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  1. #1
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    Default Altruism and win-win

    Do you feel bad when you turn an act (which society expects to be altruistic or sacrificing) into a win-win situation?

    Example: When I once wrote a love letter to someone, I primarily regarded that love letter as an opportunity to improve my writing style. And secondarily as a means to express my feelings for her.

    So when I finished the letter, I felt as if the job was done and didn't really feel like going to the post office. I still did it because that completed the win-win situation: She got a well-written letter and I improved my writing.

  2. #2
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    I don't see anything wrong with the win-win situation. I kind of think that makes the whole situation even better.

    However, I find your scenario a little strange. Assuming you are serious, that is. Were you really in love with this person? Did you really want them to know about it? The fact that improving your writing style was the number one thing, and that you "didn't really feel like going to the post office", suggests confusion about your motives...
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  3. #3
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I don't think writing a love letter for the purpose of improving your writing is altruitic at all.

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    It's easy to determine what feels like a win for you. The fallacy can exist in assuming we know what a "win" means to someone else.
    Now, if your satisfaction derives from writing a well written letter and her receiving one, I don't feel you really know what altruism is.

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  6. #6
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I don't feel bad about it. I usually only help people out this way. The exception is my family and very close friends. Outside of those select people, if I am helping out someone, it is to be expected I have a motive for it that will end up helping myself out in the end as well.
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  7. #7
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    I've yet to be convinced that true altruism exists. Even when we do something kind for someone else, we still feel good about the act. Whether that translates to a dopamine hit, I don't know for fact but I'm guessing it does. That's not to say that people shouldn't be regarded in a positive way when they do something kind for someone else.

    So, win-win is great! It appeals to Te.

  8. #8
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    I definitely wouldn't feel feel guilty about turning a sacrificial action into a win-win. In fact, that seems to be the ideal to me. I can only sacrifice so much before I wear myself out.

  9. #9
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Win-win is obviously better than one that is strictly beneficial for one party, regardless of whether one is benefiting by serving one's self or by being helped by the other party. This is plainly rational.

    Now, when you say primarily vs secondarily, there's something more two it. You have a priority system which favors self-interest. At the time, it's still no drag because the end result was win-win, and the result is what matters. But if that is the thrust of your intention, it may veer you into doing things that are selfish in result more often, so be wary.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Were you really in love with this person? Did you really want them to know about it? The fact that improving your writing style was the number one thing, and that you "didn't really feel like going to the post office", suggests confusion about your motives...
    I wasn't in love with the person, I'd say I was hooked on... though we've known each other for years. And as for the priorities: It's not that clear-cut. Of course, first of all, I wanted to write a letter to her, but then mid-way I somehow lost myself in the writing and found it fascinating and made several revisions etc. And then at the end, I realized that I did it more as a practice than to express something.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I don't feel bad about it. I usually only help people out this way. The exception is my family and very close friends. Outside of those select people, if I am helping out someone, it is to be expected I have a motive for it that will end up helping myself out in the end as well.
    Yes, it's basically about this. Is it morally acceptable to do so? Though, in my view, nowadays it's already special if people help at all, even in win-win situations.

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