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.