/ Helping Charities For Self-Gratification
I just thought it was an interesting point to put before people, I'm not looking for a definitive answer more of a discussion.
PS: sorry for spelling mistakes this has been written on an IPad :@
Does altruism actually exist then?
After a session of touching up under age kids giving something to charity must leave you feeling well balanced.
By telling people that she gives to charity on national TV she has negated the altruism. There is never such a thing as true altruism.
Sometimes you give money or time because it's just 'the right thing to do' almost with no thought. e.g. a collection tin on a counter for spare change.
Othertimes, you do it beacause it's part of an event or appeal (children in need, liveaid).
I've done voluntary work for a long time and some of it was a pain in the @rse, but it needed to be done. Other stuff has been fun, other has made me feel 'part of the larger human race' and thus feel better. I also have skills that i didn't have before.
Some people do seem to do it for the 'bragging rights', which jars somewhat...but hey, it doesn't really matter why you do it...just do it!
> By telling people that she gives to charity on national TV she has negated the altruism. There is never such a thing as true altruism.
I think there *is* such a thing as altruism...but sometimes you find out afterwards that you get something back as well (pride, tax break, publicity, blisters... ;-) )
everybody benefits from it. (except cadets that don't like mountains)
The people who do it in private will still have selfish means, even if these are at a subconcious level.
You'll have to explain that for me.
Explain what. It is quite self explanatory. I am saying there is no such thing as true altruism. Everyone has a motive for doing something, whether they are fully concious of the fact or not.
Even those done on the spur of the moment? Eg The woman in Cardiff who was run down and killed by the nutter in the van, who managed to shove her children out of the way before it hit them? Surely that was an instinctive selfless act?
> Even those done on the spur of the moment? Eg The woman in Cardiff who was run down and killed by the nutter in the van, who managed to shove her children out of the way before it hit them? Surely that was an instinctive selfless act?
An instinctive act preprogrammed through evolution by her selfish genes for their own self-preservation and propagation.
depending on how cynical someone is pretty much every act of altruism can be written off as benefiting the person or benefiting people close to them.
I tend to separate them though into those acts where the benefit is clearly for the giver (say some of the dubious tax avoidance schemes) or not.
Likewise i would break down any charitable giving, from me, into actual giving vs items which benefit me (club memberships for example).
On the contrary, I was trying to put things on a more rational, scientific basis. There are perfectly good evolutionary explanations for altruism.
Not really, I think, all or most parents would sacrifice themselves for thier children, it's just a logical thing to do if you want your dna to continue after you die, or if your're just about to.
I used to have a problem with nothing seeming to be truly selfless untill I decided it's the end result which really matters rather than the motive, I think it's just something which is in our programming so that we survive as a species.
I don't think a philosphical discussion is always pointless is it?
Just because true altruism may not exist doesn't mean giving to charity is wrong. That's not what I was saying. Just idle musing, really.
I give to charity. I do things for charity. I don't get any real tangible benefit but I do feel better about myself and the world afterwards, which is maybe why I do it. No harm done really.
^^ this ^^
Altruism is not about whether you tell anyone or not. Altruism is doing something without a payoff.
There is a school of thought that there is no true altruism because at the very least, the payoff is that you enhance your self image, even if no one else knows.
Personally, unless you decribe altruism as 'doing something for others with only the self satisfaction it brings' then I do not think it exists.
That isn't to say there is anything wrong with getting something back. It makes me happy to help someone out. What's wrong with that?
Does it matter why you help a charity as long as you are helping? I do one or two nights a week working for a charity so that I can gain skills and experiences that I don't get working as a sales assistant in a shop in the hope it will help me find a better job in the future.
Although a somewhat heavy read, if you wanted to look at this issue as it relates to politicians etc you should read Sowell's (1996) "The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy"
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