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Isn't every action selfish, ultimately?

Unless coerced, people act however they deems best at that moment. Even if that action is self-destructive, aren't they acting selfishly, so as to satisfy their own desires? Even paragons of altruism act because they want to help people, please God, or save the environment: that's what makes them happy. So isn't true, deep-down altruism impossible?

Anonymous , 16.07.2013, 08:33
Idea status: completed


Justin Reese, 17.07.2013, 13:57
So, should we live every moment of our lives doing things other people want us to do? We shouldn't do anything for our selves? In that case, me drinking a bottle of water is very selfish, because that would be giving me something I need... People to some level have to be selfish, or we wouldn't be anywhere in life.
Tjitze de Boer, 25.07.2013, 04:07
You could literally flip that whole argument around (just look up the opposite synonyms) and it would be just as arbitrary.
There's this whole group of guys who say that suffering is caused by desire, Buddies or something and this Shoehopper guy.

"Yea, it may seem as if he's eating to sustain himself, but he's really just prolong his suffering."
"He may have went to that fun movie but he's really just inflating his expectations of life so he'll be even more miserable later."
"She may have enjoyed that ice cream but its just junk food and detrimental to her health."

Two sides of a purely rationalistic coin.

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