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Altruism?
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JMC
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:17 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Leonard James wrote:

I repeat, we have no knowledge of how the subconscious mind works...


And that is why I said we cannot realistically deal with the subject -- it makes better sense to simply say conscious thought about ourselves is to think of ourselves, and when we're not doing that, we're not doing it.
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JMC
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unrelated to the above, though, I think this is a good question:

cyberman wrote:
genghiscant wrote:
I don't believe that pure altruism exists because before every action a calculation is performed, no matter how brief.


Is it possible for the outcome of that calculation to be "This will have more adverse effects than benefits for me, but I'll do it anyway, because these people need help"?


I think humility, properly understood and practiced, would mean it is entirely possible for someone to make this calculation.
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Leonard James
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is simply better for ourselves and other people to try to be kind and thoughtful, and never to hurt if we can avoid it. It just makes more sense to me.
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JMC
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leonard James wrote:
I think it is simply better for ourselves and other people to try to be kind and thoughtful, and never to hurt if we can avoid it. It just makes more sense to me.


Well I certainly don't disagree with that as a stand-alone statement.

Self-sacrifice and putting others before ourselves is perhaps a slightly different thing though?
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genghiscant
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about suicide bombers. Are they being selfless?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genghiscant wrote:
How about suicide bombers. Are they being selfless?


Perhaps you could give us a clue of what you mean by "selfless" in this context. If you mean willing to sacrifice themselves in the name of (what they perceive to be) a greater good then they are. If you mean putting the needs of others ahead of their own desires then they aren't.


Last edited by The Boyg on Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JMC
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genghiscant:

The Boyg wrote:
genghiscant wrote:
How about suicide bombers. Are they being selfless?


Perhaps you could give us a clue of what you mean by "selfless" in this context. If you mean willing to sacrifice themselves in the name of a greater good then they are. If you mean putting the needs of others ahead of their own desires then they aren't.


This ^
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genghiscant
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Boyg wrote:
genghiscant wrote:
How about suicide bombers. Are they being selfless?


Perhaps you could give us a clue of what you mean by "selfless" in this context. If you mean willing to sacrifice themselves in the name of (what they perceive to be) a greater good then they are. If you mean putting the needs of others ahead of their own desires then they aren't.


I don't think they're being altruistic in either sense. In the first sense their self sacrifice probably gives them a sense of self worth or martyrdom. In the second, they're not acting in the interests of all people.
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The Boyg
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genghiscant wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
genghiscant wrote:
How about suicide bombers. Are they being selfless?


Perhaps you could give us a clue of what you mean by "selfless" in this context. If you mean willing to sacrifice themselves in the name of (what they perceive to be) a greater good then they are. If you mean putting the needs of others ahead of their own desires then they aren't.


I don't think they're being altruistic in either sense. In the first sense their self sacrifice probably gives them a sense of self worth or martyrdom. In the second, they're not acting in the interests of all people.


Hang on, you asked whether suicide bombers were being "selfless" not "altruistic". Hence the request for you to clarify what you meant by "selfless" in this instance.
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genghiscant
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Boyg wrote:
genghiscant wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
genghiscant wrote:
How about suicide bombers. Are they being selfless?


Perhaps you could give us a clue of what you mean by "selfless" in this context. If you mean willing to sacrifice themselves in the name of (what they perceive to be) a greater good then they are. If you mean putting the needs of others ahead of their own desires then they aren't.


I don't think they're being altruistic in either sense. In the first sense their self sacrifice probably gives them a sense of self worth or martyrdom. In the second, they're not acting in the interests of all people.


Hang on, you asked whether suicide bombers were being "selfless" not "altruistic". Hence the request for you to clarify what you meant by "selfless" in this instance.


In my opening post I gave my definition of altruism.


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