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Altruism..

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Altruism..

Postby Manners73 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:40 pm

I can't understand this concept. I just can't imagine how anyone can do something for someone else without the ulterior motive that it will in some way benefit themselves.

I can't think of a single occassion in my life where I've been completely selfless.
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Re: Altruism..

Postby justonemoreperson » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:54 am

That's because no one behaves selflessly. Everything is motivated by self-interest. The difference is that self-interest can be internal, and when that happens it's seen as altruism.
I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right.
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Re: Altruism..

Postby vcrpamphlet » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:05 am

justonemoreperson wrote:That's because no one behaves selflessly. Everything is motivated by self-interest. The difference is that self-interest can be internal, and when that happens it's seen as altruism.


Can't two agents have different kinds of internal drives though? If the motivation's something like "the internal pleasure I experience from giving selflessly to others" there isn't any contradiction involved. Most activities centred around survival (in which cooperation is fundamental), properly done, have an intrinsic pleasure to them. That's basically how gene survival anchors itself to an individual's behaviour pattern: practically everything with a value towards your own procreation feels good, in one way or another.

Even accepting that help can be consciously motivated through self-gratification, it still fits within the altruist concept. People are good enough natural psychologists to figure out when someone is only acting in their own self-interest, or by what extent they're extending themselves beyond it. There exists enough selfishness in the world to navigate closer to the chest and think of everyone else as being the same way but there's too much variation in the population to consider that very objective. Especially questionable with a disorder in the mix.

That selflessness equals pleasure is practically meaningless really; actual self-interest needs the addition of something else by which the subject can experience reward through. For instance, to balance a dissonance of self-image (like buying your kid a toy after drunkenly beating them), or for political reputation/religious adherence, or because of some other goal where someone's trust or loyalty is beneficial; so on and so forth. If you feel internally rewarded for selfless behaviour alone - and selfless is defined as socially beneficial somehow - then so long as that's secondary in focus to the value given to the beneficiary, it's still altruistic and can't be reasonably called self-interested.
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Re: Altruism..

Postby salles » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:49 am

justonemoreperson wrote:That's because no one behaves selflessly. Everything is motivated by self-interest. .

People with religious upbringing ( of varying degrees) often have an ingrained code of 'doing onto others as you would want others to do onto you'. It is a habit that continues even among those who have lost or removed any attachment to a religious belief.
Such people act without self interest/motive.
In my observation people often do things for others to their own detriment/inconvenience. I am currently surrounded by non-religious people who self-sacrifice for the sake of others, without even knowing why.
It basically arises from acknowledging they would like it if the shoe was on the other foot; and would appreciate it if someone did similar for them or helped them out, without self motivation/gain.
It arises from empathising with the plight of another without there necessarily being any reward.
I acknowledge there are 'do-gooders' who are altruistic for various reasons; alleviation of guilt, the promise of heaven, the Love of God....etc...... but some have no such motivation.
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Re: Altruism..

Postby Manners73 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:09 pm

When ever anyone's been kind to me in my life I've always thought there's been an ulterior motive or they're being kind because they're getting payed to be or they're being kind just so it makes them look good.

This is my main reason for not being kind to people irl.

I'm not a horrible person and I don't really treat people bad but I just won't do something nice for someone without thinking how it might look from the outside.
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Re: Altruism..

Postby theraven17 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:13 am

There is always an alterior motive ... "every action ...."
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Re: Altruism..

Postby Squaredonutwheels » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:54 am

Maybe someone who can recognize themselves the other can behave selfishly and selflessly at the same time.

I was taught a lesson this week so I'm feeling all lovey dovey.
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Re: Altruism..

Postby justonemoreperson » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:23 am

vcrpamphlet wrote:
Can't two agents have different kinds of internal drives though?



Of course, my reply was to explain why people tend to do things for 'nothing'. It's never nothing; it's just that when we see people getting an internal reward, rather than a bag of cash, for doing something, this is seen as pure or selfless; it resonates with how we do things for others.

salles wrote:People with religious upbringing ( of varying degrees) often have an ingrained code of 'doing onto others as you would want others to do onto you'. It is a habit that continues even among those who have lost or removed any attachment to a religious belief.


Conditioning is the other side of the psychological motivation coin: fear.

Conditioning is basically fear that is built into the young to act as a guide. Dogs learn that biting hurts, but the biting they get from their 'family' isn't life threatening, but they want it to stop.

The Golden Rule of, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto to you," is common amongst many religions for one very simple reason: it's synonymous with a strong community.

Creating rules to ensure the protection of your group is older than religion and religion was one of the created ways to maintain law and order in small, ancient cultures.

Our whole law system is based on this concept, but it's driven by conditioned fear because self-interest makes it work better.

"Be nice"
"I don't want to."
"God will flick your bollocks if you're not."
"Fine."

You don't drive down the motorway at 150mph. Why? Pick a reason:
Your car can't go that fast.
You'll probably crash and kill yourself.
If you get caught you'll lose your license.
What would my mother / father / fiddling catholic priest say?
God is watching me.
etc
etc
etc
It's against the law.

Simply being against the law has no meaning, unless we can put consequence into the mix. We need to have a selfish reason.

Animals, including us, always, without exception, do one of the four F's:

Fight, Flight, f*ck, feed. If it doesn't fit into one of them, we will not do it.
I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right.
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Re: Altruism..

Postby HSS » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:15 pm

IMHO, altruism is related to the way you perceive your identity.

I can list these options:

1. a selfish behavior.
2. an altruistic behavior, driven by selfish reasons. It's when you do something for another person to gain material or spiritual things, to improve your self-image, to avoid remorse, ...
3. I call it “altruism” when you expand your identification and, by consequence, your identity.
At least to a certain degree, we are all that we think we are. You become aware that you are the other person too.
In this option, you feel actually pleasure doing something for the other; by consequence, it is still “selfish”, because you feel pleasure and because you “are” the other person. The difference is that the identification has changed: you are “selfish” from the other's perspective.
Obviously, you can do it partially too.

Finally, I often realize that opposite thoughts are both true in different ways (and I am always surprised).

If you think that altruism doesn't exist, you are right, and you are wrong.
If you think that altruism exists, you are right, and you are wrong.

I guess that it would be useful to exercise to a wider way of thinking, to gain a more complete vision of the reality.
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