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Can a human ever be completely selfless? Watch

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    (Original post by SaharaDesert)
    One said something along the lines of loving God, even if God were to send him to Hell...that seems close to selfless love to me
    Islam is no better (some would say worse) so far as damnation vs. virgins greeting you in paradise in the afterlife.. :rolleyes: Sure it's supposed to instill a certain degree of 'selflessness', but the common approach of such religions is predicated on the idea that man is but a mule who responds primarily to carrot and stick incentives..
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    (Original post by SaharaDesert)
    There are other religions other than Christianity you know....and people within those religions have different reasons for worshiping. I can't remember the name of the book, but I remember reading poems devoted to God by Muslim saints of the past. One said something along the lines of loving God, even if God were to send him to Hell...that seems close to selfless love to me.
    Well no, not really. To me that sounds like he used the example of being sent to hell 'despite his love' as being an attempt to show 'God' just how much he loves him and therefore to 'guarantee' a cushty spot in heaven.

    Either that or he was showing his human followers how faithful and commited he was to their religion, and therefore securing his cushty spot on Earth.
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Islam is no better (some would say worse) so far as damnation vs. virgins greeting you in paradise in the afterlife.. :rolleyes:
    Well...maybe for some, but not for others. Hence why I said:
    and people within those religions have different reasons for worshiping.
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    (Original post by Mockery)
    Well no, not really. To me that sounds like he used the example of being sent to hell 'despite his love' as being an attempt to show 'God' just how much he loves him and therefore to 'guarantee' a cushty spot in heaven.

    Either that or he was showing his human followers how faithful and commited he was to their religion, and therefore securing his cushty spot on Earth.
    Don't know, its hard to figure out someone's intention.
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    Being nice to familyis kin selection, being nice to friends is so they will be nice back to you. There's no incentive to be nice to strangers. In discussing power relations including politics, history, economics, any human science, you have to assume people are selfish. Occasionally people can be persuaded to be less selfish by reasoned argument which is how the UN and NATO and all that got started. But it did take the most destructive war in human history to get to that point and the selflessness of that time is slowly being eroded.
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    (Original post by SaharaDesert)
    Don't know, its hard to figure out someone's intention.
    Again, not really. Doesn't religion, Christianity or Islam, both claim that God will test your love and commitment to him/she/it (a scapegoat for 'bad things happen that seem very ungodlike') and say that such commitment will be rewarded?

    Saying that you'd love and worship God even if he spited you to hell just sounds like you're abiding to the above.
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    (Original post by Mockery)
    Saying someone is behaving in either a selfish or selfless manner assumes and suggests that they have gone through a thought process in which they weigh up the act planned to be perfomed and the benefits for either party as a result of it. An unintentional act does not involve such thought process so then how can you describe it as being either?
    I don't really think of it that way. I think that saying someone is behaving in a selfish manner means that they have gone through a (possibly unconscious) thought process in which they weigh up the act planned to be performed, and decide that the benefits for themselves are greater than the costs, whereas saying they are behaving in a selfless manner just means they are not behaving in a selfish manner.

    i.e. a selfless act is one which is devoid of any intention to benefit one's self (which it must be, if it is devoid of intention full stop).

    I agree, those aren't the only possible definitions of the words "selfish" and "selfless" - yours are just as valid. But they are possible definitions. And I think that is the only sense in which it can be true to say that someone behaves entirely "selflessly".
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    I don't really think of it that way. I think that saying someone is behaving in a selfish manner means that they have gone through a (possibly unconscious) thought process in which they weigh up the act planned to be performed, and decide that the benefits for themselves are greater than the costs, whereas saying they are behaving in a selfless manner just means they are not behaving in a selfish manner.

    i.e. a selfless act is one which is devoid of any intention to benefit one's self (which it must be, if it is devoid of intention full stop).

    I agree, those aren't the only possible definitions of the words "selfish" and "selfless" - yours are just as valid. But they are possible definitions. And I think that is the only sense in which it can be true to say that someone behaves entirely "selflessly".
    No matter how much I attempt to see your definition of selflessness I still can't help but shudder :lol:

    To me, that is like saying the sun 'behaves selflessly' because it supports life on Earth. That doesn't sound an appropriate use of grammar due to the sun not being a conscious entity and is unaware of the benefits that its 'behaviour' is having. In the same way that the person is oblivious to the fact that he gave a homeless person a crate of beer (just a tasteless joke, don't attack me for it ).

    Also, in the context of the question proposed in this thread we are talking about desicions made by individuals after going through the thought process of their planned actions and the possible benefits to both themselves and the person 'in need'. For this reason, your example doesn't justify as being an exception to the rule that humans, or any life, can't be truly alturistic.
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    (Original post by Mockery)
    No matter how much I attempt to see your definition of selflessness I still can't help but shudder :lol:

    To me, that is like saying the sun 'behaves selflessly' because it supports life on Earth. That doesn't sound an appropriate use of grammar due to the sun not being a conscious entity and is unaware of the benefits that its 'behaviour' is having. In the same way that the person is oblivious to the fact that he gave a homeless person a crate of beer (just a tasteless joke, don't attack me for it ).
    I agree, it sound strange (even though correct, according to the definition I used) to say that the sun behaves selflessly. But that's really because there's no comparison with anything. The sun is incapable of behaving selfishly anyway, so saying that it behaves selflessly by supporting our lives isn't saying much at all. This wouldn't apply to humans though. To say a human behaves selflessly points out that the human is not behaving selfishly, which is a more useful and meaningful statement - because it is at least possible for a human to behave selfishly. We're simply pointing out that this is not one of those times in which he is behaving selfishly.

    Also, in the context of the question proposed in this thread we are talking about desicions made by individuals after going through the thought process of their planned actions and the possible benefits to both themselves and the person 'in need'. For this reason, your example doesn't justify as being an exception to the rule that humans, or any life, can't be truly alturistic.
    I also agree that my answer is not the type the OP was probably looking for. I'm not saying "here, I've satisfied your search for a selfless good deed". I think that selfless good deeds of the type the OP is asking about don't exist. I merely point out for the sake of completeness that, strictly speaking, it is possible to formulate a situation in which a "selfless good deed" is performed, despite it not being the type the OP is asking about. I consider that more accurate than just saying selfless good deeds don't exist, full stop.
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    (Original post by SaharaDesert)
    Well...maybe for some, but not for others. Hence why I said:
    Granted, but most of those who go 'by the book' e.g. 'true believers' subscribe to their religions for very much 'carrot and stick' reasons, as those books are little more than story tales revolving around lessons in their own particular brands of morality (and what happens if you abide by/fail to abide by the laws laid down in them)..
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    (Original post by Mockery)
    That is probably one of the least selfless things going.. The child is her offspring and the unconditional love shown to it is in order to boost its chances of survival and therefore her own reproductive success.

    A religious person loves 'God' because in their eyes he/she/it controls their entire life and destiny, so they hope that loving God will be beneficial for themselves either on Earth and/or in any afterlife.

    'Please rate some other members before rating this member again.

    Close this message'

    Boo! No more +rep for you! But I totally agree!
 
 
 
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