Do you believe the philosophical theory that there is no selfless act? Why or why not?
If no, can you provide an example of a truly selfless act? For example, even giving away your hard earned money to charity can be considered selfish, because by doing it you make yourself feel good because you did a good deed.
I absolutely beleive there is no selfless act. This is not to say that people don't give themselves to a cause or a purpose but that at very least "satisfaction" or happiness is attained from doing something that is perceived as selfless.
It's a theory more of behavioral psychology than of philosophy. No, I don't buy it. I've seen, and done, too many things with no personal payoff to think otherwise.
Asking for proof is like asking for proof of faith in a divine being. It can't be had.
The neutralizing response to such a question is, "First, if you're proposing it, prove all human acts are selfish." Just saying "There's no proof they're not, and so they are," is not an answer to the question. There is no objective proof. This is one of those faith-based beliefs, either way you lean.
Yes, there is.
My children are helping others in their studies even though they are not helping them back in return.
It is how we have brought up our children to give help whenever you can without thoughts of any returns. They have been giving extra help to their classmates who are weaker in their studies and helping them to improve themselves. Even though there are students who they had helped refused to help them back when they know about certain aspects of their studies. We told them, it is okay to give and receive nothing in return.
I don't at all believe that. In fact, it's not that I just don't believe it. It's that I know for a fact there is such a thing as an absolutely selfless act. A well developed sense of empathy is, I believe, required in order for a person to be moved to do things for absolutely selfless reasons; and not everybody's sense of empathy is the same as everyone else's.
There is a part of the brain that's associated with a well developed sense of empathy, and it has been observed through brain scans. That part of the brain is more active in people with a highly developed sense of empathy.
Everything I ever did for my children involved expecting nothing back from them (other than respect, which I also showed them and believed they deserved as well). I just answered a similar question to this and elaborated more on how mothers do selfless things.
A far smaller and simpler example would be this:
If I go to the HP forums and see that someone needs help I'll try to be helpful to them. That's it. It's just a wish to help someone. A lot of people just live their lives naturally trying to help, or give, just because they see someone needs help; think how easy it is for them to help, and see no reason not to. What do I get in return? Nothing as far as earnings or traffic go. In fact, I risk being a fool because "half" of the stuff on the Internet is make-believe or sleazy. If I write a long answer in attempts to be helpful, I risk having someone think I'm a long-winded blow-hard who "wants attention". I'm a grown up, though, so I don't care. I do what I think is right, and I do what I'd hope someone would do if it were I, or someone I care about, asking for help or hoping to get grown-up thoughts on a serious matter. (By the way, I'm not the type to ask for serious opinions on things; so I'm not hoping someone will remember and reciprocate at a later time either.)
A lot of people do things for others because they think/know they can, and so often it's so easy or effortless for us to help. So, again, why not help? What else have we got to do in this life that's so important that we can't/won't help others when we can?
A question as old as time .
I do not personally believe in selfless acts. I do think there is always a feel good factor involved . But such is human nature .
This age old question begs another one . Does it matter if the acts are selfless ? The one thing that the religious , the atheists and the spiritually inclined all agree on is that man needs to help man , for whatever reasons ( call it in the name of god , brother hood , compassion , karma ) . Is the feel good factor not as great a motivator as any of the above ? The biggest irony lies in the fact that it is the presence of ego that requires an act to be selfless or pushes a person to seek selflessness in ones act. Once a person can do away with their ego there will be no question of selfish or selfless . What will be left is empathy in its purest form .
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