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  1. #81
    Senior Member Zangetshumody's Avatar
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    The reason why I don't quote the rest of your words, and deal with what you've written, is because its a semantic jungle of confusion. There is no such thing as an "act of being selfish", but as I have noted before, how you define selfish is so broad, it probably includes just about every intelligent willful action performed by humans, but luckily for everyone it has no power to slander our moral agency as it has no appreciation of moral deliberation.
    Escape powerful genjitsu by averting your gaze from the eyes.

  2. #82
    Senior Member Zangetshumody's Avatar
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    You cannot simply subtract everything you dislike from the equation in order to get the desired outcome. This is precisely what you're doing

    You do not know how to reason, saying something is so, does not make it so, state a case, do not give me some strange metaphor and then emphatically tell me that is exactly what I'm doing... What are you on? I have subtracted nothing, I have accounted for everything entirely. Do not make weak allegations, make an argument, you really make me feel like I'm wasting my time here...

    Details, please. It is easy to disagree, but hard for me to reason why, without proper explanation.

    Again, you don't know how to reason, I do not prove the negative, you prove the positive, I was showing you the hole in your 'argument'...

    /sigh, in other words, I was pointing out to you that your text comprised of this fatal error in reasoning, I cant believe your making me spell out the consequences of your own words:
    If someone will do something that will have consequences, and one of those consequences are positive, that positive consequence must be a motivation for the willed action; that was the substance of your text; now again your going to probably say something stupid like: "I never said that", but that it is exactly what your text amounts to. The point I was making is, that is a logical non sequitur, it does not follow that that is necessarily so, I cannot make this point any more clear, I cannot spell things out any more than I am currently doing.


    Below is a paragraph I wrote and you agreeing with me, what you fail to realize is that this paragraph dismantles the thesis of your argument entirely, I can only conclude that you cannot read... perhaps you should attempt reading it through again, and if you still agree with your initial assessment concede your pursuit, and if you don't, actually mount a real reasoned rebuttal... But I guess that would probably be way too much to ask.

    If one would restrict oneself to your own formulation of selfishness, it is so vague and all encompassing in its application, it would seem to me that the word loses so much of its meaning and force that it can no longer truly exclude actual selflessness, i.e. it would seem an act could be morally selfless (made with no consideration towards the self), and yet be selfish according to your definition (because it happened to ex post facto render some benefit to the actor).
    Precisely.
    Escape powerful genjitsu by averting your gaze from the eyes.

  3. #83
    Senior Member Lex Talionis's Avatar
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    What are you on about, buddy?
    "Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily."
    —Bonaparte

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentMind View Post
    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.
    P1: Every action has a desire behind it
    P2: Selfishness is to have a desire

    C1: Therefore, every action is performed from a selfish position

    It's pretty simple to deny either premise. P1 is easy to deny, P2 is a different case.

    P2 is either trying to prove that desire is selfish, by taking a separate definition of selfishness. This would require its own argument to do, otherwise it is an assumption. Or it is simply using a definition of selfishness that serves its own purposes, which I think is the case, so one merely needed to say "every action has a desire behind it" (P1). As aside from changing the label to selfishness, it adds nothing to P1.

    Finding exceptions to P1 is extraordinary simple. Pick up a pen and drop it. Think about everything that just happened there, or rather, think about all the actions that just occurred.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    People are motivated to act by stimuli from the brain. These "stimuli" manifest themselves in consciousness through perceived wants, desires, needs, etc. There can be a rationalization taking place (higher cognitive function) or simply a raw primal urge or something in-between. If the criteria for true selflessness requires that one act independently of these factors, then one would literally have to be without a self (or consciousness) in order to truly be selfless.
    The error I see here, is that the sum of a human is not necessarily conscious. Essentially that the majority of those stimuli never manifest themselves in consciousness. In this sense they aren't wants, desires, or needs (as you define them).

    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    For example, sacrificing oneself for someone they love (be it a child, a lover, or some other relationship), though they themselves are lost, they have projected their own desires onto their proxy of self (their other half or whotever they feel 'completes' them) as if it was their own self.
    Your argument has an even stranger definition of the self, as shown in this quote. The biggest flaw in it all being that you make a tidal wave of assumptions about the internal motivations and actions of a person throughout your argument, in order to prove your conclusion.

    For example:
    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    Killing yeurself is generally bad, since it means one less member of yeur species running around... however, if it's considered to be valuable enough, such as saving several others, it's worth the risk.
    From your perspective maybe. There are many reasons people have for not committing suicide, and many reasons people have for dying to save others. Because you see it in a morally Darwinistic sense, does not mean others do (e.g. those in the scenario). Plenty of people do not act in the interest of their species, and plenty of people only do so accidentally.

  5. #85
    Senior Member forzen's Avatar
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    I have thought of this topic years ago and had came to the same conclusion as the OP. However, I also do not believe there is such a thing as human selfishness, because any human action has the potential to make someone (other than the intiator of the action) happy directly or indirectly. That leaves us only with human desire which stand as the only constant when selfishness and selflessness is viewed from multiple perspective.
    This post grammatical errors had been intentionally left uncorrected.

  6. #86
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    INTJs are very clever.

    I can only judge how selfish vs nonselfish from my perspective-I can only subjectively describe why I do kind things.

    When I see another person in pain, I internally mirror their pain. I have a physiological response to that pain. I cannot help but aid them. Logically, I recognize this makes my own pain go away, thus I logically recognize it is selfish. But the end result is kindness.

    When I see another person happy, I internally mirror their happiness. It is not as strong as the mirrored pain response, but is still present. Thus logically I recognize that I seek to make others happy, in order to be happy myself.

    The very best way for me to "feel" Fi, if to be involved in an altruistic activity. I feel euphoric. By giving, my own body rewards me with a flux of happy chemicals. But it has to be authentic giving, giving out of care, giving to help another in pain. All of those euphoric chemicals help me lay down Fi values that say "THIS is right."

    The worst thing ever? Hurting someone else intentionally. If I do something that hurts another person I get trapped in a very bad place. I hurt them, I mirror the pain I perceive them to feel. I have a very hard time forgiving myself, thus I am stuck. Ne just amplifies the internal pain, likely as it misperceives the pain in the other person and amplifies that perception. This place is very horrible to be in.

    Thus I really try hard not to hurt people-logically I recognize this is grounded in my own selfish desire to avoid being in pain.

    selfish Fi-that results in exceptional kindness towards those most in need.

  7. #87
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    If you're selfish, you do selfish acts....if you're selfless, you do selfless acts, simply because you're compelled to do so. If it's innate, it is no longer a question of selfishness and selflessness, but simply a reflection of who you are.

  8. #88
    What is, is. Arthur Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lex Talionis View Post
    What are you on about, buddy?
    He is trying too hard.
    INTJ | 5w4 - Sp/Sx/So | 5-4-(9/1) | RLoEI | Melancholic-Choleric | Johari & Nohari

    This will not end well...
    But it will at least be poetic, I suppose...

    Hmm... But what if it does end well?
    Then I suppose it will be a different sort of poetry, a preferable sort...
    A sort I could become accustomed to...



  9. #89
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    The stupidity that is required to continually argue over the definition of a word is a subtle one; made that much more dangerous because it is not so easily exposed and destroyed.

    Let me quote myself, in the hopes of ending this foolishness:

    People are motivated to act by stimuli from the brain. These "stimuli" manifest themselves in consciousness through perceived wants, desires, needs, etc. There can be a rationalization taking place (higher cognitive function) or simply a raw primal urge or something in-between. If the criteria for true selflessness requires that one act independently of these factors, then one would literally have to be without a self (or consciousness) in order to truly be selfless.

    However, for the most part, selflessness (if we wish for it to mean anything at all) should apply to those individuals who gain pleasure when others gain pleasure, and who consider others when making decisions. The more consideration given to others, the more selfless.

    End.
    __________________
    Now, if you have a problem with allowing the adjective selfless to be applied to anything or anyone who gains any type of benefit (even the benefit of acting in accordance with ones own internal motivation, i.e. freedom) from a particular action, then you are in effect choosing to have a word that's only purpose is to facilitate an argument over the definition of said word.

    Furthermore, the term selfless is inextricably tied to its colloquial connotations, which are themselves garnered from the term being applied to those individuals who do good for others without any outward benefit to themselves; simply put, the term connots positivity because it is regularly applied to those individuals who's only benefit is that they enjoy seeing others benefit (Would you rather the world be filled with people who gave no such consideration to others?). So, although one might be able to define selfless in a way that makes it inapplicable to society, the question I have for you is: Why?

    Edit:

    Let me remind everyone that words to not originate from the dictionary, but from continued conversational use. In fact, many definitions are so far off that I cringe at the thought of them. So just because some Webster's Dictionary defines the term in a way that facilitates this foolishness, remember that it was done after the word had already been "defined" by society through continued usage, and that it is probably not the most accurate definition.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #90
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    I don't know who specifically you are responding to, but there's a lot more here than semantic argument, though that element is present.

    For example, if it is true that everyone acts with only their own reward in mind, what is being claimed by some, then it would warrant the colloquial definition of selfish.

    My previous disagreement with you, was that brain stimuli necessitates desire, wants and needs. I don't think it does. It is also the key point to my disagreement with the main argument in the OP. Essentially surmounting to people not always acting on their own desires, wants and needs. It being a trait of the English language to use the word "want" and similar terms, where one could instead replace it with something like "tends towards". The English language does not so easily mimic the make-up of the mind, so to speak.

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