do you sometimes think "screw it, i do as i please"?
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21-01-2013, 04:34 AM
RE: do you sometimes think "screw it, i do as i please"?
(21-01-2013 04:19 AM)Vera Wrote:  
(21-01-2013 04:02 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  I get you, and I agree. Even when people, say, donate to charity, they're doing it because it makes them feel good to do it, it feels right to them. Everything we do is just because it feels right to us. But, behaving responsibly in society usually feels right to most of us, most of the time. That's a good thing. Society without that would be, well, vexatious.
Excuse me, but I've heard this before and it was just as badly substantiated. Yeah, a lot of people give because it makes them feel good (I still do not see what so wrong with that, but never mind). What about people who go work in orphanages, or with HIV positive kids in the middle of a war-torn and famine infested area, and are surrounded by so much suffering and horrors, that we cannot imagine, yet they stay on; Médecins Sans Frontières; people who go to Pakistan to do polio vaccines, only to be shot by militants? Yeah, there are a lot of selfish people who can't see beyond their own gratification. And there are a lot who can and/or who derive pleasure from helping those who truly need help and easing the suffering of others. So please, do not belittle the lives and efforts of those, just because "it gives them pleasure" or because we do not all do it.

If this is selfishness, I strongly prefer it to the selfishness that leads one to thinking it's all about them, that their interests always com first or that everybody is like them.
No, no, no, I wasn't implying that selfish desire to feel good for charity is the only reason people do it.

However, I'm willing to bet that a whole lot less charity would be done if doing charitable work actually, literally, made us feel as crappy as the way most of us feel when we have to do something really awful, like telling someone they lost a beloved relative for example - if donating to the Red Cross made us feel that lousy, not nearly as many people would do it.

Charity helps people. That's why we do it. But also it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside when we do it - that's the positive reinforcement that makes us all actually like doing charity. Consider that amputating a gangrenous limb helps that person, but nobody feels warm and fuzzy doing it - sure, doctors do it to save lives but they don't like it.

Sometimes we do what we have to because we just have to, but usually we also do it because it feels right (and usually that also means it feels good) to do it. Even that doctor amputating the limb knows he's doing the right thing and should probably feel good about saving that life, even if he's not feeling too warm and fuzzy at that moment.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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21-01-2013, 04:48 AM
RE: do you sometimes think "screw it, i do as i please"?
(21-01-2013 04:34 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  No, no, no, I wasn't implying that selfish desire to feel good for charity is the only reason people do it.

However, I'm willing to bet that a whole lot less charity would be done if doing charitable work actually, literally, made us feel as crappy as the way most of us feel when we have to do something really awful, like telling someone they lost a beloved relative for example - if donating to the Red Cross made us feel that lousy, not nearly as many people would do it.

Charity helps people. That's why we do it. But also it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside when we do it - that's the positive reinforcement that makes us all actually like doing charity. Consider that amputating a gangrenous limb helps that person, but nobody feels warm and fuzzy doing it - sure, doctors do it to save lives but they don't like it.

Sometimes we do what we have to because we just have to, but usually we also do it because it feels right (and usually that also means it feels good) to do it. Even that doctor amputating the limb knows he's doing the right thing and should probably feel good about saving that life, even if he's not feeling too warm and fuzzy at that moment.
Okay, this sounds much more reasonable. Smile

Plus, why is it that some people feel good when they help someone, while others get the same gratification when they kill, for example? It is all chemical reactions and stuff going on in our brains, so I think that this is not a good enough reason to discard such acts as purely selfish and on the same level of someone going on a holiday or buying themselves something new, for an example (a very basic one, but still...)

Also, in many cases it's a matter of conscious choice - to do what is right, even if there are other things that are possibly easier and more immediately gratifying.

So yeah, I do not agree we only live for ourselves and do what is best and most pleasurable to us, as individuals. If we all did, we'd be living in one sorry society indeed (or sorrier than the one we have right now).

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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24-01-2013, 09:47 PM
RE: do you sometimes think "screw it, i do as i please"?
Well being good to others is a survival strategy that has worked for much longer than you or I have been around. You can do what you please sometimes. Lying and stealing can be very beneficial. However think about this, lets say you go around doing as you please all the time with no regard to others safety or well being. If you steal from someone they may come steal from you. If you murder someone's family they may come murder you. If you were in a colony of ten people and one person showed to be untrustworthy the majority of the time do you think he would be better off or worse off? I get my morals from something my dad taught me, treat people as you wish to be treated. For two reasons (not just because he said so) 1. The fact that I am not a sociopath disallows me from doing anything and not feeling bad (empathy). 2. I do not like the feeling of having to watch my back, It creates anxiety to live in such a way that I think (what if that guy i screwed over sees me?) So from a pure nature standpoint doing as you please with no regard to others is a horrible strategy if you wish to simply survive as a physical species.
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24-01-2013, 10:29 PM
RE: do you sometimes think "screw it, i do as i please"?
I've decided to change my position to do it, screw as I please.

I'm currently interviewing victims.
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25-01-2013, 03:16 PM
RE: do you sometimes think "screw it, i do as i please"?
Because it is within our nature to be compassionate, empathetic and cooperative and because we have developed moral standards.

The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.
-Karl Marx


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