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  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowrose View Post
    Luckily, evolution stuffed all kinds of wonky and fun chemical paths into our heads so we'd be happy just making people smile. I just posit that Altruism's a pointless concept to pursue.
    I'm not sure I'm quite with you on this....I've seen some pretty wild stuff and no one was smiling, during or after. I suppose fulfilling a sense of meaning caused them, in a flash, to do what they did. It has been said that many of the first responders during 9/11 who perished were living the very same way they did every day prior. Perhaps there is self-motivation lurking in there somewhere, but I have to respect the actions of those who, at the moment of truth, have a clarity on what theirs lives are about and jump into the abyss, come what may....even in less extreme conditions.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by gokartride View Post
    I'm not sure I'm quite with you on this....I've seen some pretty wild stuff and no one was smiling, during or after. I suppose fulfilling a sense of meaning caused them, in a flash, to do what they did. It has been said that many of the first responders during 9/11 who perished were living the very same way they did every day prior. Perhaps there is self-motivation lurking in there somewhere, but I have to respect the actions of those who, at the moment of truth, have a clarity on what theirs lives are about and jump into the abyss, come what may....even in less extreme conditions.
    I'm not saying that's the -only- way we can derive pleasure or self-fulfillment, just pointing out how the simplistic things can also fulfill us in ways money is unable to. There are certainly substantially more complex interplays at hand, and I'm unfortunately not really qualified to contemplate what might drive a person to risk his life in such a situation to save others. But, as it is, I still can't imagine it's truly altruistic, our brain is complex enough, and our instincts for breeding and self-preservation are powerful enough that they can easily sit behind every motivation.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowrose View Post
    I'm not saying that's the -only- way we can derive pleasure or self-fulfillment, just pointing out how the simplistic things can also fulfill us in ways money is unable to.
    Ah, I see. Yes, this is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowrose View Post
    our brain is complex enough, and our instincts for breeding and self-preservation are powerful enough that they can easily sit behind every motivation.
    I would never underestimate the workings of the human mind, but I would submit that, concerning the meaning of life, that there are connections that can't be accounted for by biological processes, and that the result is greater than the sum of the pieces. This is still very much a scientific mystery....but I do not believe, in the end, that the body is a machine....not fully. There is more.

  4. #74
    Member Shadowrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gokartride View Post
    Ah, I see. Yes, this is true.


    I would never underestimate the workings of the human mind, but I would submit that, concerning the meaning of life, that there are connections that can't be accounted for by biological processes, and that the result is greater than the sum of the pieces. This is still very much a scientific mystery....but I do not believe, in the end, that the body is a machine....not fully. There is more.
    I was just talking about there being no Altruistic acts. ^_^ As far as the meaning and the biological machine, I'll have to respectfully disagree with the caveat that neither of us can prove it right or wrong yet.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowrose View Post
    As far as the meaning and the biological machine, I'll have to respectfully disagree with the caveat that neither of us can prove it right or wrong yet.
    Fair enough...it is only my opinion anyway based on what I have heard from current studies. I'm sure these things will remain a point of question for many decades to come as we continue to explore. I have had occasion to spend time with top scientists in various fields (back when I was doing documentaries)...truly amazing folks. Quite a view they have from the edge!!!

  6. #76
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gokartride View Post
    The world would be a very dark place if this were the case. Selfless acts are (and have been) among the brightest moments in human existance.
    the world is a very dark place then...

    there is no such thing as a selfless act. you just gotta factor everything into selfishness. as in, if it makes you feel good to help others, you should, etc.

    everything reduces to selfishness.

    Quote Originally Posted by gokartride View Post
    People have died for others, almost as a matter of instinct.
    right, because in that moment, they thought they had more to gain from sacrificing themselves than not.

  7. #77
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    uhhhh....altruism exists.

  8. #78
    Senior Member Ilah's Avatar
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    I will not argue that there are no selfless acts, however kindness and good deeds can be self serving in many cases.

    Examples:
    If I am nice to people I know, do them favors, help them, etc. that increases the chance that they will do the same for me.

    Being with a person (could be friendship or romantic) gives me pleasure. In order to maintain the good relationship (increase the chances he won't break up with me) I do "selfless" things for him.

    Ilah

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    because in that moment, they thought they had more to gain from sacrificing themselves than not.
    Perhaps they were thinking of being true to their concept of "the meaning of life" as a personal "gain", which is less about getting something specific out of it than an internal consistency/integrity which could also register (in a flash) as a desirable outcome.

    Any way one analyzes it, I think overall to say that selfless acts do not exist is a massive leap and gets so into the realm of speculation that is causes analytical grid-lock. That makes it all just too easy to ignore. On a practical level, choices get made...and I think in many cases the evidence of selfish motivation is very flimsy/theoretical.

  10. #80
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    IMO....

    Altruism exists in small instinctual fractions of time when the mind cannot adaquatly calculate payoff or worth before action.

    Example two unrelated people are walking down the street when a car jumps the curb and is comming straight for them. Instinctually you jump out of the way while pushing the other person with you.

    In the moment there was not enough time to calculate the worth or potential bennifit of the act, it was just the act itself.

    The more time given to rationalize a situation the less likey that altruism remains as the human mind is capable of finding the silver lining in any situation, but that doesn't change that fact that altruistic events can occure in the moment.

    I wonder is that makes sensorers more suseptable to altruism?

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