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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber divegeester
    Nice suit...
    05 Aug '09 23:12
    Wiki: "Altruism (from Latin: alter: the other) is the deliberate pursuit of the interests or welfare of others or the public interest"

    A post in ,General, made me think (yes I know, an oxymoron), is there such a thing, especially in relation to forum life?

    Thoughts?
  2. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    06 Aug '09 00:27
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Wiki: "Altruism (from Latin: alter: the other) is the deliberate pursuit of the interests or welfare of others or the public interest"

    A post in ,General, made me think (yes I know, an oxymoron), is there such a thing, especially in relation to forum life?

    Thoughts?
    No.

    Everything everyone does is ultimately what he or she perceives to be in his or her own best interest.

    At least that's my theory,
  3. 06 Aug '09 00:32
    Originally posted by sh76
    No.

    Everything everyone does is ultimately what he or she perceives to be in his or her own best interest.

    At least that's my theory,
    Well most of the time, but like stealing, murdering, cheating, that's just short term...
  4. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    06 Aug '09 00:40
    Originally posted by sh76
    No.

    Everything everyone does is ultimately what he or she perceives to be in his or her own best interest.

    At least that's my theory,
    If someone gives $50 to charity, they're $50 poorer. How is that in their best interest?

    If someone jumps into a lake to save a drowning person, they are risking their own life. How is that in their best interest?
  5. 06 Aug '09 00:41
    Originally posted by rwingett
    If someone gives $50 to charity, they're $50 poorer. How is that in their best interest?

    If someone jumps into a lake to save a drowning person, they are risking their own life. How is that in their best interest?
    The common good.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    06 Aug '09 00:52 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    If someone gives $50 to charity, they're $50 poorer. How is that in their best interest?

    If someone jumps into a lake to save a drowning person, they are risking their own life. How is that in their best interest?
    He feels better about himself. Other people consider him a good person and respect him more. The person to whom he gave the money or saved has gratitude to him. Maybe he's religious and is doing it for a reward from God, etc.
  7. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    06 Aug '09 01:50
    Originally posted by sh76
    He feels better about himself. Other people consider him a good person and respect him more. The person to whom he gave the money or saved has gratitude to him. Maybe he's religious and is doing it for a reward from God, etc.
    Perhaps with the first example, but I don't see it with the second. One does not stop to consider these things when they put their own life at risk to help save another.

    Republicans would have us believe that all alleged acts of altruism are really acts of vanity or greed in disguise, but I don't buy it.
  8. 06 Aug '09 01:55
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Perhaps with the first example, but I don't see it with the second. One does not stop to consider these things when they put their own life at risk to help save another.

    Republicans would have us believe that all alleged acts of altruism are really acts of vanity or greed in disguise, but I don't buy it.
    No that's what Democrats would say.
  9. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    06 Aug '09 01:59 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Everything everyone does is ultimately what he or she perceives to be in his or her own best interest.

    At least that's my theory,
    I have numerous friends from various walks of life for whom your theory does not apply.
  10. 06 Aug '09 03:15
    Originally posted by sh76
    He feels better about himself. Other people consider him a good person and respect him more. The person to whom he gave the money or saved has gratitude to him. Maybe he's religious and is doing it for a reward from God, etc.
    I think there are plenty of people that would save a child knowing it would mean certain death for themselves.
  11. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    06 Aug '09 04:44
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Wiki: "Altruism (from Latin: alter: the other) is the deliberate pursuit of the interests or welfare of others or the public interest"

    A post in ,General, made me think (yes I know, an oxymoron), is there such a thing, especially in relation to forum life?

    Thoughts?
    uzless exists for no other purpose
  12. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    06 Aug '09 07:21
    Originally posted by sh76
    No.

    Everything everyone does is ultimately what he or she perceives to be in his or her own best interest.

    At least that's my theory,
    A theory which has been proven wrong, multiple times.

    Humans are inherently altruistic. Check up the research.
  13. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    06 Aug '09 07:27 / 3 edits
    There's some nutcase called Gary S. Becker, who developed some sad, sad theories... which appear to have won some (weaker) minds.

    Edit. Seriously speaking, though, the current 'standard' in social science research is rational choie theory and it will take lots of time and effort to dethrone it... if anybody really wants to.
  14. 06 Aug '09 11:52
    Originally posted by joe beyser
    I think there are plenty of people that would save a child knowing it would mean certain death for themselves.
    Which makes perfect sense from an evolutionary point of view. It's in their best interest to make sure their genes stay in the gene pool. (that is HUMAN genes)

    If you take these subconscious motivations into account I think the theory hold true.
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    06 Aug '09 13:37 / 1 edit
    Well, okay, I admit, I'm not sure I really believe my own "theory" either (which, of course, is not my original idea anyway). I was just so intrigued by the possibility the first time I heard it that the idea has always stuck with me.

    It's hardly a theory that can be disproven. If I sacrifice my life to save another, maybe it's because I couldn't live with the guilt of not having saved him, etc.