PDA

View Full Version : Doing things for selfish reasons.



AlmanacnamedTime
08-04-2012, 01:29 AM
Is doing things for selfish reasons really bad? Is there anyone who doesn't do everything for a selfish reason? i understand that being overly selfish is bad, but is there any reason to do things that isn't selfish?

GunZet
08-04-2012, 01:39 AM
Isn't there a difference between doing things for yourself, and being selfish?

Regantor
08-04-2012, 02:30 AM
Well there is no guarantee that a person you are helping/being nice to will not just take advantage of you.

So yeah, there is a point when looking after yourself makes more sense.

The important part is finding the correct balance where you do not just turn into a massive douche... At least in my opinion. :/

AlmanacnamedTime
08-04-2012, 10:17 AM
What I'm saying is, do people do anything that doesn't benefit themselves in some way?

GunZet
08-04-2012, 10:52 AM
Drugs? Or are you talking about doing things out of the kindness of their heart? Yknow, a lot of times even when people do that, it benefits them. Makes em feel good.
Guess that could go for both cases actually.

Demonfyre
08-04-2012, 11:17 AM
What I'm saying is, do people do anything that doesn't benefit themselves in some way?

I'm sure there is speculation into whether the decisions we make as an individual are at least to a degree based on how said action benefits us as an organism, if they find a way to prove (albeit I think the evidence is ample through observation) this to be true I would expect it to be an old mechanism to help us as a species and as an individual organism take advantage of situations for the reasons of survival. Even though nowadays survival is related to making money and stuff like that so we can for example afford housing or food etc unlike thousands of years ago where that would entail strenght and adaptability to an environment, however the base instinct remains.

I also find it interesting that even selfless acts from people do have a benefit to the individual, for example taking part in charity; you may get a sense of achievement and knowing that your work is helping the unfortunate, albeit it's a subtle and psychological benefit but in the end a benefit none the less.

AlmanacnamedTime
08-04-2012, 11:29 AM
I also find it interesting that even selfless acts from people do have a benefit to the individual, for example taking part in charity; you may get a sense of achievement and knowing that your work is helping the unfortunate, albeit it's a subtle and psychological benefit but in the end a benefit none the less.

This is what I'm talking about. But is it really bad that you feel good? Is this feeling good like a drug? Has anyone done anything for unselfish reasons?

Psy
08-04-2012, 12:16 PM
Everything you do in life you do for or because of one selfish reason. Pride. If its good or bad is up to you because its subjective in the end. You do everything out of pride right? You help some one not because it was the nice thing to do but because it is your pride to be the one to help. That feeling of satisfaction for ones own good or bad deed is pride. It is impossible to escape so why fight it because in the end you are just fighting it for your pride.

Demonfyre
08-04-2012, 12:51 PM
This is what I'm talking about. But is it really bad that you feel good? Is this feeling good like a drug? Has anyone done anything for unselfish reasons?

In my opinion its not a bad thing, because it's something that we can rarely control is usually subconscious plus it can be quite hard to find inspiration to get out and do something if there is no end goal or benefit. This is purely my opinion though.

Fenn
08-13-2012, 12:36 AM
This is what I'm talking about. But is it really bad that you feel good? Is this feeling good like a drug? Has anyone done anything for unselfish reasons?

It's not a bad thing. Is it wrong to enjoy food or sex? No! I'd argue that part of the reason our senses and brains reward us for those behaviors is because they are beneficial (and in food's case, mandatory) to our individual existence. I believe charity and generosity fit right in that line of thinking. When we help someone else, we are indirectly improving the environment we live it, whether we end up acquiring a new friend in our lives, helping someone return from a troubled state to being a contributing citizen, or making someone happy who would have otherwise been angry and unpleasant (and thus disturbing our environment).

Think about it; if you help one random person in a day, there's a good chance you will not reap any reward from it. But if you help one person every day for a year, that's 365 people. Prodived you have a fairly stationary home, chances are at least a few of your altruistic actions will wind up helping or benefitting you in some way, large or small. And, unlike truly selfish action, which tend to take away from others, there are no negative side effects to a genuinely kind and "selfless" action.

So no, don't feel bad. Doing something nice for someone because it benefits you is fine -- provided the nice thing actually helps them, and isn't a means of taking advantage of that person. That situation becomes far more nuanced and complex.

Delphinus
08-14-2012, 09:08 AM
Who cares why you do nice things, so long as you do nice things? Does it matter?

I think it's probably one of those things like 'does anything other than me exist?' that are interesting to think about but ultimately irrelevant, and I'm saying that as a philosophy student.

Black_Shaggie
08-14-2012, 12:39 PM
Ok check it. imo I feel that everything we do is essentially for selfish reasons...even helping others without reciprocation. You'd do those things because you want to & its desirable to you. We perceive the whole of reality through the 1st person perspective & that's the "self".

Fenn
08-14-2012, 07:39 PM
Who cares why you do nice things, so long as you do nice things? Does it matter?

I think it's probably one of those things like 'does anything other than me exist?' that are interesting to think about but ultimately irrelevant, and I'm saying that as a philosophy student.

Well the question "Why do I do nice things" is often followed by "Should I do nice things?" which is a valid thing to wonder. Isn't it often easier to do something when you know why you are doing it, outside of pure habit?