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True Altruism does not exist

Brain_crazy
Posts: 242
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11/14/2012 10:25:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
An example often cited in defense of altruism, is one in which a lone solider jumps onto a grenade to save the lives of his fellow men. -Ooo how touching- But is he truly being altruistic? I would argue of course not; he simply values the said cause above his own life. So in other words he is only acting to achieve more of what he desires; he desires the cause more than his own life. -ie. he is ultimately acting in accordance to his self-interest- Discuss:
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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11/14/2012 11:16:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
It all depends on the definition of altruism and egoism. I think egoists are often guilty of simply shifting the goalposts to defend their position.

Now obviously if one simply defines psychological egoism as the thesis that we do what we value the most then it would be true. In fact, it would simply be a truism, not even really worth mentioning. But that's not what psychological egoism really is proper.

Psychological egoism is the thesis that we always do what benefits ourselves, not that we always do what we value most. You're mixing up a personal benefit with a personal value. Obviously we do what we value. Unless were automatons that's the only coherent way to meta-explain human action.

So your example is flawed in how it relates to your position. We can still take some seemingly altruistic acts and show them to be egoistic though. For instance, someone volunteering at a soup kitchen might be doing it simply for the social popularity she receives as a result.

However, this applies to benefits, not values and that's where I think you're mistaken.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
Brain_crazy
Posts: 242
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11/14/2012 12:50:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/14/2012 11:16:14 AM, socialpinko wrote:
It all depends on the definition of altruism and egoism. I think egoists are often guilty of simply shifting the goalposts to defend their position.

Now obviously if one simply defines psychological egoism as the thesis that we do what we value the most then it would be true. In fact, it would simply be a truism, not even really worth mentioning. But that's not what psychological egoism really is proper.

Psychological egoism is the thesis that we always do what benefits ourselves, not that we always do what we value most. You're mixing up a personal benefit with a personal value. Obviously we do what we value. Unless were automatons that's the only coherent way to meta-explain human action.

So your example is flawed in how it relates to your position. We can still take some seemingly altruistic acts and show them to be egoistic though. For instance, someone volunteering at a soup kitchen might be doing it simply for the social popularity she receives as a result.

However, this applies to benefits, not values and that's where I think you're mistaken.

True, you got me. Thanks for the response :)
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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11/14/2012 12:53:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I successfully convinced someone of something on DDO?: http://knowyourmeme.com...
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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11/14/2012 1:02:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/14/2012 12:50:55 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
True, you got me. Thanks for the response :)

What a handsome reply. We don't see that very often here at DDO, or in life.

crc
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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11/14/2012 1:35:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/14/2012 12:50:55 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
At 11/14/2012 11:16:14 AM, socialpinko wrote:
It all depends on the definition of altruism and egoism. I think egoists are often guilty of simply shifting the goalposts to defend their position.

Now obviously if one simply defines psychological egoism as the thesis that we do what we value the most then it would be true. In fact, it would simply be a truism, not even really worth mentioning. But that's not what psychological egoism really is proper.

Psychological egoism is the thesis that we always do what benefits ourselves, not that we always do what we value most. You're mixing up a personal benefit with a personal value. Obviously we do what we value. Unless were automatons that's the only coherent way to meta-explain human action.

So your example is flawed in how it relates to your position. We can still take some seemingly altruistic acts and show them to be egoistic though. For instance, someone volunteering at a soup kitchen might be doing it simply for the social popularity she receives as a result.

However, this applies to benefits, not values and that's where I think you're mistaken.

True, you got me. Thanks for the response :)

The Fool: Respect!
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
jat93
Posts: 1,440
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11/14/2012 2:40:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/14/2012 1:02:05 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 11/14/2012 12:50:55 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
True, you got me. Thanks for the response :)

What a handsome reply. We don't see that very often here at DDO, or in life.

crc

A true display of intellectual honesty is a beautiful, wondrous thing to witness, if you value truth over ignorance.