Log In Sign Up

Altruism


Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting

Notices

Welcome to the JustMommies Message Boards.

We pride ourselves on having the friendliest and most welcoming forums for moms and moms to be! Please take a moment and register for free so you can be a part of our growing community of mothers. If you have any problems registering please drop an email to boards@justmommies.com.

Our community is moderated by our moderation team so you won't see spam or offensive messages posted on our forums. Each of our message boards is hosted by JustMommies hosts, whose names are listed at the top each board. We hope you find our message boards friendly, helpful, and fun to be on!

Reply Post New Topic
  Subscribe To Atheist and Agnostic Parenting LinkBack Topic Tools Search this Topic Display Modes
  #1  
September 8th, 2006, 09:59 AM
Number_3's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,122
Can anyone really act out of altruism? (the unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others)

Is it possible to do something for someone for completely unselfish reasons? I say it cannot be done, as there is always some underlying motivation for wanting others to do well and/or be well. Even Mother Theresa, I'd argue, had a motive. Heaven.

I thought, well, what about a mother (like myself) willing to die for her children? What selfish end is there in that? Well, my children are a part of me, and so naturally speaking (yes, I mean nature in the literal sense) I need to ensure their survival not only because I love them, but because I/my gene pool cannot perpetuate if they don't survive.

I know it's more complicated than this...the human psyche that is. But sticking to my question, is there really such a thing as an altruistic act?

What are your thoughts?
__________________
<span style="font-family:Comic Sans Ms">Kelly</span>
Reply With Quote
  #2  
September 8th, 2006, 10:14 AM
mrobinson
Guest
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Can anyone really act out of altruism? (the unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others)
But sticking to my question, is there really such a thing as an altruistic act?

What are your thoughts?[/b]
hmm... will have to think about it.. There is giving but even volunteering at the centre, I find myself gaining knowledge, education, movie passes and pizza! I feel like I get more (for my spirit) than the people calling.. (Of course I can't say for sure since I don't know how they feel after.) My commitment is almost up and I am finding that I'm balancing the education & pizza against the satisifaction of volunteering. (Sometimes the calls are not great.)

So is it unselfish devotion for others? Maybe it was at the start, but it's frustrating too so the perks are nice. The answer obviously being ya ~ it's not an altruistic act.

About Mother Thresea.. I think about how I love my dogs and in return I get love back.. is that selfish? I don't think so because I don't expect their love in return.. it just happened. So I kinda think MT is a person like that to the poor.. We just love her back because she was so giving. I think the idea of doing "God's work" isn't to get into Heaven for her.. I think it was to be the best person of giving she could be under the belief that Jesus/God/Holy Spirit wants that of her.. In Gloria Steinem's words, she was the perfect example of what the church expects of a woman, to be completely obedient. MT was God's girl. I really think she was a great example of altruistic acts.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
September 8th, 2006, 12:06 PM
kadydid
Guest
Posts: n/a
Even good deeds that know one ever hears about and no ones knows happened, makes you feel good. So therefore you’re selfishly making yourself feel good!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
September 8th, 2006, 12:50 PM
mrobinson
Guest
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Even good deeds that know one ever hears about and no ones knows happened, makes you feel good. So therefore you’re selfishly making yourself feel good! [/b]
Hmm.. I wonder if She-bopping counts...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
September 9th, 2006, 01:09 PM
Number_3's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,122
lol@she-bopping

I was thinking along the lines of the rewards you get don't have to be material. i.e. good feelings, spiritual brownie points, etc...
__________________
<span style="font-family:Comic Sans Ms">Kelly</span>
Reply With Quote
  #6  
September 9th, 2006, 06:40 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,496
I believe people can do things for completely unselfish reasons but receive "rewards" (whether material or not) as a result of the action but not have those rewards count against their original intent.

I think those feelings come from the reaction of the people. Say you return someone's wallet and they, in turn, call you a dirty word and then accuse you of having stolen it. You may feel only frustration and anger about your action and not happiness, but if you had not gone into the situation returning the wallet for the end goal of those happy feelings (which were denied to you anyway), you would be being altruistic.

I think I will try rewording this in the morning because I can't really get it to say what I mean.
__________________
taking jm breaks if you don't see me around much
Reply With Quote
  #7  
September 9th, 2006, 09:59 PM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 22,604
I would return the wallet even if it was someone I disliked or didn't think they deserved it just becuase it is the right thing to do - so that wouldn't be doing it for any "rewards", unless living up to my own self-imposed "right thing to do" standards counts as reward.
I believe in altruistic acts. Even if we feel good about it, when we do something for others with the main goal of making things better for them, whether or not we get and perks from it, I think that is altruistic. Unless you are doing something only to feel good about yourself, then that is the main goal - like for example someone who donates clothes to the needy because it makes them feel they are doing good works, but secretly looks down on the people that receive their donations - and maybe even resists donating their "nicer" things because of that, that's not altruistic. But the person who donates even their nicest baby dresses that they are no longer using, because they think of the happiness it will bring some unfortunate mom and little girl who might not otherwise have something so nice - that's altruistic, IMO.
__________________

Crissy mama to Jack 7.16.01 ~ Mia Bella 10.29.02
Angus Pickle 2.24.04 ~ Sydney Bean 10.26.06 & Kater Tot 2.15.09

Looking for fun lunch ideas for kids? Check out my blog: BentOnBetterLunches!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
September 10th, 2006, 08:42 AM
smt smt is offline
Mega Super Daddy
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,587
FWIW, the number one doner to non-profit causes is an atheist: Bill Gates.

BTW, I guess all atheists are "non-prophet", right
Reply With Quote
  #9  
September 10th, 2006, 11:56 AM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 22,604
Quote:
BTW, I guess all atheists are "non-prophet", right [/b]
__________________

Crissy mama to Jack 7.16.01 ~ Mia Bella 10.29.02
Angus Pickle 2.24.04 ~ Sydney Bean 10.26.06 & Kater Tot 2.15.09

Looking for fun lunch ideas for kids? Check out my blog: BentOnBetterLunches!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
September 10th, 2006, 06:38 PM
SchwarzeWitwe's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Knoxvegas, TN
Posts: 414
Quote:
FWIW, the number one doner to non-profit causes is an atheist: Bill Gates.

BTW, I guess all atheists are "non-prophet", right [/b]
In Type O Negative's Life is Killing Me case, it says "Type O Negative is a non-prophet organization."
__________________




Julian Marcus. Andrew Thomas. Michael anything.

Isabella Simone. Genevieve Amalia. Alexandra Katharine. Lucia Elizabeth.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
September 13th, 2006, 12:48 PM
mrobinson
Guest
Posts: n/a
Quote:
FWIW, the number one doner to non-profit causes is an atheist: Bill Gates.

BTW, I guess all atheists are "non-prophet", right [/b]


Sara ~ I think you have the right post.. I know it's just really hard to articulate!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
September 15th, 2006, 12:02 PM
Number_3's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,122
I dunno. I'm not talking about perks for deeds. I'm talking very basic terms of receiving a benefit for a seemingly selfless act. Even good feelings are a benefit.

Okay, let's be hypothetical: If you could do something that did nothing for you in terms of emotions, but that thing you do benefits someone else in a good way without causing harm to anyone else, would you still do it?

I'm trying to think of an example here that would fit the scenario...
__________________
<span style="font-family:Comic Sans Ms">Kelly</span>
Reply With Quote
  #13  
September 22nd, 2006, 10:47 AM
mrobinson
Guest
Posts: n/a
Quote:
I'm talking very basic terms of receiving a benefit for a seemingly selfless act. Even good feelings are a benefit.

Okay, let's be hypothetical: If you could do something that did nothing for you in terms of emotions, but that thing you do benefits someone else in a good way without causing harm to anyone else, would you still do it?[/b]
Let me try this senerio.. I think a true "hero" is someone who just does without thinking.. Like if someone was drowning, they would jump in without thinking about why nor reward.. We pay police/fire/ambulance/doctors/military for it, (and not to mininalize what they do) but a common person doing a deed like that really just has the attitude that "it had to be done."

Is that more what we are looking for?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Topic Tools Search this Topic
Search this Topic:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:51 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0