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Offline spoon

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You are selfish.
« on: January 10, 2014, 05:51:04 AM »
Every man’s reason for living, regardless of personal philosophy or religion, is to satisfy himself to the best of his abilities. Every decision he makes is for his own benefit (or perceived benefit). There are no exceptions.

The natural conclusion that follows is that true selflessness does not exist. This conclusion is true. No decision is motivated by anything greater than the motivation to maintain high personal satisfaction. For the sake of clarity in the OP I will provide counter examples.

     1.   Philanthropists – Generous people who risk life and limb to help those in need are not being selfless, per se. They are acting for themselves by helping others. Essentially, they are maintaining personal satisfaction by maintaining others. If they did not help others, they would not be satisfied. If they didn’t “feel good” about helping others, they would not do it.

     2.   Religious people – Religious people who sacrifice their belongings and time, and comply with laws that go against their biological nature are completely motivated by their own interests. They are not “doing things for god”. They are doing things so that they go to heaven. If God said “Regardless of how much you give, you will go to hell.”, there would not be a single man who resisted his natural urges, instincts, and desires.

     3.   People in love – In a situation where a mother would sacrifice her life to save her child, the mother is not necessarily being selfless. At this point I would like to introduce something I have labeled “The happiness threshold”. It could very well be called the suicide threshold, but I am an optimist. Any level of personal satisfaction above the threshold represents a desire to live and experience perception. Anything below the threshold represents a lack of desire to live; it is a desire to die. A mother who lets herself die to save her child is gambling that if she were to let her child die, she would dip below the happiness threshold and experience overall dissatisfaction. She is gambling that life would not be worth living. She is making a decision based on her own desires and satisfaction.

Feel free to offer any counter examples to my assertion that nobody is selfless.

TL;DR No man cares about another more than he cares about himself.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 06:01:37 AM by spoon »
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Offline Sean

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 06:07:13 AM »
tl;dr

But yes, I am selfish.
Quote from: sandokhan
You are rushying to unwarranted conclusions

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Offline spoon

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 06:09:35 AM »
That is because you are a shitty liberal, but even those who are not shitty liberals are selfish.
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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2014, 06:43:37 AM »
There's nothing particularly insightful about this. It's in our biology to only care about ourselves. We're living in separate worlds, we aren't some digital collective capable of understanding each other on a fundamental level.

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Online Rama Set

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2014, 12:46:02 PM »
Selfishness can motivate people to altruism so it really does not matter if one is selfish. As always, what matters is what one does.
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Thork

Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 12:56:32 PM »
The OP is making the case that if you do something that benefits you, it proves you did it for selfish reasons.

However there are exceptions despite his claim. There are a group of people who do things that do not benefit them in any way. They are called the insane.

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Offline Ghost Spaghetti

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 01:27:53 PM »
No arguments here. So long as you're not fooled into thinking that we're all moral nihilists because of it.

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Offline Tintagel

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 01:54:32 PM »
The OP is making the case that if you do something that benefits you, it proves you did it for selfish reasons.

However there are exceptions despite his claim. There are a group of people who do things that do not benefit them in any way. They are called the insane.

So unselfish people are insane?

Offline Blanko

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 02:04:39 PM »
Thork must be the least selfish person in the world amirite lol

No, I don't think it's benefit that's the determining factor here, it's what people think is beneficial for them or what makes them feel good. That includes insane people.

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 02:21:49 PM »
People do things with no immediate benefit all the time. It is done in the hope that it may be reciprocated in the future. This behavior is a hallmark of hominid behavior.
You don't get races of anything ... accept people.

Thork

Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2014, 02:48:15 PM »
I have an exception.

I was in London waiting for someone a few weeks ago. A man placed his half eaten lunch into a street bin. A homeless guy came and fished it out and then ate it.
The homeless man benefitted and the guy putting his stuff in the bin helped him, without any benefit to himself.

The Op is basically just word games.

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Offline Tintagel

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2014, 03:41:42 PM »
I have an exception.

I was in London waiting for someone a few weeks ago. A man placed his half eaten lunch into a street bin. A homeless guy came and fished it out and then ate it.
The homeless man benefitted and the guy putting his stuff in the bin helped him, without any benefit to himself.

The Op is basically just word games.

The OP's assertion is that no PERSON is selfless, not that no individual ACT is selfless.

Offline Blanko

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2014, 03:45:30 PM »
The man disposed of his lunch because it was his desire to get rid of it. That's still a selfish act.

Offline bj1234

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 03:51:31 PM »
I have an exception.

I was in London waiting for someone a few weeks ago. A man placed his half eaten lunch into a street bin. A homeless guy came and fished it out and then ate it.
The homeless man benefitted and the guy putting his stuff in the bin helped him, without any benefit to himself.

The Op is basically just word games.
He also threw it in the trash bin because he wanted to keep his city clean.

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You don't get races of anything ... accept people.

Offline bj1234

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2014, 04:07:30 PM »
Quote
3.   People in love – In a situation where a mother would sacrifice her life to save her child, the mother is not necessarily being selfless. At this point I would like to introduce something I have labeled “The happiness threshold”. It could very well be called the suicide threshold, but I am an optimist. Any level of personal satisfaction above the threshold represents a desire to live and experience perception. Anything below the threshold represents a lack of desire to live; it is a desire to die. A mother who lets herself die to save her child is gambling that if she were to let her child die, she would dip below the happiness threshold and experience overall dissatisfaction. She is gambling that life would not be worth living. She is making a decision based on her own desires and satisfaction.

He knew that his life would not be worth living if he had just run and let the car hit his son.  It was covered in the OP.

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2014, 04:23:10 PM »
1. I doubt that he had time to consider that in the time it took to make the decision.

2. There was no guarantee that his son would die.

Based on that I do not buy this "happiness threshold" business nonsense.
You don't get races of anything ... accept people.

Offline Blanko

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2014, 04:29:36 PM »
I think the way OP puts it is way too complicated. There's no need for there to be "consideration", the desire to protect your loved ones can kick in instantly. Just think of it this way, if that same person wouldn't have sacrificed himself for a complete stranger, then his actions must have been motivated by selfish desires.

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2014, 04:52:31 PM »
You don't get races of anything ... accept people.

Offline Blanko

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Re: You are selfish.
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2014, 04:54:21 PM »
Some people just love too much for their own good.