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Old 04-08-2009, 07:12 AM
 
9,912 posts, read 12,191,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joey2000 View Post
Ringer is irrelevant to this other than me mentioning that it's where and how this whole concept was brought to my attention, so pls spare us the little jabs in that regard (in hindsight I shouldn't have even mentioned his name). If anyone wants to start a thread on his or someone else's "philosophies" in general, have at it, but he isn't the topic. OK?

Anyway, I am not saying they have to "think about it" or they are interested in "basking in the glow" blah blah etc. Again, like a few others here, you are misinterpreting the term "selfish" here as a negative trait. It is not, necessarily.

In this hypothetical example, it is simply a part of who this person is. They are the type who is willing to put their life at risk to save another, and the reward they get from it could be many things - eg satisfaction or self-esteem or self-worth (or whatever you want to call it) from knowing that they have this moral code and are willing to do this, etc. But rest assured there is indeed something - in fact something deep and profound for them - that they get from it. If there wasn't, they wouldn't do it.

And - one more time- that is not a criticism or an intent to minimize or tarnish such a supreme sacrifice in the least. It is simply a very general observation of human nature.
Little jabs? Get a grip! I'm perfectly entitled to voice my opinion on Ringer.

You've used him as a reference to your thread and then we've had a vague discussion that's informed us about good selfish and bad selfish and how people are always one or the other, no exceptions. SO FAR based on the limited description I've been given I don't agree because I don't agree that people are ALWAYS anything.

What I do see here is that quite a few people seem to think that the human being ALWAYS acts consciously and with forethought and with self as their motivation, and some of us, myself included, disagree.

When someone can give me a definitive and credible definition of this good and bad selfish bit perhaps a light bulb will go on but so far all I'm seeing is people telling me that everything I do is selfish in some way, either good or bad, but nobody can really explain to me why but I'm not allowed to mention Ringer again.

Seriously joey, this could be an interesting topic but could we have some clarity instead of all the vagaries please?
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
5,554 posts, read 5,871,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joey2000 View Post
If you just keep going "you're wrong, you're off" (etc) without explaining yourself at all - or worse, go "oh he's so stupid he doesn't get it, tee hee giggle" - FYI your aren't exactly building up your credibility.

Understand: I have no problem with someone disagreeing, but if you are unwilling or unable to back what you're saying and continue with such silliness, you're simply not worth paying any more attention to and I won't respond further.


I guess you don't read or won't read. I gave a dictionary definition as backup. I offered instances wherein I disagreed. But you would prefer to attempt (though failed) to goad, and I have no concern about my credibility as it concerns you. I am concerned with attaining only the respect of my peers which, of course, would exclude you.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
It is this simple. People always act in a way they feel is in there own best interest, the difference in behavior is due to what it is they feel is in their best interest. To some, saving themselves is of importance, to others, saving a loved one is more important, as in their view, their survival is dependent on survival of their family line. Other believe they are gaining some type of reward such as everlasting life by sacrificing themselves. Muslims who blow themselves up while murdering others believe they are buying themselves eternal happiness and rewards. The motive is always what is in their interest, it is just sometimes not logical or in some cases even sane.
That argument would hold water if someone made a plan. I was talking about instantaneous reaction - no time to think - only to act.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:59 AM
 
31 posts, read 140,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylalou View Post
That argument would hold water if someone made a plan. I was talking about instantaneous reaction - no time to think - only to act.
The only problem with this is people are not instinctual we don't jump on grenades out of natural born instinct that tells us to do so. We are taught this reaction and taught that it is good and right. Many religions and humanity even teach that to do as much is christ like or deserving of great praise and respect. So we react to these events as we are taught or as is ingrained into our conscience. Some were just taught better than others.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
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People are instinctual in the sense of fight or flight. That is not learned. It is a given that has been taught in many a class on instinct.
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylalou View Post
People are instinctual in the sense of fight or flight. That is not learned. It is a given that has been taught in many a class on instinct.
So has nature vs nurture, which boils down to essentially the same thing, yet neither has gained much ground on the other. Not everyones reaction to a fight is the same, hence how would it be instinctual. It is learned, some people welcome confrontation and others run. Our instincts cannot differ from each other or they would not be instincts.

Some people prepare and or practice for a fight some practice or prepare to avoid a fight. If not physically then mentally. The only true instinct that has been accepted by all sides is a baby's suckling reflex.
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshadow View Post
Yeah, see for me it doesn't come down to weighing up every action and reaction to selfish, either good or bad selfish, not that I can say I have any clue what this good selfish is that people keep mentioning.

And yeah, to me the example you give about your friend and the emails is just a boundaries issue, something I wouldn't be attributing a label like selfish or unselfish to at all.

I see what you are saying. And certainly I can't disagree with the dictionary definition of selfish.

The way I think about it requires the expansion of the definition of selfish, because I don't believe all selfishness is bad. I see "selfishness" as simply doing what we want to do, for whatever reason(s) that may be.

Maybe there is a better word we should be using than selfish. Regardless, I think the general point is that we do what we do for our own reasons, whether we consciously think about it or not.

Much of what we do on an unconscious basis today was a difficult task when we were younger. You don't spend any time thinking about how to walk now, whereas as a toddler it took a great deal of effort to even wobble.

So it is with many things we do. Helping something that trips and falls, or not, rescuing someone from a bad situation, or not, etc. Some people will do these things without seeming to think, but whether we explicitly know it or not we did make a decision to act in a way we saw fit for ourselves.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:14 AM
 
1,245 posts, read 1,229,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoman View Post
I see what you are saying. And certainly I can't disagree with the dictionary definition of selfish.

The way I think about it requires the expansion of the definition of selfish, because I don't believe all selfishness is bad. I see "selfishness" as simply doing what we want to do, for whatever reason(s) that may be.

Maybe there is a better word we should be using than selfish. Regardless, I think the general point is that we do what we do for our own reasons, whether we consciously think about it or not.

Much of what we do on an unconscious basis today was a difficult task when we were younger. You don't spend any time thinking about how to walk now, whereas as a toddler it took a great deal of effort to even wobble.

So it is with many things we do. Helping something that trips and falls, or not, rescuing someone from a bad situation, or not, etc. Some people will do these things without seeming to think, but whether we explicitly know it or not we did make a decision to act in a way we saw fit for ourselves.
What about when you have time to think about a decision, and sacrifice a greater happiness for the mere satisfaction of doing the right thing?
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickeldude View Post
What about when you have time to think about a decision, and sacrifice a greater happiness for the mere satisfaction of doing the right thing?

Then the satisfaction of doing the right thing was more important to you than the other happiness, meaning doing the right thing would make you happier than doing the other thing, whether or not you would ever admit it to yourself.

I think we have all come across these types of decisions at some point in our lives. We moan and groan about the fact we gave up something to do something else. But in the end, assuming things turned out well, we are glad we sacrificed because we got more satisfaction out of doing the thing we originally thought we didn't want to do.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:59 AM
 
9,912 posts, read 12,191,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoman View Post
I see what you are saying. And certainly I can't disagree with the dictionary definition of selfish.

The way I think about it requires the expansion of the definition of selfish, because I don't believe all selfishness is bad. I see "selfishness" as simply doing what we want to do, for whatever reason(s) that may be.

Maybe there is a better word we should be using than selfish. Regardless, I think the general point is that we do what we do for our own reasons, whether we consciously think about it or not.

Much of what we do on an unconscious basis today was a difficult task when we were younger. You don't spend any time thinking about how to walk now, whereas as a toddler it took a great deal of effort to even wobble.

So it is with many things we do. Helping something that trips and falls, or not, rescuing someone from a bad situation, or not, etc. Some people will do these things without seeming to think, but whether we explicitly know it or not we did make a decision to act in a way we saw fit for ourselves.
Well firstly let's take the walk example, I know people that have had to relearn how to walk several times in their adult life and still have to spend time thinking about it. I know they're not the only people in that situation either but I think it's great you've touched on this as an example (which obviously isn't an issue for you) and it speaks volumes about the situation we are discussing.

Now because walking is an ongoing thing for those people and something that, for the sake of the example we'll say, is simple for you I could decide that it's selfish of you to assume that everyone is like you and has been walking happily since they first learned as a child. That would be a reasonable position for me to take yes? The assumption that because it's like that for you, means it must be like that for everyone is a fairly selfish idea I think, least it appears to be how many people in this thread would attribute selfishness. However I don't see it as you being selfish at all. What I see is you filtering this discussion through your own experience and your experience has been that since you learned to walk you've not had to learn again therefore you gravitate to the idea that's how it is for everyone.
But for many people this isn't the case.
For all that humans only come in a few physical variations every single one of us is unique. My life experience, the things that have happened to me, that have shaped how I view the world it will never happen exactly that way again, similar maybe, but never exactly the same and this is the case for every single human being on the planet. We are the same but we are also unique, one offs, never to be repeated. If a series of events, incidents and interactions take place which culminate in me being here right now the person that I am, and a completely different series of events, incidents and interactions have taken place which culminated in you being here right now, the person you are and we all filter our actions and reactions through our experience, AND there a billions of us and GAZILLIONS of events and incidents and interactions, HOW can we then say that these random events and our interaction with them come down to purely being self motivated or selfish or not? I really don't think we can. As far as I can see with numbers of people and random incidents running that high it would be foolish of us to pressume that every action/reaction comes down to something as basic as selfish or not selfish. There will be as many reasons as there are people.
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