Everything we do is for our own benefit
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17-03-2014, 04:19 PM
RE: Everything we do is for our own benefit
(17-03-2014 04:10 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  You said that when atheists justify abortion, they say that it's not wrong because a fetus is not a person, but they mean that abortion doesn't really concern them.

Well, I'm an atheist, I think abortion should be a choice and I'm not justifying it by pretending "it doesn't matter". It actually concerns me, and that is the only reason I have an opinion on this matter.

Maybe next time you talk about yourself, you shouldn't just say "atheists".
Of course I was generallising. I'm always going to get challenged when I make bold statements such as "they say" such and such "but they mean" something different.

Fine, and you are correct to tell me I am way off.
Generally with regards to abortion atheists argue from the perspective of:
Personhood
Rights
Sentience
Nervous system and pain

But I can't help but notice that there are no social dangers with regards to abortion. A woman aborts her fetus and it causes no further conflict or dangers to society or myself.
Whether you reasons are religious or empathy or moral beliefs or rights beliefs. I'm not too concerned with those reasons and I don't see them as enough reason to legilate law and interfere with other people over.

I interfere only when my life, my loved ones lives or the society I live in is in danger.
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17-03-2014, 06:19 PM
RE: Everything we do is for our own benefit
(17-03-2014 12:33 AM)Tartarus Sauce Wrote:  What you are describing is extreme psychological egoism and I find it to be one of the most infantile depictions of the spectrum of human motivations. The central tenet of extreme psychological egoism is all humans act selfishly all the time, an untenable position which oversimplifies the complexity of human behavior.

Let me start with its fundamental assumption: It conflates the product of an action with the motivation of the action. This is one of extreme psychological egoism's main problems. All of the examples you just used? None of them actually prove that a person does any of those things with the main drive being the resultant state of emotion from the action, rather psychological egoism asserts this without evidence. While it may very well be true that pure self-interest was the main motivator, there is nothing inherent within the logic of the situation stating that motivation and result couldn't be disentangled, ie: that the resultant emotional state was simply that---a consequence--- while something else was fundamentally driving the action.

This is more obvious in extreme situations where the childish and unsatisfactory nature of extreme psychological egoism is exposed. Suppose a child has been kidnapped or is in some sort of danger. Extreme psychological egoism would state that the parents have no real concern over their child's well being, but that they are just responding and acting in regards to their own negative emotional state or worries over the resultant state (if child is harmed/killed I will be sad/ therefore I will save child so I can be happy). Any of the numerous parents on this board will inform you of what total bullshit such a conclusion is and how their concerns for their children completely transcend egotistical boundaries (there are, of course, shitty parents out there as well).

Lastly, extreme psychological egoism falls short of any explanation for multiple human behaviors. Let's take selfless sacrifice as an example. There have been thousands of cases throughout history of sane, healthy people dying for some "greater cause:" self-immolation, self-starvation, other types of suicidal protests, soldiers saving their comrades from certain death by hurling themselves on top of a grenade, etc. Extreme psychological egoism doesn't have any explanation for this type of behavior since the resultant state of such actions is the destruction of the ego and the consciousness it uses as a vessel.

Rather than adhere to some ludicrous and unnecessary absolute, universally binding statement, I suggest looking into moderate psychological egoism, which modifies the principle: most people will act mostly out of self-interest most of the time. This is a much easier to defend position which makes far fewer unwarranted assumptions and allows leeway for other factors to have influence on the myriad of intricacies surrounding human motivations and behavior.
Well fucking said! Thumbsup

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17-03-2014, 08:28 PM
RE: Everything we do is for our own benefit
I think it boils down to priorities. I may sacrifice something in order for someone else to benefit, but I'd be lying if I wasn't left with some sense of happiness knowing I've helped another. BUT, the motivator isn't my happiness, it's instead the well being of another. My own happiness being a byproduct of it all.

As long as what drives your sense of altruism isn't self interest, I think it's all good.

Every silver lining, has a cloud. Drinking Beverage
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17-03-2014, 09:21 PM
RE: Everything we do is for our own benefit
Another point is that, obviously, what we do always affects us to some extent. It would be dumb to just make something good for others in the most self-damaging way possible. If I had to help someone, I'd try to do it in such a way that it would either benefit me too or at least don't damage me. So we can find that benefit in most situations, it doesn't mean it's the sole purpose of our actions, at most it can be used as a measure of our creativity to make win-win situations

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17-03-2014, 09:32 PM
RE: Everything we do is for our own benefit
(17-03-2014 09:21 PM)nach_in Wrote:  It would be dumb to just make something good for others in the most self-damaging way possible.
And of course there are dumb people, or people with altruistic beliefs, or situations were people behave irrationally or randomly.

There are all sorts of reasons why people may do things that appear altruistic.

In my view there is no such thing as "good" and no such thing as an eternal reward for doing "good" deeds or for being a "good" person. So a person doing something for the sake of good either has a belief in good and a desire (goal) to be good or they are acting irrationally.

Hmm, I'm not quite sure if acting on a belief is counted as being irrational or not.
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17-03-2014, 09:40 PM
RE: Everything we do is for our own benefit
(17-03-2014 09:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(17-03-2014 09:21 PM)nach_in Wrote:  It would be dumb to just make something good for others in the most self-damaging way possible.
And of course there are dumb people, or people with altruistic beliefs, or situations were people behave irrationally or randomly.

There are all sorts of reasons why people may do things that appear altruistic.

In my view there is no such thing as "good" and no such thing as an eternal reward for doing "good" deeds or for being a "good" person. So a person doing something for the sake of good either has a belief in good and a desire (goal) to be good or they are acting irrationally.

Hmm, I'm not quite sure if acting on a belief is counted as being irrational or not.

technically everything you do is based on the belief that you're not just a brain in a jar.
And "good" depends on how you define your morals. Drinking Beverage

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17-03-2014, 09:53 PM
RE: Everything we do is for our own benefit
(17-03-2014 09:40 PM)nach_in Wrote:  And "good" depends on how you define your morals. Drinking Beverage
I don't have any. Tongue
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17-03-2014, 10:04 PM
RE: Everything we do is for our own benefit
(17-03-2014 09:53 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(17-03-2014 09:40 PM)nach_in Wrote:  And "good" depends on how you define your morals. Drinking Beverage
I don't have any. Tongue

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17-03-2014, 10:29 PM
RE: Everything we do is for our own benefit
Altruism isn't based on objective or subjective morality. Much research has shown that it's a component of evolution. Smile

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17-03-2014, 10:56 PM
RE: Everything we do is for our own benefit
(17-03-2014 10:29 PM)Deidre32 Wrote:  Altruism isn't based on objective or subjective morality. Much research has shown that it's a component of evolution. Smile
If altruism is based on doing "good" (without expectation of self gain) and an amoralist (moral nihilist) doesn't believe in "good" then how can an amoralist strive to do good for good's sake?

If I do "good" then it is purely coincidental. My motives are something other than good's sake.
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