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 Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?

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Alex
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PostSubject: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:17 pm

Is it possible for someone to be completely altruistic?
Is it safe or reasonable to be?
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Laura G
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PostSubject: Re: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:48 pm

No, I don't think it is possible. At the most basic level, either it makes you feel good to sacrifice for others, or it makes you feel rotten and you get something out of that (smug superiority, sub fetish, etc).
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PostSubject: Re: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:20 pm

Could it be possible that someone would simply feel that it's their responsibility on earth to LIVE for other people, regardless of how it makes THEM feel personally?

Like...maybe someone who feels like they're living for God or...the reincarnation of Buddha...or something.
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PostSubject: Re: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:21 am

Yeah, but that's not purely altruistic, then. Why are they doing it for God/Buddha/Flying Spaghetti Monster/etc?

Because they want to go to heaven? Not altruistic.
Because doing unto others makes them feel the ethereal warm fuzzies of God's Love? Not altruistic.
Because you have a calling and the bastards who beat the shit out of you in high school don't, so there? Not altruistic.

... and so on.
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Alex
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PostSubject: Re: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:26 am

What if it's like...a JOB (from the Old Testament) point of view...where...you just LIVE to serve God, and there's no questioning?

Like...God and the Devil get into a debate and God decides to play "Douchebag" and challenge the Devil to a bar-room-bet and kill everything that Job loves just to see if Job will still worship him?

I'm sure there are people who feel that same way.


Regardless, Altruism is a conundrum and there's no right answer...
I just wanted to make a little debate thingy.
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PostSubject: Re: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:29 am

But Job didn't do all that much serving. He just kind of sat in bed (which, leprosy and things, so fair enough) and was an asshole but refused to denounce God.

Mother Theresa would be a better case study.
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PostSubject: Re: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:37 am

Mother Teresa is a good example...

however, despite the amazing shit she did, she still didn't (couldn't) do anything to help the people in her "Homes for the Dying."

She could only give them a place to die in dignity. The money she collected from the poor were given back to the countries she raised the money from and they only used the money to alienate their people.

This wasn't necessarily her fault, of course.

She wrote that she had no more faith. She said that she absolutely couldn't bring herself to believe in God or Jesus or anything like that, yet she still lived her life dedicated to her way of life. Noble...it just sucks that she couldn't do more to actually HELP people.
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Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:11 am

Laura G wrote:
But Job didn't do all that much serving. He just kind of sat in bed (which, leprosy and things, so fair enough) and was an asshole but refused to denounce God.

Mother Theresa would be a better case study.

this...coming from a guy in a 300 dollar suit talking to someone in a 6000 dollar suit? COME ON!
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Laura G
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PostSubject: Re: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:47 am

Dave wrote:
Laura G wrote:
But Job didn't do all that much serving. He just kind of sat in bed (which, leprosy and things, so fair enough) and was an asshole but refused to denounce God.

Mother Theresa would be a better case study.

this...coming from a guy in a 300 dollar suit talking to someone in a 6000 dollar suit? COME ON!

I know I should get that reference, and yet... nothing.


EDIT: M-F it! It's Arrested Development, isn't it?
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Laura G
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PostSubject: Re: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:07 am

Double-post because Dinosaur Comics agrees with me:

http://www.qwantz.com/archive/001382.html
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PostSubject: Re: Altruism: Does Selflessness Exist?   Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:49 pm

Okay, here's a follow up question...

Would it be possible for someone to have an altruistic nature, or behave in an altruistic way...even though they may not be that way all the time?

I'd imagine it's possible for someone to help someone else without any kind of personal motive behind it...maybe even by accident(?)...
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