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Is man capable of selfless acts of altruism : Swingers Discussion 775151081
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TOPIC: Is man capable of selfless acts of altruism
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Because selfishness is appeased by the government. We are the product of our society not the government. Now with that said lets go back a couple of years to Katrina till today. We have become extremely dependent on our government. We want the government to bail us out when we are threatened or caught up in a catastrophe. We want everything RIGHT NOW!! verses being patient knowing full well the Government will care for us. So depending on our government has become apart of our society thus blaming the government is selfish in its self. We created our own dependency on a government which by its own creed was not ment to be depended on, but was ment to protect us as human beings and those rights that come from being human beings, nothing more and nothing less.

Imperial MO
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This dialogue has gone pretty much the way I expected. Most people here seem to agree that selfishness is man's dominate nature and that altruism is subordiante if anything. Even when I attempted to volunteer the social nature of man as dominant, it was patently refused.

So, that said, how do you explain the construct of government??

Man in all his selfish glory created the entity of government to which -- contrary to his selfish nature -- he is forced to surrender many of his natural rights. Government competes with the selfishness of man by establishing laws and placing restrictions on him.

If selfishness is such a good thing (as many here have purported) then how can the entity of government -- which places restraints on man's ability to exercise his selfish nature -- be a good thing?

Goose Creek SC
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"What are the selfish reasons for having and raising children?"

Prior to the modern welfare system, the reason was simple...continuation of the clan and social security for elders. Without children there would be no help to tend herds, gather food or tend fields. The only guarantee for longevity in the elder years was having raised a large family that would contribute to the family/clan well being. That didn't change even into the industrial revolution when children were still sent into the work force to earn money for the family coffers. The notion of "childhood" only came about after governments/society developed the "safety net" of social programs for families and elders. Having children then became a choice rather than a necessity.

Palm Beach Gardens FL
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"Raising children it the ULTIMATE selfish act. Not only do you get to control their lives and mold them into your vision of perfection, but your bloodline and name gets to continue. Especially if your kids are successful in life, who do you think is taking credit for their success? While many will deny it and say it's not true. Reality is different."

I really don't see how anyone who has successfully raised children could hold that view. Take it from someone who knows, children are individuals and few parents could ever succeed into molding their children into perfection. If that were only true there would be far more great and successful people in this world than there are now.

As far as your genes getting passed on to the next generation, I fail to see what the benefit is in that for the procreating predecessor.

Goose Creek SC
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"Mr. Sim and I are definitely selfish. We only are social for a reason..... otherwise, we could easily go for weeks and not socialize with anyone but each other."

Ah, but you're still social creatures because you socialize with each other. Do you feel lonely when you're separated for extended durations? Assuming you do, would you attribute that desire to be together to your selfish nature or to your innate social instinct?

Goose Creek SC
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"There are plenty of people out there that have children for more medicaid benefits.....and other governmental hand outs. However, one of the biggest reasons some people (especially single mothers) have children.... because they want someone to love them. Thats a selfish motivation."

Those are artificial reasons. Governmental handouts are primarily an American or first world thing. People don't typically get those in third world countries in the majority of the rest of the world. But they certainly still have children. People have been having and raising children since long before welfare came about.

As far as mothers having children becasue they want someone to love them, I think those mothers are in the minority. I believe if you ask most (responsible, rational) mothers why they chose to have children the answer would be because they wanted a child to love. Wanting to love someone goes back to the altruistic social instinct inherent in humans.

Goose Creek SC
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"What are the selfish reasons for having and raising children?"

There are plenty of people out there that have children for more medicaid benefits.....and other governmental hand outs. However, one of the biggest reasons some people (especially single mothers) have children.... because they want someone to love them. Thats a selfish motivation.

Mountain Ranch CA
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Mr. Sim and I are definitely selfish. We only are social for a reason..... otherwise, we could easily go for weeks and not socialize with anyone but each other. We are definitely loners at heart.

Mountain Ranch CA
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I think a good thought experiment would be to imagine yourself in a world where you are alone. Would you still consider yourself selfish in that world? Can you even be considered "selfish" when there is no one else present to take from? I don't think so. But I do think you would experience lonliness and lack of companionship. Which leads me to conclude that humans are inherently social creatures.

We could continue the thought experiment by placing a few more humans in the world with ourselves. So now you have more people and abundant resources for everyone. Would those humans be more social or more selfish towards one another?

I'm not sure how being social and being selfish can equally co-exist in man. But apparently they do. I suppose you could argue that humans are social for selfish reasons. But I think at some point it becomes a philosophical discussion unless you differentiate between conscious acts of selfishness versus innate acts of selfishness. Humans don't in general consciously socialize with other humans for selfish reasons at the fundamental level. Like a mother raising its young, it's instinctive.

So are you more social or more selfish? Which is your dominant human trait?

Goose Creek SC
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"The human species would have never survived had it been innately selfless."

I beg to differ. It's the motherly trait of humans (and many other creatures) to selflessly rear and care for the needs of young from birth to independence. You asked for an act of drudgery that people perform selflessly and without tangible reward ... and I submit raising children. Raising children is a hardship, it is work, it is an economic burden, it consumes time, it places the parent at a defensive disadvantage and opens them up to attack from predators, and most often there is no substantial payoff when the job is complete.

What are the selfish reasons for having and raising children?

Goose Creek SC
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TOPIC: Is man capable of selfless acts of altruism