• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




    Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
    Results 1 to 25 of 73
    Like Tree33Likes

    Thread: Is there really something as selflessness?

    1. #1
      I love kebap Ilumirath's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2008
      Gender
      Posts
      455
      Likes
      118

      Is there really something as selflessness?

      Isn't it always for your own?

      You give something to some else who needs to more then you. You get a good feeling, if you didn't you felt like shit.

      You catch a bullet for someone you care about because otherwise you couldn't live with youself anymore.


      You get asked a favor. You do it, expecting them to do the same for you.

      Etc etc


      So at it's core, isn't it all just selfishness really?
      syth406 likes this.
      <a href=http://img405.imageshack.us/i/142310leninpreach.jpg/ target=_blank rel=nofollow><img src=http://a.imageshack.us/img405/4567/142310leninpreach.jpg border=0 alt= /></a>

Uploaded with <a href=http://imageshack.us target=_blank rel=nofollow>ImageShack.us</a>

      Whatever happens~

    2. #2
      Member Achievements:
      Made Friends on DV 1000 Hall Points Veteran First Class

      Join Date
      Jun 2010
      Gender
      Posts
      708
      Likes
      348
      I do believe that true selfless acts occur everyday, and that some actually do use selflessness as their own motivation and guiding principles. Of course, there are extreme examples, and I think that a lot of people are selfless to a fault -that is to say, selfless to their own detriment.
      syth406 likes this.

    3. #3
      Orr
      USA Orr is offline
      Banned
      Join Date
      May 2012
      Posts
      24
      Likes
      3
      so im like going to tell you ilumirath i think your avatar is ballin
      i enjoy gustave dore and i see you might know of him too
      its giving me a little bit of a boner and thats the truth


      im awake i happen to be here my fingers can function in accordance to my reaction to you in accordance to firing neurons


      so i read your thread and as an individual who is not you
      there is no way for me to prove i am not here writing this for myself
      there is no way for me to communicate with you about your concern that people potentially lack any capacity for selflessness
      without in turn using my faculties to do so

      for me to express any sort of selflessness to you i have to keep breathing
      i have to sustain myself before i can break bread with you

      and if we return to the top of this post well find an honest reaction
      we find me expressing my reaction to you
      in writing those three lines I had no altruistic intent
      i wasnt concerned more with the needs and wishes of you than with my own
      although the lines reek of me they do not benefit me at all
      i am aroused by everything these days so theres no intent for attaining pleasure in writing about a boner
      with those three lines im not trying to define myself i simply become defined in reacting to you
      i just let it happen and the lack of intent .. of reason behind my reaction (expressing it was part of the reaction)
      the innocent emptiness of it is true lack of self .. true selflessness if you ask me

    4. #4
      Czar Salad IndieAnthias's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 2010
      Gender
      Location
      Texas
      Posts
      707
      Likes
      491
      Good question. It's one I've been searching out for a while now, and after all that I'm still not entirely sure. But it seems to depend on how you (you the observer or you the altruist) frame your concepts, i.e. whether you are thinking in terms of individual organisms, or are thinking in terms of universal karma with no true concept of self. In the more common mode of thinking that I usually revert to (the former), I think we are ultimately selfish. I think it's fair to say that most people who you would describe as perfectly selfless would agree that they find being selfless to be rewarding, no?

      Biologically speaking, I would say that everything is ultimately selfish. We are very social, but the reason for our social urges are not consciously accessible most of the time. In fact, sociality wouldn't have evolved if there were not benefits. It's actually very much a trade-off. Group size is driven by the benefits but constrained by the costs of getting along with others.

      If you use the multilevel selection (group selection) model for cooperation you can get biological interpretations of behavior as being not selfish. But the same behavior would be interpreted as selfish using the inclusive fitness (kin selection) model. The problem is that these two models are roughly equivalent, equally valid (although some old guys still like to attack one or the other, Richard Dawkins & E. O. Wilson) and predictions from one can be translated into terms of the other. So selfishness is entirely a problem-framing issue.

      But then, there's Karma. And if you (the observer or the altruist) think of the universe in this way, than there is no "self" to be selfish, only individual organisms that seem separate but are really connected, acting selfishly.

      So I suppose my conclusion is that to the extent you perceive a "self", than it is ultimately selfish.
      Last edited by IndieAnthias; 06-07-2012 at 07:05 AM.
      Ilumirath likes this.

    5. #5
      DEATH TO FANATICS! StonedApe's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 2008
      Gender
      Location
      toledo,OH
      Posts
      2,269
      Likes
      415
      DJ Entries
      61
      If there is hesitation, there is not selflessness. If there is no hesitation in giving then there is no self.
      157 is a prime number. The next prime is 163 and the previous prime is 151, which with 157 form a sexy prime triplet. Taking the arithmetic mean of those primes yields 157, thus it is a balanced prime.

      Women and rhythm section first - Jaco Pastorious

    6. #6
      Member Achievements:
      Created Dream Journal Referrer Bronze 5000 Hall Points Tagger First Class Populated Wall Veteran First Class
      Arra's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jan 2011
      Posts
      3,838
      Likes
      3886
      DJ Entries
      50
      It depends on how you look at it.

      Inside our minds are concepts of individual people, who we correlate to people who really exist in the outside world. We believe we have at least some (probably skewed) version of them in our minds. We feel empathy for those concepts of people and might feel sorry for them because, for example, they're starving and we know that if we were starving we would feel pain. We know that these other beings that exist and are like us are feeling pain, and imagining that pain makes us feel it too, in a sense, due to the way our brains our wired, brought on by evolution. When those people are no longer starving, we feel better because we know they're not feeling pain anymore.

      Those are pretty much the facts, and it's up to you to decide what altrusim should specifically mean to you and to determine whether or not what's going on in your brain is selfish. One way of looking at it is that there can't be any altrusim. Even if you feel bad due to someone else's pain, it's still your pain that you're trying to prevent (even though it was initiated by the knowledge of someone else's pain), and so it's selfish. If that evolutionary link in your brain that causes you to identify with the other person, to feel bad when they feel bad, goes away, you would no longer give a shit about what pain or happiness the other person is experiencing.

      But, as long as we're humans and limited to our brains (and I'm not implying that there could be anything different) we can't ever hope to get better than that, and so the word 'altruism' would have no meaning. It reminds me of the free-will problem. It might be true that all of our actions are determined, but that should be irrelevant in determining if we have free will because that isn't what we mean by free will. Similarly, it might be true in a strict sense that no one can really care about anyone else directly, but perhaps that shouldn't be how we determine whether we're altruistic or not. We still have those concepts of other people in our minds, and feel like we can relate to them, and feel sad when they do and feel happy when they do. Some people feel these things more than others, and for different people than others. So on a more human level, I think this is what we should mean by altrusim.
      Ilumirath likes this.

    7. #7
      Banned
      Join Date
      May 2008
      LD Count
      don't know
      Gender
      Posts
      1,602
      Likes
      1144
      DJ Entries
      17
      No, I don't think there's really such thing as selflessness. When you help others you're only ever helping a self-identity that goes beyond your individual form: a relationship or group you identify with (humanity for example). I believe altruism exists because the concept of "self" can reasonably extend to the whole cosmos, so sacrificing a part of your seemingly separate form as one human being to see a desired outcome for the whole in which you also identify as self would only really be helping yourself.

    8. #8
      Member
      Join Date
      May 2012
      Gender
      Posts
      229
      Likes
      19
      The first value is the self.
      If you don't find yourself you don't find other people.
      selfless is apathy.
      apathy is death.
      and not the transformative one.
      the decayed one.

    9. #9
      Sleeping Early
      Join Date
      Sep 2010
      Posts
      774
      Likes
      221
      DJ Entries
      46
      I somewhat agree with tsiouz, although the way he states his opinion is a little out there, the opposite of selfishness isn't selflessness, it's lacking selfishness itself (that's apathy folks). There are still selfish people and helpful people, but there are little selfless acts, if any. Truly selfless people (although they /hopefully/ do not exist) would just be enslaved to another person's will.

    10. #10
      Member
      Join Date
      May 2012
      Gender
      Posts
      229
      Likes
      19
      help is selfish.
      greed is weak self.
      strife for harmony is selfish.
      bad taste is weak self.
      change is selfish.
      apathy is weak self.
      desire to be a part of the world is selfish.
      desire to dominate him is weak self.
      Intelligence is selfish.
      stupidity is weak self.
      Effort is selfish.
      Suffice is weak self.
      Dare is selfish.
      cowardness is weak self.

      So I AM.
      And i strife to see my self good so i can see the rest of the world good.
      Ilumirath likes this.

    11. #11
      Member Achievements:
      Made Friends on DV 1000 Hall Points Veteran First Class

      Join Date
      Jun 2010
      Gender
      Posts
      708
      Likes
      348
      Dude, drop the gimmick, you're not Lao Tzu. Fragmented thoughts juxtaposed and masquerading as poetry is not how people discuss things.
      Dianeva likes this.

    12. #12
      Member
      Join Date
      May 2012
      Gender
      Posts
      229
      Likes
      19
      Dude first this is a rite from a student of the fourth way of gurdjieff is not mine.
      Second show me a script ancient or not which speaks about selfishness to show you the misunderstand and the stupidity of it's translation.
      Third juxtaposed and masquerading comes from too many useless and fake complicated words of useless thoughts and ideas which try to generate more stupid impressions from people who like to talk with not a particular reason.
      I accept an argument when it has something to say.
      The rest you can splash them on a wall alone.

      So sometimes you dont have to dream.
      Instead put your head in a bucket full of water and wake up for a change.
      And if you come with some useful juxtaposed stuff id like to hear them.
      Last edited by tsiouz; 06-07-2012 at 06:24 PM.
      Aeolus likes this.

    13. #13
      Member Achievements:
      Made Friends on DV 1000 Hall Points Veteran First Class

      Join Date
      Jun 2010
      Gender
      Posts
      708
      Likes
      348
      Quote Originally Posted by tsiouz View Post
      Dude first this is a rite from a student of the fourth way of gurdjieff is not mine.
      Second show me a script ancient or not which speaks about selfishness to show you the misunderstand and the stupidity of it's translation.
      Third juxtaposed and masquerading comes from too many useless and fake complicated words of useless thoughts and ideas which try to generate more stupid impressions from people who like to talk with not a particular reason.
      I accept an argument when it has something to say.
      The rest you can splash them on a wall alone.

      So sometimes you dont have to dream.
      Instead put your head in a bucket full of water and wake up for a change.
      And if you come with some useful juxtaposed stuff id like to hear them.
      It pisses me off something royal when people take a perfectly good thread and shit all over it with gibberish. Go play in the SB section with your care bear nonsense.

    14. #14
      Member Achievements:
      1000 Hall Points Veteran First Class

      Join Date
      Jul 2009
      Gender
      Posts
      276
      Likes
      21
      Quote Originally Posted by Orr View Post
      so im like going to tell you ilumirath i think your avatar is ballin
      i enjoy gustave dore and i see you might know of him too
      its giving me a little bit of a boner and thats the truth


      im awake i happen to be here my fingers can function in accordance to my reaction to you in accordance to firing neurons


      so i read your thread and as an individual who is not you
      there is no way for me to prove i am not here writing this for myself
      there is no way for me to communicate with you about your concern that people potentially lack any capacity for selflessness
      without in turn using my faculties to do so

      for me to express any sort of selflessness to you i have to keep breathing
      i have to sustain myself before i can break bread with you

      and if we return to the top of this post well find an honest reaction
      we find me expressing my reaction to you
      in writing those three lines I had no altruistic intent
      i wasnt concerned more with the needs and wishes of you than with my own
      although the lines reek of me they do not benefit me at all
      i am aroused by everything these days so theres no intent for attaining pleasure in writing about a boner
      with those three lines im not trying to define myself i simply become defined in reacting to you
      i just let it happen and the lack of intent .. of reason behind my reaction (expressing it was part of the reaction)
      the innocent emptiness of it is true lack of self .. true selflessness if you ask me
      Can someone IP ban this guy?

    15. #15
      Member Achievements:
      1000 Hall Points Veteran First Class

      Join Date
      Jul 2009
      Gender
      Posts
      276
      Likes
      21
      Quote Originally Posted by Dianeva View Post
      It depends on how you look at it.

      Inside our minds are concepts of individual people, who we correlate to people who really exist in the outside world. We believe we have at least some (probably skewed) version of them in our minds. We feel empathy for those concepts of people and might feel sorry for them because, for example, they're starving and we know that if we were starving we would feel pain. We know that these other beings that exist and are like us are feeling pain, and imagining that pain makes us feel it too, in a sense, due to the way our brains our wired, brought on by evolution. When those people are no longer starving, we feel better because we know they're not feeling pain anymore.

      Those are pretty much the facts, and it's up to you to decide what altrusim should specifically mean to you and to determine whether or not what's going on in your brain is selfish. One way of looking at it is that there can't be any altrusim. Even if you feel bad due to someone else's pain, it's still your pain that you're trying to prevent (even though it was initiated by the knowledge of someone else's pain), and so it's selfish. If that evolutionary link in your brain that causes you to identify with the other person, to feel bad when they feel bad, goes away, you would no longer give a shit about what pain or happiness the other person is experiencing.

      But, as long as we're humans and limited to our brains (and I'm not implying that there could be anything different) we can't ever hope to get better than that, and so the word 'altruism' would have no meaning. It reminds me of the free-will problem. It might be true that all of our actions are determined, but that should be irrelevant in determining if we have free will because that isn't what we mean by free will. Similarly, it might be true in a strict sense that no one can really care about anyone else directly, but perhaps that shouldn't be how we determine whether we're altruistic or not. We still have those concepts of other people in our minds, and feel like we can relate to them, and feel sad when they do and feel happy when they do. Some people feel these things more than others, and for different people than others. So on a more human level, I think this is what we should mean by altrusim.
      Free will is incompatible with determinism
      We are in a deterministic universe
      Therefore, free will is does exist

      We are fated.
      Your outcome in life will be none other than your DNA and how it reacts to external stimuli.
      You may think you are free to choose an action, but really, there are very specific reasons why you choose to do anything at any given moment.
      No choice you or I have is arbitrary.
      That's a good thing. It would suck to choose actions arbitrarily, we would just live trivial and directionless lives.

    16. #16
      Dreaming Shaman ZeraCook's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2012
      LD Count
      21
      Gender
      Location
      Montana
      Posts
      796
      Likes
      813
      DJ Entries
      26
      Quote Originally Posted by Dreams4free View Post
      Free will is incompatible with determinism
      We are in a deterministic universe
      Therefore, free will is does exist

      We are fated.
      Your outcome in life will be none other than your DNA and how it reacts to external stimuli.
      You may think you are free to choose an action, but really, there are very specific reasons why you choose to do anything at any given moment.
      No choice you or I have is arbitrary.
      That's a good thing. It would suck to choose actions arbitrarily, we would just live trivial and directionless lives.
      IDK That makes life seem kind of dull.

      Any Way I don't think there is such thing as true selflessness because Even though I try to be selfless I'm Doing it for a somewhat selfish reason.


      " I couldn't stand her at first, But then I loved her so bad It Hurt "

    17. #17
      Member
      Join Date
      May 2012
      Gender
      Posts
      229
      Likes
      19
      Quote Originally Posted by Phion View Post
      It pisses me off something royal when people take a perfectly good thread and shit all over it with gibberish. Go play in the SB section with your care bear nonsense.
      Im not gonna argue with you only because i've walked in your shoes.
      I just hope your tendency to revolt at anything that doesen't represent yourself gonna bring you in a conclusion
      And not gonna make you react for no reason.
      Last edited by tsiouz; 06-08-2012 at 06:35 AM.

    18. #18
      Member Achievements:
      Made Friends on DV 1000 Hall Points Veteran First Class

      Join Date
      Jun 2010
      Gender
      Posts
      708
      Likes
      348
      Quote Originally Posted by tsiouz View Post
      I just hope your tendency to revolt at anything that doesen't represent yourself gonna bring you in a conclusion
      I still don't understand you, so I'm going to calmly and quietly leave this thread now.

    19. #19
      Member Achievements:
      Created Dream Journal Referrer Bronze 5000 Hall Points Tagger First Class Populated Wall Veteran First Class
      Arra's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jan 2011
      Posts
      3,838
      Likes
      3886
      DJ Entries
      50
      Quote Originally Posted by Dreams4free View Post
      Free will is incompatible with determinism
      We are in a deterministic universe
      Therefore, free will is does exist

      We are fated.
      Your outcome in life will be none other than your DNA and how it reacts to external stimuli.
      You may think you are free to choose an action, but really, there are very specific reasons why you choose to do anything at any given moment.
      No choice you or I have is arbitrary.
      That's a good thing. It would suck to choose actions arbitrarily, we would just live trivial and directionless lives.
      I completely agree that our actions are all determined by our genetics and experiences, and in a way I'd agree that we have no free will. I've taken philosophy classes and when this subject was brought up I agreed with determinists and thought compatibilists were missing the point. I'm just questioning now whether that definition of free will should be as it is, since I don't think it has much to do with why we find the problem important (just look at the response below you, obviously that person has the wrong impression). You are the part of your brain that experiences making decisions, that sifts through what other parts of your brain are telling you and solves problems. That experience of trying to figure out what to do is real, and even though you couldn't have done any differently, you still had to actively solve the problems and you didn't know what you'd end up doing before. That feeling of 'free will' we have is just that decision-making process. I don't know if I'm being clear and am not sure I agree with myself 100% right now. I keep going back and forth.

      Quote Originally Posted by tsiouz View Post
      Third juxtaposed and masquerading comes from too many useless and fake complicated words of useless thoughts and ideas which try to generate more stupid impressions from people who like to talk with not a particular reason.
      I hope this isn't how you view language and communication. Maybe you don't understand them but real ideas are being expressed in complete sentences that are more useful than most of what you write.

      Quote Originally Posted by tsiouz View Post
      Im not gonna argue with you only because i've walked in your shoes.
      Everyone thinks that they completely understand their opponent's viewpoint and see beyond it. But at least one of every two people who oppose one another are wrong about this.
      Last edited by Dianeva; 06-08-2012 at 12:58 PM.

    20. #20
      Orr
      USA Orr is offline
      Banned
      Join Date
      May 2012
      Posts
      24
      Likes
      3
      Quote Originally Posted by Dreams4free View Post
      Free will is incompatible with determinism
      We are in a deterministic universe
      Therefore, free will is does exist

      We are fated.
      Your outcome in life will be none other than your DNA and how it reacts to external stimuli.
      You may think you are free to choose an action, but really, there are very specific reasons why you choose to do anything at any given moment.
      No choice you or I have is arbitrary.
      That's a good thing. It would suck to choose actions arbitrarily, we would just live trivial and directionless lives.
      you and i actually agree about fatalism
      although the point of our disagreement is what i think bothers you
      i mentioned it in your thread how our individual existence as well as that of the universe is in fact arbitrary despite the deterministic quality of the universe
      and that isnt a very appealing idea when every fiber of our being seems to yearn for purpose to know where we came from and where we are going
      so your animosity toward me is understandable

      Quote Originally Posted by ZeraCook View Post
      IDK That makes life seem kind of dull.

      Any Way I don't think there is such thing as true selflessness because Even though I try to be selfless I'm Doing it for a somewhat selfish reason.
      sorry to hear that
      im sure youre telling the truth which is appreciated
      but why project your motives onto others around you bro
      it leads to pretty sick despairing in the long run when you realize how diluted your experience of others is

      though its true it seems almost impossible to act selflessly when the frontier of our minds.. when that grey matter is ever concerned with the relationship of ourselves to that around us
      after the age of 8 its literally impossible to act without actively regarding ourselves just a little bit
      although consciousness is ridiculously liberating acquiring it is much like equipping a double-edged sword.. it gives us the power to not only conquer our disappointments our longings our attention by means of choice
      but also succumb to denial to dennying what really is and trap ourselves within the scope of our fancies alone

      Quote Originally Posted by Dianeva View Post
      I completely agree that our actions are all determined by our genetics and experiences, and in a way I'd agree that we have no free will. I've taken philosophy classes and when this subject was brought up I agreed with determinists and thought compatibilists were missing the point. I'm just questioning now whether that definition of free will should be as it is, since I don't think it has much to do with why we find the problem important (just look at the response below you, obviously that person has the wrong impression). You are the part of your brain that experiences making decisions, that sifts through what other parts of your brain are telling you and solves problems. That experience of trying to figure out what to do is real, and even though you couldn't have done any differently, you still had to actively solve the problems and you didn't know what you'd end up doing before. That feeling of 'free will' we have is just that decision-making process. I don't know if I'm being clear and am not sure I agree with myself 100% right now. I keep going back and forth.
      yeah whether i decide i dont actively make choices because im determined by my parts and the physical nature of them
      or i decide that because i have a capacity for decision-making i am bound to no fate
      logic tells me im lying to myself
      both arguments exist because our entire history is oozing with evidence of both determinism and human will
      it appears compatibilism is the answer only because free will is like.. solely prevalent in the domain of humans
      its emergent and comes from the fact that the extent to our waking awareness is unfortunately limited
      >humanitys lack of omniscience
      >humanitys capacity for volition
      >free will relevance

      but anyway just think schoepenhauer.. 'though a man is often free to act according to a motive, the nature of that motive is determined.'

      I hope this isn't how you view language and communication. Maybe you don't understand them but real ideas are being expressed in complete sentences that are more useful than most of what you write.
      well shiiiiit

      Everyone thinks that they completely understand their opponent's viewpoint and see beyond it. But at least one of every two people who oppose one another are wrong about this.
      again with the projecting
      Dianeva likes this.

    21. #21
      Member Achievements:
      Created Dream Journal Made lots of Friends on DV Referrer Bronze Populated Wall Tagger First Class 25000 Hall Points Veteran First Class
      <s><span class='glow_9ACD32'>DeletePlease</span></s>'s Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 2010
      Posts
      2,685
      Likes
      2883
      DJ Entries
      12
      Quote Originally Posted by Phion View Post
      poetry is not how people discuss things.
      No, it's more of a means of illustrating one's views on the discussion at hand...

      Quote Originally Posted by Phion View Post
      It pisses me off something royal when people take a perfectly good thread and shit all over it with gibberish. Go play in the SB section with your care bear nonsense.
      Gee, that's not rude at all...
      -----


      Idk, that seems pretty selfless to me. .-.
      Last edited by GavinGill; 06-08-2012 at 04:40 PM.
      StonedApe likes this.

    22. #22
      Member Achievements:
      Created Dream Journal Referrer Bronze 5000 Hall Points Tagger First Class Populated Wall Veteran First Class
      Arra's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jan 2011
      Posts
      3,838
      Likes
      3886
      DJ Entries
      50
      Quote Originally Posted by Orr View Post
      again with the projecting
      I'm not sure what you mean by this. Is what I said not true?

    23. #23
      Banned
      Join Date
      May 2008
      LD Count
      don't know
      Gender
      Posts
      1,602
      Likes
      1144
      DJ Entries
      17
      Quote Originally Posted by Dreams4free View Post
      Free will is incompatible with determinism
      We are in a deterministic universe
      Therefore, free will is does exist

      We are fated.
      Your outcome in life will be none other than your DNA and how it reacts to external stimuli.
      You may think you are free to choose an action, but really, there are very specific reasons why you choose to do anything at any given moment.
      No choice you or I have is arbitrary.
      That's a good thing. It would suck to choose actions arbitrarily, we would just live trivial and directionless lives.
      This is a recklessly bold assertion. How are you so sure that the events of the universe are completely deterministic? You really don't think quantum uncertainty has any effect on our lives? Also, What do you even mean by freewill? Would we have it if the events of the universe were inherently uncertain? Our actions would be controlled by randomness, not us, so why the big emphasis on determinism= no freewill (what ever you mean by that.) Everybody has cognitive dissonances, so who are the "we" that could possibly choose freely for themselves if "we" hold two different potential actions that could equally be seen as ourselves?
      Last edited by Wayfaerer; 06-08-2012 at 05:15 PM.

    24. #24
      Diamonds And Rust Achievements:
      Veteran First Class Vivid Dream Journal Referrer Bronze Populated Wall 5000 Hall Points Made lots of Friends on DV Tagger First Class
      Darkmatters's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 2009
      Gender
      Location
      Center of the universe
      Posts
      6,952
      Likes
      5837
      DJ Entries
      172
      Is there really selflessness?

      The question is a bit oversimplified I think. We have to determine exactly what is meant by selflessness. Does it mean to do things for others with absolutely no benefit to yourself? That would be a very extreme definition.

      The question itself tries to force a somewhat skewed reading of the idea of altruism (which I think is a better term than selflessness, specifically because it avoids creating a false all-or-nothing duality that doesn't really exist in nature).

      I think a better question might be "How selfless is altruism?"

      Mammals, and in certain situations even reptiles, will help those who are genetically close (ie close family - especially offspring) at risk of their own life, but it seems to be only in humans that altruism extends to helping others we don't know personally or who even live on the far side of the planet and we've never met. But let's break down how selfless altruism can be in different situations:

      If there's a nasty disgusting homeless person begging for handouts, a lot of people will turn away in contempt or fear, but some will give him money or food or help him in some way. Is there a component of 'selfishness' in this? Well, to some extent yes - because helping someone who needs help makes us feel good. However, wouldn't it also have made everyone else feel good to help that person?

      And yet most of them don't, and in fact some will go the opposite way and ridicule the homeless person or throw things at him, or call the police so they don't have to be bothered by seeing him anymore. Which response is more selfish?

      So, I'd say "selflessness" isn't the right term. It simplifies the issue into a black and white polarity that fails to address the complexity of the actual situation. So, in attempting to answer the question that I think is implied by the thread title, I'd say yes, there is such a thing as altruism. Some people have it more than others. It is less selfish than most of the alternatives, though there is some slight benefit of a feeling of accomplishment and helpfulness - so to call it completely 'selfless' is oversimplifying. But it is much more selfless than a lack of altruism if selflessness is seen as one end of a sliding scale with selfishness at the other.

    25. #25
      Dreaming Shaman ZeraCook's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2012
      LD Count
      21
      Gender
      Location
      Montana
      Posts
      796
      Likes
      813
      DJ Entries
      26
      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Is there really selflessness?

      The question is a bit oversimplified I think. We have to determine exactly what is meant by selflessness. Does it mean to do things for others with absolutely no benefit to yourself? That would be a very extreme definition.
      That was the definition I used when I made my statement of failed selflessness.
      Darkmatters likes this.


      " I couldn't stand her at first, But then I loved her so bad It Hurt "

    Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

    Bookmarks

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •