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No, it's not a real question. You don't have to answer. Just amazed. Is it different when you're the victim of someone else's selfishness?
abstraction abstraction 51-55, M 14 Answers Aug 25, 2011

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I think that is why sociologists are calling this the Age of Entitlement. Somehow the priorities that society works so hard to promote are mostly about personal success, and there is little about doing what is right for society or family or the human race as a whole. We are bound to mess up everything around us, including the planet, when we encourage this sort of mindset within ourselves. Yet, foolishly, we do.

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:) Thoughtful. Thanks.

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Totally know what you mean. I love my girlfriend, I really do, but she's doing things that she knows hurts me like crazy and these same things put our relationship in serious jeopardy.

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I couldn't agree more. So many people in relationships act like the other person owes them something. They expect their partner to entertain them, make them happy, and give them everything they want. When the person is unable to do so to their satisfaction, they simply discard them and move on to the next.

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What? I'm not selfish. I'll share.... :(

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I wonder where one idea starts and the other ends. The subject of relationships surfaced, in connection with the thought of selfishness, which I suppose is natural. I am unsure of whether or not my actions are selfish, in this specific circumstance, but am sure that I am not a selfish person. All I want is to be appreciated for my role in people's lives and for it to be remembered- when they are happy with me and not. <br />
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I think it's unreasonable, when you are wondering around life, totally on your own- no parents, family won't help support you or assist you in accomplishing anything and your friends can't. I am starting out in life, just as you are, but love you enough to say to myself, "I see that you are lost and don't want you to wonder about in life until...whenever. Even though, you really don't deserve it, you do need someone to extend their hand and treat you like a person. We can make this work". I do have the tendency to feel irrational and not quite sure if I feel he's unappreciative because I don't always get my way out of him and inside I am seeking sone kind of 'reverence' for being everything I have during these last few years or if he's really just a 'hole', as I feel like.

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Selfishness is a virtue. If you were unselfish why would you advocate unselfishness. If you were unselfish you wouldn't accept sonething from someone else, or be envious of others. People preaching unselfishness are more than ready to accept your resources and assets despite their claim of unselfishness. If you were unselfish, you'd sell everything you have and give it to the poor, but they wouldn't accept it if they were unselfish. Everyone would be poor, because if they were unselfish there would be no reason to better yourself. Selfishness sustains life. Unselfish people would give away all their food. Selfishness produces goods and services for others. Unselfish people wouldn't have capital to spend on starting a business they would have given it away. Unselfishness is an illusion used to justify theft from someone who has more than you do. Get off you arse and take responsibilty to better your own life. It's not my or anyone else's job. It's yours. Quit looking for a free lunch in exchange for someone else's sympathy. It's pathetic. And yes, of course I'm selfish and proud of it. Not everyone is stupid enough to fall for the "Don't be selfish con." If you really love someone, you want them to do what is best for them, not you. Don't be selfish is the first part of: "Do what best for me and screw you." It has nothing to do with love. Love is not sacrifice, it is appreciation and admiration. No one who loves you asks you to harm yourself for them. Doing that is true selfishness.

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No, you are confusing selfishness with self interest. In philosophy this is the fallacy of psychological egoism.
• Actions in self-interest are not necessarily selfish actions. For example, it is in your self-interest to obey the law, to exercise, and to enrol in college, but no one would claim that it is selfish for you to do so.
• Actions in self-interest and actions for the interest of others are not exclusive categories of action. That is, it is false that every action is done from either self-interest or other-regarding motives. Some people smoke or eat too much, and these actions are not clearly in either category of actions.
• Actions in self-interest are not necessarily incompatible with the interest of others. For example, it is in your self-interest for everyone to be happy (cf., Adam Smith's "unseen hand"). If you are to help others, you must first be in a position to do so. I.e., in many instances, you have to help yourself first to obtain the knowledge of how to help others.

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That was a very thoughtful reply. To me selfishness is harming someone else for your benefit. But we all want to gain or benefit in our relationships. That's the only reason to be or relate to someone else, because it improves our life. We do not exist for the sake of others, we exist for our own benefit. “There is only one way … to get anybody to do anything… . And that is by making the other person want to do it.” Dale Carnegie. So you want people to be altruistic in their relationships with others. That seems like a laudible goal, but it has to be in their self interest. Smoking or eating to much are self destructive, but are done from a misguided perception of gain or pleasure that leads to negative consequences. When we try to undermine natural response of self preservation and self bettermint in others, we have become emotional pickpockets demanding someone sacrifice their wellbeing to ours. Our society is a good example. Welfare and transfer payments advocated by self serving saints and sages throughout history sound good. Every action taken by rational individuals in a rational society is choosen to better themselves. There is not natural drive in wolves to dig dens for onother wolves pups, there is also no natural drive in mankind to benefit society. Society is made up of individuals, you cannot harm one while helping another and say you are improving society. Relationships of all kinds, personal, social, economic only sustain themselve when both parties benefit. Without that relationships flounder and one party resorts to the use of force to get what they want. Criticism, force and violence are not kindness or goodness no matter how youtry to twist rhetoric in support of them

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And a thoughtful reply from you, thanks.
"When we try to undermine natural response of self preservation and self bettermint in others, we have become emotional pickpockets demanding someone sacrifice their wellbeing to ours." Once again, i think you're confusing selfishness and self interest. Self interest isn't the same thing, and isn't wrong, otherwise we wouldn't eat or breathe. Self interest is vital for us to function at all, so on that point we are totally on the same page. That doesn't make us selfish. Selfishness must be defined in relation to others. And the idea that all actions are necessarily selfish has been completely confounded in philosophy. Very briefly:
In every voluntary act the person acts on his or her own motive - so on that we agree completely. A selfish &amp; an unselfish person do what they want to do. But wanting to do something isn't necessarily selfish, it's virtually unavoidable. It depends what you want to do.
The difference is, a selfish person wants their own interests to prevail over others, whilst the unselfish person supports the interests of others.
The argument that the unselfish person feels good when they act unselfishly, therefore they are selfish is confuses correlation and causation. “Since doing things for others makes people feel good, they must be doing it because it makes them feel good.” It confuses motive and effects. I get stressed out when i go to work, therefore I go to work to get stressed out.
It's also redefining “selfish.” “Selfish” no longer means that I am doing something with the intent of benefitting myself; it means that I am doing something which results in my benefit. This is pure equivocation. This is a completely incorrect and unintuitive use of the word “selfish.”
So, yes, I believe altruism is possible, because it is a tautology to define all acts as necessarily selfish. And I also think that when people are confused over the distinctions, they rationalise their selfish behaviour, resulting in an uglier world
Anyway, i think i've said my piece. Thanks for engaging.

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No-one is perfect.<br />
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I would have thought that this would be an early red flag though. You don't go into a relationship blind.

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I don't know, love is also about self-respect and modern life erodes our self-esteem. I haven't seen more love in older generations, there was attachment but there was a lot of silent pain too.

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So true. I think the 'erosion' of marriage as an institution has meant it requires more conscious effort to make relationships work. So the higher risk can potentially mean greater reward. I think the same is true of parenting - children won't just shut up and do what they're told. You have to think more about who they are and how to be there for them in ways that are appropriate at the time.

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It's sad because many people don't even realise they're being selfish. I didn't realise when I was and the relationship was just as doomed when I ended up with a selfish partner.<br />
Thank God for MrsVoices, what an angel....

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There's really a broader line between selfishness, and just knowing what one wants...maybe throw out a hypothetical?

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Not hypothetical - I agree totally. Nothing selfish with knowing what you want. It is selfish if you trample on others to get it.

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That`s sad

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