32 Answers

  1. I don't see a single correct answer to this question.
    I think that, as in everything, it is necessary to observe a certain balance. And it will be different for each person. It all depends on the level of development, morality and worldview of a particular person.
    Again, there is no single dimension to what “living for yourself” is, where it ends, and where service to society begins.
    You can consider extreme options. Although, of course, they are not feasible in their pure form.
    Just, perhaps, it will be so visually.
    1. All people on Earth will begin to build their lives based only on their own interests, without taking into account anyone else's.
    2. Everyone will stop paying attention to their own interests, caring only for the good of others.
    The first option, or rather its outcome, is well described in various films, such as “Water World”, “Mad Max”. The only question is how fast we'll get there.
    In the second case, we will probably hold out much longer, but I am also not sure that everything will be fine.
    The fact is that a person's worldview is naturally limited – we cannot know everything even directly related to us. Moreover, we cannot know exactly what is going on in the lives of others. Not to mention their thoughts, dreams, desires, and feelings. We don't even know for certain what is good or bad for us (a vivid example is children with their not always adequate desires). So how do we know that what we do for others is good for them and what is bad for them?
    These errors may take a long time, but they will inevitably accumulate until they turn into disasters. They don't just say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
    So we are looking for a balance. Each one is different.

  2. The words must and must say a lot about the context of the question. But in general, they are some kind of hard, violent and through a stick. It makes me think of it that way. And immediately rejection. When a person owes or owes something to someone, this indicates a certain lack of freedom of this person and coercion. I prefer not to think in such categories. Rather, does the person want to do something for others and what can they do? Or does he intend to live for himself? My opinion is that everyone lives for themselves. But this “for yourself” is different for everyone. Someone has a selfish closure of their needs, someone has altruism and caring for loved ones, and so on. And in a broad sense, everyone lives for themselves.

  3. From the very wording of the question, the answer follows. “Obliged” is a forced behavior (a person is forced to do something that he voluntarily, quite possibly, would not have done). Therefore, if a person is able to impose the corresponding obligations, he will be obliged, if they fail , they will not be obliged. The slaves were obligated. This commitment was forced upon them against their will. In modern society, slavery is prohibited, coercion is prohibited (except in certain special cases), so I do not see the possibility of obliging a person. So you don't have to.

  4. The author has a clear priority of must.

    Repeat the verb “must” twice-says a lot about the author himself.

    And first of all, that the author is hardly familiar with the books and thoughts of Viktor Frankl, who showed by illustrative examples of human behavior in the most critical conditions of human existence in a concentration camp of death that different people MAKE DIFFERENT CHOICES.

    THEY MAKE A CHOICE, and do not follow some inexplicable “MUST”

    What a person SHOULD and what a person SHOULD NOT DO is HIS OWN and PERSONAL CHOICE.

    Even if these duties are instilled in him in childhood by close adults, the person himself makes the decision to accept them for himself or not to accept them.

    And it just can't be any other way.

  5. Abstract “benefits to society” are usually voiced by those who, under the guise of this slogan, are trying to satisfy their personal and quite mundane interests. This is exactly the situation in Soviet Russia: millions worked “for the common good”; as a result, the “common good” was available to the elites, while workers, peasants and other workers were disenfranchised, and in some cases even in poverty.

    Paradoxically, article 20 of the USSR Constitution of 1977 established the principle “Free development of everyone is a condition for the free development of all” as nothing less than a” communist ideal”, but we know very well what kind of” free development “was actually discussed and what” benefits to society ” all this brought. We still haven't raked it out.

  6. It depends on whether a person makes any demands on society, or society does not owe anything to a person either. Any rights imply obligations. If you want to receive certain benefits from society, then you must participate in a mutually beneficial social contract, which means giving society the benefits that it expects from its members.

    Simply put, if you want a salary – you have to work a job. If you want protection from attacks on your freedom and property , you must comply with the laws and regulations. If you want love and support, you have to be nice.�

    If you don't want or expect anything from society, then you are free to give it nothing.

  7. This answer cannot be given a specific and unambiguous answer for all cases of life, so the answer “yes” or “no”will not be appropriate here…After all, you do not need to go from extreme to extreme,you need to stick to the golden mean.And focus on specific circumstances.Because the same society is not always right.And it depends on what population group you mean by society…

    Therefore, there are a number of specific situations when you, as an individual, have the right to ignore society.For example:

    1) The opinion and position of the public are directed against the existing laws of the country and(or) the Constitution.

    2) The opinion and position of society are directed against your religious principles, if you are a believer.For example, God's Commandments.

    3) The opinion and position of society contradicts your conscience…

    And if you touch on specific situations in more detail,you can cite disabled people as an example.First of all-mentally disabled people…From the point of view of society-such disabled people, supposedly useless for society, people.However,from the point of view of state laws, both disabled people and ordinary people are equal.From the point of view of religion, disabled people are offended by God and they need to be helped, not discriminated against.And finally,from the point of view of their own conscience,disabled people are not to blame for anything, and not for their ability to become healthy, and there are disabled people who are kinder and more honest than some healthy people…This means that you can not go along with such a society-which discriminates against disabled people.

  8. There is no exact answer to this question, and in a good society it is not asked at all. At least in my opinion.

    The benefit to society is generally difficult to measure in any way, and the answer will depend solely on the person.

    Let's imagine a situation: a certain Gennady has three apartments. He rents out two rooms, lives in one, and earns a good living, so he doesn't work. And then a government officer comes to him and says: you have to benefit society, otherwise a huge fine. So Gennady scratches his turnips and goes to write fanfiction. And what? He doesn't do well, but there are 10 regular readers who are members of this very society. Accordingly, it benefits society. Much less than any doctor, but still, what is it now to put him in jail for not helping much enough? You can also put the cashier of puffs in a sparsely populated passage.

    No one owes anyone anything. People are different. It's just that everyone should be in their places, doing what they love. A doctor who loves his profession will be much more useful than some Gennady who was forced to work in a hospital so that he would be useful in someone's opinion.

    And there will not be such a thing that all of humanity will go to bloggers, and there will be no rescuers and janitors left. Understand that people are different.

  9. A normal person does not owe anyone anything, unless of course he did not sign up for anything. But all those who want to bring strangers under some sucked-out obligations from nowhere, should be regularly flogged.

  10. There is no definite answer to this question. You have to look at it from different points of view.
    From the point of view of the state, a person is a gear in the general mechanism. The fewer gears that rotate, the worse the mechanism works.�
    From the point of view of a person as a person, we are free to do what we want.�

    But from the moment of mixing these points of view, we need to agree. A person who is free to do what he wants will be prone to illegal actions. Give man freedom, and he will be like an animal. So it is more optimal to do what you want for the benefit of society, or not for the harm of society.

  11. No, I don't have to, but it has its own thrill. It depends on what is meant here by the benefit to society? You don't have to go to a boring low-paid job and spend a lot of effort and all your health on it, especially since this is really not for the benefit of society, but only for the benefit of the pocket of a well-off uncle or several, and sometimes even for harm (for example, if you work in a tobacco company). But you can benefit in different ways – for example, if possible, influence the opinion of deluded people, if you are sure that they are mistaken, make the world a better place, if you know how, ideally knock on the upper levels, try to somehow globally change the obvious imperfections of the organization of a particular area, and thereby benefit many people at once, comfort someone, save from depression, help those who really need your help, not necessarily financially. As for charity itself, for some reason I always have a question about whether my money will go exactly where it should go, or whether someone responsible for fundraising will simply make money at my expense, who is already doing well. Unfortunately, this happens all the time…

  12. At the dawn of human history, the question of the benefits of one person for society was decided unequivocally-yes, you must be useful. So it turned out that if a person is not useful for society, then it means that he is interfering. For example, in primitive society, helpless and useless individuals were expelled from the community and died alone. In the feudal era, no one was outside of society, he was assigned a place and prescribed duties. Sanctions were applied to those who did not comply with them (read, death). And only in our time can a person (an individual, a person) afford to be useless. And the public will not object in any way. Another question is whether the person himself can live like this.

  13. If you look at the big picture ,then “living for yourself” means bringing benefits to society. One way or another. Because if society as a whole doesn't live well, then it will be more difficult for you to live in it “for yourself”.

  14. Well, judge for yourself-if from the beginning of time people lived only for themselves, thought only about themselves, where would we be now? This is a failure. Society is like a whole organism, where each performs its own function.Unlimited consumption is the scourge of the modern world, where no one wants to give, but only wants to take. But it can't be that way. I'm not saying that you need to forget about yourself and think only about society, but you need to maintain a balance, and this means bringing benefits to society.

  15. Is a person obliged to benefit society,or should he live only for himself?

    Benefit to society is a loose concept, because society often and often makes mistakes in assessing what is right and what is wrong. But in any case, a person must take into account the interests of his neighbors in his life and do what is considered good, good.

  16. Yes, it is necessary to develop a society for the life of children, relatives and friends.

    The degradation of society will destroy before birth and before the opportunity to benefit.

    Being useless is sad.

  17. Only for yourself-this is with your own hand-invented and made from improvised weapons of labor in the Tundra. And if you eat from the garbage dump and shout about contempt for money and promote the rejection of the modern structure of society-congratulations, you are at the bottom of this society! =)

  18. Dear friends, let's not forget how it all happened that we live in such a huge country. Probably just because someone once cared. Our borders were expanded through a huge number of deaths, and our country won the last war for exactly the same reason. And also with the popularization of this opinion of yours:”I live for myself” our country is slowly dying out. Every year there are fewer of us and more Muslims. The country has no growth for a long time, there is only a decline. It's just that no one advertises it and hides behind mass migration. It is Orthodoxy that has brought great importance to our way of life. But when the church got out of our minds, everything went downhill. Man has lost his true values. There is nothing more pleasant than living in the care of your loved ones, receiving love and care in return, and generally striving for the good. We now live as in the plot of a typical science fiction: “A life that leads nowhere!” People who live for themselves, wake up!!! I find it funny to look at adult single uncles and aunts without a family, children and they are supposedly happy!! Aha! Keep creating the illusion of happiness! After all, the world rests on those who care! Personally, the rest for me are lazy guys from cartoons. The same thing!!! Only work adorns a person. Both physical and personal.

  19. No one owes or owes anyone anything. No one should be useful to anyone or anything. Live better for yourself. If you are lonely, then you can get carried away: hobbies. An addition to this can be a person who shares a happy moment with them. To love someone other than yourself, something other than yourself.
    Why ask? Be happy to. In general, a hobby can benefit not only you, but also others, the world. By sharing your happiness with a person, you can also make them happier. And this is already a benefit. But even if you don't benefit, don't worry. Why the hell should I? The universe will not care how it is not polluted in the understanding of man, but even the Earth will not be. The universe will still be beautiful…

  20. Unfortunately or fortunately, we live in a capitalist society in which everything, even human time, can be equated with money. Therefore, a person's success is determined by how much they earn, and their contribution to society is determined by how much they spend. However, how much a person can spend depends on how much they earn.
    So the question is ” me or society?” – not quite correct, because “I” is a part of society. Therefore, this is a matter of priorities exclusively, which can be formulated as follows::

    1) To live primarily for oneself, but without exploiting or harming the rest of society.
    2) Take care of yourself – you can take care of others, but this is optional and solely on your conscience.

    With these priorities, at a minimum, you do not harm or try not to harm society, but you still contribute to society, simply through your own well-being and the opportunity to invest the resources you earn in this society.

  21. Here the question is more interesting. If you look at it this way, then now, whoever you are, you are still bringing benefits to society. Unless you're a burglar or a murderer, let's just say. So in one way or another, by your actions, by your work, you directly or indirectly benefit a certain benefit. And so you need to look at what society has given you and whether you use all this and decide for yourself.

  22. No one owes anyone anything, it is the moral right of each of us to do something for others or not. Sometimes it is better to live for yourself in an irresponsible and immoral society, if there is one, but at the same time, the golden rule of morality has not yet been canceled.

  23. It depends on what kind of society. If a society respects me as a person, gives me rights and freedoms, and in general its main goal is to create a comfortable living environment for me and all other members of this society, without exception, then my conscience will oblige me to be as useful as possible to others.

    But if in society all the values are locked up by thieves and locked up with them in the Kremlin (relatively speaking), and the rest of the members of society do nothing but try to divide the rest, then I don't have to be useful to them all in any way. On the contrary, you can even give someone something, if possible, as revenge for broken dreams.

    “To live with wolves is to howl like a wolf.”

  24. From the point of view of a narcissist and narrow-minded egoist, no one owes anyone anything. You don't have to be a reasonable person. You don't have to share your knowledge with people. You don't have to love people. You don't have to respect people. But just do not forget that civilization was built not by such mu*aki, but by normal guys and girls who wanted to bring something to our incomprehensible and wonderful world.�

    On this site, as usual, the most “independent” responses are added. Soon more psychologists will catch up, who will say that a real self-sufficient person lives only for himself… People, and especially children, who read this thread – do not listen to all these lost ones. They are all so independent here and no one owes anyone anything, but when the next official pays another billion,these guys will come out to rallies with some demands. This is called double standards: don't ask me, but I will ask everyone.�

    If you have hands, feet, a head on your shoulders and a desire for beauty, then go ahead and transform the world. At least just the world around you. You have to do it! So that when the time came to an end, there was a desire to live life again, and not disappear as soon as possible.

  25. What is society? Let's formulate the question like this: “Is a person obliged to benefit other people?”. Answer: no, he doesn't have to, but he has to, because it provides him with resources for his livelihood. This is the principle of exchange. This is how the market economy works.

    But if we are talking about gratuitous assistance, then I agree with Ayn Rand that no one is obliged to provide this gratuitous assistance. Everyone has only their own life and has the right to put it first.

    But it is worth noting that it is natural for truly happy people to take care of other people. For most people. This is how we work, according to my experience.

  26. We will divide the answer into “as it is now” and “as it should be”. Now there is a state and there is a society. Now the model of consumption of goods, work – shop – home – work, is being promoted. This is clearly a flawed design. The golden Age is when (as it seems to me) there will be no need for states, there will only be a self-governing society. All people will be attached to the common idea of human development and harmony with the environment. Humanity should make every effort to develop and promote science, self-study, develop neighboring planets, and create conditions for life there. It is stupid to litter your only (at the moment home) – the Ground. Now humanity is subordinated to its ideals as an unintelligent cub… For this reason, we are proud of our science, which to this day has not even learned how to treat teeth, just to kill the nerve and make a dummy tooth-this is a great example of the development of our medicine/science… In general, humanity needs to grow up, it is necessary to fight the concept of consumption, it is necessary to improve itself and finally begin to study itself, the hidden almost limitless possibilities of man.

  27. You don't have to. But, fortunately for us, there are quite a lot of people in the world who want to do this – to benefit others, and they do some very good things. Therefore, in principle, you can be calm about this and decide for yourself how you want, because altruists will never go anywhere.

  28. You immediately imply in your question that someone allegedly owes something to someone. A person has the right to determine for himself whether he owes someone something or not. Each individual determines his own life values, attitudes, and priorities in his head.

    If you would like to hear from other people, please do. I am one of those people who live for themselves and I don't care how anyone feels about it. But what do you mean by “for yourself”? A person, in my opinion, should respect the borders, the freedom of other people in the first place. He has the right to live and express himself as he pleases, and he can engage in charity, help and altruism at his own discretion. As for me personally, I help other people to the best of my ability and desire, as for people close to me-then there are no questions.

    Some people write about the future, how everything will be there, but I live in the present and spend my money mainly on my life, my pleasures. I try to donate money from time to time, including to strangers, but the main thing here is from the bottom of my heart.

  29. I believe that I don't have to, but it is natural for a person to protect and increase their sense of self-importance. And by bringing benefits to others you get a great bonus in the form of gratitude and pride for the scale of your activities

  30. From the point of view of society, it is obligated. At the moment, in any society, there are people who benefit it voluntarily, voluntarily-forcibly, or simply forcibly.
    Without such people, there would be no society. One of the signs of society is the “social structure”, and this is the direct interaction and interrelation of social communities (a large or small social group that has common social characteristics. For example, workers, students, doctors, pensioners, upper class, middle class, poor, rich, etc. Each social community occupies its own “individual” place in the social structure, has a certain social status and performs its inherent functions in society. For example, the main functions of the working class are the production of industrial products, the functions of students are the acquisition of knowledge in a particular field, the functions of the political elite are the political management of society, etc.). That is, the head of the society-already in all its features exists “for the benefit of society”. The existence of a society on this basis is to benefit it.
    Social institution — historically established stable norms, rules, and ways of organizing joint activities in a particular area of society. The most significant institutions in terms of the functioning of society are: property, state, family, production, education, culture, religion. Each social institution regulates the relations between social communities and individuals in a certain sphere of society's life. For example, the family institute regulates family and marriage relations, and the state institute regulates political relations. Interacting with each other, social institutions create a single multifunctional system.
    Social communities and social institutions support the division of labor, carry out the socialization of the individual, ensure the continuity of values and cultural norms, and contribute to the reproduction of social relations in society. – This is where the direct relationship between a person and society is described.

    If we take each individual separately , each person already lives to some extent only for himself, because in the end his goal is to satisfy his own needs. If we consider “altruism”, then this is the same human need to get self-satisfaction by giving something to others. While the “egoist” gets the same self-satisfaction in the end, but at the same time doing everything for himself.

    Therefore, subjectively, a person has the right to decide what to live for: whether to live for the benefit of society, or to think only about their needs.
    All the same, being in society, a person has to interact with it. Therefore, whether he wants it or not, if he lives according to the laws of this society, he will have to pay. If each person lived only for himself , there would be no need for the very concept of “society”.

  31. Those who are useless to society can live for themselves, but either very badly, or on a desert island. If you are not the son of a millionaire, and you have not found a treasure-society pays only for the benefit, and the more benefits – the higher it is paid.

  32. If you don't do anything for society, it won't do anything for you. No one owes anyone anything, but if you want to live with all the benefits of the modern world (Internet, electricity, public transport, etc.), then, of course, pay.

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