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Is it better to live for others rather than for ourselves?

  • Yes with a catch.

    I this was a unanimous or majority view it would work. However, if you are giving and others are unselfish then you get burned out. This would be ideal because our society would be kinder and more reciprocal. This might work in very small communities. Japan is an example of a very thoughtful society.

  • Yes with exceptions

    Living for others means helping others, therefore contributing to the good of the community. When the community flourishes, the people in it, including oneself, thrive. Helping others indirectly helps the individual by providing a sense of accomplishment, pride, and the improvement of the community that the individual lives in and uses the resources from. Helping others, though, does not expand to helping others in ways that can indirectly hurt the community.

  • Yes we should

    Of course we should live for others. The feeling you get when helping others is priceless. People who don't help others are not respected as those who do. If we want our life's to be so great it's only reasonable to help others have great lives to. People who live for themselves don't respect themselves in my opinion.

  • No - we should live for others AND ourselves.

    We are all part of society, and we should value every member of it - including ourselves. In the Bible (I'm not a Christian, but this is good) it says: "Love thy neighbour as thyself". This implies caring and acting for others as much as you care and act for yourself. Caring for others is part of society, but caring for yourself is important, too. Sure, you can put the needs of others above your own, but generally it's best to put the greatest needs at the top of the list, and work out which of those you can make a worthwhile difference to. Often, these will be your own needs, and sometimes they will be the needs of others, or maybe working as part of a larger group to deal with a more general need. So you could say "take care of yourself as you would take care of others." because when you take care of yourself you make yourself more able to take care of others, and that helps everyone look after everyone - including people taking care of you.

  • No we are not.

    Believe it or not, we do not exist on this earth to please other people. Yes, we like to make people happy, but that is a natural human response and want for when we meet new people. But that is not living for others. We want relationships, friendship and to be happy, but really that is for ourselves. If you're not a believer in reincarnation, then you only live once right? Why bother wasting the only life you have on pleasing others when you could be having an awesome time doing something great for yourself. It's nice to do things for people, but you are important too.

  • No. I disagree with this view.

    I know I've briefly flirted with the idea that we should live for others on this website. But I now disagree. We should live for ourselves, acknowledging that others exist too and that we should take into account their opinions, their aims in life. Genuinely happy people do live for themselves.

  • Live for yourself first but including on how you define yourself

    Most people who say they live for themselves blindly follow society's prescription for self-interest like sheep. They try to make more money than others, they try to prove they are the best in competitions (notice how this contradicts individualism). Live for yourself to the point where you won't let society determine what "self-interest" means for you. Maybe making a bunch of money isn't what you want? Maybe it is. But the point is don't be in it for yourself in a way that is actually in it for others because you're copying what society says it means to be in it for yourself.

  • Live for yourself first.

    How can you live for others when you don't live for yourself? No matter how selfish it sounds, you're the main priority towards you, take care of yourself first therefore you can be a provider for others. If you don't, what are you giving to others when you have nothing. Make sure if you're capable of doing something hardcore SOS for others, it's the same for you.


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