Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): No such file or directory in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1191

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1191

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): No such file or directory in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1194

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1194

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): No such file or directory in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1197

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1197
Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Concerning Altruism

Concerning Altruism

The concept of altruism is to commit a completely selfless act –that is, one where there is no expected return of any sort from the beneficiary of the altruistic act. In order to avoid any internal self-compensation – such as a positive feeling of generosity – one must also have no sense of what ends their gift is to be used toward. Any amount of thought on the subject would eventually lead to self-congratulations about having done good for another person. A blind transfer would circumvent this, provided that the giver never imagines a positive outcome from his gift and feels good about his actions. Thus, the giver would need to be not only completely unaware of where his gift went, but that it even went at all. Such a person would have to be completely unaware of their actions.

Being unaware of one’s actions does not necessarily predispose it to be unintentional. Humans, like any animal, are at least in part, creatures of instinct. Survival instincts do not necessarily apply only to the self, but can apply to one’s kin or community. If an action of sacrifice were to happen instinctively, and the mind were to reward a person with a sense of gratification later, an altruistic act would occur without forethought or expectation of reward. In opposition to Conscious Altruism, Instinctive Altruism is a function of survival rather than gratification. Altruism does exist, although its existence hinges on a lack of forethought to reward or gratification. In its purest form, it exists as a tool of survival. In any other instance, it is masturbation for the mind.* (It is interesting to note that philosophers like to end their writing with Quad Erat Demonstrandum, but it makes me feel good to use parenthesis.)

* I drank a six-pack, listened to The Murder City Devils and wrote this ‘essay’ on altruism for my intro to philosophy course. I kind of kick ass like that. I sort of wish he had assigned a longer requirement, actually. This could be fun.

Share
0 comments