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Spooky
twisty turny thing

Registered: Jul 2000
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quote:
Originally posted by MstrG:
Oh goody ... one of the all-time favorite message boards debates: does altruism exist?

As splAt said: no, it doesn't.




Of course If altruism did'nt exist then we would'nt have a word and definiton of what it was. Of course it exists. Just depends on whether you want to be altuistic in a given situaton or not


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sp00ky
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Old Post 01-28-2001 07:03 PM
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Spooky
twisty turny thing

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Personally, I always thought that money was the root of all evil. Not that I actually believ in evil as a concept anyway.

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sp00ky
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Old Post 01-28-2001 07:05 PM
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splAt
Usually Courteous

Registered: Jul 2000
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We have a definition for the word elf, but there are no elves.

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Old Post 01-28-2001 07:06 PM
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Spooky
twisty turny thing

Registered: Jul 2000
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quote:
Originally posted by splAt:
We have a definition for the word elf, but there are no elves.


fair point. What abouta comment on the other part of my reply?



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Old Post 01-28-2001 07:08 PM
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splAt
Usually Courteous

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People do nothing without reward. People who do for others, do so because it is rewarding to them.
It's too bad that most people don't feel any reward for doing for others.

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Old Post 01-28-2001 07:12 PM
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Spooky
twisty turny thing

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For those who do believe selfishness is all. I suggest buying a copy of 'The Selfish Gene'. A must have read for all ultra-darwinist dogmatics. And while you're at it check 'Leviathan' by Thomas Hobbes. I think you will be at home with him aswell.

For the balanced reader out there, I then suggest looking at 'The German Ideology' by Karl Marx, and perhaps then a look at some Durkheim, then maybe some Jean Jaques Rousseau.

Then decide the answer to the original question.

Alternatively I could tell you now. Selfishness and altruism exist hand in hand. Some people just do things. Regardless of self. They may do it for personal reward I guess, which could be called selfish. But then I am not going to say all do that because it would be rather silly to suggest that I can know the subjective minds of all people in existance would'nt it?

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Old Post 01-28-2001 07:21 PM
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Dacarlo
ex-member

Registered: Oct 2000
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Truth is there is no such thing as evil. Or good for that matter. In the end life for humans has boiled down to a simple equation; Money, Sex & Power = Life
Where as animals it's simple;
Survival(sex) = Life
The reason for this is that man has "evolved" so nature has found a new way to ensure propagation of the species. Money? Why? Because it makes you desirable and/or powerful which leads to sex. propagation.
Power, why? See Money.
Give it some thought. It's like the unification theory for physics, any given situation can be boiled down to the "elements" I mentioned above.


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Remember, when
someone annoys you it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown BUT, it
only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and bitch-slap the
motherfucker upside the head...

[This message has been edited by Dacarlo (edited 01-28-2001).]

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Old Post 01-28-2001 07:26 PM
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splAt
Usually Courteous

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Certainly. I can't pretend to know what's inside anybody else's head.
I'm forced to use what I know and make some assumptions about what I can't know.
I will modify the delivery of my position.

In my opinion, most people are probably selfishly motivated in all things they do. The preceding opinion was based in part on assumptions. Use this information at your own risk. No warrantee is expressed or implied. I reserve the right to change my mind later.

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Old Post 01-28-2001 07:27 PM
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Emerald
Cuddly Puppy

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 2593
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quote:
Originally posted by splAt:
People do nothing without reward. People who do for others, do so because it is rewarding to them.
It's too bad that most people don't feel any reward for doing for others.



I don't believe this is always true and it is very sad that most of the world has obviously never experienced another person being selfless.

SelfLESSness does exist. It may be rare, but do you look for it? Try looking for the selflessness in the world. It's there, just more rare as time goes on.

Are you not EVER motivated by others' preferences rather than your own??? I'll bet each and every one of you are, at some time or other. Whether you admit to it or not.

quote:
The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has found liberation from the self." -- Albert Einstein.


In Love & Truth,
Em


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Here????? Now??????

[This message has been edited by Emerald (edited 01-28-2001).]

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Old Post 01-28-2001 07:38 PM
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SkapeGoat
Someone

Registered: Jul 2000
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Thumbs up

Me.

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©RandomnothinG®
Is it so wrong to want to destroy everything?

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Old Post 01-28-2001 08:03 PM
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IBeFree
You Don't Know Jack!!!

Registered: Nov 2000
Location: Burleson, Texas
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Selfishness might be the ROOT of all evil... if as I suspect.... it is truly the root of all human UNHAPPINESS!!!! Disguised a hundred different ways.... FEAR...GREED...HATE... ENVY....ect....

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"Each of us is an Unlimited Idea of Freedom"
(From: Jonathan Livingston Seagull)
- Richard Bach -

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Old Post 01-28-2001 08:13 PM
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HELL
euphorbia's bad side

Registered: Aug 2000
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quote:
Originally posted by Emerald:
I don't believe this is always true and it is very sad that most of the world has obviously never experienced another person being selfless.

SelfLESSness does exist. It may be rare, but do you look for it? Try looking for the selflessness in the world. It's there, just more rare as time goes on.

Are you not EVER motivated by others' preferences rather than your own??? I'll bet each and every one of you are, at some time or other. Whether you admit to it or not.

quote:
The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has found liberation from the self." -- Albert Einstein.


In Love & Truth,
Em



You should look deeper in to the meaning of the statement.

When I give money or time to a cause I do so because I know it is helping with something I think is important. That makes it rewarding for me. When I help my friends with things like patching a hole in their wall or watching their kids I do it because I know that’s what friends do, or should do for each other. That makes me feel good too.
When I was a big sister to an abused teenager in a group home I did so because I knew it was a valuable service to society and gave joy to a girl who probably had very little joy in her life; that made me feel good. Picking up the trash people throw on the ground along my street makes me feel good so I pick it up. Now, donating money to programs that provide abortions would not make me feel good, therefore I wouldn’t do it unless forced to by the government.

We do things because we want to help with something we feel is important and when we do, it makes us feel good that we are helping.

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Old Post 01-28-2001 08:17 PM
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IBeFree
You Don't Know Jack!!!

Registered: Nov 2000
Location: Burleson, Texas
Posts: 520
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HELL ... Motive and INTENT are the real question here....

It doesn't sound like your motive here is to make yourself feel good, that WOULD be selfish.

------------------------
"Each of us is an Unlimited Idea of Freedom"
(From: Jonathan Livingston Seagull)
- Richard Bach -

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Old Post 01-28-2001 08:22 PM
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Caffeine
Caffeine

Registered: Aug 2000
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 7118
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that and pickled eggs

yuk!

quote:
Originally posted by Princess_Chelle:
testosterone is the root of all evil.






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Will accept plush toys as bribes.

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Old Post 01-28-2001 09:02 PM
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Avondale
oh hello

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And like when you go back in time and stuff, it interferes with the space/time discontinuity, and, since everyone's fate is already programmed, it is very important that you do NOT TOUCH ANYTHING!

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[ Insert Catchy Phrase Here ]

[This message has been edited by Avondale (edited 01-28-2001).]

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Old Post 01-28-2001 10:44 PM
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Roshigoth
The Cheesemeister

Registered: Aug 2000
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
Posts: 18000
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Humanity is the root of all evil. I also believe it's the root of all good. Everything else is mindless and without intent, at least as far as I can tell.

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All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental. -- Kurt Vonnegut
Graphic Cheeseworks.

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Old Post 01-28-2001 10:47 PM
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Avondale
oh hello

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I am the root of all evil. Muahaha!

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[ Insert Catchy Phrase Here ]

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Old Post 01-28-2001 10:50 PM
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JoeyCat
Felis Dominatus

Registered: Jul 2000
Location: Delaware
Posts: 5736
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quote:
Originally posted by Avondale:
I am the root of all evil. Muahaha!


*pinches Avondale's cheek*
*walks out of thread snickering*



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=^..^=

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Old Post 01-28-2001 11:10 PM
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brimstone
ittle' boy

Registered: Aug 2000
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Occassionally I can be the root of all evil if I'm feeling feisty.

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- brimstone

"We are the all knowing, all loving, monks of war"

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Old Post 01-28-2001 11:13 PM
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SocialParasite
wallet.dat is where it at

Registered: Jul 2000
Location: fuck you daaaaaaaaad
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The root of all evil is life.

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Have a good day, and if you feel like subjecting your genitals to high doses of x-ray radiation I'm sure the world will kindly thank you.

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Old Post 01-28-2001 11:37 PM
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tack
jackaroo

Registered: Aug 2000
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Arrow

I think hope is the root of all evil

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Old Post 01-29-2001 12:32 AM
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Emerald
Cuddly Puppy

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Texas
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quote:
Originally posted by tack:
I think hope is the root of all evil

Hope? the root of all evil is 'hope'??? Why would you say that? I don't understand. Please expound on your comment, tack!



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Here????? Now??????

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Old Post 01-29-2001 01:18 AM
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Paint CHiPs
Smartest Man in the World

Registered: Jul 2000
Location: Location Location
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quote:
Originally posted by HELL:
You should look deeper in to the meaning of the statement.

When I give money or time to a cause I do so because I know it is helping with something I think is important. That makes it rewarding for me. When I help my friends with things like patching a hole in their wall or watching their kids I do it because I know that’s what friends do, or should do for each other. That makes me feel good too.
When I was a big sister to an abused teenager in a group home I did so because I knew it was a valuable service to society and gave joy to a girl who probably had very little joy in her life; that made me feel good. Picking up the trash people throw on the ground along my street makes me feel good so I pick it up. Now, donating money to programs that provide abortions would not make me feel good, therefore I wouldn’t do it unless forced to by the government.

We do things because we want to help with something we feel is important and when we do, it makes us feel good that we are helping.




You know what, I agree with Hell over Spooky on this point.

Spooky, you can throw as many 18th century philosophers at us as you like, but try reading up on the subject in say the last 50 years or so. Yes, somebody can presume to know how the mind works. That is called "psychology". Read a bit up on it. Specifically, behavioral psych. There is a reason why identical twins raised in different environments can turn out different, that one can be considered "evil" and the other "good". There is also a reason why positive reinforcment works better in the long run then negative reinforcement.

When somebody does something nice for another person, they do it because it makes them feel good, they like the recognition, whatever. Simple as that. Granted, the ulterior motives can be very deep rooted, and the causes of it are still disputed, but it is generally realized that altruisim is simply internalized conditioning, how the altruisitic actions effect the actor personally. That is selfishness at it's core, isn't it? The only difference between altruism and selfishness are the masks people put on the actions. Because the outcome is altruistic does not mean the fundamental motives are. That is also why among animals there is very little (none, in my book) true altruism. Just instincts and drives, all dealing with the self. The only difference between us and them is that our system of instincts and drives are more complex.

That is a very simplified explaination, but ultimatly (when you get right down to it), Hell, Splat, and MstrG are correct. I'm surprised that for one claiming to understand psychology and Darwinism, you don't understand that.

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Old Post 01-29-2001 01:32 AM
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Emerald
Cuddly Puppy

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Texas
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quote:
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs:
You know what, I agree with Hell over Spooky on this point.

Spooky, you can throw as many 18th century philosophers at us as you like, but try reading up on the subject in say the last 50 years or so. Yes, somebody can presume to know how the mind works. That is called "psychology". Read a bit up on it. Specifically, behavioral psych. There is a reason why identical twins raised in different environments can turn out different, that one can be considered "evil" and the other "good". There is also a reason why positive reinforcment works better in the long run then negative reinforcement.

When somebody does something nice for another person, they do it because it makes them feel good, they like the recognition, whatever. Simple as that.



I think you are very wrong here, Paint. Hell plainly said her motive for doing the 'good deed': 'When I was a big sister to an abused teenager in a group home I did so because I knew it was a valuable service to society and gave joy to a girl who probably had very little joy in her life.'

Whether you'd like to believe it or not, there are some people in this world that do things because of the 'desires' or 'needs' of others and don't give a thought at all to what the repercussions to self might be.

Actually, I'm very suprised at you, Paint. ARe you just playing 'devils-advocate' again?




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Here????? Now??????

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Old Post 01-29-2001 01:50 AM
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Roshigoth
The Cheesemeister

Registered: Aug 2000
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
Posts: 18000
Post

quote:
Originally posted by Emerald:


I think you are very wrong here, Paint. Hell plainly said her motive for doing the 'good deed': 'When I was a big sister to an abused teenager in a group home I did so because I knew it was a valuable service to society and gave joy to a girl who probably had very little joy in her life.'

Whether you'd like to believe it or not, there are some people in this world that do things because of the 'desires' or 'needs' of others and don't give a thought at all to what the repercussions to self might be.

Actually, I'm very suprised at you, Paint. ARe you just playing 'devils-advocate' again?






Em... you left out part of that quote, that supports Paint's claim:

"When I was a big sister to an abused teenager in a group home I did so because I knew it was a valuable service to society and gave joy to a girl who probably had very little joy in her life; that made me feel good."

Put simply, no matter what, there's some sort of selfish reason behind our actions, even if it's simply the nice feeling you get when you help others.

------------------------
All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental. -- Kurt Vonnegut
Graphic Cheeseworks.

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Old Post 01-29-2001 03:29 AM
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