altruism
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01-07-2017, 10:55 AM
RE: altruism
(01-07-2017 10:43 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  Next I'd like you to define your terms.

Definition was repeatedlygiven. Fact that you're too stupid to find it isn't my problem.

Tip - check my first answer to you.

Quote:I am repeatedly being told that I am wrong. I have defined my term.

Yes, for some reason you cling to one definition.

Quote:The definition of Altruism which I have provided makes it clear that Altrusim is evil.

No. It's you who think that definition you provided makes altruism evil and that's different. Your opinion is not fact.

Quote:Instead of just saying "That's not the definition" give me an alternative, who knows perhaps I may agree with you.

Alternative was given so I suppose you just continue your trolling here. Hardly surprising.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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01-07-2017, 11:35 AM
RE: altruism
(01-07-2017 10:43 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  Vera id like to thank both you and Szuchow for the down checks.

Next I'd like you to define your terms. I am repeatedly being told that I am wrong. I have defined my term. The definition of Altruism which I have provided makes it clear that Altrusim is evil. Instead of just saying "That's not the definition" give me an alternative, who knows perhaps I may agree with you. *If you use the term selfless in your definition of Altruism I will also need you to define this terms as well.

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The rest is adolescent gibberish, as usual.

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01-07-2017, 12:19 PM
RE: altruism
(25-06-2017 09:13 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  So i made a comment on a post i made about The Good Book about how i don't trust altruism. I don't want to divert that thread but i think its important to address an objection made. This is an area where i seriously have to criticize atheist. So many atheist i have talked to don't read the origins of various ideas and ask "where did this idea come from and why did this person believe it.". Altruism is a Christian idea,and its a bad Christian idea. To define altruism simply its the belief that the only moral actions are those in which the actor gets no benefit. Not only is this unrealistic it is contrary to human psychology. Even if the only reason someone does something is for a sense of moral superiority.

I only help people for selfish reasons. If its someone i know and care about i help them because i want them to be happy. If it is someone i don't know i help them because one day i might need help. I do not trust altruism, or people who claim to act from selfless reasons.

The origin of altruism was an attempt to provide a secular ethic in the context of comte's belief in the fallen nature of man. So many times we atheist either don't question how theist beliefs shape even atheist scientists ideas.

When you give $1000 to a homeless shelter for selfish reasons, and I give $1000 for reasons that I believe are altruistic, guess what happens?

Homeless people get a place to lay their head.

Who gives a shit why people are giving? The only thing that matters is that people keep giving for as long as there is a need.
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02-07-2017, 02:47 AM
RE: altruism
(01-07-2017 12:19 PM)Aliza Wrote:  When you give $1000 to a homeless shelter for selfish reasons, and I give $1000 for reasons that I believe are altruistic, guess what happens?

Homeless people get a place to lay their head.
I am going to address this post first because it will take the least time.
In the scenario you lay out I want to examine my own personal motives and provide a reasoned argument as to why I would take this action, before delving into the motives of the person who acts for "altruistic" reasons.

So why would I an admittedly selfish person donate money (of any amount to a homeless shelter). I would and have donated money and time to homeless shelters and here are my reasons.
1) I have been homeless three times in my life. Once when I was ten and my mother was extremely sick I lived on the street for about three months until my mother could get back on her feet and someone stepped into to help her. Once when I was a teen and my mother caught me in bed with another boy. And a third time when I was in my early twenties (by choice). Each of these times had a profound effect on me and my view of the world and how it works. I know that it is possible that at any time I could be homeless again for reasons that are simply out of my control (a natural disaster for example). If such a thing where to happen I would want something to be there for me. Additionally I hold that a rising tide lifts all boats. Given that "no man is an island" helping others increase their wellbeing leads to a happier less stressed society, which in turn will lead to less stress in my own life (think Pay It Forward). Where as allowing a general lack of wellbeing to fester the unwellbeing begins to act like a cancer and spreads from person to person. Think of a situation in which things were either neutral or "good" and someone comes in with a bad attitude and it spreads like a disease. Thus I have a vested interest in the wellbeing of those I interact with and hoping to turn them into spreaders of the wellbeing inoculation.


Quote:Who gives a shit why people are giving? The only thing that matters is that people keep giving for as long as there is a need.

Thank you. I sincerely mean it. You have managed to strike directly at the heart of the matter with this single question. At the same time I am troubled by the implication of the assertion after. You explicitly make clear that ones motives are irrelevant. This very quickly descends into "the ends justify the means". What is often times ignored is that the ends are the means. An unjust means always leads to an unjust ends, or put another way "A wrong cannot make a right".

To address your question as to why it matters more directly lets examine the homeless shelter. I will not under any circumstances give money to a religious or religiously affiliated homeless shelter. These individuals claim to act from altruism. However (and I speak from first hand experience with several of these institutions) if we examine their motives more closely what we see is that they use this "altruism" as an "in". The receiver of the selfless act is not allowed (lest they seem rude) to question the motives. While most of these organizations won't go so far as to expel someone who does question the people who organize and run the charity make it clear that you are unwelcome if you continue to question.

Having said all of this I would like for you to define what you mean by altruism. For all I know we may be using two different words to explain the same concept.
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02-07-2017, 03:41 AM
RE: altruism
(01-07-2017 10:55 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(01-07-2017 10:43 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  Next I'd like you to define your terms.

Definition was repeatedlygiven. Fact that you're too stupid to find it isn't my problem.

Tip - check my first answer to you.

I disagree. Here's how Cambridge dictionary defines altruism: willingness to do things that bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself.

Here is definition from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: In evolutionary biology, an organism is said to behave altruistically when its behaviour benefits other organisms, at a cost to itself
I do not see how this is any different than Comte's definition. Further it is a claim without any actual explanation.

Let us refer here to Aliza's example of a homeless shelter.

Bill donates $1000 to a homeless shelter. This statement about Bill says nothing of his motives. If Bill is a multi-millionaire can he really be said to have been disadvantaged by what amounts to a one time donation of pocket change? No so this is not altruism by your definition.

What if Bill is not a multi-millionaire but he uses the $1000 as a tax write off? Again this is not altruism according to your definition.

Or let us say that Bill is a Christian and he believes that helping Christian charities is a good way to spread the gospel and indoctrinate new members. After all if you help someone get off the street, find a job, and give all the praise to an invisible sky daddy associated with your church you will have a person who is motivated to remain loyal to the flock.

I could give more examples but let us ask what an actual act of altruism in the case of bill would look like. Bill needs to pay rent, but instead he gives a $1000 dollars to a homeless shelter.
Quote:
Quote:I am repeatedly being told that I am wrong. I have defined my term.

Yes, for some reason you cling to one definition.
again I ask how is the definition you gave different than that of Comte? All three definitions (both of your's and Comte's) require that the actor receive no benefit, on the contrary "a cost to itself" or "a disadvantage for yourself" lines up perfectly with Comte's self sacrifice model.

Quote:
Quote:The definition of Altruism which I have provided makes it clear that Altrusim is evil.

No. It's you who think that definition you provided makes altruism evil and that's different. Your opinion is not fact.

I disagree. Here's how Cambridge dictionary defines altruism: willingness to do things that bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself.

Here is definition from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: In evolutionary biology, an organism is said to behave altruistically when its behaviour benefits other organisms, at a cost to itself.

According to these definitions the actor receives a negative value in return for a positive value. I personally have never seen or heard of an act of altruism which cannot be explained by other motives. Given that I am incapable of reading someone else's mind to search for their motives I am forced to make the most educated assumption I can about their motives. Whenever I come across someone who claims altruistic motives, they are not acting altruistically, or I discover is that they are invariably snake oil sales men who values the appearance of altruism.

Further assuming altruism on the part of others is a good way to get scammed. Where as the skeptical approach of looking at what the actor gets out of an action is a more reliable method of avoiding fraud.

I would like to ask for an example of altruism according to your own definition. Further I would like to know how and why assuming altruism on the part of the actor is better than assuming self interest.

Quote:Instead of just saying "That's not the definition" give me an alternative, who knows perhaps I may agree with you.

Alternative was given so I suppose you just continue your trolling here. Hardly surprising.
[/quote]
How was the definition you gave different than Comte's?

I wish to make a comment for a moment on people who make honest attempts to defend or explain altruism. There are people who do believe in altruism and do so in good faith. Many of these people from what I can tell are genuinely good people. That being said they are making a positive claim that altruism exists. As a skeptic I find the evidence inconclusive at the very best.
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02-07-2017, 03:46 AM
RE: altruism
(01-07-2017 11:35 AM)Vera Wrote:  
(01-07-2017 10:43 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  Vera id like to thank both you and Szuchow for the down checks.

Next I'd like you to define your terms. I am repeatedly being told that I am wrong. I have defined my term. The definition of Altruism which I have provided makes it clear that Altrusim is evil. Instead of just saying "That's not the definition" give me an alternative, who knows perhaps I may agree with you. *If you use the term selfless in your definition of Altruism I will also need you to define this terms as well.

TIP: Whining about reps in a thread is considered extremely pathetic and petty. Drinking Beverage

The rest is adolescent gibberish, as usual.
As to your "tip" you are assuming that I am not being sincere in my thanks. I have serious criticisms of reputation systems, first and foremost that they tend to be a reinforcing mechanism of group think. That however is neither here nor there at the moment.

I may be repeating my adolescent gibberish but please provide a definition of altruism and selfless. You are asserting that my definition is wrong without providing an alternative. I do not see how asking you to clarify terms so that we can have a coherent conversation about a subject is adolescent.
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02-07-2017, 03:51 AM
RE: altruism
(27-06-2017 02:17 AM)abaris Wrote:  
(26-06-2017 08:30 PM)Dr H Wrote:  But the concept of altruism certainly predates the coinage of the term, by a number of centuries. Selflessness is a theme in Plato, and the Buddha discoursed on selfless compassion a good 400 years before there was such a thing as "Christianity".

Humanity only has a word for it. But selflessness or morality is something every social species has and always had. It's one of the foundations that make living together possible. Without rules and every member looking out for other members of the group it would be chaos. That even applies to ants.
Is this an assumption like the Christian assumption for a creator? Using the scientific method is there a way the concept of altruism could be proven wrong?

(Somebody ask the logical question)
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02-07-2017, 03:59 AM
RE: altruism
(02-07-2017 03:51 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  
(27-06-2017 02:17 AM)abaris Wrote:  Humanity only has a word for it. But selflessness or morality is something every social species has and always had. It's one of the foundations that make living together possible. Without rules and every member looking out for other members of the group it would be chaos. That even applies to ants.
Is this an assumption like the Christian assumption for a creator? Using the scientific method is there a way the concept of altruism could be proven wrong?

(Somebody ask the logical question)

Maybe, if you understood the scientific method.

Altruism has been observed in other species, most notably our primate cousins. Just about any animal with sufficient intelligence and social structure will display similar actions. We often see this in kin-selection.

Kin Selection
natural selection in favor of behavior by individuals that may decrease their chance of survival but increases that of their kin (who share a proportion of their genes).

So to answer your question, do all relatively intelligent sociable animals display nothing but anarchic self-serving behavior? Is the animal kingdom nothing but Ayan Rand inspired anarcho-capitalist libertarians? No. All you need is a single, demonstrable example of altruism in the animal kingdom to invalidate the premise 'there is no altruism in the animal kingdom', and we have way more than just a single example.

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02-07-2017, 04:29 AM (This post was last modified: 02-07-2017 04:40 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: altruism
(02-07-2017 03:41 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  I do not see how this is any different than Comte's definition.

Then you're twice the fool I thought you were.

You defined altruism as: its the belief that the only moral actions are those in which the actor gets no benefit. You may or or may not take this definition from Comte, but if you not then Comte allegedly thought that altruism is living for the sake of others.

How is this the same as willingness to do things that bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself I can't guess.

Hint - your trolling is transparent now.

Quote:Further it is a claim without any actual explanation.

Check the dictionary if you need words used there explained.

Quote:Let us refer here to Aliza's example of a homeless shelter.

Let's not. Aliza example is her's to comment on.

Quote:again I ask how is the definition you gave different than that of Comte? All three definitions (both of your's and Comte's) require that the actor receive no benefit, on the contrary "a cost to itself" or "a disadvantage for yourself" lines up perfectly with Comte's self sacrifice model.

Being willing to do things for others that bring you disadvantage isn't the same as living for others. Can't see the difference? Tough shit.

Quote:I disagree. Here's how Cambridge dictionary defines altruism: willingness to do things that bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself.

Here is definition from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: In evolutionary biology, an organism is said to behave altruistically when its behaviour benefits other organisms, at a cost to itself.

You think that quoting definitions I used will convince me that your inane stance about altruism being evil is somehow sensible? Laugh out load

Quote:According to these definitions the actor receives a negative value in return for a positive value. I personally have never seen or heard of an act of altruism which cannot be explained by other motives. Given that I am incapable of reading someone else's mind to search for their motives I am forced to make the most educated assumption I can about their motives. Whenever I come across someone who claims altruistic motives, they are not acting altruistically, or I discover is that they are invariably snake oil sales men who values the appearance of altruism.

Further assuming altruism on the part of others is a good way to get scammed. Where as the skeptical approach of looking at what the actor gets out of an action is a more reliable method of avoiding fraud.

And that is supposed to be your proof for altruism being evil? If so then you should spare a little time and just write "altruism is evil cause I'm shitty person so I think others are too".

Quote:I would like to ask for an example of altruism according to your own definition.

Going with person x who is random stranger to place y - I lost time that I could used much more productively, while person x found the place that she didn't knew where it was. Also she now know how to get there in the future.

Here we see (minor to mild) disadvantage and (minor to mild, depending on circumstances) advantage.

Quote:Further I would like to know how and why assuming altruism on the part of the actor is better than assuming self interest.

I said nothing about such so I don't give a shit about what you would like to know.

Quote:How was the definition you gave different than Comte's?

Bolding the question only serves to highlight your inability of seeing the difference. Or just idiocy to say it plainly.

(02-07-2017 03:46 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  As to your "tip" you are assuming that I am not being sincere in my thanks. I have serious criticisms of reputation systems, first and foremost that they tend to be a reinforcing mechanism of group think. That however is neither here nor there at the moment.

You have serious criticism of rep system but you wrote about this only when your foolishness got you neg repped? Sure.

Another hint - complaining about rep is sure sign of being troll. But then you unmasked yourself already so I suppose there is no reason for not going into full troll mode.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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02-07-2017, 06:25 AM
RE: altruism
(02-07-2017 04:29 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(02-07-2017 03:41 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  I do not see how this is any different than Comte's definition.

Then you're twice the fool I thought you were.

You defined altruism as: its the belief that the only moral actions are those in which the actor gets no benefit. You may or or may not take this definition from Comte, but if you not then Comte allegedly thought that altruism is living for the sake of others.

How is this the same as willingness to do things that bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself I can't guess.

Both definitions make the assumption that self sacrifice is a virtue. What I am asking is this "Is self sacrifice a virtue?".
Now I do have to make a concession and I am more than willing to make this concession here. Comte's definition is a more radical and extreme version than the other two. Comte claims that only actions which don't benefit the individual are moral. Where as the other two examples appear to leave open the possibility for self interested virtuous action.

What I don't see, what I haven't seen, and what nobody has ever been able to provide is evidence that self sacrifice 1) exists and 2) is a virtue. Show me the evidence that it exists. Explain how it is a virtue.

Have you seen Matt Dillahunty's debate "Was Jesus Raised from the Dead?". When he asks Mike Licona to define supernatural can't. This is what I mean when I said "Further it is a claim without any actual explanation.". To clarify the statement, the claim of those who support altruism is that self sacrifice is a moral virtue. In addition truth claims about altruism are all anecdotal. People wish for altruism to be a virtue so they preform project altruism onto animals and onto people. When however one examines the truth claim "X action was altruistic" there are more probable explanations when it comes to humans. When people start pointing to animals for their claims the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. This is because we know far less about animal psychology and psychophysiology than we do humans. And while what we know about humans is a lot compared to 100 years ago, it's a drop in the bucket compared to what we don't know, and we can actually provide feed back to the experimenters.

Quote:Being willing to do things for others that bring you disadvantage isn't the same as living for others. Can't see the difference?
What I see is a difference in scale not a difference in principle. Why is self sacrifice a virtue, and when is self sacrifice not a virtue.

I'm going to ask you to stop with the ad hominem attacks. Because I do not believe in altruism, and because I believe that altruism is a scam does not make me "shitty". It is possible to hold honest contrary view points and have a civilized conversation. It is even okay to have different conclusions with the same information. Attacking people instead of their ideas however only makes them less receptive to what you are saying.

To your example
Quote:Going with person x who is random stranger to place y - I lost time that I could used much more productively, while person x found the place that she didn't knew where it was. Also she now know how to get there in the future.

Here we see (minor to mild) disadvantage and (minor to mild, depending on circumstances) advantage.

I believe that empathy actually explains your actions better than the concept of altruism. I would like to ask a few questions about the scenario you provided. What were you going to do instead of guide person x? what is the threshold you set that guiding person x is cost prohibitive? For example if you had an eye doctors appointment for a simple check up and if you miss your appointment it will be another month before they can see you again, would you still guide person x? What if it wasn't just a check up but you needed to replace your glasses?

Without more detail the reason I think empathy fits as a better explanation than altruism is pain reduction. Having been lost myself I know how frightening this can be, especially when you are in a new and unknown environment. When I see someone who is obviously lost I feel that same pain again even if not to the same extent. I also know that I have felt better when some stranger offered to help me out and especially showed me where I needed to actually get to. In hopes that under the same circumstances someone would help me in the future I would selfishly assist person x.

I made it bold to emphasize the question. It was in fact the most important part of the entire post. I am trying to make sure that we are on the same page.

As to
Quote:You have serious criticism of rep system but you wrote about this only when your foolishness got you neg repped? Sure.
I thanked you for the down check if you remember. Again it was an honest thanks. You made a comment about my thanking you so I thought to explain. I do not want this to become the focus so I am dropping it now and forever unless there is a relevant thread dedicated to the subject.

Let me give an example as to why I think the concept of altruism is evil. I will use something you posted as the example.

Quote: If so then you should spare a little time and just write "altruism is evil cause I'm shitty person so I think others are too".
The underlying implication here?
1) Altruism is a virtue.
2) Altruism is evil because I'm a shitty person.
3) If you do not believe in altruism you are a shitty person.
4) It is not possible to be a good person without altruism.
5) Acting from selfish motives is not virtuous.
6) Doing things for selfish reasons does not mean you are acting ethically.
7) Self interest cannot be the basis of any ethical code.

And finally

Cambridge dictionary defines altruism: willingness to do things that bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: In evolutionary biology, an organism is said to behave altruistically when its behaviour benefits other organisms, at a cost to itself

Comte: The only real life is the collective life of the race; individual life has no existence except as an abstraction.

A simple and honest question what is the difference between the definitions 1 and 2 vs definition 3. As admitted above there is a difference in scale, a difference in scale however is not a difference in the underlying principle. If the underlying principle in 1 and 2 is different than the underlying principle in 3 then please explain how.
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