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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    01 Apr '17 01:19 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra

    "You are wrong. Both altriusm and acting out of a need for recognition and/or social standing is very common behaviour among humans. We would be fighting over a piece of carrion otherwise."

    “is” or “are”? “behaviour” or “behaviours”? It does make a difference.

    Never mind.

    Let’s ignore the incongruity of the above statement i.e:

    “altruism” selflessness
    “recognition and/or social standing” self-interest, self-promotion, self-aggrandisement.

    This is a faceless anonymous message board, now’s your chance to brag about how altruistic you are without being recognised personally for your sacrifices. Your bragging will be selfless, it’s win win right.

    It’s an informal survey to find out on average how much of a persons’ life can be rightfully classified as ‘altruistic’. I reckon about 3% would be an exaggeration, people might have brief spurts where the percentage may go higher. For example, the doodoo to the brain impulse to sacrifice your vacation time to volunteer teaching English in Cambodia. How many of these vacations start out with best intentions and end on Pub St in Siem Riep drinking cocktails out of buckets.

    As for love, fiancés, spouses, parents, friends, I quite like Robert Heinlein’s quote:

    “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own... Jealousy is a disease; love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy.”

    So; changing the nappies? Do you really consider it altruism?
  2. 01 Apr '17 07:32
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism
  3. 01 Apr '17 07:48 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    So; changing the nappies? Do you really consider it altruism?
    I believe it was divegester that claimed Altruism couldn't logically exist because the very act of helping others was driven by a desire to help others and thus your act was a result of fulfilling that desire and thus entirely selfish.

    So are you claiming that altruism is only 'real' if the recipient is anonymous?

    And what is the reason for your argument? Do you perhaps feel guilty about your own selfish behaviour? If so, then have you at times assuaged that guilt through altruistic acts?
  4. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    01 Apr '17 08:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I believe it was divegester that claimed Altruism couldn't logically exist because the very act of helping others was driven by a desire to help others and thus your act was a result of fulfilling that desire and thus entirely selfish.

    So are you claiming that altruism is only 'real' if the recipient is anonymous?

    And what is the reason for your arg ...[text shortened]... wn selfish behaviour? If so, then have you at times assuaged that guilt through altruistic acts?
    No, anonymity is not a condition of altruism, but it helps clear up the possible contradiction in that a person is helping others not so much to help others but that they can be seen to be helping others and therefore is a jolly fine chap.

    It's not a rule, a condition or a definition, it just ensures 100% that the motive isn't an attempt to inflate their own image in the eyes of others.

    I can assure you I do not feel guilt in acting in my own best interests. Regarding the question posed in the original post I would say I'd be about 1% altruistic. This consists mainly of sending money to past acquaintances whom I'm never likely to see again, it helps, they appreciate it and are grateful (rarely asking for it) but there is no return in it, no feelings of well being and it is never done out of guilt.

    As mentioned elsewhere I spent 3 years as a volunteer fireman, our brigade averaged about 100 calls a year, mostly MVA's, not every accident in our area, generally we were only called if a person or persons needed to be extracted from a vehicle. If the call happened during work time I was not paid by my employer for time off. Not for one moment would I claim that to be altruistic. I did it for what I got out of it, purely for my own selfish interests.

    So what percentage of your life do you give over to purely selfless acts for others. Acts that you do not expect, nor get, anything in return. Where you place the wants and needs of other clearly and unambiguously above your own wants and needs.
  5. Subscriber divegeester
    Nice suit...
    01 Apr '17 08:59
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra

    [b]"You are wrong. Both altriusm and acting out of a need for recognition and/or social standing is very common behaviour among humans. We would be fighting over a piece of carrion otherwise."


    “is” or “are”? “behaviour” or “behaviours”? It does make a difference.

    Never mind.

    Let’s ignore the inco ...[text shortened]... the greater the jealousy.”[/i]

    So; changing the nappies? Do you really consider it altruism?[/b]
    There is no such thing as altruism. Every act is driven by some form of self interest, even looking after your kids is genetically advantageous.
  6. 01 Apr '17 09:04
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    but there is no return in it, no feelings of well being and it is never done out of guilt.
    Then why do you do it?

    So what percentage of your life do you give over to purely selfless acts for others. Acts that you do not expect, nor get, anything in return. Where you place the wants and needs of other clearly and unambiguously above your own wants and needs.
    A very low percentage, but it would be hard to put a figure on it.
    But why is the percentage important?
  7. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    01 Apr '17 09:12 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by divegeester
    There is no such thing as altruism. Every act is driven by some form of self interest, even looking after your kids is genetically advantageous.
    Absolutely it's possible to put others wants and needs before your own, it's not impossible. But it is rare and IMO cannot be maintained for long. It is definitely not 'common behavior' as KN claims. That was the purpose of this thread, to find out how common it is, not if it's possible.

    And what is more, if it's not common, why aren't we oh so dramatically "fighting over a piece of carrion".
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    01 Apr '17 09:54
    Originally posted by divegeester
    There is no such thing as altruism. Every act is driven by some form of self interest, even looking after your kids is genetically advantageous.
    Explain how these acts are "genetically advantageous": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falling_on_a_grenade
  9. 01 Apr '17 10:00
    Originally posted by divegeester
    There is no such thing as altruism. Every act is driven by some form of self interest, even looking after your kids is genetically advantageous.
    So why aren't genetically advantageous acts altruism?

    If I look after my cat, is that also genetically advantageous? Am I helping the mammal genes?
  10. 01 Apr '17 10:04
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    But it is rare and IMO cannot be maintained for long. It is definitely not 'common behavior' as KN claims.
    In the OP you seem to accept a figure of about 1% of our time/effort goes into altruistic acts. In My mind that is hardly 'rare' and does count as 'common behaviour'. I admittedly might spend slightly more than 1% of my time pooping, but only slightly.
  11. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    01 Apr '17 10:11
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    In the OP you seem to accept a figure of about 1% of our time/effort goes into altruistic acts. In My mind that is hardly 'rare' and does count as 'common behaviour'. I admittedly might spend slightly more than 1% of my time pooping, but only slightly.
    If you spent 57% of your time pooping that would be uncommon.

    I aren't going to waste my time defining each word until we get down to defining what 'the' means and 'dictionary' means. You know exactly what was meant.
  12. Subscriber divegeester
    Nice suit...
    01 Apr '17 10:31
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So why aren't genetically advantageous acts altruism?

    If I look after my cat, is that also genetically advantageous? Am I helping the mammal genes?
    Are you related to your cat? How is my comment about looking after one's kids in anyway connected to you looking after your cat?

    Besides, you look after your cat because it is your cat, it belongs to you and you feel responsible for it. you are probably emotionally attached to it. Ownership, responsibility and emotion, these are all about you. Not about your cat.
  13. Subscriber divegeester
    Nice suit...
    01 Apr '17 10:32
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Explain how these acts are "genetically advantageous": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falling_on_a_grenade
    Looking after one's kids is genetically advantageous.
    Looking after one's kids is genetically advantageous.
    Looking after one's kids is genetically advantageous.
    Looking after one's kids is genetically advantageous.
  14. Subscriber divegeester
    Nice suit...
    01 Apr '17 10:33
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Explain how these acts are "genetically advantageous": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falling_on_a_grenade
    The grenade example is a good one by the way, I'll have a think about that.
  15. 01 Apr '17 10:44
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    You know exactly what was meant.
    I thought I knew what was meant, and I disputed it. You apparently meant something else but don't want to say what.