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Ok, so, what do you guys think?
does altruism (selflessness) truly exist?
I personally believe that it doesn't.
I think that every action is done with a 'selfish' intention in mind.

I believe that If I decide to give all my money away to the less fortunate then I am doing it for my own reasons, to increase my own happiness, to increase my own power or status over the world. Perhaps to show myself that I have the POWER to improve people's lives.
I think, that in that situation, I am extending my power over another individual simply by having the power to give them my spare change etc, therefore increasing my status as a human being. I mean, how many times (for example) do we 'expect' validation from such an act?
Like, if we were to hold the door open for somebody at a supermarket or something, or perhaps do somebody a small favour, do we not expect them to repay us in some way? like for example, by thanking us....?
or showing us how good a human being we are for doing such action?

Is an act really selfless if deep down, we expect the favor to be repaid or returned to us at somepoint?
 

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^To get to that point I think is what most spiritualism/religion is all about, connecting to your fellow man and shedding selfishness. Easier said than done, especially when we remember and record the most negative of human traits because they are more memorable i.e. the holocoast, rape of naking, unit 731, sept 11, etc. Makes you think humanities out to lunch and it'd be better off if the whole mess just ended. But--there are good things out there, you just have to open your eyes and see them along with the bad. After all if there where no "bad" how could there be "good" ?
 

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I wouldn't ask perfection out of anyone. It's simply impossible to acheive. But there are good genuine people out there doing whats right. They're just a rare breed of people.

The intentions dont really matter in the end. Who cares if someone does something to make themselves feel good or for whatever reason. If they help another who needs it, then it's all good, no?
 

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Ok, so, what do you guys think?
does altruism (selflessness) truly exist?
I personally believe that it doesn't.
I think that every action is done with a 'selfish' intention in mind.

I believe that If I decide to give all my money away to the less fortunate then I am doing it for my own reasons, to increase my own happiness, to increase my own power or status over the world. Perhaps to show myself that I have the POWER to improve people's lives.
I think, that in that situation, I am extending my power over another individual simply by having the power to give them my spare change etc, therefore increasing my status as a human being. I mean, how many times (for example) do we 'expect' validation from such an act?
Like, if we were to hold the door open for somebody at a supermarket or something, or perhaps do somebody a small favour, do we not expect them to repay us in some way? like for example, by thanking us....?
or showing us how good a human being we are for doing such action?

Is an act really selfless if deep down, we expect the favor to be repaid or returned to us at somepoint?
Is an act really selfless if deep down, we expect the favor to be repaid or returned to us at somepoint? No, because such an act is selfish, not selfless.

Be careful with what you decide to believe about yourself, because that is exactly what you will be. If you decide to believe you are inherently selfish, then thats what you will be, because you are not allowing for the possibility to be altruistic.
Why decide to believe that you cannot perform a selfless act when you can decide to believe that you CAN perform a selfless act?
It is our ability to choose how we view ourselves and world which opens up possibilites.
 

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It's hard to separate the ego (the self or selfish mind) from that which is giving. For example, something in nature, like a fruit tree, gives to anyone who'll take it no matter if that something is a 'bad' person or any kind of animal. Even though it's for the benefit of a fruit tree to produce fruit so it could populate, it doesn't ultimately detract from others since it's somewhat "using" others to populate. The point of giving is to provide something "free" to others rather than giving for self-aggrandizement. I think, anyway..
 

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I've had people be selfless with me. Granted selfishness is more apparent in the world, but selflessness does exist. The very nature of selflessness though is not obvious or flamboyant. Others may never be aware of truly selfless acts, but they certainly exist. People are frequently selfless for those they love, such as parents sacrificing for their children, and some people are good enough that they are selfless for those they don't love, but know on some level that they should simply because they are human. Unconditional love exists, and selflessness is a part of that. People sacrifice their very lives for other people. I believe that developmentally young people are wired to be a bit selfish, but for a lot of people as they get older, selflessness becomes more natural and "rewards" aren't so necessary anymore. I guess you start to see the big picture once you're staring your own mortality in the face, and you've been around long enough to experience how fleeting the rewards of selfish acts are and how limitless the emptiness that remains.
 

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As humans we are inclined toward selfishness. Even the most selfless people can at times be selfish. If you are Christian and believe because of Adam and Eve's selfish desire to eat from the tree of good and bad, you will remember we inherited their selfishness, like one inherits a bad temper from a parent or a certain disorder from a relative. (Romans 5:12)
That is why just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin and thus death spread to all mean because they had all sinned. That includes selfishness.
 
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