Selflessness Is Selfish
Everyone is selfish no matter what. This is because selflessness isn’t even possible. The choice to ever be “selfless” will always be driven by a form of serving one’s self? No person chooses to be selfless because THEY absolutely hate it or are against doing it. People choose to be selfless because THEY want to, or believe they should be because of some virtue they hold dear, etc. Regardless of the reason for choosing it, the reason always serves some aspect of their self/being. Even a person choosing to give an item to someone which they really don’t want to give them chooses to do it because of another “side” of THEMSELVES driving them to do it. In this case, the only selfless act they could commit is to choose NOT to give the gift so as to NOT serve their primary driving force for giving it (themselves). But again, could a person ever bring themselves to this decision without a selfish reason?
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Selflessness will always be driven by serving one's feelings, values, or desires which is ultimately serving yourself.
No person chooses to be selfless because THEY absolutely hate it or are against doing it. People choose to be selfless because THEY want to, or believe they should be because of some virtue they hold dear, etc. Regardless of the reason for choosing it, the reason always serves some aspect of their self/being.
If you do not wish for private blessings but truly in your being for the greater good of the community, from your heart, your selflessness is motivated by pure intent. rather than an adopted ego identity. you are a vessel of goodwill. your feeling is for humanity. which others may perceive as self-serving if they lack comprehension of their own inconsequentiality.
The only possible selflessness would be choosing to deny your desires simply because they’re YOUR desires to deny regardless of whether those desires were “selfish” or “selfless”.
Even a person choosing to give an item to someone which they really don’t want to give them chooses to do it because of another “side” of THEMSELVES driving them to do it. In this case, the only selfless act they could commit is to choose NOT to give the gift so as to NOT serve their primary driving force for giving it (themselves).
Even if you did this you will always have a reason for choosing to do this, and it will always be YOUR reason.
Therefore it will always be selfish. Even if the reason is random like mere curiosity or something like that you’re still serving that part of your self.
One always acts in his self-interest unless some external uncontrollable forces take over. Even amid those circumstances, he'll choose the best possible solution. BECAUSE he's selfish! Even when a person sacrifices, he's being selfish
ex: if I sacrifice or give up my job to look after my crippled/disabled child, I still am being selfish. It's my child & it's imp for me! If I give up my job to serve some orphans I haven't ever met, I still am being selfish in the sense that I'm trying to be virtuous!
Selflessness is a redundant word
As everyone including the ones who claim to be selfless are in fact selfish!
An “ultimate service to one’s self” isn’t what defines “selfishness”.
Selfishness and selflessness are in the initial DESIRE to be either. Selflessness particularly then is found in the desire to be selfless not in the choice to serve that desire. Yes, when making a decision, we all naturally choose to go with the strongest desire WE’RE presently feeling for something. That’s the point, though. Not everyone’s strongest desire IS to be selfless. Though every person is ‘ultimately’ serving themselves the difference is in the KIND of self being ‘served’. There’s FAR more to distinguish us from each other than the fact that we all ultimately serve ourselves in this sense. The simple fact that one person’s ultimate desire could be serving others and another person’s could be serving themselves shows they’re drastically different than each other especially considering the vast differences in behavior that would follow the two. To say it another way, how could you possibly view these two people and their behavior the same way or consider them equally selfish? Think about it. Imagine the kind of person and what they’d do when their greatest desire and value is to serve themselves (obviously at the cost of others). And imagine the other kind of person and what they’d do when their greatest desire is to serve others (at the cost of themselves). I couldn’t assess them according to this philosophic definition of selfishness. That’s too heartless and shallow. You tell me. Which one’s truly selfish: the person who SERVES others because it makes them “feel good” or the person who ABUSES others because it makes them “feel good”? Can you dare equate them by saying they’re BOTH selfish? If you do, then I dare to assume it’s because you just want to win the argument.
"To say it another way, how could you possibly view these two people and their behavior the same way or consider them equally selfish?"
It does not necessarily mean their behavior is viewed the same way, the point is that deep down inside after many twists and turns eventually you find motivation itself, which is what drives selfishness. One quick point, highly motivated individuals are more selfish, you know, those "overachievers". Selflessness comes out of selfishness, it is just highly, highly refined.
The argument detaches the issue from a person’s relationship to OTHERS.
You can’t be truly selfish OR selfless without the existence of other people. If only one person existed on earth we wouldn’t consider them selfish if they lived only for themselves and their desires. (I’m ignoring the fact that they also have a relationship with the earth and its needs for the sake of the point.) In that same situation we wouldn’t consider them SELFLESS if they strangely decided to deny themselves. This is because there are no people to benefit from the decision nor is that the REASON they made it. It’s the presence of others and the awareness of their needs that gives substance to selflessness or selfishness. This is why we consider it selfish for a Mother to only feed her baby soda pop and cheese puffs when she KNOWS it would harm the baby in the long run. The existence of the baby and the mother’s awareness of what the baby needs is what gives her the opportunity to either be selfless or selfish. Coincidently, no one would accuse the mother of being selfish if she truly didn’t know it would harm the baby. Selflessness is far more than only denying one’s desires. Who, if forced with the sudden decision to save a baby from harm at the expense of loosing a limb asks themselves, “For which reason am I going to do this: for the baby or for the good feeling I’ll get about myself from doing this?” Nobody. If anyone ever chooses the baby it’s safe to assume their primary driving force and ultimate reason for the decision was the baby’s well-being. Selfless desires only arise when others exist and when the person cares about them.
Try telling that to a parent, volunteer, or friend who sincerely sacrificed precious things for the sake of someone they loved and remember to block your face from the inevitable slap.
Sometimes we take philosophy or rationale too far and try to completely detach our hearts or souls from our minds. They function best when they function together not in isolation of each other. They both have great power. You can use rationale to make anything sound true, and once your heart is convinced of something not even the greatest counsellor or intellectual can convince you otherwise with reason and argument. So, if we’re simply honest with ourselves concerning the matter we all know deep down when we’re being selfish and when we’re truly being selfless. Period.
Though I agree doing something selfless in order to avoid guilt and sadness is selfish (as well as doing it for good feelings), that isn't what a person feels when we are concerned about another. We just want to help the person or make him/her feel better, with little or no concern for what we will gain (both physical and spiritual). In fact, feeling guilt for hurting a person may be a sure sign of compassion and concern for the person, though it can be viewed under a selfish light in making a decision(though that light doesn't entail that same concern itself).
It's easy to say 'look at what people give up for the people they love' and use that as proof of selflessness. However, the fact that they are going out of their way - doing something they ordinarily wouldn't want to do - for someone they care about only serves to proove that selflessness is selfish. True, they are putting themselves out, but they are doing it to bring relief or aid to a person they value. That person's happiness affects their own happiness, and leaving them to suffer would leave someone with unpleasant feelings of guilt and sadness. Therefore, performing the 'selfless' act is, essentially, self-serving, albeit on a subconscious level.
Objective reality is a selfless medium which everyone is responsible for.
Selflessness is not necessarily a relationship to other persons. It must include a relationship to objective reality which is depended upon by everyone. Objective reality is a medium which defines and sustains life. It is the common property of everyone. It universalizes existence. Constructiveness and rationality are defined in terms of objective reality. Therefore, people must learn to contribute to life through objective reality while limiting subjectivity to personal concerns.
This is a contradictory argument
By stating that, by acting selflessly, people are commiting a selfish act, one removes them from the set of so-called selfless people. Selflessness, by definition, is not in anyway selfish. The argument shoud be whether people can achieve selflessness. This could be presented in many hypothetical scenarios, but take this one:
A child is born with the part of his brain missing or inactive (no slating the science, this is not a medical point) that controls empathy, the ability to notice and react to other peoples emotions. By commiting selfless acts, the child could not gain any sense of reward at all from his actions, he doesn't have the capacity to care what other people think. If this child, therefore, acts selflessly, it cannot be selfish, there is no upside to him.
A normal person may or may not be capable of this, but it remains fact that it is possible.
Not every act has a selfish motive.
There are other things that may also be selfless other than love, just as long as you are not concerned with yourself. There is, for example, loyalty, in which you would do anything that a person says without expectation of money or benefits, instead the reason being that you just want to do what the person says. Love's opposite, hate, may also be selfless, though not for another person. When you feel hate, you just want to hurt somebody, unlike love, which is the opposite. In this case, you are also not concerned with what you gain or benefit. Since these reasons are selfless, why isn't love?
What do you think?