I get by under the decision that it doesn't really matter whether good deeds are selfish or not. You can't win, you can only choose; It keeps coming down to that. Altruism is a cornerstone of higher society, and higher society is something I would really rather not lose, so I've chosen to support/preserve this higher society by whatever means at my disposal. If that means I'm altruistic, so be it. If that means I'm selfish, so be it.
...Or I could just be doing it for the high. I'm a selfish, selfish person.
High Society: Anything that can, within reason, be considered a significant social advancement. Equality, Justice, etc...
In case you were wondering what I meant by it.
"Quiiri ath metahn i'ashei?" Chronically Gephyrophobic
So, lately I have been wondering if all actions are selfish actions, including, actions not taken - these still being actions, of their own sort. The premise of my argument is; that an action cannot be selfless, as they selfishly benefit the enactor of the action in some way or form.
To clarify my position, I will provide some examples -- beginning with actions easily identified as selfish, and then moving onto ones slightly more controversial-- of misplaced faith in human selflessness and then breifly support this with my personal philosophies.
Please feel free to challenge my position or offer some examples or thoughts about this subject. I'm sure there are a few people out there who will disagree with me on this subject; such as, those with religious beliefs and perhaps those fond of a more poetic take on life.
Firstly, I will begin with necessary actions such as breathing, eating, drinking, etc.. These actions are selfish simply because they fulfill our need for survival. All necessary human functions serve a selfish desire - survival; these selfish desires are absolutely necessary for us to function.
Also, mundane actions that are unecessary to sustain ones life, medically, such as blinking, swallowing, showering, etc., are selfish as well, although the reasons as to why are not so straightforward, as they vary from action to action. I won't go into these.
COMPASSION AND KINDNESS ARE SELFISH
Nextly, actions that would be considered kind, selfless, or compassionate, are also selfish. A good imaginary example of this would be a rather poor old lady who, every weekend, gives dolls to children that are dying of cancer. The average mind, not stupid minds - mind you - but trained minds, would simply accept this seemingly selfless action as just that, selfless. This, I think, is incorrect.
There are multiple reasons as to why this granny could be behaving selfishly, it could be that she gets a warm and fuzzy feeling in her heart - thus she would be giving to recieve this emotion - when she sees the smiles on the childrens faces, or perhaps she believes that she is doing the work of god and wishes to make god happy - this is selfish if she were doing it for spiritual brownie points or even a feeling of closeness to or servitude to god -, or perhaps her daughter died of cancer and she's doing it to relieve herself of guilt or sadness.
I think a big reason as to why I consider this to be selfish is the chemical aspect of what's going on in her brain, as the pleasurable chemicals that cause positive emotions are addicting and extremely desirable. From a scientific standpoint, if she were be doing this for a good feeling, she would be doing it for a chemical reaction. Also, performing acts praised by society, such as what granny is doing, often elicit feelings self-worth and contribution, both of which are pleasurable feelings.
!!!!!! BIG FUCKING EDIT: - I forgot to clarify why I believe all actions are selfish.
ALL ACTIONS ARE SELFISH
All actions are selfish because in order to act, one has to have a driving internal desire to act. e.g.: Imagine you want a cup; you have a desire for you to reach for the cup, so if you reach for it, you will be fulfilling that desire. This thought can be translated into any action.