

Well, my point in this matter is that altruism does exist. Ofcourse people will get a good feeling about doing something for someone else but that is a side effect of the motives from a altruistic person. If something is done from a altruistic standpoint we have to take the feeling before the act into account and not only the feeling after. What i mean is that there are persons on this earth that act pseudo-altruistic i am not denying that but do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I think that people that are truely altruistic act on a gnawing feeling before doing something for someone else and that is the thing that drives them. You could say that the fact that anyone that acts to eleviate a bad feeling beforehand is the same as people going for the good feeling after the fact but i disagree on that one because almost every action we do concsiously is out of emotion and there are more than enough people out there that do not get any feeling of sympathy for another and do not have to act on it whereass a person that does get those feelings have a harder time ignoring them.


posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 08:03 AM
that's true you know something is altrusitic because of emotions and those go beyond ego and if those 'psychological egotists' dont agree well they can just pull the stick outa their butts or come up with a 'scientific' reasons of *why* emotions and good feelings and alturism exist in more than just in one person and exactly how they work and then maybe theyll actually have contributed something positive to humanity or they can just shut up

posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 08:33 AM
Altruism may exist, but it is not our...'natural state of things'. It is my belief that altruism, as we understand it, can not 'exist' without the benefit of civilization. It may be what we strive for; but it is a rarity amongst ourselves.

Altruism is, by definition, a detriment to any species concerned with survival. Once we, as a species, reached a point where our brains allowed us to overcome our physical weakness/unpreparednes, altruism became a viable 'option'.

The bird that helps the injured bird feed its young risks the lives of both its young and itself. The bird that continues on its hunt for food lives and gets to fulfill its one, unconsciously driven purpose on this planet: to perpetuate its genetic legacy.

That 'gnawing feeling' towards altruistic behavior would not occur if we had not brought ourselves to this intellectual/cognitive level.

With the adaptability our brain allowed, we were able to overcome the natural drives which governed us previously, and thus, altruism became a survivable possibility.

Even so, most 'altruistic' people would be hard pressed to be truly altruistic when it comes down to it; but that's my opinion.

[edit on 6/19/0808 by spines]

posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 01:51 PM
I agree that we should not "throw the baby out with the bathwater" because of the less than noble motives behind certain altruistic behavior.

The important thing to remember is that altruism and selflessness in general are all a matter of degree and we all have to start somewhere

We all have to begin by serving others with our selfish intentions. Serving others is an integral part of spiritually evolving, which occurs slowly over more than one lifetime and during the Interlife or period in-between incarnations.

Eventually, we learn to cultivate altruism with noble feelings attached to it.

This is a goal in itself.

But we should never downplay altruism just because it doesn't entail nobility in most cases, simply because we must all learn to walk before we can learn to run -- and eventually fly

In other words...

Altruism is a developmental process.

[edit on 19-6-2008 by Paul_Richard]

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