Is selfishness the only purpose of man?

  • Thread starter lokofer
  • Start date
WhyIsItSo said:
Thank you for the complimentary assessment.

For the record, I can state unequivocably that my motivations for participating in this thread were (are) selfish. It satisfied some desires within me to put the effort into presenting a cogent argument.
So you're saying that you wanted to share with us your thoughts because you're selfish...

You chose one viewpoint over ther other when both are equally valid as far as I'm concerned. There is no root cause, but rather a symbiotic dichotomy of two causes, without both the opposites, there is no interaction and no amelioration of the whole.

I'm not saying this to look smug, well, not completely, because I like the way I worded it, but I'm also trying to tell you that I think you're misled because I want us humans to understand each other.
Unfortunately Jonny you're falling in the same trap others in this thread did by misunderstanding "Selfish" and using it negatively.
I'm not. I'm saying that there is no root cause. I didn't say that one is better than the other. I'm saying that from my viewpoint, both ways of viewing the root cause of motivation--selfishness and selflessness--are equally valid, becuase we can explain the world using both viwepoints and be able to explain things better, just like how we describe particles by also thinking of them as waves. So to fall into only using one viewpoint is to leave out part of the story. In other words, it's not one or the other, it's a little of both. Notice how this is devoid of any normative claim about selfishness or selflessness.
Untill an example can be given to show that selflessness is apart of it I cannot believe it is.


Gold Member
octelcogopod said:
I read about this awhile ago, and while it may be surprising to begin with, it's really not when you think about it.
I just thought selfish was the wrong word to use.
yeah, I prefer self-preservation, because selfish is too easily confused with greedy. Of course we act in our own best-interests. We're pretty much wired to protect ourselves, even when we're already safe (it can be likened to squirrels storing food for the winter).

What about when I was a PF contributor? I surely didn't expect anything in return for my ten dollars, did I? Of course I did. I had a ribbon next to my name that stated I was a PF contributor. This wasn't contrived. I thought it would be a good idea to contribute to the people I was relying on for help and information, and I expected (as a contributor) to get more attention to my questions. All of this was very natural, I didn't plan it or plot it out, but I can look back and see that I intended it to be a fair trade where I was getting what I was looking for and the forums (as a whole) where getting the donation they requested.

Fair trade is an act of self-preservation too. Setting up a fair trade is one of the ways to ensure that you'll get what you're after. And that thing has more value to you than what you're giving up for it. You also stand to keep better relationships with the people you trade with, whereas stealing, begging, and borrowing tend to give you a bad reputation and decrease your chance and magnitude of future 'freebies'.

Yes, we act in self-preservation as long as we're not insane, 'broken', or kidding ourselves into thinking we're Jesus.

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