The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
9 Points

Is there anything you can do to not be selfish?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 571 times Debate No: 48882
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)




In this debate I would like to show there is nothing you can do that is wholly selfless. This is just a theory I came up with and I would be happy if I were disproved as I do not like this conclusion.


All right, I accept the debate as discussed in the comments the format will be

r1: acceptance
r2: opening cases, no rebuttals by the challenger
r3: rebuttals on both cases, no new evidence presented by challenger.

Good luck.

you may begin your case.
Debate Round No. 1


No matter what you do you have to do it because you want to, thus selfishness. For example if you fund help to the Africans you felt pity and wanted to satisfy it. Even if you had a gun pointed at you, you do whatever the guy who has the gun wants because you don't want to die. Even such a thing as loving your children is done because you want to, because if you wanted to hate them you could.

Sorry I did not define what I meant by selfish in the first round.
By you I did not mean my opponent I meant whoever is reading this.


Ladies and gentlemen. What is to be selfish? Google, because I was lazy, provided the following definition:
(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.

So, can we do something that is not concerning our own personal profit or pleasure? Well, we can split it into two distinct groups: Selflessness by will and selflessness by instinct. The nature of the resolution is rather strange, for it cannot be proven on the other side, you cannot prove that everything is selfish but instead I have to find that there
For the first group we have something that is dictated by free will. You give to the charity because you feel that you need to help, that you may feel sad for the children in Africa and want to help with that. Your neighbour might
be in need of some help moving and you step in and help without needing any payment nor ulterior motives., not expecting a payment. Even small things like offering tourists directions to their hotel is in a way selfless. You're not gaining anything from it, it won't pleasure you and you will at most feel somewhat good for helping.

However, then there is selflessness by instinct. Let's for instance concider falling on the grenade. There are a few instances of heroism that show more selflessness than sacrificing your own life in order to protect the lives of those around you. Jumping on an active grenade to save your team mates in battle is one such feat that has been done several times. And trust me, nobody wants to get blown to smithereens or spend the rest of his life with a few hundred bomb clusters in your body[1]

But sacrificing your own life isn't the only way to display feats of incredible courage, simple things like jumping out to the street to push your children away from a car or shielding someone with your own body to protect them. Rushing into a flaming inferno to rescue someone inside any just about any job that requires the employee to take on danger that might well kill him every day just so that the rest of the community can thank him later on. Those are selfless acts with little concern over your own welfare, your own safety.

There are little things and there are big things you can do, but not all are selfish. Some require you to face your fears, some require you to work for someone else with little or no benefit. Some require you to jump in front of a train or die at the hand of a grenade. Whenever you stick up to that bully for someone you do not know, that is a brave and selfless act. Whenever you look death in the eye for the persons you love, that's selfless. Whenever you decide not to stand by and think of what you and your own game will make out of something, that's selfless. You can be the biggest of heroes and the smallest of ants, but as soon as you put yourself beneath the well being of others, then you are selfless, and that's something we cannot all brag about.

Debate Round No. 2


I have decided not to rebute the staments give by my opponet by saying how those actions could be interpertited as being selfish.Instead...

I have come to the conclusion selfishness is more an attude than actions. By that i mean you can do anything in a selfish way but everything you do does not have to be selfish because you can do something for someone and hope you will get something back or not expect anything. same action diffrent attitude/ intent. I would like to thank my opponet for doing what I hoped he would do.


Well, I thank you as well for giving me the chance to do what you hoped that I would do. I'm rather fond of your conclusion actually. :)

thanks again and good luck with whatever you'll face in the future.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Dishoungh 2 years ago
Selfish? That word doesn't even exist to me. We are so considerate about other people, we can't even take care of ourselves.
Posted by Frikcha 2 years ago
i have always felt this is true
Posted by wwwwh 2 years ago
Posted by oculus_de_logica 2 years ago
For the sake of fairness I'd prefer that we each have an even number of rounds.

so the first rounds is acceptance
second is opening cases, no rebuttals in my end
third is rebuttals and conclusion, no new evidence on my end.

all right?
Posted by wwwwh 2 years ago
you can put your first argument in the first round. I don't care when we do rebuttals or arguments, last round is only for conclusions though.
Posted by oculus_de_logica 2 years ago
How would you like to have the debating format?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by debate339 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct tied (both were very mature) Grammer went to pro as there were mistakes in cons case. arguement goes to con as does sources as he stated the case very well and backed his case with a source.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con concedes gracefully and honorably...