Author Topic: Can one be totally unselfish?  (Read 350 times)

Infinite Trapped in 1996

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2008, 06:14:29 AM »
People aren't looking at the larger picture when they talk about the supposed "great virtue" of unselfishness.  If you carry it out to its logical conclusion, and say that everyone passed their happiness to someone else in order to be "unsellfish" you would see that nobody actually benefited from thsi unselfishness.

People are only looking at what is seen and not what is unseen.  Lets say a woman doesn't love a man who is her either her husband, or hypothetically the man her family wants to be her husband.  Say she  actually loves another man who also loves her in return.  But she stays with her husband to please her family and husband and not be selfish.   What's seen is her supposed "unselfish" act saving a family.  But what's not seen is the fact that she has passed by what she truly needed and wanted and her heart is broken along with the other man who loved her having his heart broken.

Lets take this to the business world.  Lets say that Bill Gates didn't want to appear to be selfish, so instead of spending capital to produce computers that people truly need and want, he spent his money on biulding schools in Africa.  Well, the people in Africa may or may not benefit from these schools, they could even hate the schools, but people would not hate the computers because they have shown their desire for computers by spending money to buy them.  If they don't want them they won't buy them.

Last point, see people often make the mistake of viewing the world as either you take advantage of others or sacrifice your happiness for others.  If this were true, it would truly be a grim world.

Thank God, there is a third option in which you can be selfish and still benefit others at the same time.  Again, look at Bill Gates, he provides a sevice people need and want (benefits others) and they reward and benefit him buying spending their money on his product.  The other example is a woman "selfishly" marries the man she truly loves in spite of her family pressure to marry someone else, and the man she marries benefits greatly from this supposedly "selfish" act.

Point is, without selfishness people would not get what they truly want.
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"I will make records as big or bigger than Death Row".   -Dre, Source 1996

"I didn't do nothing but make people money and I didn't leave nobody high and dry.  Any album (on death row) people are going to check for.  But it's time for Dre to worry about Dre.  I'm focused on the new Snoop Doggs, not like that but you know what I mean."

Dre -  Source 1996 cover

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Maestro Minded

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2008, 07:48:29 AM »
If I were a person that had an untameable urge to torture random people to death, I'd kill myself. It is not always good to strive for what's best for you as an individual, one has to put things in relation to each other, if your advantage far outweighs the harm done to the rest of them niggas, then yes, strive for it. If the opposite is the case, don't. Call me a Kantist, but I wouldn't act in a way that I'd hate another nigga for.

If you had the urge to torture people to death it would probably be in your best interest to commit suicide to ensure you won’t have the opportunity to feel any guilt since torturing people would go against your ethics and your morals.

 

Infinite Trapped in 1996

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2008, 09:37:01 AM »
Being the Objectivist that I am, I regard selfishness as a virtue. Selfishness is simply the "concern with one's own interests". It would be a negation of the facts of life to place anyone else's interests above your own. Therefore, I strongly believe in ethical hedonism as being the way to act socially, as opposed to 'genuine altruism'. If there's nothing in it for you to gain, you have no reason to act. Gaining is a vague term though; just someone showing you their respect, or even the feeling of a moral virtue can be enough to make a seemingly unselfish deed an act of ethical hedonism.

I believe it all starts with your view on mankind. If you have a certain vision of what man should be like, and what should be considered virtues and what they should be praised for, you will be able to judge them for what they're worth. 'Unselfish' behavior then becomes an pledge for your own moral purity. How unselfish is that, really? It's perfectly selfish.

Eleven, nice post!  I am very impressed!

I'm curious if you are a follower or if you have studied Ayn Rand's teachings on objectivism.  Being that she was the most renowned objectivist I can think of.  She wrote some great novels that illustrate the virtue of selfishness.  For example, in one novel (I think it was in Atlas Shrugged), there's a wealthy man who's head of a giant construction business, and people are always complaining that he's so selfish and they convince him to biuld a railroad that nobody ever ends up actually using.  But then when he's selfish and thinks only of his profits, whatever he biulds goes to great use, and no time, energy, or capital is wasted.

I agree with some of the ideals of objectivism, but I don't personally like Ayn Rand though because in a strange way she believes that everyone should think for themselves as long as they come to the same conclusions as her cause she was very arrogant and thought herself to be the most "rational" and since she didn't believe in compromise this cause her to lose many of her closest friends.

*******

"I will make records as big or bigger than Death Row".   -Dre, Source 1996

"I didn't do nothing but make people money and I didn't leave nobody high and dry.  Any album (on death row) people are going to check for.  But it's time for Dre to worry about Dre.  I'm focused on the new Snoop Doggs, not like that but you know what I mean."

Dre -  Source 1996 cover

"Ain't trying to stick around for Illuminati (One World Government Takeover) / Got to buy my own island by the year 2-G

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Infinite Trapped in 1996

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2008, 10:03:37 AM »
^Is exploitation a virtue to you?

7, the world is not that grim.  That's a limited view to believe we either have to exploit others or sacrifice our own happiness.

There is a third option and that is one of mutual benefit.  If I want to sell you my watch for 20 dollars and you want to buy my watch then we are both gaining in return something we valued more than what we gave up.

Even if you do something for someone else "unselfishly" you probably do it because your self-esteem is increased by the act of genorosity, so you value your increase in self-esteem more than the 5 bucks you gave to the bumb.

Lets use a more extreme example.  Lets say I'm a shrude business man who only cares about his bottom line profibility.  And I biuld a sweatshop factory in Thialand.  Ofcourse to everyone I look so evil and selfish, but actually I am providing jobs for people who otherwise wouldn't have had them.  Those sweatshop workers desire the dollar a day I give them more than they value the free time they could have had with their families, and they prove this because they chose to work there.  Not only that, but now I can sell you a nice t-shirt back in Europe at a price that is affordable to you.
*******

"I will make records as big or bigger than Death Row".   -Dre, Source 1996

"I didn't do nothing but make people money and I didn't leave nobody high and dry.  Any album (on death row) people are going to check for.  But it's time for Dre to worry about Dre.  I'm focused on the new Snoop Doggs, not like that but you know what I mean."

Dre -  Source 1996 cover

"Ain't trying to stick around for Illuminati (One World Government Takeover) / Got to buy my own island by the year 2-G

******
 

7even

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2008, 10:35:49 AM »
If I were a person that had an untameable urge to torture random people to death, I'd kill myself. It is not always good to strive for what's best for you as an individual, one has to put things in relation to each other, if your advantage far outweighs the harm done to the rest of them niggas, then yes, strive for it. If the opposite is the case, don't. Call me a Kantist, but I wouldn't act in a way that I'd hate another nigga for.

If you had the urge to torture people to death it would probably be in your best interest to commit suicide to ensure you won’t have the opportunity to feel any guilt since torturing people would go against your ethics and your morals.



In my opinion you are stretching the term of selfishness in this thread. You basically want people to behave at random to not act selfish. Of course whenever somebody acts consciously he/she in one way or the other acts in a way he/she thinks is "best" in some way. I don't think that phenomenon makes an action selfish. But I already talked about this in my first post.
Cause I don't care where I belong no more
What we share or not I will ignore
And I won't waste my time fitting in
Cause I don't think contrast is a sin
No, it's not a sin
 

Nigga_With_An_Additude

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2008, 01:08:14 PM »
yall are missing the point..........

we need good and bad because good wouldn't be good if we didn't have bad yall feel me?

we need selfish people because God has to have someone to save,see if we didn';t have people to save then this earth would be a good place andf not as bad as it is..............

basically alll of us need to love each other and try to get along

on the other hand.......
I have been totally unselfish at times because as a chaplin I feel I must do over and above what I am called to do............
 

Mr. Prikkebeen

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2008, 04:02:42 PM »
back to the gspot, you.
 

Elevz

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2008, 04:40:08 PM »
If I were a person that had an untameable urge to torture random people to death, I'd kill myself. It is not always good to strive for what's best for you as an individual, one has to put things in relation to each other, if your advantage far outweighs the harm done to the rest of them niggas, then yes, strive for it. If the opposite is the case, don't. Call me a Kantist, but I wouldn't act in a way that I'd hate another nigga for.

It is not like whims are worth going after. If you really felt the urge to torture random people to death, that does mean something about your diffuse feelings about your own life. That's not the best for you as an individual, even though it may seem as if it is. Suppress reality enough and you will believe it is.

You shouldn't act in a way that you'd hate someone else for. You shouldn't hate someone for what you would have loved to do either. That's simply the task of passing judgment, which is one of the most important things for a man to do. Know what you value, know what you reject. There's nothing more important to a thinking creature.

If I were a person that had an untameable urge to torture random people to death, I'd kill myself. It is not always good to strive for what's best for you as an individual, one has to put things in relation to each other, if your advantage far outweighs the harm done to the rest of them niggas, then yes, strive for it. If the opposite is the case, don't. Call me a Kantist, but I wouldn't act in a way that I'd hate another nigga for.

If you had the urge to torture people to death it would probably be in your best interest to commit suicide to ensure you won’t have the opportunity to feel any guilt since torturing people would go against your ethics and your morals.

Obviously not. Someone who tortures people to death just for fun, can't have a strongly rational base of ethics and morals. You wouldn't do that if you cared for life. It's narcissism at its finest, and a negation of the facts of social life, and therefore of one's own existence as a human being.

Being the Objectivist that I am, I regard selfishness as a virtue. Selfishness is simply the "concern with one's own interests". It would be a negation of the facts of life to place anyone else's interests above your own. Therefore, I strongly believe in ethical hedonism as being the way to act socially, as opposed to 'genuine altruism'. If there's nothing in it for you to gain, you have no reason to act. Gaining is a vague term though; just someone showing you their respect, or even the feeling of a moral virtue can be enough to make a seemingly unselfish deed an act of ethical hedonism.

I believe it all starts with your view on mankind. If you have a certain vision of what man should be like, and what should be considered virtues and what they should be praised for, you will be able to judge them for what they're worth. 'Unselfish' behavior then becomes an pledge for your own moral purity. How unselfish is that, really? It's perfectly selfish.

Eleven, nice post!  I am very impressed!

I'm curious if you are a follower or if you have studied Ayn Rand's teachings on objectivism.  Being that she was the most renowned objectivist I can think of.  She wrote some great novels that illustrate the virtue of selfishness.  For example, in one novel (I think it was in Atlas Shrugged), there's a wealthy man who's head of a giant construction business, and people are always complaining that he's so selfish and they convince him to biuld a railroad that nobody ever ends up actually using.  But then when he's selfish and thinks only of his profits, whatever he biulds goes to great use, and no time, energy, or capital is wasted.

I agree with some of the ideals of objectivism, but I don't personally like Ayn Rand though because in a strange way she believes that everyone should think for themselves as long as they come to the same conclusions as her cause she was very arrogant and thought herself to be the most "rational" and since she didn't believe in compromise this cause her to lose many of her closest friends.

Thank you. I actually am pretty much a strict follower of Rand's philosophy, having read a bunch of her books and agreeing with nearly all of it. Besides, you did mix up two of her most famous books, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged there, in your description. Atlas Shrugged being about the (female) head of a railroad company struggling in a world that's collapsing around her because the people of virtue have withdrawn from society; The Fountainhead being about an architect who refuses to compromise his purity and ideals, to make it accessable for the masses, so he doesn't really get a lot of commissions but he does feel the greatest joy in doing what he does.

Ayn Rand did not believe in compromising ones ideals, but surely one should always strive to get the best out of the situation. You can't deal with politics without compromising if you ask me, but that doesn't mean you should sell out your beliefs to that which might attract a few more voters. Be real about your thoughts, and people might agree, or they might not. I don't know anything about Rand's personal life, but if she were being so stubborn as to make life impossible for herself, that would impose a huge flaw in the way she translated her thinking into actions. Yes, have your beliefs and stand by them, but don't condemn all of mankind just because some beg to differ. I can't imagine herself having optimized her achievements if she really was that stubborn.

Besides, I can understand why she had problems with people who think differently. She supposedly found a truth about man's existance, and she also experienced the evils of the ones who opposed that truth. It pretty much makes it impossible to deal with anyone who even to the slightest bit feels sympathy for that evil (being altruism and collectivism).
 

7even

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2008, 04:49:21 PM »
Whims are something worth going after if satisfation is something you truly value, nigga.
Cause I don't care where I belong no more
What we share or not I will ignore
And I won't waste my time fitting in
Cause I don't think contrast is a sin
No, it's not a sin
 

Elevz

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2008, 04:52:54 PM »
Ever heard of the pleasure principle?
 

7even

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2008, 05:08:28 PM »
I've heard of Eudaimonism and of some shit Plato and Freud had to say concerning this. What are you trying to get at, with this? You have to be pretty idealistic to count on people to dismiss decadent fun when they fallow a principle like this.

What you preach is kinda like anarchy. Let me tell you a little true story that involves me and the principle of anarchy:

I was like 15, maybe 16, I'm not sure. It was the time when a lot of people my age had those annoying anarchy A-symbols tagged on their backpacks and stuff, you know. I was hanging out at the local lake, summer night, getting drunk and walking from bonfire to bonfire with some friends. Some groups you knew, some faces were new. Anyways there was this random group with this random dude who had a huge flag with that A-symbol tagged on it. I was pretty drunk, and I was like "yo, that's some dope flag you got there homie. can I play with it?" He gave it to me, and after a couple secondes of thinking I threw it into their bonfire, basically. People were pretty shook. I was like "yo, being an anarchist and everything, wouldn't it be ironic to get at me for throwing your stuff into the fire?" Put on a smirk and went away. Needless to say that they didn't do shit.
Cause I don't care where I belong no more
What we share or not I will ignore
And I won't waste my time fitting in
Cause I don't think contrast is a sin
No, it's not a sin
 

Elevz

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2008, 05:36:35 PM »
I've heard of Eudaimonism and of some shit Plato and Freud had to say concerning this. What are you trying to get at, with this? You have to be pretty idealistic to count on people to dismiss decadent fun when they fallow a principle like this.

What you preach is kinda like anarchy. Let me tell you a little true story that involves me and the principle of anarchy:

I was like 15, maybe 16, I'm not sure. It was the time when a lot of people my age had those annoying anarchy A-symbols tagged on their backpacks and stuff, you know. I was hanging out at the local lake, summer night, getting drunk and walking from bonfire to bonfire with some friends. Some groups you knew, some faces were new. Anyways there was this random group with this random dude who had a huge flag with that A-symbol tagged on it. I was pretty drunk, and I was like "yo, that's some dope flag you got there homie. can I play with it?" He gave it to me, and after a couple secondes of thinking I threw it into their bonfire, basically. People were pretty shook. I was like "yo, being an anarchist and everything, wouldn't it be ironic to get at me for throwing your stuff into the fire?" Put on a smirk and went away. Needless to say that they didn't do shit.

Those people will allow you to beat them to death, and they'll say "oh, that's not the right thing to do!" That's a hippie attitude, a pacifist dream. You're a sitting duck if you believe that's the way to live.

Conflict is actually a natural part of life. When you're in a learning process, you'll have to discover what's right and what's not. You'll try some ideas and if a conflict comes across, that means your ideas need refining. That's how people learn. The hippies in your teens were simply too brainwashed to even notice the conflict. They negated reality; reality beat them in their faces. They should've been glad a flag isn't vital for survival. I wonder what would've happened had a blood thirsty psychopathic serial killer appeared from somewhere.

You can't naturally assume people act right. That's the most ignorant thing about the anarchists' attitudes; they acted as if man is born a fully rational and peaceful being. They forgot it's a process called maturing and education it takes for a man to come at peace with himself. They forgot a man's rational faculty is his most vital function. They seem to think man can just 'be' and he'll be perfectly alright. But food doesn't grow in our stomachs, and a baby isn't born a mathematical genius.

The pleasure principle... Naturally, man always strives for direct satisfaction of his desires. It requires a process of growth before he realizes that often it is desirable to delay the satisfaction of his desires, in order for a more desirable outcome. If you eat that corn now, it'll still some of your hunger. If you decide to plant its kernels, you'll have plenty more corn the next year. The search for immediate satisfaction of your desires, might prohibit yourself from enjoying much greater satisfaction (or cause dissatisfaction) later.

People need clear rules, simply because we're talking about a process of growth here. People need to learn the difference between mein and dein, and about the consequences of rule breaking. People need protection from rule breakers, and crimes must not be profitable. That's why you need a court of law to protect man's rights. That's all, just man's rights.

Think of that when you're talking about a welfare state. They make demands, but at the cost of who? Who are these people, to be granted the right to a claim they never achieved? How is unemployment or laziness an achievement? Why should the rights of others be sub par to the unearned 'rights' of the non productive?
 

Sikotic™

Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2008, 05:41:38 PM »
No such thing. Being selfish is part of being human.

Isn't it weird how unselfishness is seen as a virtue?
Not really. We all wish to be something we ultimately can't be. That's why Christians wanna be like Jesus. Why some music fans want to imitate their favorite musicians lifestyle. Same goes with sports fans and their favorite athlete.

We wish for things we cannot attain.
 

Elevz

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2008, 06:00:56 PM »
No such thing. Being selfish is part of being human.

Isn't it weird how unselfishness is seen as a virtue?
Not really. We all wish to be something we ultimately can't be. That's why Christians wanna be like Jesus. Why some music fans want to imitate their favorite musicians lifestyle. Same goes with sports fans and their favorite athlete.

We wish for things we cannot attain.

I don't hold being the winner of a grand slam tennis tournament as a virtue. I couldn't have achieved that myself, but I do see it as a terrible waste of one's time to be focused solely on playing one game of sports and be as good as possible at it. I do however hold it as a virtue if you do what makes you happy, as long as it doesn't conflict with other people's freedom. A great tennis player probably does get a kick out of being the best player, but what kind of achievement is that? You exhaust your body, making it as strong as possible yet you play so dangerously it might threaten its future functioning. You get kicks out of the relativity of your strength. If martians came on earth and they happened to play better than the best of the earthly tennis players, all of a sudden the earthly players wouldn't feel so satisfied anymore. The nature of their game is wicked, I tell you. The will to win for the sake of relative superiority is wicked.

I think a Christian wanting to copy Jesus Christ as good as possible is a whole different story though. He is their vision of perfection; of course that is worth striving for. But do all tennis fans wish they were like Raphael Nadal, sacrifising every hour of their lives to beat that other player? I guess you can say the same for music fans copying their idols: they set a cultural example, they are admired role models. That doesn't mean everyone would want to make the sacrifises it requires to become an idol. They sure would love parts of them: their style, their social position, the fun they supposedly have, perhaps their eruditeness. But would they want to sacrifise their very privacy and their soul to become like that?

People simply strive for that which they value. People don't strive to live like fishes. The nature of unselfishness is perhaps different: people like to receive without having to pay for the effort. They enjoy seeing others being unselfish concerning them, but would they want to sacrifise themselves for the sake of others as well? Of course not. Not as long as there's no surplus value in it.
 

7even

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Re: Can one be totally unselfish?
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2008, 06:46:17 PM »
The pleasure principle... Naturally, man always strives for direct satisfaction of his desires. It requires a process of growth before he realizes that often it is desirable to delay the satisfaction of his desires, in order for a more desirable outcome. If you eat that corn now, it'll still some of your hunger. If you decide to plant its kernels, you'll have plenty more corn the next year. The search for immediate satisfaction of your desires, might prohibit yourself from enjoying much greater satisfaction (or cause dissatisfaction) later.

Think of that when you're talking about a welfare state. They make demands, but at the cost of who? Who are these people, to be granted the right to a claim they never achieved? How is unemployment or laziness an achievement? Why should the rights of others be sub par to the unearned 'rights' of the non productive?

Let me start with saying that I agree with the things that I don't quote now.

Now let's go over to the interesting part, concerning the stuff that I don't entirely agree with.

a) I agree with Freud when he says that in society, the effort/pain/lack of pleasure/etc (whatever is most suitable in a particular situation) is most of the time greater than the "delayed pleasure" you get later. I don't think that thought is pessimistic at all.
Trivial example: You say to yourself that despite your functional relationship and your strong sexual drive, you are going to have no sex with your girl for, let's say 3 months. Just to have the greater pleasure in 1. great pleasure while having sex cause you anticipated it for so long and shit and 2. having a new experience and shit. Well, if you're honest this is gonna be inefficient, pleasure-wise.

Another example would be studying something difficult you hate for a long time because it will give you the right to do a profitable job afterwards. It rarely adds up, yet people happen to do those type of things all the time.

But how is that even the point? Wasn't the issue at hand that some people will enjoy being assholes as long as it benefits them and how this would be ruining society? What if being kind is not planting any darn kernel for them?


b) It's called caring for the deprived. A social system that produces unemployment and laziness is a flawed system. A social system that takes care of the deprived is not.
Cause I don't care where I belong no more
What we share or not I will ignore
And I won't waste my time fitting in
Cause I don't think contrast is a sin
No, it's not a sin