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FORUMS General Discussions Politics Is man capable of selfless acts of altruism
TOPIC: Is man capable of selfless acts of altruism
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"Absolutely...and they are the minority of society. Not many people could handle their jobs. It takes a very special person to handle those type of jobs."

Nurses and doctors too. I think you can find good people who believe they are doing a service for society all around you if you look. Journalists, educators, scientist, truckers, hell even politicians, bankers and lawyers if you get right down to the nitty gritty (although admittedly I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel now).

Most people don't get up and go to work every day just for a buck. I firmly believe most people want to believe that what they're doing is righteous and serves a purpose other than just a paycheck.

I could be wrong, though.

Goose Creek SC
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I think the bottom line for most people comes down to.... is that other person's life more important than my own? Most people answer "no" to that question. Luckily there are people that answer "yes" to that question and thereby fill our military, firefighters, police roles in society.

Mountain Ranch CA
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"Most appear to be chomping at the bit to find a way to help."

Lots of people want to help.....just as long as it doesn't include possible sacrifice of your own life.

Mountain Ranch CA
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"Military, police, firefighters etc. do this every day. "

Absolutely...and they are the minority of society. Not many people could handle their jobs. It takes a very special person to handle those type of jobs.

Mountain Ranch CA
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"I know of very few people that would sacrifice themselves for a stranger.... "

Military, police, firefighters etc. do this every day.

I personally believe this noble ability is in most people.

Goose Creek SC
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"However, when push comes to shove mankind's natural (born) instinct to protect and, if need be, sacrifice one's self for others comes to the surface."

I know of very few people that would sacrifice themselves for a stranger.... a loved one yes..... a stranger no. In no way, from my encounters with manking the past 40+ years have people reflected that they would even step off the curb to help someone about to get hit by a car....they just look on. There maybe 1 in a crowd of 100 that will reach out and put themselves in jeopardy for a stranger.... but those honorable valiant souls are very few in my opinion and definitely not the majority of society.

Mountain Ranch CA
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"I think even the neocons here would admit that a soldier is capable of throwing himself on a grenade in order to save his comrades." ---------------------------------------------------------- I must be missing something. In times of high stressful and pressure situations mankind has shown repeatedly shown themselves to be selfless, sacrificing themselves or their own interests for the greater good.

I always thought that what a person did or did not do under pressure was a the true barometer in measuring whether they were selfish or selfless. I think the majority of mankind is born selfless. Using the theory of nature vs. nurture. I believe mankind is naturally unselfish and grows to be or appears to be selfish through modern societies teaching of self gratification - the "me" society. However, when push comes to shove mankind's natural (born) instinct to protect and, if need be, sacrifice one's self for others comes to the surface.

I have faith in mankind, and that the current attitude of "what's in it for me" will pass, just as other periods passed and we will return to being more considerate of everyone and realize freedom cannot be maintained without individual as well as collective sacrifice and selfless acts.

Minden NV
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I guess it's settled then. Man is overwhelmingly selfish by nature, apathetic towards his fellow man, only capable of selfless acts of love under the most extreme conditions and therefore needs the jackboot of government placed squarely upon his neck to keep him in check.

My faith in humankind is hobbled. This appears to be quite a blow to my anarchist beliefs.

Goose Creek SC
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So Simba would you conclude then that it is in general human nature for man to be selfish?

Dont know about sim but yes...

Imperial MO
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Yes... from my experience I have found humans to be primarily selfish. Their motivations generally include some aspect of "benefit" to their actions....which by nature is deemed selfish. However, like I said.... people DO commit selfless acts.... but it's not their primary MO.

Mountain Ranch CA
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TOPIC: Is man capable of selfless acts of altruism