altruism
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02-07-2017, 06:52 AM
RE: altruism
(02-07-2017 03:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(02-07-2017 03:51 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  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.
Up front I am not a capitalist. If anything I am closer to Emma Goldman than Ayn Rand, though I do think the two agreed on more than they disagreed on.

Let's delve deeper into the scientific method when it comes to altruism. What would the null hypothesis involving altruism look like?

As far as "altruism" appearing in other species, this is the claim which I find most incredulous about altruism. Wouldn't empathy explain their motives just as well? Empathy is not altruism.
Quote: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.
1) My premise is not "There is not altruism in the animal kingdom", it is "I do not see sufficient evidence for altruism in the animal kingdom to believe in it."
2) What examples I have seen seem to be a form of anthropogenic wish fulfillment. I haven't even seen sufficient evidence of altruism in Humans (who by the way are a species in the animal kingdom). If you want to claim altruism exists that is where you start, not with animals who are incapable of providing real time feed back on their motives. As I said before I find empathy to be a better explanation than altruism.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of altruism. Because I do not know why an animal or for that matter a person took a particular action that appears to have no benefit, does not mean that said action in fact had no benefit.

Claiming to see evidence in other species before it's even proved in humans is like hypothesizing that circumcision reduces aids and then comparing the US to African countries. It's just dishonest. You start with examining numbers in the US. Then you move to close cousins (Canada and Europe). Not some third world hellhole like Somalia (mice).
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02-07-2017, 07:08 AM (This post was last modified: 02-07-2017 07:52 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: altruism
(02-07-2017 06:25 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  Both definitions make the assumption that self sacrifice is a virtue.

Do they? Or it is you who make such assumption? Also is altruism really the same as self sacrifice as you seemingly imply?

Quote:What I am asking is this "Is self sacrifice a virtue?".

Depend on who you ask I suppose.

Quote: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.

Should I also prove to you that god does not exist?

If self sacrifice is giving up what you want so that other people can have what they want then giving piece of cake to one sibling can be considered it.

As for it being virtue it is you who started with the virtues. Why should I try to prove something so dense that he isn't capable of seeing numberless if tiny acts of self sacrifice done daily?

Quote: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.

Why you ask me about self sacrifice?

Quote:I'm going to ask you to stop with the ad hominem attacks.

You're idiot believing that Soviet Union was altruistic society. Therefore calling you on idiocy isn't ad hominem, just unpleasant truth. There's also thing about you being clueless troll.

Quote:Because I do not believe in altruism, and because I believe that altruism is a scam does not make me "shitty".

I beg to differ.

Quote:It is possible to hold honest contrary view points and have a civilized conversation.

Sure.

Quote:It is even okay to have different conclusions with the same information.

Let's say that I agree.

Quote:Attacking people instead of their ideas however only makes them less receptive to what you are saying.

So? Why I should care about troll like yourself being receptive to what I write?

Rest of your drivel isn't even worth commenting. You trolling was kinda funny before, now you crossed line into simple idiocy. Never you seen self sacrifice (as defined above)? Give me a break troll. And consider yourself blocked - you were mildly entertaining, now you're just annoying.

Edit: With this post you lost any credibility you could possibly have. Should have ended "discussion" back then but one can't always act rational I suppose.

Edit 2: I see you wrote something. Consider this though: [The contents of this message are hidden because BlkFnx is on your ignore list.]

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.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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02-07-2017, 07:43 AM
RE: altruism
(02-07-2017 07:08 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Edit: With this post you lost any credibility you could possibly have. Should have ended "discussion" back then but one can't always act rational I suppose.
So i need to go to sleep so i will answer the rest of this later. For now i will ask, was comunism as practiced by the USSR in line with Comte's definition of altruism. Furthermore was the writings of marx not in line with comte's definition. I am not asking if you agree with the definition only if the concept as related by comte is or is not in line with soviet communist philosophy.
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02-07-2017, 09:33 AM (This post was last modified: 02-07-2017 09:44 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: altruism
(02-07-2017 06:25 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  Both definitions make the assumption that self sacrifice is a virtue. What I am asking is this "Is self sacrifice a virtue?".

"Only in darkness are we revealed. Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage. Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit, without hope, without witness, without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis." - Moffat

#sigh
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02-07-2017, 09:43 AM
RE: altruism
(25-06-2017 10:36 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  The morality of altruism, whether it is secular or religiously inspired has one motive: to instill guilt. It has as it's goal death because that is the noblest thing according to it because it is not about living and prospering but about sacrificing and giving up.

From what I can tell, the fundamental goal of altruism is self-abrogation through self-dissolution and self-annihilation. It seems rather strange to call that selfish to me.

#sigh
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02-07-2017, 11:57 PM
RE: altruism
(02-07-2017 09:33 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(02-07-2017 06:25 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  Both definitions make the assumption that self sacrifice is a virtue. What I am asking is this "Is self sacrifice a virtue?".

"Only in darkness are we revealed. Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage. Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit, without hope, without witness, without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis." - Moffat
And you don't see how disgusting that is?
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03-07-2017, 01:20 AM
RE: altruism
(02-07-2017 02:47 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  
(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.

The definition of altruism that I’m using is whatever came up when I googled the word. It doesn’t matter, though. The motive behind your donation has no bearing on the buying power of your money.

This whole argument is so Christianish, being so concerned about people’s intentions. I’m going to share a little bit of Jewish wisdom here, because I think it applies. You cannot tell with absolute certainty what another person’s true intentions are because you cannot experience life from anyone’s perspective other than your own. Plain and simple, all we can do is evaluate actions. Don’t worry so much about the thoughts people have in their heads.

Now, you may not like the actions of a particular homeless shelter for one reason or another. Fine. So don’t give your money to that shelter and if you’re ever in a situation of need in the future, don’t take advantage of their services. That’s a beautiful thing about charitable services; you can choose not to participate. It's been my personal experience that most people on the receiving end of emergency services are just happy to get the help, and the motives of the donors who made it all possible never enters the equation. I think for the most part, the system works well. Donors give money to the organizations of their choosing that in turn provide services to those in need.

By the way, you did mention that Christian shelters won't kick you out, but they let you know that you're unwelcome to stay if you keep questioning (presumably) their system of beliefs? Dude, you're getting three hots and a cot from these people, and various connections to rehabilitative services, and you can't just be a good guest and not argue with them about Jesus? Come on, now. There's a time and a place.
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03-07-2017, 05:23 AM
RE: altruism
Quote:The definition of altruism that I’m using is whatever came up when I googled the word. It doesn’t matter, though. The motive behind your donation has no bearing on the buying power of your money.

Quote:This whole argument is so Christianish, being so concerned about people’s intentions. I’m going to share a little bit of Jewish wisdom here, because I think it applies. You cannot tell with absolute certainty what another person’s true intentions are because you cannot experience life from anyone’s perspective other than your own. Plain and simple, all we can do is evaluate actions. Don’t worry so much about the thoughts people have in their heads.
So your saying that we should not seek to decrease falsehoods and increase truth (congruence with actuality)? I evaluate peoples actions in an tempt to discern their motives.

Bob is a wealthy man. Bob founds and donates to X who's stated goal is to increase "family planning". Over the past decade he has raised and spent millions of dollars promoting "responsible family planning" and his campaigns seem to be successful. His work with the foundation has brought him and his company recognition and applause increasing his companies visibility and his ability to fund the foundation even more. 10% of facilities belonging to the foundation are in white lower income areas. 90% are in black lower income areas. What you don't know is that privately Bob supports eugenics, and while he doesn't want to push people into gas chambers he wants to decrease the 'less desirable' elements of the population over time.( Google American eugenics.). Should I not be concerned with bob's motives?

Christianity is an evil ideology. I doubt many here would nay say this fact. One of the more evil elements of Calvinist doctrine is the idea that suffering is a virtue. The more one suffers and sacrifices the greater the reward. Altruism is christianity without Christ, replacing "god" with "Society" and the idea that we can make the world a better place if only we sacrifice enough of ourselves to do so.

Quote: true scotsman Wrote:
The morality of altruism, whether it is secular or religiously inspired has one motive: to instill guilt. It has as it's goal death because that is the noblest thing according to it because it is not about living and prospering but about sacrificing and giving up.
if there is suffering and evil in the world then it is because you have not done enough, sacrificed enough. I never under any circumstance trust someone who tries to sell me on the idea that I should lose in order to make the world a better place. I will however always listen to the individual who attempts to appeal (even if indirectly) to what I gain by taking Y action.

This is why environmentalists fail. They appeal to altruism and try to guilt people into things. If they truly cared they would abandon their guilt claim and point out things like how much you would save buying LED bulbs over other kids of light bulbs.


Quote: Now, you may not like the actions of a particular homeless shelter for one reason or another. Fine. So don’t give your money to that shelter and if you’re ever in a situation of need in the future, don’t take advantage of their services. That’s a beautiful thing about charitable services; you can choose not to participate. It's been my personal experience that most people on the receiving end of emergency services are just happy to get the help, and the motives of the donors who made it all possible never enters the equation. I think for the most part, the system works well. Donors give money to the organizations of their choosing that in turn provide services to those in need.

By the way, you did mention that Christian shelters won't kick you out, but they let you know that you're unwelcome to stay if you keep questioning (presumably) their system of beliefs? Dude, you're getting three hots and a cot from these people, and various connections to rehabilitative services, and you can't just be a good guest and not argue with them about Jesus? Come on, now. There's a time and a place.
Yes there is a time and place, and that time and place is when someone injects Jesus where he has no business being. If Christians want to pray over a meal then that is fine. When a Christian attempts to publicly shame me during a prayer because I am a none believer, that is the time.

http://study.com/academy/lesson/control-...-quiz.html

I want you to go back and look at the last couple of exchanges between Szuchow and I. Look at the type of language that is being used by Szuchow and the way in which things are framed. According to Szuchow
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".
Translation: If you object to the concept of altruism then you are a shitty person. Period.

I am seriously tempted to find a "rational" deist god claim and just substitute "altruism" for god and post that to get my point across. Let me restate hopefully more clearly. I do not see sufficient evidence to believe in the truth claim that altruism actually exists. I do however see plenty of evidence that the concept of altruism is in fact destructive both to the individual and to the social order.
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03-07-2017, 05:39 AM
RE: altruism
(02-07-2017 11:57 PM)BlkFnx Wrote:  
(02-07-2017 09:33 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  "Only in darkness are we revealed. Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage. Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit, without hope, without witness, without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis." - Moffat
And you don't see how disgusting that is?

Why should I find it disgusting? It was one of Moffat's best episodes.

#sigh
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03-07-2017, 07:32 AM
RE: altruism
(03-07-2017 05:39 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(02-07-2017 11:57 PM)BlkFnx Wrote:  And you don't see how disgusting that is?

Why should I find it disgusting? It was one of Moffat's best episodes.
i will admit I don't know who moffat is. Perhaps there is context which would reshape the meaning of the statement you quoted but allow me to translate the quote as it stands.
Quote:only in the darkness are we revealed.
Depending on how this is meant i am not going to disagree with this.
Quote:Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage.
This statement excludes those that hold to the idea that helping their neighbors is helping oneself from the definition of good.
Quote:Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit, without hope, without witness, without reward.
unless the "good" is unwitnessed then it is not good. If we hold the idea that increasing the general wellbeing of those around us rewards us with increased personal wellbeing then we are excluded from the definition of good.
Quote:Virtue is ONLY virtue in extremis.
Thus virtue cannot be obtained in the mundane and ordinary.

So yes what he said is absolutely disgusting.

Just as not all mundane ordinary actions are virtuous, sometimes in the extremis there is no virtuous action, only a less evil choice.
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