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View Poll Results: Does altruism exist?
Yes 9 52.94%
No 6 35.29%
I don't know. 2 11.76%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-04-2013, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Does altruism exist?

Well... does it? If it does, then explain why. If it doesn't, then explain why not.

Quote:
altruism (n) - the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

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Old 04-04-2013, 04:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It exists because you just defined it.

I think certain people can be more altruistic in certain situations than others.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes I think it does to a certain extent.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Altruism most definitely DOES exist. However, it seems these days that it is usually only a manifestation (or by-product?) of love.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I believe there is a reward or some sort of self benefit with every action. But I don't think it necessarily means we're entirely selfish and inconsiderate. What about charities? Wouldn't you consider them altruistic? If we perform actions that benefit or have a positive impact on other individuals whether they fulfil your own, I'd consider it altruistic. We have to support each other to make society work, and that involves altruism.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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To a certain extent, benefiting yourself helps others as well. For example, when I am depressed about the world, it depresses those around me more. Now of course depression could help point out problems in the world without the ego and therefore can be valuable and altruistic at times - however it does very little to solve them.

In other words, it is probably better to value your self-contentedness and peace in the world of importance and significance. Even if it seems irrational at times, positive reinforcement is better in the long term.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i read somewhere that this is a really tricky question because altruism can be seen to be found as either 1)evolutionary maintenance, 2)a self-satisfier or 3)true selflessness. i haven't really made my mind up but i lean toward thinking that's it's probably a rather elegant blend of all three, which we may not really be prone to acknowledging for various reasons ranging from strict ideologies to lack of information.

i think the thread may have benefited from mentioning a bit of detail about the reasons why this question is one worth asking, being that people will generally answer with what they think they think if they've never really put much thought into it or made the proper considerations before stating their opinion... this probably comes off as presumptuous or something, but i say it because it hasn't been made evident that there is strength in the argument that altruism is a biological tool of sorts, serving the purpose of continuity of species. which kind of makes sense.

i think one tends to lean in to side of these three different viewpoints because we're not really taught to intuitively accept things that can't be properly expressed by our current state of understanding, being that the scientific method tends to compartmentalize everything so much, which speaks to our logical side, when altruism is more likely the result of our intuitive side... unless of course you're faking altruism for capital or social gain of course (just had to add that last part because it happens so much it likely plays a part in our collective perspective of altruism.).

Last edited by P A N; 04-08-2013 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Depends on the brand.
All brands point to no. There's always something to gain from the perspective of selflessness, even if it's the satisfaction of knowing its effects.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I believe it does. Of all the rotten people I've seen, met, or read about, you'd think I'd be in disbelief, but most people have a personal degree of altruism.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I remember reading a quote in a book from the Dalai Lama. It was something along the lines of being selfless to help one's self, the reward for selflessness is happiness. So I guess yes and no.
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