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TOPIC: Egoism vs Altruism

Egoism vs Altruism 5 years 3 months ago #708

  • lucky star
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The fight between altruism and egoism has always intimidated the human race. As defined, altruism is the desinterested care for the welfare of other, when egoism is the bent to consider only oneself and ones own benefit.

Altruism can teach us that we are each responsible for the health and well-being of others. This is contradictory to individualism, yet many people who are basically individualists uphold altruism as the standard of morality. What's happening?

The problem is about the prevalent confusion over the meanings of altruism and egoism.
The first confusion is to confound altruism with kindness, generosity, and helping other people. Altruism demands more than kindness: it demands sacrifice. The billionaire who contributes $50,000 to a scholarship fund is not acting altruistically; altruism goes beyond simple charity. Altruism is the grocery bagger who contributes $50,000 to the fund, foregoing his own college education so that others may go. Parents who spend a fortune to save their dying child are helping another person, but true altruism would demand that the parents spend their money to save ten other children, sacrificing their own child so that others may live.
The second disarray is to confuse selfishness with cruelty and violence. The common image of selfishness is the person who runs careless over people in order to get random desires. We are taught that selfishness consists of гнилость, theft, even bloodshed, usually for the sake of the fad of the moment.

These two puzzlements together unclear the possibility of an ethics of non-sacrifice. In this ethics, each man takes responsibility for his own life and happiness, and lets other people do the same. No one sacrifices himself to others, nor sacrifices others to himself. The key word in this approach is earn: each person must earn a living, must earn the love and respect of his peers, must earn the self-esteem and the happiness that make life worth living.

It's this ethics of non-sacrifice that forms a lasting moral foundation for individualism. It's an egoistic ethics in that each person acts to achieve his own happiness. Yet, it's not the brutality usually ascribed to egoism. Indeed, by rejecting sacrifice as such, it represents a revolution in thinking on ethics.

Two asides on the egoism topic. First, just as self-interest doesn't mean being alone, neither does non-sacrificial egoism. Admiration, friendship, love, good-will, charity, generosity: these are wonderful values that a selfishness person would want as part of his life. But these values do not require true sacrifice, and thus are not altruistic in the deepest sense of the word.

Second, I question if brutality, the form of selfishness usually attributed to egoism, is actually in one's self-interest in activity. Dishonesty, robbery, exploitation: I would argue that the truly selfish man rejects these, for he knows that happiness and self-esteem can't be stolen at the cost of others: they must be deserved through really hard work.
I am gonna win!
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Egoism vs Altruism 4 years 10 months ago #1519

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Everything you wrote is really true and we cannot consider egoism as bad and altruism as good. We should broaden our views to this issue. Once I heard an expression “healthy egoism or rational selfishness” . And the compound of these two words show that selfishness is not only bad thing. If you behave on the basis of the rational selfishness you and your milieu will always win. The principle means ‘an action is rational if and only if it maximizes one's self-interest’. So if you do everything to make your life better and don’t think about others, you and others will only win.
I remember the movie called “A beautiful mind” staring with Russell Crowe and this principal is shown there really good and supported with some examples. Even Adam Smith, the pioneer of political economy, said "every man for himself".
I even say that altruism is not natural for human beings. Altruism is against our instinct of self-preservation and therefore it is not natural.
So if to choose what is best, I am for rational selfishness! B)
Best,
1234567
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Egoism vs Altruism 4 years 10 months ago #1524

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And what do you think about this idea?
Altruism is the highest form of egoism?
Here is explanation. By the way in psychiatry and psychology there are a lot of similar opinions. Well for example, too big demands for yourself or the eternal moral self-flagellation can be considered as the highest form of egoism. It means that person loves himself so much that he or she can't stand if he is bad or if not is the best of everybody. Such person doesn’t need recognition of other people, because it is not so important for the person. What is indeed important is that this person knows that he or she is the best. But having reached some heights and gained some achievements, he realizes that the he could easily reach higher .. but he was too lazy. He can forgiven it to anyone, but not to him. So the best way is to be altruistic person. And to know that you are the best, and the kindest and the nicest person. And this is manifestation of selfishness. But this is just a theory, but is has the right for living, it can be right for one person, but wrong for another person.
And what do you think?
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Egoism vs Altruism 4 years 10 months ago #1530

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Lady bird, I don't like such point of view.
This is substitution of concepts. In such manner every good and kind action can be called as egocentric. "Oh, he is wants us to think that he is so good person". Action is the main thing.
Why this person is doing it does not mean anything. The could action was committed that is it. If someone would have helped me I would be very appreciated.
So with this opinion any good action can be discounted.
It can be said that I do not do any good things because I am not an egoist. Well this is nonsense in fact.
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Egoism vs Altruism 4 years 10 months ago #1537

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Leora, thanks for your replay.
I will think about it.
It definitely has seance. And maybe your are right :)
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Egoism vs Altruism 4 years 10 months ago #1548

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Lady bird wrote:
And what do you think about this idea?
Altruism is the highest form of egoism?
Here is explanation. By the way in psychiatry and psychology there are a lot of similar opinions. Well for example, too big demands for yourself or the eternal moral self-flagellation can be considered as the highest form of egoism. It means that person loves himself so much that he or she can't stand if he is bad or if not is the best of everybody. Such person doesn’t need recognition of other people, because it is not so important for the person. What is indeed important is that this person knows that he or she is the best. But having reached some heights and gained some achievements, he realizes that the he could easily reach higher .. but he was too lazy. He can forgiven it to anyone, but not to him. So the best way is to be altruistic person. And to know that you are the best, and the kindest and the nicest person. And this is manifestation of selfishness. But this is just a theory, but is has the right for living, it can be right for one person, but wrong for another person.
And what do you think?

I guess every theory may have right to live however there is nothing to prove it.
Just look who are the real altruist (as the lucky star described, “Altruism demands more than kindness: it demands sacrifice. The billionaire who contributes $50,000 to a scholarship fund is not acting altruistically; altruism goes beyond simple charity. Altruism is the grocery bagger who contributes $50,000 to the fund, foregoing his own college education so that others may go. Parents who spend a fortune to save their dying child are helping another person, but true altruism would demand that the parents spend their money to save ten other children, sacrificing their own child so that others may live.”)! They are nuns, priests, people who lost everyone in their lives etc. Usual person will never be altruist.
I cannot say that deeds of nun, for example, are caused by her deep selfishness and wish to be the best. I think it is so stupid, when you try to apply this theory in real life!
Best,
1234567
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