Can pure altruism truly exist?

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    That is to say, can regard for the wellbeing of others ever truly be "selfless"?
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    No, I do not see this as being possible because one cannot act in a way that doesn't serve oneself in some way.
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    Altruism should not be selfless.





























    Altruism cannot and should not be selfless because it benefits the giver as much as the receiver. Even if you give or serve simply from a sense of obligation, something you feel you have to do. isn't it a good thing to fulfill your obligations?

    I also believe if a person learns charity as a small child it has profound effects on what kind of person they turns out to be. People aren't reliant on one another like they used to be. Gov has taken our neighbors place so it's no wonder people don't feel empathy for each other anymore.
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    You can see it in animals although that is debatable
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    What if someone decides to take capital punishment instead of someone they know to be innocent, and is close to curing cancer? You dont want to die, perhaps this person is your wife or child.

    Would dying for someone you love still be self centred?

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    Economics states that it doesn't exist. We do everything to maximise our satisfaction or because we were forced.
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    No
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    (Original post by Cain Tesfaye)
    That is to say, can regard for the wellbeing of others ever truly be "selfless"?
    I'd say that blood donation is pretty altruistic; you risk infection and endure being stabbed with a huge ass needle so that blood gets taken from you and given to a total stranger that you'll never see in your life so that they might live
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    (Original post by Cain Tesfaye)
    That is to say, can regard for the wellbeing of others ever truly be "selfless"?
    As mentioned above, there are some relatively restricted circumstances in which one could be considered truly selfless in their actions.
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    I don't think pure altruism can exist. Even if we don't have a materialistic reward from doing something, sometimes, we just do things (such as volunteering) to feel good or to feel like you're making a contribution. Therefore, I don't think pure altruism can exist.
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    It all depends on your definitions!!

    That said, I don't think pure altruism can truly exist because there is an intrinsic benefit to be had simply from enacting one's desires: 'Mastery of the Will'. Presumably, an altruistic act can only be considered altruistic if it is authentic. That is, the person performing an authentic-altruistic act means to do it and does not do it out of a sense of duty or some other reason which overrides their desires.

    If authentic-altruism is borne out of desires, then it can be reasonably claimed that an authentically-altruistic person gains some 'mastery of the will' in being altruistic, at the very least. Thus, the act is not selfless. The authentically-altruistic person is, after all, only acting out their desires (even if their desires are to damage the self in some way) and in some real sense, should not be rewarded for this. Of course, that is not the case in real life: The people we praise the most for seemingly altruistic behaviour are usually those people who are doing it "out of the goodness of their hearts", which is to say that they ENJOY doing it
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    (Original post by Cain Tesfaye)
    That is to say, can regard for the wellbeing of others ever truly be "selfless"?
    Read Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

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    (Original post by wolfmoon88)
    Read Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

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    This I was going to take a lengthy post to explain it all but in truth everything I was going to say was influenced by this book which is one of the all time great books in human history.

    I think in centuries to come people will recognize Richard Dawkins as one of the all time Genius for this work.

    It is all fully explained their and I would just be explaining it worse if I tried to here so go read that.
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    This I was going to take a lengthy post to explain it all but in truth everything I was going to say was influenced by this book which is one of the all time great books in human history.

    I think in centuries to come people will recognize Richard Dawkins as one of the all time Genius for this work.

    It is all fully explained their and I would just be explaining it worse if I tried to here so go read that.
    I couldn't explain it better than him anyways so I am not going to try.

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    yes it can. dont really get those ppl who say no just because doing a good action makes you feel good. since when does true altruism mean that doing a good action should not trigger an internal response such as feeling good ? so true altruism is only true if your like a robot and feel nothing regardless of what you do ? stupid if you ask me.

    feeling good is a side effect of doing a good action, not the reason for doing a good action so yes, true altruism does exist
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    If it's our emotional reaction to committing an altruistic act that makes pure altruism am impossibility for us, what if the act is committed so often that we feel no reaction to it? Using a simple example; if we walk past a donation jar every day and drop a dollar in, sooner or later the act may not trigger any emotional reaction at all. It would be interesting to know whether this lack of a response might not make it easier for us to stop committing the act. If it did, than pure altruism would not be a desirable goal.
 
 
 
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