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 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 99
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?Page 4 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
This is a serious question. Why even bother asking it in the first place? It occurs to me that the only people who could think up such a question are the ones most threatened by the ideals of altruism


I think youre being a bit naive there tbh, and it would seem you never read the forums on here either

Who asks the most questions about "nice guys"? That would be people who think theyre "nice"

Who asks the most questions about extreme levels of morality such as virginity or no sex before marriage? That would be virgins and religious nuts

People very often frame questions to highlight their self perceptions of "saintliness" or to get an ego boost from subtly implying "I am better than YO" by starting a discussion where they can highlight their "superness" on

So altruists are infact VERY likely to pose this question so they can top up their ego from basking in the fabulousness of the "altruistic" things they do to make them be able to look themselves in the mirror

Its almost a form of recycling where rather than doing more "good deeds" they can wheel out the old ones and get the same feeling again without needing to lift a finger


But the only people who wouldnt think of that rather obvious reason would be people actually doing that


Watch the usage of "Religious Nuts" as this is trolling those who would heavily subscribe to their faith.

 apurfectmeow
Joined: 11/19/2011
Msg: 101
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 12/30/2011 7:05:40 AM
It might be a naive approach in your opinion but it did produce and entirely different perspective. Kinda cool to have a fresh outlook even if it may not be popular.
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 104
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 12/30/2011 8:24:40 PM

I do nice things so I can look myself in the mirror: incorrect
I can look myself in the mirror because I do nice things: correct


Its a bit chicken and egg though really isnt it?

The second one does "sound" nicer

But instinct would seem to dictate that the knowledge highlighted in the first wording would exist before any "deed" occured

So even the first deed would be following the first version, consciously though, the deed do'er would adopt the retrospective view shown in the second wording

Its unlikely billions of people just accidentally discover that relationship, but far more likely a common instinct nudges them in that direction meaning the first deed is already serving a purpose to the self due to the relationship being already identified and therefore the driving factor behind doing it or part thereof at least
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 105
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 12/31/2011 5:34:11 PM
Its a discussion, and from what I can see theres just as much time and effort spent trying to "prove" it, otherwise it would be a one sided topic

Odd you would assume theres a "reason" for joining in the debate though really. Generally I just look for threads that might be interesting, most of which especially on this board are things that never crop up in my everyday life which is actually part of the appeal

Another thing that is probably relevant though in response to your "observation" is that many of the people who dont think "altruistic" deeds are infact in any pure sense altruistic in the slightest probably do just as many of them if not more as the people who bang on about its existence

The only difference is that because they DONT see them as really being that altruistic theyre less inclined to mention them when they do them

So its no different to walking under a ladder, to someone that sees it as important its a big deal, to someone who doesnt its nothing more than walking under a ladder

So the people who want world recognition for the altruistic status of "deeds" are the only ones with any vested interest in such a topic really. Every one else just sees them as "stuff they do" and therefore no big deal, and certainly not worthy of some saintly title like "selfless" or "altruistic"
 AddHomonym
Joined: 12/26/2011
Msg: 106
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 12/31/2011 6:27:39 PM
No problem. I'm going out to have a few drinks with some friends and I'm sure this topic will come up in the kitchen at some point. If I learn anything interesting I'll make a point of sharing with the rest of the class.

Have a Happy New Year folks!
 SweetLilGTP
Joined: 10/22/2010
Msg: 107
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/1/2012 9:19:55 PM
Altruism: A snowboard pilot knows his plane is crashing. He can bail, with a possibility that his plane will crash into habitated areas, or he can stay with the jet to steer it to the lake; knowing he is dead with the second action.

He takes the second action.



True story too
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 108
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/3/2012 5:00:56 PM
If he died then nobody knoes he "knew" he wouldnt survive pmsl

Chances are his ego convinced him he would land the plane and survive, he might even have died because of the distraction of imagining the media coverage, fame and book deals then SPLAT!
 SweetLilGTP
Joined: 10/22/2010
Msg: 109
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/3/2012 5:06:56 PM
Chances are his ego convinced him he would land the plane and survive


Hard to successfully land a fighter jet on a large lake.


imagining the media coverage, fame and book deals


He already did all that; while alive.


 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 110
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/3/2012 5:58:13 PM
And yet many people do successfully splash down in jets and live to tell the tale

And having already fed at the teat of the media machine doesnt exactly help to dispell that line of possible reasoning in choosing to stay over the plane rather than bail out

Infact if it was a fighter plane then we circle back to honour and non selfless concepts like duty and expectation similar to why captains go down on their ships (or is that "with" their ships?)
 apurfectmeow
Joined: 11/19/2011
Msg: 111
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/4/2012 3:24:29 AM
Are men serving their country doing it for themselves or their country?
There can be selfish reasons to be in the military too though. I know of soldiers that get "contract" married for the benefits only as they are repeatedly deployed. It may be against the rules but in this state of numerous bases it happens quite often. Where is the honor or duty in that? In a bad economy it seems people do what they have to even in the military.
 fairtobehold
Joined: 8/12/2011
Msg: 112
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/4/2012 3:47:13 PM
Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and to save lost sinners. The most selfless deed as most people rejected Him. He spent His life on earth healing, doing good, saving, and even now in heaven He intercedes for His own saved ones. Even as He was dying for them on the cross He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 113
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/10/2012 9:06:43 PM
Just a follow up on this... I was recently reminded of a good answer to this question....
Reminded by someone on the radio.

First off I need to reverse a bit to a question I threw in to try to get to the answer. Is man by nature good or evil? I was reminded that the answer to that question is a bit boring and lacks the cool 'certainty' that would keep it memorable which is why for the life of me I couldn't remember what it was.

Man is by nature neither good nor evil. He is neutral. However, that does not change the fact that by nature man is absolutely selfish.

When a baby is born a baby can be neither good nor bad. There has never been a baby that has commited a crime. Just as there has never been a baby that has commited an act of good. When a baby is born all that matters to the baby is its own needs. Food, comfort, and a seemingly enormous amount of attention. A baby is pure selfish. It is a requirement of survival. This does not make selfishness bad. It is also neutral.

Man is by nature neutral of good and bad. Man can be taught good and can be taught evil. Man can learn good and learn evil. Man has the will to choose either good or evil despite what has been taught or learned. To make the choice towards the more good side means adhering to values and having those values rooted in things that are generally considered good. However, it is not natural and must be taught. Reasoning and wisdom are not natural. They are learned. They can be taught. Values are not natural. They are learned and taught.

Next we get to the slight tangent question I asked that in order to make appropriate laws a society would have to have a default judgment about the nature of man in order to appropriately write laws. Well, it just so happens that maintaining that default judgment of 'neutral' completely allows for and is in line with judging a man on his actions and holding him accountable specifically for his choice to either do good or to do bad. A man is not held innocent until found guilty because innocence is a judgment. It is more accurate to say that a man is neither guilty nor innocent until his actions are judged. When the inspector inspects the baker periodically it is done to keep the baker in line with what is expected to be good while the baker during times between inspections chooses to remain good with his customers because it typically benefits his business for his customers to like the freshness and cleanliness of his bread. (although the inspector is typically just a form of taxation it can be seen as having a good side). Justice requires judging a man for his actions because those actions were his own choices and those actions are what leads to the judgment of guilt or innocence. The devil didn't make you do it. You did. Society didn't make you do it. You did.

Following along to the point where we get to 'deeds.' Man is neither good nor bad and is by nature selfish. This means that all deeds done by man are indeed selfish. Good deeds only occur when a good act is chosen. A good deed therefore can never be entirely selfless

There is only one case I can think of where a deed becomes selfless. That is when a good deed is done for one person and that person goes and does a good deed for another because of the first good deed. That second act was in no way directly controlled by the first and can then be considered selfless.

Hmmm the end seems a bit sloppy though. Maybe after a few more weeks :)

And I knew there was an answer to the question if man was good or evil…. And I still think it’s a good question to answer… over and over and over. It is so easy to forget.
 Samuel1786
Joined: 7/25/2011
Msg: 114
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/10/2012 11:08:49 PM
Depends on your definition of selfless. Sometimes I act like a good Samaritan because it makes me feel good, and I get a sense of accomplishment from having taken the time to do something that most people don't. Other times, I don't feel like it.

Does that make being a good samaritan any less sincere? The only ulterior motives are inside my own head, and I think if it is now okay to call someone out for doing a "good deed" then we need to seriously re-examine some things in our society.

To turn the question around, to all the people who scoff at good deeds, why aren't you a good samaritan?

(this isn't directed at the guy above me, just at the thread)
 Suzy3512
Joined: 12/25/2010
Msg: 115
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/18/2012 5:08:37 PM
Nothing is selfless! The question is do you and each one of us know ourselves well enough to know why we do or do not do something? Intent is everything! Our trip in life is just that, our trip. What kind of person do you want to be? Your actions will follow.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 116
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/18/2012 5:21:31 PM

What kind of person do you want to be?


Everybody already IS the kind of person s/he wants to be, but most are too ashamed to admit it.
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 117
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/22/2012 2:37:19 PM
"Everybody already IS the kind of person s/he wants to be, but most are too ashamed to admit it."

good one!

and no one changes, you only can change what you do, even your thinking. [albeit slowly!]

how do you get that box around a quote?
 kohavah
Joined: 12/31/2011
Msg: 118
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/22/2012 6:33:57 PM
In my opinion individuals do things to help others for many reasons. Some help others because it is their job. Such as a teacher, nurse, waitress, carpenter, plumper etc. Some people help others because they want others to think they are noble in deed, therefore they make a big show of it.

Then there are those who by their training and a desire to ensure a balanced and happy environment help others on a daily basis. This is not selfish, it is balanced. It is for a centered and upright purpose, because mankind(male and female) is good when encouraged and allowed to be good.

When mankind does something for a selfish reason, they should blame the Gods. Afterall, they are the most selfish and needy of all, and not in the least bit stable or balanced.
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 119
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/22/2012 6:40:48 PM
the god/s have left, to see how we manage; so far, not so good.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 120
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/22/2012 8:10:06 PM

not so good.


Why would you say that? Because we have some wars and maybe wars to come? Because we have drama over politics and economic systems on the edge of collapse?

If you look back through history that’s just a normal day. Maybe you could look again for the things we have done.

We have the technical ability to feed the world
We now live longer than ever
In places that are not undergoing war we are safer than ever
We inhabit and have been to every place on the planet
We are trying to rescue polar bears
We have a working relationship between all of the major super powers on the planet
We are on our way to considering sending an astronaut to mars
That astronaut could just as easily be women

Not sure about you but... According to my history book we aren't doing to bad...

You want to **** and complain about our unjust wars… take a closer look… the only places that we are having major conflict with are places that don’t want to play nice with anyone and have not quite reached their own sense of accomplishments and peace. IOW… they are difficult to deal with. Yes yes yes… I get it… We have no right to tell other cultures blah blah blah… We are greedy and stealing their resources… Maybe we should just let them work out the world for themselves in their own image. They do also possess weapons and technology to travel the world and science labs and stuff. Shouldn’t be a problem for us to just ignore them entirely. I bet they would be happy that we thought they were nice.

What’s left… It’s a godless world… Well, secular is not godless. Secular is just not faith and religion based to avoid the conflicts and closed mindedness that helped people survive the past. It does not mean no God.

Anything else? Oh, times are tough. - Yep. Have to agree. Hope it gets better. Did someone promise you it would be easy?
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 121
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/22/2012 9:35:58 PM
au contraire; life is very good for me.

but even an illiterate person can grasp a bit of the hopelessness of humans problems

starvation where there should not be any, including at 'home'.
all sorts of injustices.

and of course sickness and that unnecessary thing, death.
death makes life a joke.
 imacipher
Joined: 11/14/2011
Msg: 122
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/22/2012 9:55:30 PM
Best quote I ever heard about Good Deeds was, "No Good Deed goes unpunished..." Perhaps it's applicable to the that Road to Hell being paved with good intentions?
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 123
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/23/2012 8:00:39 AM
Well what do ya know

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=jailbreak-rat



She placed rats in a Plexiglass pen with two cages: in one was another rat, in the other was a pile of five milk chocolate chips—a favorite snack of these particular rodents. The unrestricted rats could easily have eaten the chocolate themselves before freeing their peers or been so distracted by the sweets that they would neglect their imprisoned friends. Instead, most of the rats opened both cages and shared in the chocolate chip feast.
 kohavah
Joined: 12/31/2011
Msg: 124
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/23/2012 8:23:23 AM
Personally I do not adhere to the concept of selfless good deeds, anymore than selfish good deeds. The character Christ tries both in the Bible scripts and fails. That, I believe is the point of the various plays/scriptures.

I believe The Self is the Most High God...or centered and balance intelligence within Mankind(male and female). The emotional/psychological region of the mind in harmony with the logical computation meter which we have in place will help us determine what is best for our personal happiness

It is logical and intelligent to desire others to be happy and in harmony with us. When others have plenty, when they are sound of body and mind, they will be more likely to be friendly and harmonious with us. This is the true law of attraction. This is not selfless or selfish it is much more intelligent then either of these dangerous ideals. It is on par self from one self entity unto another self entity. This is morally, financially, and intellectually wise.
 imacipher
Joined: 11/14/2011
Msg: 125
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/24/2012 10:45:05 PM
If we, could only talk to the critters , [esp. these "ratlies"]-what tails could they tell!?
This story, "made my day"-Great Stuff!
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 126
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No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 1/25/2012 4:46:34 AM

She placed rats in a Plexiglass pen with two cages: in one was another rat, in the other was a pile of five milk chocolate chips—a favorite snack of these particular rodents. The unrestricted rats could easily have eaten the chocolate themselves before freeing their peers or been so distracted by the sweets that they would neglect their imprisoned friends. Instead, most of the rats opened both cages and shared in the chocolate chip feast.


Not meaning to be critical, or a buzz kill, just logical: another way to describe what happened with the rats was, that they enjoyed opening cages more than eating chocolate.

There are many people in the world who are like that. They do very nice things for others, not because they've seen the big picture logic of it all, or because they feel guilty not doing it, or because of innate "goodness." They do it because they enjoy doing those things so much, they will do them for anyone and everyone.

I still think that ultimately, the whole reason to even ask if a deed is selfless or not, has to do with assigning "extra credit" to the actor committing the act or deed.

There could also be a practical reason to decide this point though, which is very important within the hunt or a good mate: if you suspect someone did you a niceness because they believe in making the world a better place, it doesn't make you feel you are special to them, no matter how much you might admire them philosophically. If you suspect they only did what they did in order to get something from you, you will actually be offended by the "good deed." If you think that they helped because they like you, and that they really don't care if you reciprocate, then that might be what most folks find ideal.

So maybe what we should talk about isn't just selflessness, but also targeted versus non-targeted acts. There might be more categories to include than just "Selfish" and "selfless."
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