Does True Selflessness Exist?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2011 1:38 AM GMT
    What do you guys think?

    Edit - I just want to hear what your opinions are. If you guys want to duke it out and debate this, then go ahead and do so.

    The only reason I'm bringing this up is because a friend and I were talking about this. She thinks that it doesn't exist since most people in the end do it to make themselves feel better. I believe that it does exist since there are people that are truly doing selfless acts for no personal gain at all.

    I am not the most philosophical of people and I asked this question to learn something from you guys. There are a lot of well-educated people here and I would love to hear from them.
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Apr 29, 2011 1:44 AM GMT
    RBaker2689 saidWhat do you guys think?




    How about 99% Selflessness..? icon_twisted.gif
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    Apr 29, 2011 1:58 AM GMT
    The question borders on the similar concept of asking if true free will exists. Or absolute truths.

    The answer? If you're bored you can spend 20+ pages here debating it.
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    Apr 29, 2011 2:23 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidThe question borders on the similar concept of asking if true free will exists. Or absolute truths.

    The answer? If you're bored you can spend 20+ pages here debating it.


    This could probably be made into a novel. I'm just looking for a summary of what your views are.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2011 2:29 AM GMT
    Practical, pragmatic selflessness, yes.

    Philosophically pure selflessness, no.
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    Apr 29, 2011 2:30 AM GMT
    I wish they could answer. icon_cry.gif

    casket011.jpg
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    Apr 29, 2011 2:31 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidPractical, pragmatic selflessness, yes.

    Philosophically pure selflessness, no.


    Short and to the point, I like!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2011 2:35 AM GMT
    No, it does not.
    In order to be 100% selfless, it would include giving everything away...including your basic essentials (food, clothing, shelter, iPod, Lady Gaga poster, porn, etc).
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    Apr 29, 2011 2:40 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidNo, it does not.
    In order to be 100% selfless, it would include giving everything away...including your basic essentials (food, clothing, shelter, iPod, Lady Gaga poster, porn, etc).


    NOOOOOOOOOO, not the Lady Gaga poster (and porn)!
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    Apr 29, 2011 4:19 AM GMT
    I'm not sure it matters. Whether or not any given act is selfless can only be a subjective concern; objectively, the recipient still benefits.
  • LexLuthor

    Posts: 199

    Apr 29, 2011 4:29 AM GMT
    I don't think that true selflessness exists, someone always gets somethin back. like in friends when phoebe failed to find some selfless act, lol. i think that's what she was doing....
  • alphatop

    Posts: 1955

    Apr 29, 2011 4:32 AM GMT
    Every motive is selfish, even the most noble one. Period.
  • McLukas

    Posts: 33

    Apr 29, 2011 4:54 AM GMT
    I think it does but you can never truely see it. It will often come with no credit due to the perpetrators of the act.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2011 4:59 AM GMT
    RBaker2689 saidWhat do you guys think?


    You'd think it exists if you do something to help an enemy that also hurts you at the same time. Otherwise, if you even anonymously donate anything to anyone it's rewarding because it's the "right thing to do" so that's why you did it. But even the first thing I noted can be selfish because you'll abide by the morals of "what goes around comes around" because you're hoping that something beneficial will come back your way some day in some other form. Or maybe you did it because you want to end a battle therefore making peace with yourself. Again, selfish.

    So yeah I guess no. Anything you do is by default involving yourself. So it's impossible to do anything selfless unless that action is by accident and without intent. At least that way you can say you did something that didn't involve yourself because you didn't consciously do anything.


  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Apr 29, 2011 5:23 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidI wish they could answer. icon_cry.gif

    casket011.jpg


    Dying in the military doesn't mean it's self-less act. A lot of people go into the military for the benefits they can get from doing so. I would imagine some go into the military because they are aggressive and it's the only way they can vent that aggression legally. There are a lot of reasons why people go into the military and they are not all the propaganda feel good reasons - for some though it is.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2011 5:32 AM GMT
    Yes, but the purely selfless people are the exception.
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Apr 29, 2011 5:36 AM GMT
    im sure she did it for all the luxurious rewards she got...
    motherteresa2.jpg
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    Apr 29, 2011 5:56 AM GMT
    ^ There's a strong anti-mother Teresa faction on this site.
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Apr 29, 2011 6:00 AM GMT
    my response to them would be
    tumblr_le26og2KYA1qei4vno1_500.gif
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Apr 29, 2011 6:29 AM GMT
    RBaker2689 saidWhat do you guys think?

    Edit - I just want to hear what your opinions are. If you guys want to duke it out and debate this, then go ahead and do so.

    The only reason I'm bringing this up is because a friend and I were talking about this. She thinks that it doesn't exist since most people in the end do it to make themselves feel better. I believe that it does exist since there are people that are truly doing selfless acts for no personal gain at all.

    I am not the most philosophical of people and I asked this question to learn something from you guys. There are a lot of well-educated people here and I would love to hear from them.


    I agree with your friend. I think that they will feel better about themselves, would that not be a personal gain for them?
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    Apr 29, 2011 6:30 AM GMT
    Humanity is weak but I'm sure we have it in us somewhere. =D
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2011 6:39 AM GMT
    Yes it does. Absolutely. But what most you consider selflessness is not what I do.
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    Apr 29, 2011 6:40 AM GMT
    Yes it does... people sometimes say you dont, because when we are selfless, we are being satisfied with ourselves for giving.. but I know of so many people sacrificing themselves for others, (martyrs) giving up their very lives so others may live, and before they go they usually feel sad and unhappy, but they would never let that make them choose for their own happiness... so yeah, it obviously does exist
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    Apr 29, 2011 6:44 AM GMT
    AntoNomad saidEvery motive is selfish, even the most noble one. Period.


    How bout letting yourself die so others may live? That doesnt give you any personal gain, not even emotionally, so that is pure selflessness
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    Apr 29, 2011 11:33 PM GMT
    Pato599 said
    AntoNomad saidEvery motive is selfish, even the most noble one. Period.


    How bout letting yourself die so others may live? That doesnt give you any personal gain, not even emotionally, so that is pure selflessness


    These can be argued both ways ad nauseum. For your case you can make the argument you do it for moral superiority (a martyr, if you will). It will really always boil down to a free will argument, and those never, ever, end.