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  1. #1
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    Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Is there such a thing as a selfless good deed ?

    I tried arguing debating with one of my Teachers that there was such a thing...But i lost

    Does anybody feel like contradicting my teacher ?
    I'll debate on behalf of my teacher so things don't get too one sided.
     
         

  2. #2
    Member tunechisan's Avatar
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    there is no such thing as true altruism...imo....and im a psych major and have had may discussions about this in most of my classes
     
         

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    ... Abysmal.'s Avatar
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tunechisan View Post
    there is no such thing as true altruism...imo....and im a psych major and have had may discussions about this in most of my classes
    Surely there has to be at least one example that say it does.
    Whats the closest selfless act you can think of ?
     
         

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    isn't ma real name:p Billi Tomoose's Avatar
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Sacrificing ur life to save someone...:shrug: (my opinion)
     
         

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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    i cant lol and if u do some kind act its because you know why no one else is acting to help
     
         

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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Nope, true and complete altruism doesn't exist.
     
         

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    ( ಠ‿ಠ)/ <- Guilty UchihaBrat's Avatar
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    I wouldn't go as far as labelling it 'altruism', but there is examples of something which could be altruism in the animal kingdom; One animal for example, shouting out loud when there's an enemy closing in, thus drawing focus to itself, making sure the others have a greater chance surviving. Also just looks a wolves, there are many examples.

    Amongst humans though, that is another matter.
    I believe the perversion of society is the madness hindering such a thing as 'altruism'.
    The perversion being 'me first', in other words not altruism.

    If there is altruism, I'd say it is someone sacrificing themselves, knowing they'll get hurt/die, in order to save another, because even if there is the feeling of 'me' in it, how would YOU know it is there or not?

    Altruism as a selfless good deed, is after all forgetting oneself and doing something to help another, although I'm not sure what you mean with 'good', it's quite ambiguous.
     
         

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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    i've read several times that people only do stuff because the're something in it for them, even if it's just the way they feel while doing altruistic things, on a subconscious level. as humans we all move towards things which make us feel good in some way or another. but i suppose you can still call doing something for the good of others as altruism, as opposed to doing the same thing for an ulterior motive.i say it's better to get your sense of well-being from doing good stuff to others than being a bastard.
     
         

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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    It really could go either way. In terms of a common and repeated behavior by a species, no. True altruism doesn't exist. Any behavior that is detrimental to the donor will always in some way whether directly or indirectly increase their fitness.

    However there are cases where truly selfless behavior is seen in humans in which nothing is gained by the person committing the act. There are times when a person will knowingly sacrifice their lives to save the lives of a person they don't know, and have no relation to. They'll give up their own life to save the life of a complete stranger. That, IMO, is an act of true altruism.
     
         

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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Typhon beat me to it... Damnit.
     
         

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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Dude, all types of chivalrous acts and manners are based on this principal. From something as simple as holding the door from someone, or pulling out a chair, to, which someone said before, self sacrifice. Unless your considering what they call a "helpers high" as a form of gradification for such acts, then...
     
         

  12. #12
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billi Tomoose View Post
    Sacrificing ur life to save someone...:shrug: (my opinion)
    Nope. First of all, it's 98% certain that if you're sacrificing your life for someone, then you gotta have some connection with the person - whether it's rather meeting, bonds, family ties, religion connection or forced to do it as duty.

    As for the other 2%, where you're doing it as random act, then 1% of your action is not without selfishness as you're doing it under emotions' impulse - whether it's under anger, want to be famous, want to end your life as a hero, want acknowledgement ect... You are considering your benefits in this action which doesn't make it selfless.

    As for the last 1%, you're not saving the person for the person's sake without expecting anything in return. You're still supported by vague beliefs like destiny, heaven and other Godly action.

    It's a noble action but not a selfless one as you consider some benefits of yours whether in this world or the outer world or do it because of selfish or forced emotions, not pure ones.

    In a way, true altruism can be attained if there's pure emotions...But is there? I don't think so.
     
         

  13. #13
    isn't ma real name:p Billi Tomoose's Avatar
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    It really could go either way. In terms of a common and repeated behavior by a species, no. True altruism doesn't exist. Any behavior that is detrimental to the donor will always in some way whether directly or indirectly increase their fitness.

    However there are cases where truly selfless behavior is seen in humans in which nothing is gained by the person committing the act. There are times when a person will knowingly sacrifice their lives to save the lives of a person they don't know, and have no relation to. They'll give up their own life to save the life of a complete stranger. That, IMO, is an act of true altruism.
    The person who comits such act gains some thing and that is prays & love of the other.....
     
         

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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Sacrificing yourself in order to save the life of another human is the closest act that can be truly considered as Altruistic.

    However, when you do that, you are aware that sacrificing yourself and saving someone else, wouldn't you feel better about yourself doing something like that ? Thus you've gained something, it may not be your intention to gain anything but you will regardless.

    Looks like Escorpiius beat me to i, he gave a better and more detailed reply than i could.
     
         
    Last edited by Abysmal.; 10-23-2011 at 07:29 PM.

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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billi Tomoose View Post
    The person who comits such act gains some thing and that is prays & love of the other.....

    That's really not enough to outweigh the negatives. You're dead, so getting prayed for and being loved isn't exactly going to be helpful.
     
         

  16. #16
    ( ಠ‿ಠ)/ <- Guilty UchihaBrat's Avatar
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Escorpiius View Post
    Nope. First of all, it's 98% certain that if you're sacrificing your life for someone, then you gotta have some connection with the person - whether it's rather meeting, bonds, family ties, religion connection or forced to do it as duty.

    As for the other 2%, where you're doing it as random act, then 1% of your action is not without selfishness as you're doing it under emotions' impulse - whether it's under anger, want to be famous, want to end your life as a hero, want acknowledgement ect... You are considering your benefits in this action which doesn't make it selfless.

    As for the last 1%, you're not saving the person for the person's sake without expecting anything in return. You're still supported by vague beliefs like destiny, heaven and other Godly action.

    It's a noble action but not a selfless one as you consider some benefits of yours whether in this world or the outer world or do it because of selfish or forced emotions, not pure ones.

    In a way, true altruism can be attained if there's pure emotions...But is there? I don't think so.
    Then what about the times when you've no time thinking or even considering your benefit when doing a 'good' deed? Accidents are not always foreseeable, and I doubt those acting instantly, have any much time for such considerations, other than focusing on the deed. Though I would call these times, flashes of selflessness, they probably turn to selfishness afterwards(if all goes well), in the form you describe, as what you get from it.
     
         

  17. #17
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    That's really not enough to outweigh the negatives. You're dead, so getting prayed for and being loved isn't exactly going to be helpful.
    What you gain from it doesn't have to be helpful.
    Being praised and loved by others for what you've done is still you gaining something whether you want it or not.
     
         

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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abysmal. View Post
    What you gain from it doesn't have to be helpful.
    Being praised and loved by others for what you've done is still you gaining something whether you want it or not.

    Its gaining something, but it doesn't outweigh the costs. If the benefits don't outweigh the cost then they can't be considered the driving force for the action.
     
         

  19. #19
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by UchihaBrat View Post
    Then what about the times when you've no time thinking or even considering your benefit when doing a 'good' deed? Accidents are not always foreseeable, and I doubt those acting instantly, have any much time for such considerations, other than focusing on the deed. Though I would call these times, flashes of selflessness, they probably turn to selfishness afterwards(if all goes well), in the form you describe, as what you get from it.
    It's close but not complete selflessness.

    Suppose a car is rushing towards an old woman and the instant reaction, a person gets is to jump to the reaction. But for every reaction, you gotta have been impulsed under atleast one emotion or many.

    To the most exceptional case, that person didn't considered any of his direct benefits or risks and jumped to the rescue but there's gotta be some emotion in that place. Why you feel that you need to save that old woman's life?

    The most noble answer is that she deserves to live but in that case, are you not selfish of not considering the other party. You decided to save her under some anger impulsion because you felt that the car was in fault and going to do an injustice but is that not a selfish action of directly considering the car as guilty?

    You're being neutral in your mindset which freezes selflessness but you're not neutral with your emotions and that makes you a bit selfish. It's impossible for a human to control both his reflexion and emotion. As I said in my other other, though most selfish action comes from sick thought, it's when pure emotions is developed that true altruism will attain but that's not the case.
     
         

  20. #20
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    Its gaining something, but it doesn't outweigh the costs. If the benefits don't outweigh the cost then they can't be considered the driving force for the action.
    Exactly, it's not the driving force but it's a force/factor in the whole action and this minor influence disrupts the perfect altruism and complete selflessness.
     
         

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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Escorpiius View Post
    Exactly, it's not the driving force but it's a force/factor in the whole action and this minor influence disrupts the perfect altruism and complete selflessness.

    But does something like be prayed for/loved really go into someone's decision to sacrifice their own life? Or is it more of a tag along? If its a tag along then it really didn't play a role in the decision. So the actual decision was selfless, even though some benefit may have resulted from it.
     
         

  22. #22
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    But does something like be prayed for/loved really go into someone's decision to sacrifice their own life? Or is it more of a tag along? If its a tag along then it really didn't play a role in the decision. So the actual decision was selfless, even though some benefit may have resulted from it.
    I'd say that Praise and Love is something that just comes as a bonus...So yeah, its not the determining factor for the act.

    Although, humanity is selfish by nature ( IMO), it would be very rare to find someone going out of their way to do something, they don't have to, without thinking of the possible benifits.
     
         

  23. #23
    ǝsɔoɹdııns Escorpiius's Avatar
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    But does something like be prayed for/loved really go into someone's decision to sacrifice their own life? Or is it more of a tag along? If its a tag along then it really didn't play a role in the decision. So the actual decision was selfless, even though some benefit may have resulted from it.
    Nope, many people actually take into accounts the aftermaths of their actions and obviously, this affects your decision. Some persons value Godly gratitude more than social gratitude. In their eyes, prayers, love, appreciation are more precious. And desiring something that you consider precious is in fact, the essence of selfishness.

    You're in army - you're still driven by so many emotions like martyr wants, after-death glory, country service ect... Though they are all posthumous benefits, they remain benefits that makes decisions selfish. It's the thought of the benefit that makes an action selfish not the gain of it.

    There are so many examples like that - being a corruption fighter, being someone who wants to repent of his deeds, being someone who believes that sacrifice opens the door of heaven ect...

    (Wow, I feel myself like a poet right now. I'm delivering so many philosophical notions )
     
         

  24. #24
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Escorpiius View Post
    Nope. First of all, it's 98% certain that if you're sacrificing your life for someone, then you gotta have some connection with the person - whether it's rather meeting, bonds, family ties, religion connection or forced to do it as duty.

    As for the other 2%, where you're doing it as random act, then 1% of your action is not without selfishness as you're doing it under emotions' impulse - whether it's under anger, want to be famous, want to end your life as a hero, want acknowledgement ect... You are considering your benefits in this action which doesn't make it selfless.

    As for the last 1%, you're not saving the person for the person's sake without expecting anything in return. You're still supported by vague beliefs like destiny, heaven and other Godly action.

    It's a noble action but not a selfless one as you consider some benefits of yours whether in this world or the outer world or do it because of selfish or forced emotions, not pure ones.

    In a way, true altruism can be attained if there's pure emotions...But is there? I don't think so.
    So what if it was the perfect situation, it was a homeless person saving another homeless person from being killed by a robber who knew he wouldn't get famous, he did it because he felt he did what the right thing to do in that situation was. And he was an atheist?
     
         

  25. #25
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    Re: Altruism...Does it exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Escorpiius View Post
    Nope, many people actually take into accounts the aftermaths of their actions and obviously, this affects your decision. Some persons value Godly gratitude more than social gratitude. In their eyes, prayers, love, appreciation are more precious. And desiring something that you consider precious is in fact, the essence of selfishness.

    You're in army - you're still driven by so many emotions like martyr wants, after-death glory, country service ect... Though they are all posthumous benefits, they remain benefits that makes decisions selfish. It's the thought of the benefit that makes an action selfish not the gain of it.

    There are so many examples like that - being a corruption fighter, being someone who wants to repent of his deeds, being someone who believes that sacrifice opens the door of heaven ect...

    (Wow, I feel myself like a poet right now. I'm delivering so many philosophical notions )

    That's all assuming the person carrying out the act believes in God.

    But I see what you're saying. I suppose if you look at it from a psychological view point it could be considered selfish. I'm looking at it from a biological/evolutionary view point and from there the feeling of self gratification really isn't a benefit because it doesn't increase fitness. You're increasing someone else's fitness while hurting your own. So from that view point it really is a truly altruistic action.
     
         

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