Altruism And Self-Esteem

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by ibshambat, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    When I was corresponding with my former wife, she told me that her boyfriend was developing self-esteem. Low self-esteem did not begin to be the cause of the problem. His problem was not that he had low self-esteem. His problem was that he was an unappreciative pig. She gave him everything that she had to give, which was a lot. And all he could think of doing was beating up on her and the children.

    So we have some people claiming that people become good by developing self-esteem. This is complete crap. In fact a strong case can be made that it is the other way around. If you have higher standards for yourself, then you will find it harder to feel good about yourself than if you have lower standards for yourself. The person with lower standards will have higher self-esteem; the person with higher standards will be a better person.

    I have also heard such claims as that you need to love yourself before you can love another. Also absolute tripe. In fact it works the other way around. You love others for traits that you find lovable. Seeing these traits successfully expressed by another person, you know what you need to work for within yourself in order to be lovable in your own eyes.

    Another related claim is that you need to start by loving yourself. Also complete nonsense. You do not start by loving yourself. You start by loving the people whom you find lovable. Then, once again, seeing such traits expressed successfully by another, you know what you need to do in order to be lovable in your own eyes.

    So we see people making such claims as that romantic love is a search for external validation. In my case it is no such thing at all. It is not about what I feel about myself; it is about what I feel about the other person. I can validate myself all day long. That does not change what I feel for people I love.

    Now maybe if all you care about is yourself, you would accept these kinds of attitudes. However I have higher standards for myself than that. My relationship with myself is my own business. Whereas when I have someone good in my life, it becomes a lot more than that.

    Probably the saddest comment I've ever read was by a naturally altruistic woman who said that unless she could live for herself she could not live. This is an absolute outrage. Here was someone who had many good things to offer the world; but a wrongful ideology thwarted her in her goodness and told her to live by an inferior code of values. In fact there are many valid ways to live besides living for yourself. And what a sad state of affairs it is that it takes someone like me to point this out.

    An even greater outrage is that the people who believe such a thing would portray as narcissistic or sociopathic a person who does not. This, once again, is absolute outrage. You thwart people in actual altruism and then you claim them to be lacking in altruism and as being more selfish than people who practice such beliefs. Not even the Soviets could come up with a more ridiculous set of lies.

    I do not need to love myself in order to do meaningful things for other people. Nor do I need a high self-esteem for such a thing. What I need is to direct my efforts rightfully. And I have been doing that in many different situations.

    So it is about time that this nonsense be seen through. Self-esteem or loving yourself or anything of the same sort does absolutely nothing. What actually does things is being willing to do what needs to be done for the sake of the world. And that does not start with self-love or self-esteem or anything of the sort. It starts with willingness to do the right thing, whatever it means for yourself.
     
  2. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Altruism does not exist, everything a person does is done out of selfishness.

    That woman was right, everyone lives for themselves first but it's the people that can't admit that who actually have the problem.
     
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  3. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

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    That is not true. Some of us do things for others just because we are in the position to do it. It's called "filling the gap" and many of us are willing to stand in that void to help others.
     
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  4. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    No, you are choosing to do it because it's what you want to do.
     
  5. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

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    That's altruism.
     
  6. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    No, altruism is the selfless concern for others which is impossible. The mere fact that a person desires to help someone is based off selfishness because they garner some reward from that action.

    Altruism simply cannot exist.
     
  7. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    I am involved with the Salvation Army, and I am absolutely certain that altruism exists. If a person does it because it makes him feel good to be helping others, then it should. In a rational universe good action would get rewards, and that means among other things that one would feel good to do good.
     
  8. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Actually they do the good to feel the good which is why it is selfish.

    They are trying to increase their own happiness and that is their motivation, helping others is a distant second.
     
  9. Diablo

    Diablo Well-Known Member

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    I give some money to charity, because I think I need to help those less fortunate than myself. It doesn't make me feel good, but it'a moral issue. I have enough money to do so.
     
  10. RoccoR

    RoccoR Active Member Past Donor

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    RE: Altruism And Self-Esteem
    ⁜→ Diablo, et al,

    Now that is interesting. It is driven by some internal imperative → NOT compelled by some externally imposed societal norm. It is a form of true "Altruism" (as opposed to cosmetic altruism).

    (MUSING)

    This is one of those things that defy the conjuring of the proper words of description. I know I can't get it right, because I don't have that characteristic.

    [​IMG]
    Most Respectfully,
    R
     
  11. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    By that standard so is not wanting to go to hell, yet it gets people to behave in an altruistic way.
     
  12. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    Good on you.
     
  13. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Correct, wanting to avoid hell is extremely selfish. God knows this and also knows that humans were designed this way by himself.
     

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