16 Answers

  1. And what do we consider to be a benefit? You don't define it. Looking up dictionaries.

    Ushakov's Explanatory Dictionary: benefit – profit, benefit derived from something, advantage, interest (usually material).

    Explanatory dictionary of Ozhegov: benefit – benefit, advantage.

    Synonyms for the word “Benefit” fromDictionary of Russian synonyms and similar expressions ed. by N. Abramov: profit, benefit, profit, revenue, income; calculation, advantage, interest, self-interest, pont, meaning, profit, plus, avantage, pontyara, prok, resource, sense, win.

    So if benefit is considered as a synonym for benefit – then, probably, yes, altruism is beneficial. There is no doubt that there is a spiritual benefit. It is good for him, the altruist, from his altruistic deeds. And if you compare it with other synonyms, it doesn't sound very convincing.

    Regarding “Man is by nature an egoist” – he is a biosocial being. From a biological point of view, of course, selfishness is the best tool for survival (and then – for the individual, and not for the whole species, as some authors have already pointed out). From a social point of view, everything is more complicated. Material benefits of selfishness, perhaps, provides a lot. But the price for this is your own soul.

  2. No, that was never true.

    In general, any reasoning about the” nature ” of a person is a sign of a poor understanding of a person. We don't have nature, so we come up with rules for playing together.

    If you really want to, you can reduce everything to selfishness. You can assign selfishness as a key survival strategy, and the desire to act in the best interests of other people – a multi-way strategy that leads to personal gain.

    But the truth is that you can do the opposite: designate altruism as the only sure way to live – after all, people live in communities, not alone – and proclaim the desire for a common cause as the main strategy for survival. And if you look at selfishness through this prism, then personal gain is part of the contribution to the common cause, because, say, the success of a community is determined by the sum of each person's personal success. How do you like this squiggle?

    All this suggests that selfishness and altruism are bad terms. They do not explain anything and do not provide any clear support for reasoning. You can twist them any way you want and get the desired result for rhetoric.

    So I wouldn't seriously use them to explain anything-just as conditional metaphors, but no more. Because all the talk around selfishness and altruism is moralizing and pouring from empty to empty in the style of a show on Channel One. Some are for, some are against, there is an appearance of confrontation, but in fact-an imitation of a violent activity to fill the airtime between ads.

  3. Man is not an egoist by nature, but a solipsist) �

    The only ideological position that is almost impossible to criticize is the statement that ” everything is in my head.” Indeed, the world for me is what I perceive. In other words, the world for me is what I am.)

    In this sense, of course, everything that a person does for others (which is not found anywhere outside of his head), he does for himself. Any so-called altruistic action is just a way to tweak, tweak your own universe…

  4. Q: Is it true that a person is inherently selfish, and all altruistic principles are somehow connected with their own benefit?

    Not true.�

    Man (Homo Sapience) is by nature a herd animal that has evolved to the cultural level – training of offspring, inheritance, variability and selection at the level of knowledge.

    Evolutionary selection takes place at the level of the code – genetic and cultural, so altruism in relation to relatives, like-minded people, their own species, and even the ecosystem is beneficial not to the individual, but to “selfish genes” and in general – the elements of the code that he is the carrier of (or the ecosystem that is necessary for their survival). This is the nature of all living things – selection supports functions that benefit the community of their carriers. Other functions are degraded or die out.

    Examples at every turn-animals constantly sacrifice themselves for the sake of offspring, cells-for the sake of the body (apoptosis).

    Naturally, each individual is part of the community and it is usually easiest for him to benefit himself. But the survival of the individual is extremely important, but only part of his concern for the community as a whole.

    Further-more interesting. To ensure that individuals act for the benefit of the community, they develop a reward mechanism centered in the Pleasure Center of the brain.

    This mechanism is, of course, imperfect, outdated and vulnerable. Overly smart individuals hack it, and then teach others how to enjoy themselves without too much effort for the benefit of the community. And if this process is not stopped, the entire population may die out.

    So, Selfishness is when an individual acts to the detriment of the survival of the community, the carrier of the code of which he is, usually for the purpose of obtaining evolutionarily unjustified pleasures and by hacking the evolutionary mechanisms intended for this. This definition of selfishness puts ethical assessments in their proper place. For example, drug addiction is also selfishness, even if the addict acts to harm only himself: after all, he is part of the community and should help spread its cultural and/or genetic code.

    Conversely, taking care of one's physical and mental health (and the corresponding rejection of unnatural pleasures) is not selfishness at all, but a very important socially useful activity.

    Not so long ago, by the way, the mechanism by which egoists are filtered out by selection was experimentally confirmed, even when they have advantages in reproduction over each individual altruist – this is a constant division into small subpopulations. At the cultural level, this is a division into families, companies, and teams, where it is possible that some of them will not be infected and will give healthy offspring.

    Below is a diagram from this excellent article and a link to it.


  5. This is a system of values – spiritual, first of all. And how, you build it, and model it, and imagine it. The assessment comes from this, but at first it is generally subjective and only yours

  6. No, it's not true. Human nature is the creator's nature. By its very nature, a person is a creator, an individual who has reached the level of creation.

    Selfishness and other childhood illnesses are age – related. Not in the sense of the age of the individual, but the age of the species. There are true altruists, not just by conviction, but by nature, so to speak.

    But so far, the overwhelming majority of humanity is Georges Miloslavsky, who uses the achievements of the Shuriks for selfish purposes.

    “Tell me, is it also possible to lift this wall in the store?”

  7. Not only is man inherently selfish.

    All animals are born selfish and die selfish.

    Exceptions are periods in the life of animals when their instincts force them to mate (then males make compromises), or give birth and raise their young (then parents also postpone their selfishness for the sake of procreation).

    The third case when “altruism” reappears in the first place, pushing “egoism” to the second place is in herd animals. For the survival of the herd in the fight against predators or bad weather.

    In most cases, humans do not differ from animals in this respect. Except when he sets ambitious goals for himself. Like to achieve fame and material well-being or achieve moral perfection.

  8. Both the egoistic and altruistic principle in a person has a biological basis. For example, archaeologists sometimes find the bones of ancient people. And it can be seen that some of them, the teeth fell out long before death. This means that someone chewed food for such a person.
    Human evolution is associated with fierce competition between different tribes. For a tribe to survive, a little altruism is necessary. Tribes where there was more altruism were more likely to survive.
    What does most people experience when looking at a puppy? Emotion and, as a result, the desire to feed, play, pet. Exactly the same feeling of emotion forced one woman to take on the upbringing of another woman's child, if that, for example, was eaten by a sable-toothed tiger. Exactly the same feeling of emotion (according to one version) forced the ancient man to take care of the cubs.

  9. What kind of nature do you have in mind? A person has two of them, if anything. The first is the nature of the body, which is essentially an animal, just like a pig or monkey, only slightly better organized. The second is the nature of the soul, which is essentially a part of God, qualitatively identical to God.

    The first nature is based on scarcity, the second on excess. God has everything, and there is no need for it, so he does what? That's right, divides, gives. But the animal has nothing and a lot of needs and needs, so what does it do? Takes it and assigns it.

    Therefore, the answer to your question depends on what kind of nature you identify with. If you're with an animal, then yes, you're an egomaniac by nature. If with the divine, then – an altruist. Moreover, an altruist is unselfish, i.e. not one who does something for others in order to enjoy his own usefulness. And the one who does something for others, because he thinks not about himself, but about others.

  10. Zoologists who study the life of pack animals have answered this question quite accurately. Among our smaller brothers, too, there are egoists and altruists. Indeed, egoists have a crucial competitive advantage over altruists. But if the number of altruists decreases below the necessary limit, then the entire population generally dies.

    People from the time of hoary antiquity guessed something like this. Therefore, altruists always enjoy the support, albeit insufficient, of some part of society.

    Perhaps there is a certain balance for correct behavior. But I personally, for myself, did not find it. Perhaps there is someone here who is wiser and can say more.

  11. I will answer as a Christian. There is both selfishness and altruism in man. But modern reality, one can already say post-Christian, suppresses the latter in a person and cultivates the former) Of course, there are transitional forms, what the author of the question is talking about, the so-called “reasonable egoism”, when a kind attitude towards others for the sake of a good attitude towards oneself, but we all know the manifestation of pure altruism. Altruism is often accompanied by sacrifice. When one person sacrifices his life for the sake of another, without hesitation rushes to save, without even having time to think, it's just necessary and that's all. A year ago we had a case, they wrote about it, in a nearby Church, the servant of God George saved a homeless man from under an electric train, and he died) This is already bordering on sanctity, and many Christians try to cultivate this sacrifice in themselves, to bring it to the light of God from the depths of their souls)

  12. Want to know the nature of man communicate with a child 3-5 years old, who will give you the last candy, your favorite toy, help you with some household chores (collect toys from the floor, bring you a glass of water, etc.) without expecting anything in return. But I agree, not every child, and here the question of education, and how parents themselves set an example for him. Therefore, it is impossible to call nature what is not originally in us. Cunning and thoughtfulness for profit is driven into the head of society, where without these qualities it is difficult to achieve your goals, you will risk that you will be constantly used. But a person is not only a brain that does not understand the nature of love for one's neighbor, the nature of charity, selfless help, self-sacrifice for the sake of others, heroism, all that is difficult to explain by rationality. A person is still the soul and heart, so I believe that human nature is located there.

  13. The most banal help to others brings inner satisfaction. Actually, this means that by helping others, we also have a profit for our emotional state. Therefore, it is quite logical to assume that the altruistic principle can be caused by egoistic motives.

  14. Every person has not only selfishness, but also altruism. But people differ in the ratio of selfishness and altruism in them.

    Psychologists have conducted many experiments to find out what proportion of people have egoism over altruism, what proportion of people, on the contrary, have altruism over selfishness, and how much it prevails. It turned out that people who have selfishness much more predominant than altruism, about 14%. And people who, on the contrary, have altruism much more predominant than selfishness, about 6%. There were no more than 40% of people who were even slightly more altruistic than egoism, and almost all of them were less so. That is, there are more people who are inclined to selfishness than people who are inclined to altruism.

    If we talk about altruism and selfishness, about good and evil in the language of economics, then in humanity and in any sufficiently large community, the total supply of good is less than the total demand for good. But this is unexpectedly consistent with common sense. Both from the point of view of economics, and from the point of view of the theory of evolution, and even from the point of view of Christianity. An overproduction of good is worse than a shortage of it. Overproduction means a waste of resources. In the economy, this leads to a crisis with subsequent impoverishment. In evolution, this could even lead to the extinction of a biological species that has eroded its resource base. In Christianity, this would devalue the good. If even a part of the good remained unclaimed, almost everyone would stop doing it: everyone would assume that it was their good that would be done in vain.

    In the life of a community, the overproduction of good is always worse in the end than its deficit. In the life of an individual, this is not always the case: overproduction of good for oneself can eventually make him rich, not poor. Then the individual can, if he wishes, give the excess of good to charity, that is, to do good to other people.

    In economics, it happens that the total supply of goods and services is approximately equal to the total demand for goods and services – supply and demand are balanced. One might ask: why is it that the way it happens in the economy does not happen either in nature or in the sphere of charity? Why is there never enough territory, food, shelter, or partners in nature? Enough to barely survive, and not all of them, but not enough to make everyone thrive. Why is there always not enough charity, or benefactors, or both, in the field of charity? The possible answer is that the economy is not only studied, but also regulated and managed. The Nobel Prize is awarded for effective theories of economic regulation. And nature is a sphere that is not regulated, not controlled by either animals or humans. Man, although he is called the king of nature, does not so much rule nature as it is a bad influence on it and oppresses it. But man has studied nature much less than economics, and trying to control nature would only make it worse. And the sphere of charity is an area that is not regulated or managed by either selected benefactors or outsiders. But if it were controlled by someone else, it would only get worse. All governance is based on soft or hard coercion. And charity is inextricably linked with the complete freedom of the benefactor. Charity should not be extorted when it is insufficient, and it should not be banned when it is excessive.

    An article about some experiments that examined the proportion of people who are prone to selfishness and the proportion of people who are prone to altruism, and how much the proportion of both changes from childhood to adulthood: https://elementy.ru/novosti_nauki/430815/Altruizm_u_detey_svyazan_so_stremleniem_k_ravenstvu

  15. All life is built on the principle that death brings life and vice versa. So if a person does something on the principle of altruism, it goes without saying that it is most likely beneficial for him, and vice versa, if a person does not do decent things, then it can turn into trouble. So let's not confuse egoism on a universal scale and egoism that comes from a well-thought-out person.

    Or briefly, “Altruism is a kind of rational, wise egoism” (c)

  16. I'll answer with an anecdote (and then explain what it's all about):
    � – Rebe, is black the color?
    � – yes color
    � – Rebe, and white is the color?
    � – yes color
    � – You see Moishe, I sold you a color TV.

    Such views “of altruism — just no selfishness, just the person beneficial behaving altruistically” is just a redefinition of terms, as in the anegdote, when “helping others, regardless of their own interest” is replaced by “he did mean it is beneficial to him in some sense (and usually did not specify in what sense)”.

    Moreover, I noticed that such a point of view in everyday life is often held by not very conscientious people. Why – I can only guess, probably this position allows them, at least in their own eyes, to lower other people, in order not to consider themselves worse.

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