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Does altruism actually exist?

Skepticalone
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5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,102
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5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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5/10/2015 12:49:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Putting yourself in harms way for any moral imperative is an act of altruism. There are many examples of that. Self-sacrificing behavior, like jumping on a grenade to save the lives of others in your platoon would definitely not be something that serves your self interest.
Skepticalone
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5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,132
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5/10/2015 1:41:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 12:49:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Putting yourself in harms way for any moral imperative is an act of altruism. There are many examples of that. Self-sacrificing behavior, like jumping on a grenade to save the lives of others in your platoon would definitely not be something that serves your self interest.

In this situation, multiple lives of your friends, or arguably family equivalents, will be saved. In your scenario, assuming someone will die, it make more sense for one to die instead of all. Since that is a given, consciously deciding to sacrifice yourself so that they may live, serves your personal desire. You are trading your life for theirs because of your desire for them to live.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
1harderthanyouthink
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5/10/2015 1:52:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

What if it's not?
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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5/10/2015 2:02:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Humans are social beings. We are socialized to appreciate prosocial behaviors, and we have evolved to act in accordance with what will benefit our community. Thus, we will naturally have some sort of psychological or emotional boost from helping others. I don't think that diminishes altruism, as an altruistic act is one in which no reward is expected. If personal reward is not the impetus for a selfless act, but some reward is nonetheless attained, it is still an altruistic act. Such acts are commonplace.
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
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Bennett91
Posts: 4,237
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5/10/2015 2:09:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Yes and no. I bet on a personal level it exists, but to look at the bigger picture acts of kindness are better for the macro species as a whole. So there is an interest for a species to be gregarious and nice to each other.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,237
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5/10/2015 2:11:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

As someone who gave an ice cream to a homeless man on a hot summer day; This one cut deep.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,132
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5/10/2015 2:32:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 1:52:58 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

What if it's not?

I am not aware of any instance when it would not be.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,132
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5/10/2015 2:34:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:11:08 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

As someone who gave an ice cream to a homeless man on a hot summer day; This one cut deep.

Lol, sorry, bud. Did giving the ice cream to him make you feel a sense of satisfaction or hope?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,102
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5/10/2015 2:45:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:32:11 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:52:58 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

What if it's not?

I am not aware of any instance when it would not be.

What if someone were to sacrifice their life out of concern for the well-being of others?
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
Bennett91
Posts: 4,237
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5/10/2015 2:46:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:34:22 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:11:08 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

As someone who gave an ice cream to a homeless man on a hot summer day; This one cut deep.

Lol, sorry, bud. Did giving the ice cream to him make you feel a sense of satisfaction or hope?

I was just thinking if I were in his tattered shoes I'd want ice cream too.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,237
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5/10/2015 2:47:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:45:20 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:32:11 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:52:58 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

What if it's not?

I am not aware of any instance when it would not be.

What if someone were to sacrifice their life out of concern for the well-being of others?

Kamikaze is for the self interest of the nation.
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,102
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5/10/2015 2:49:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:47:36 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:45:20 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:32:11 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:52:58 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

What if it's not?

I am not aware of any instance when it would not be.

What if someone were to sacrifice their life out of concern for the well-being of others?

Kamikaze is for the self interest of the nation.

Um...ok.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
Bennett91
Posts: 4,237
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5/10/2015 2:51:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:49:06 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:47:36 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:45:20 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:32:11 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:52:58 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

What if it's not?

I am not aware of any instance when it would not be.

What if someone were to sacrifice their life out of concern for the well-being of others?

Kamikaze is for the self interest of the nation.

Um...ok.

If one puts honor above his own life, he's sacrificing himself for the great well being of his nation. In this case Imperial Japan. Is the kamikaze an altruistic character?
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,132
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5/10/2015 2:52:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:45:20 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:32:11 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:52:58 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

What if it's not?

I am not aware of any instance when it would not be.

What if someone were to sacrifice their life out of concern for the well-being of others?

Protecting those we care about about is still in-line with the desires of the 'sacrificer'.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,102
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5/10/2015 2:53:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:51:13 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:49:06 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:47:36 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:45:20 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:32:11 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:52:58 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

What if it's not?

I am not aware of any instance when it would not be.

What if someone were to sacrifice their life out of concern for the well-being of others?

Kamikaze is for the self interest of the nation.

Um...ok.

If one puts honor above his own life, he's sacrificing himself for the great well being of his nation. In this case Imperial Japan. Is the kamikaze an altruistic character?

Does sacrifice have to be kamikaze?
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,102
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5/10/2015 2:54:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:52:39 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:45:20 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:32:11 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:52:58 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

What if it's not?

I am not aware of any instance when it would not be.

What if someone were to sacrifice their life out of concern for the well-being of others?

Protecting those we care about about is still in-line with the desires of the 'sacrificer'.

Well, what "pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction" would a dead person feel?
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
Bennett91
Posts: 4,237
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5/10/2015 2:55:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:53:40 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:51:13 PM, Bennett91 wrote:

If one puts honor above his own life, he's sacrificing himself for the great well being of his nation. In this case Imperial Japan. Is the kamikaze an altruistic character?

Does sacrifice have to be kamikaze?

No, of course not. It can also be a Muslim suicide bomber! Ah cha cha! I'll be here all week.
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,102
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5/10/2015 2:56:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:55:36 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:53:40 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:51:13 PM, Bennett91 wrote:

If one puts honor above his own life, he's sacrificing himself for the great well being of his nation. In this case Imperial Japan. Is the kamikaze an altruistic character?

Does sacrifice have to be kamikaze?

No, of course not. It can also be a Muslim suicide bomber! Ah cha cha! I'll be here all week.

What about sacrifice that does not involve harming others?
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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5/10/2015 2:58:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
If you understand self-interest in a way that doesn't correspond to psychological egoism, that kind of behavior obviously exists. I think there's room for clarity if you take out all the ethical buzzwords like "selfish" and "altruistic", so that the output of the discussion doesn't hinge (nearly so much, anyway), on the magnitude of the discussants' cynicism.

It's worth keeping in mind that, though humans really, really enjoy being able to explain their actions, behaviors are scarcely so well-reasoned beforehand, which implies that the motives we're trying to examine aren't necessarily presented by a subject to himself in a propositional (or, if you like, instrumentally rational) fashion.

In this light, when we ask "can people interact with others without respect to self-interest?", I think what we're really asking is "can people behave socially without actively and purposely trying to win?". As I said, on the naive view, we can say "well, everything is self-interest, because no one would act if they weren't trying to accomplish something. Even something as benign as helping a homeless person is just done for personal satisfaction." Granted, if we introduced a chip which caused people to feel physical and psychological pain when being good Samaritans, I predict with 90% confidence that instances of that behavior would drop by an order of magnitude; but, I would counter, if your theory of human behavior can be traced back to "it's self-interest", irrespective of what events you've observed, you've got a very useless theory on your hands.

Human brains are prone to a whole bunch of instantaneous errors, usually in cases where our brain prefers shortcuts over explicit deliberation. Most of us on this forum are aware of at least some fallacies, formal and informal, as well as some of the cognitive biases (e.g., confirmation bias, representativeness heuristic). We take advantage of these things on a daily basis, and there are some people whose job it is to take advantage of the frequency with which we make these mistakes. Salespeople are a great paradigm. A clever salesperson can con brilliant people into making dumb purchases--this, as it so happens, is the entire program employed in high-pressure, "boiler room" operations, and it has been well-documented. Using beautiful women to sell products to men is a similar ploy. The psychologist R. Cialdini has written a great deal on the subject of exploitative acquisition of compliance from unwitting victims. These scenarios I would term "altruistic", not because they are performed explicitly on someone else's behalf, but because they lack the attention to "winning" which characterizes traditionally "selfish" behavior--or, in other words, not because the behavior is necessarily self-abnegating, but because, to the extent that it is the product of an ill-advised shortcut, the behavior sabotages independent agency, or the "sense of self", often without the knowledge of the subject in question.

When you take out all the semantic acrobatics that this debate usually involves, and you index what you're talking about to something measurable, you can actually get definitive results. So, "Can people do things without anticipating and intending some kind of reward?" I'm pretty unconvinced that's a meaningful question; but, "Can people act, or be made to act, without trying to win?" Or, even better, "Can people act for reasons other than their own predetermined goals?" This actually gives itself to experimentation, and the data on the ensuing irrationality has been consistently clear.
Bennett91
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5/10/2015 2:58:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:56:33 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:55:36 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:53:40 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:51:13 PM, Bennett91 wrote:

If one puts honor above his own life, he's sacrificing himself for the great well being of his nation. In this case Imperial Japan. Is the kamikaze an altruistic character?

Does sacrifice have to be kamikaze?

No, of course not. It can also be a Muslim suicide bomber! Ah cha cha! I'll be here all week.

What about sacrifice that does not involve harming others?

Sure people can sacrifice time and emotional investment, but that's not really altruism, that's just living life lol. I was just address the extreme of what counts as "altruism" by Bens and yours definition.
Vox_Veritas
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5/10/2015 4:23:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

No
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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Skepticalone
Posts: 6,132
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5/10/2015 5:43:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:54:36 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:52:39 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:45:20 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 2:32:11 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:52:58 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 1:29:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:46:54 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

Would you call giving a homeless person that you don't know on the street five dollars motivated by self-interest?

Your donation can be a method by which you push your own shortcomings into the background, or at the very least, lead to pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction.

What if it's not?

I am not aware of any instance when it would not be.

What if someone were to sacrifice their life out of concern for the well-being of others?

Protecting those we care about about is still in-line with the desires of the 'sacrificer'.

Well, what "pleasant feelings of pride and satisfaction" would a dead person feel?

I see no reason to assume there would be no time to contemplate the probable results after the decision has been made.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Otokage
Posts: 2,352
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5/10/2015 6:13:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

That's a very good question. For starters, self-interest makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, but altruism hardly makes sense as in principle it doesn't serve to increase own's fitness unless done specificly to increase own's fitness, which would be "pretended altruism" ergo self-interest. Things like adopting, which seem incredibly altruism, end up being a consequence of egoism according to kin selection theory.

But now to the non-natural world, giving to charities seems like an altruistic act. However, why do you give to charities? It is clear that you do it because you want to end a situation that you consider unfair, sad, etc. But why do you want to end the mentioned situation? Because you want the world to be different. You want the world to be aligned with your own values, and that can very well be considered self-interest.

To summarize, I would say altruism as the action of helping others to improve their well-being demanding nothing in return, exists. But I wouldn't say it is a "desinterested" act, because even if you expect nothing in return from the person, the very act is changing the world, making it a little bit more to your tastes, and therefore it is an interested action. So altruism exists under the prism of self-interest, as self-interest is the driving force that triggers our actions and therefore you are altruistic because you are interested in being altruistic.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,132
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5/10/2015 6:20:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 6:13:32 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:35:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

https://www.google.com...

Is there any act that is not motivated by self interest?

That's a very good question. For starters, self-interest makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, but altruism hardly makes sense as in principle it doesn't serve to increase own's fitness unless done specificly to increase own's fitness, which would be "pretended altruism" ergo self-interest. Things like adopting, which seem incredibly altruism, end up being a consequence of egoism according to kin selection theory.

But now to the non-natural world, giving to charities seems like an altruistic act. However, why do you give to charities? It is clear that you do it because you want to end a situation that you consider unfair, sad, etc. But why do you want to end the mentioned situation? Because you want the world to be different. You want the world to be aligned with your own values, and that can very well be considered self-interest.

To summarize, I would say altruism as the action of helping others to improve their well-being demanding nothing in return, exists. But I wouldn't say it is a "desinterested" act, because even if you expect nothing in return from the person, the very act is changing the world, making it a little bit more to your tastes, and therefore it is an interested action. So altruism exists under the prism of self-interest, as self-interest is the driving force that triggers our actions and therefore you are altruistic because you are interested in being altruistic.

Well said.

Altruism is an illusion since no act is selfless.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
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5/10/2015 6:32:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 2:02:19 PM, Maikuru wrote:
Humans are social beings. We are socialized to appreciate prosocial behaviors, and we have evolved to act in accordance with what will benefit our community. Thus, we will naturally have some sort of psychological or emotional boost from helping others. I don't think that diminishes altruism, as an altruistic act is one in which no reward is expected. If personal reward is not the impetus for a selfless act, but some reward is nonetheless attained, it is still an altruistic act. Such acts are commonplace.

I don't think having a selfish motive for "altruistic" behavior diminishes the benefit to others, but I am aware of no act that is completely selfless, and as such, altruism is an illusion. Can we ever live up to altruism as defined?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
n7
Posts: 1,360
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5/10/2015 7:49:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
No.

http://www.humantruth.info...
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
Benshapiro
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5/10/2015 8:14:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/10/2015 1:41:25 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 5/10/2015 12:49:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Putting yourself in harms way for any moral imperative is an act of altruism. There are many examples of that. Self-sacrificing behavior, like jumping on a grenade to save the lives of others in your platoon would definitely not be something that serves your self interest.

In this situation, multiple lives of your friends, or arguably family equivalents, will be saved. In your scenario, assuming someone will die, it make more sense for one to die instead of all. Since that is a given, consciously deciding to sacrifice yourself so that they may live, serves your personal desire. You are trading your life for theirs because of your desire for them to live.

It only makes sense from a third party perspective. What leads people to action is always going to be a first person determination. We would need to examine what is within the self-interests of the party committing the action.

Altruism is the selfless concern for the well-being of others without expectation of reciprocal benefit. Jumping on a grenade to save your platoon is a perfect example of that. The person is making a rational decision to sacrifice all of their well-being for the well-being of others. I don't see how it could be anything other than an altruistic act.

If we truly always act out of personal self-interests, and assuming the person values life over death (and well-being over non well-being), they should avoid putting themselves in harms way to save the platoon and either escape the situation or use another soldier to shield themselves from the blast.