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?
All the Yes points:
- Selflessness will always be driven by serving one’s feelings, values, or desires which is ultimately serving yourself.
- 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 if you did this you will always have a reason for choosing to do this, and it will always be YOUR reason.
- 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
- Selflessness is a redundant word
All the No points:
- An “ultimate service to one’s self” isn’t what defines “selfishness”.
- The argument detaches the issue from a person’s relationship to OTHERS.
- 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.
- Objective reality is a selfless medium which everyone is responsible for.
- This is a contradictory argument
- Not every act has a selfish motive.
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?
So I have this friend. She always loves talking about how “selfless” she is. I truly believe she gives to others more than she gives to herself, but right after she names herself a selfless person she always starts bribing about how selfless she is: I joined this group and gave. I made this happen. etc. I do not know if she is just giving backup claims on that what she is saying is true. But isn’t it a selfish thing to praise yourself by naming all your actions selflessness? I think being selfless is not a selfish action, rather calling yourself selfless is. Is what my friend is falls into a common behavior pattern, or that she Is just trying to convince us that she does not care about herself at all. What I don’t think Is 100% true ,in one way or another, everyone is and has to be a bit selfish to survive in this cruel world.
Is there anyone who has an answer for me?
Selflessness is selfish?
It’s depends on people mind. Why the word selflessness created if the word selfish also on the dictionary? It’s like ” it’s okay to do bad things if the result is good”???? It’s your act, so your choice to be selfless or selfish.
Whether a person is selfish or selfless. There are two ways to see it. One way is the behaviour or action/inaction of a person which can be seen by others. It is much easy to categorise this behaviour into selfish or selfless. In this behaviour, we can easily find selfless acts as well as selfish acts. Now, the question which is open, is what is the intent or the reason behind the selfless act or the selfish act. the reason or intent behind the act or behaviour is extremely difficult for another person to know, and on occassions, even the person himself may not be fully aware of. the entire debate above from a ‘yes’ perspective is that this reason is emanating out of ‘self’. While I completely agree, that most of the times, this reason will indeed emanate out of the ‘self’ as the soul of the person is residing in they body of this person alone, and the only way this person acts or behaves or gets a trigger is from the ‘self’. Let us say, that it is indeed possible that this reason could be ‘selfish’, but it is still important that that a selfless act is attempted. The core of civilisation is to do for others. As long as we have people doing for others, i think it is fine. the reply to this deeper question can be found eventually.
That last no-point seems completly detached from the argument being made. It’s not wether some actions are selfish or not. It’s the fact that any action, that a person decides (consciously or not) to upon, has gone through a personalized “filter” of our emotions and our instincts, to ensure, that the action being made is aligned with that our “filter”. We have complex brains and thoughts, therefore not selfish actions have to seem inherently selfish, depending on your definitions, they just are.
Each and every one of us is for self. Selflessness is for Self. It is not for Selfishness nor is it Selfish. To be Selfish is to be For Self at the expense of the Other. One can be For Self and For the Other.
Selfishness is juvenile and childish. It’s what we do when we are not yet capable enough to put the other first and still have what we need… True adults aren’t Selfish. They are Self Sufficient and therefore able to provide not only for Self but also for the Other.
Those who believe Selfishness is good or powerful are simply weakening themselves and putting an invisible ceiling on their growth and realization of their promise and potential.
the word self should be replaced by ego. the self has no desires. serving others instead of oneself can be viewed as an egotistical way of life too, as the motivation comes from ones own desire. selflessness does not even exist because the self is always present, people need to stop confusing the terms. however, when you drop your ego your actions will naturally become right according to circumstance.
Consider that even the most “selfless” acts may be driven by things such as:
– Avoidance of guilt (taking care of those less fortunate, if you would feel bad not doing it. Although the act in itself is an honourable thing, the driving force is still the way that you feel)
– Desire to appear virtuous (it feels good to be seen in a positive light by friends/family/colleagues. If you argue that some people do not advertise what they are doing, then they likely fall into the above category)
– Religion (the afterlife is a powerfully motivating force, building up treasures in heaven is for one’s benefit alone)
The central pivot of this argument is on the implications of the word selfish vs selflessness in regards to morality and virtue. If we say selfish=bad, then of course the person who always gives of themselves could never be considered selfish. But if we say selfish=self serving or merely acting in ones best interest, the debate becomes valid. Very few people who say no to this argument would have a problem acknowledging the wisdom in telling a profoundly selfish, destructive teen that if they TRULY wanted to serve themselves in the long run, they should stop focusing on themselves so much and turn outward.