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Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Mem, Aug 11, 2007.
Yes and no. It shouldn't be, but deep down inside, even when we do selfless things for others, we have some selfish pat me on the back thing going on. You can usually tell if this is the case because one would tell numerous people about or advertise their selfless deed. There are a few people who simply do things and don't say a word, which is admirable.
I never quite understood those friggin' balloons from childrens hospitals. They practically force you to write your name on them so they can hang them in the grocery store, like someone's gonna pick you out and say, "Ahh, what a great person for donating."
What's in it for me?
LOL, good point.
Was Mother Teresa selfless or was she looking for a payoff when she devoted her life to helping the sick and poor? And was Jesus (if you believe in him) looking for a payoff?
Yes they were, it made them feel good to help those people. Everything is about the "payoff"
Nothing is selfless.
I think one thing to take into consideration when it comes to people like Mother Theresa publicity was a consequence of being noticed. I think she did very selfless work (I can't speak for her desire to go to heaven, but that is a payoff, as well) and it was noticed and publicized. That is not her fault.
Jesus? Well, given that he didn't write an autobiography and all word about him comes from the mouths of his followers, I'd say he wasn't looking for the 'look at me' pay off. His payoff (for those who believe) was the salvation of others. Of course, we are talking about a figure that existed so long ago and have had so many voices attached to his story that it's even hard to tell who the real Jesus was in the first place.
I would put it this way:
When we see things clearly, we see that in serving the larger good, we are expressing our better and perhaps most real selves.
So, from an 'enlightened' perspective (sorry, but I don't know how to avoid this hard-to-define word), serving the selfish end and the selfless end carries no contradiction because both may be served through performing the same act.
Yeah, that's the gist of what I was trying to say. LOL
Just to point out folks that I hit the wrong button when I voted. My reason for voting no is quite simple. When I help someone I do it because I want to and not for any other reason. I Presume that most peope but not all do the same.
I understand your view, Everything we do including suicide, is to make ourselves feel better.
I would just like to think that everything is not about a payoff. I am an optimist and happy to be a little naive.
I agree with you Mem101 I knw that some people get a kick out of doing good for others but I'd like to think that there are lots of folks around who do good simply because they want to. I would also say that when they do the said acts they don't consciously think " Hey if I do blah blag wont that make mr frrl good"
I think you are slightly cynical here, just slightly.
Your assumption seems to be that a payoff somehow sullies what might otherwise be a 'pure' action.
But is there anything impure about wanting to be one who does good? one who expresses love and compassion? one who leaves the world on balance better for his walking through it?
I don't think so.
And yet, all these give a form of payoff.
It's good to be an optimist. It think the best way to do it is to CHOOSE the payoffs that benefit the most people.
See, I told you we could get along.:wink:
Of course, Dave, but why do they want to? Because they feel their better angels are served in so doing, it seems to me.
I agree. They don't really have to think about it. The impulse is 'embodied.' They simply know they'll feel better. They move, quite unconsiously, towards what will give them the best kind of (truly good) pleasure.
At least that's Rubi's theory.
And Rubi has to go to bed now. G'night all.:tongue:
:biggrin1: :biggrin1: :biggrin1:
(Mem ... how old are you? PM me if you prefer.)
Yes everything's done for a payoff, when we help someone we feel good that we've helped someone, that's the payoff there. We always get something back from whatever we do otherwise we wouldn't do it, a cynical view but basically we're selfish and look after number 1 even when it appears we're looking after someone else.