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InvisibleSclorch
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Does altruism exist?
    #1898786 - 09/09/03 05:44 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

This is another one of those controversies that never ends....


I happen to think that once a certain threshold (don't ask me to draw the line... it's quite fuzzy) of consciousness is reached (due to the locus of selection's shift from genes to memes) altruism CAN exist. If not, then there is no such thing as compassion... as caring for someone can be reduced to "your morals compelled you to do it". This is an unsatisfactory explanation IMHO. Furthermore, if we follow this line of reductionism, we come to the conclusion that there is no choice... we are determined to act in an "altruistic" manner. As an advocate of free will and personal responsibility, the idea that compassion (and it's extreme version: altruism) is merely an issue of mental programming is sickening.



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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1898805 - 09/09/03 05:47 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

nice one. I agree.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1899473 - 09/09/03 08:10 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

well, some reductionists have defined altruism out of existence.

when you sacrifice your life to save another, they say you're only doing it for your own gratification, because it makes you "feel good" to follow your morals.

pity.


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Offlinesirreal
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1899547 - 09/09/03 08:23 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Sclorch said:
This is another one of those controversies that never ends....


I happen to think that once a certain threshold (don't ask me to draw the line... it's quite fuzzy) of consciousness is reached (due to the locus of selection's shift from genes to memes) altruism CAN exist. If not, then there is no such thing as compassion... as caring for someone can be reduced to "your morals compelled you to do it". This is an unsatisfactory explanation IMHO. Furthermore, if we follow this line of reductionism, we come to the conclusion that there is no choice... we are determined to act in an "altruistic" manner. As an advocate of free will and personal responsibility, the idea that compassion (and it's extreme version: altruism) is merely an issue of mental programming is sickening.






Very good thread sclorch!

I agree with what you say. There are times when decisions can be made outside of our normal thought processes.Decisions that can contradict our normal thought tendencies.The decisions that are made can even be considered noble or altruistic.


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I may not always tell the truth, but atleast I'm honest
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I see what everyone is saying. It is so hard to form an opinion when you see both sides so clearly!


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Anonymous

Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: sirreal]
    #1899759 - 09/09/03 09:08 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

altruism is seen in animals. certain ground hog species will scream very loud if a hawk is approaching, this almost always targets the hawks attention on the one that called out, and he is most likely to be lunch, but in the process, his family runs into their holes.

altruism is a product of evolution.

is that groundhog debating his own morality before he decides to scream? is he acting out of compassion?

i don't think so. the second he sees it, a biological element in his brain triggers, and hes a goner... (probably wishes he didn't after claws are in his side)

i know animal and human behavior are very different, but this same scenario is very similiar to humans.


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1900128 - 09/09/03 10:52 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

people already choose whether to be compassionate or not. If it were in our own evolutionary conciosness to act out of compassion for the own necessity for the survival of our society/civilization... wouldnt that be a good benefit? I dont know if thats what you are saying, or if that idea for you is sickening... maybe a yes or no answer to that... or an explanation?

but now... i think people choose whether to be compassionate or not.. for whatever reason. Thats just each ones choice.


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What?


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Invisiblekaiowas
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Zero7a1]
    #1900665 - 09/10/03 01:14 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Man I have never heard of these labels before, and I researched them out, I think it's too much clutter here! reductionists, positivist, ethical egoism, and so on. look, help is help, regardless of the motive, the person who helps will enjoy doing it, the one recieving help will also be grateful. Selfish or not, the end result is the same is it not?
one time me and my buddy had this sort of conversation. he asked me why I help him out, and I told him that I thought a smile was worth more than gold. he then asked me why it was worth more than gold, and I was taken a back by his question. we both looked at each other and he was like, "heh nevermind, I know why" and smiles. but really, there has to be a reason? how about that he is my friend and that I actually DO care, and when he needs help I help him. Not because I feel it's my duty, or because I love myself more afterwards, but because I appreciate that he's there. I'm the type of person that likes the feeling of good vibes and when my firend's vibes are down, I like to try to raise them. why even question it?



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Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.---senior doobie


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InvisibleJellric
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: kaiowas]
    #1900712 - 09/10/03 01:31 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

one time me and my buddy had this sort of conversation. he asked me why I help him out




I have seen interviews of people who have saved other people's lives at the risk of their own. (The classic example is when the hero in the movie is grasping the hands of the villain dangling from the cliff/skyscraper. Why??). When asked why they did that, they all get a funny look on their face and answer to the effect that, "If I allowed him to die, I would die as well."

That's really the essence of spirituality isn't it?
All boundaries are an illusion.Thou art That.

"I am He as you are He
as you are Me,
and We are All together...goo goo a choob."

-Thank you, Beatles. (I am the Walrus)


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I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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Invisiblekaiowas
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Jellric]
    #1900779 - 09/10/03 01:59 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

"That's really the essence of spirituality isn't it?
All boundaries are an illusion.Thou art That."

:thumbup:
 


--------------------
Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.---senior doobie


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OfflinePed
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: kaiowas]
    #1900866 - 09/10/03 02:26 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

>> when you sacrifice your life to save another, they say you're only doing it for your own gratification, because it makes you "feel good" to follow your morals.

Anton LaVey pieced together this kind of hapless logical extension. It is a pervasive notion that sabotages one's pursuit of compassion.

Helping others for the lonely purpose of inflating one's self is to be "wisely selfish". It is selfishness undertaken in a way that benefits others. It is not the only manifestation of selflessness. There is selflessness that is powerfully motivated by a genuine concern for the happiness and wellbeing of others. This is the essence of altruism.

That compassion should be the result of careful calculation is a sad state of affairs indeed.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Ped]
    #1900882 - 09/10/03 02:34 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

That compassion should be the result of careful calculation is a sad state of affairs indeed.

True.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1901255 - 09/10/03 07:41 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

the idea that compassion (and it's extreme version: altruism) is merely an issue of mental programming is sickening.




Yes, it is sickening. That way, should you refer to all feelings as mentally programmed ?

MAIA


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Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala



Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: MAIA]
    #1902211 - 09/10/03 02:53 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Yes, it is sickening. That way, should you refer to all feelings as mentally programmed?

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking... can you patch up that grammar?


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OfflineRhizoid
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1904425 - 09/11/03 08:34 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

If not, then there is no such thing as compassion... as caring for someone can be reduced to "your morals compelled you to do it".



I don't see any reductionism in "your morals compelled you to do it". Morals can include anything from stuffing as much food as possible into your mouth, to striving for the advancement of intelligent life in remote galaxies.

If a purpose is implanted in my mind, then of course I get satisfaction from fulfilling that purpose, regardless of what that purpose is. If the purpose is altruistic, then it's a matter of terminology whether this is "self-interest" or not. The "you" that has this interest is not quite the same "you" as the one that is acting on the desire to stuff food in your face. So the question if there is self-interest involved depends on who "you" are when you act.

Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?

--The Who



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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Rhizoid]
    #1906355 - 09/11/03 05:51 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

If a purpose is implanted in my mind, then of course I get satisfaction from fulfilling that purpose, regardless of what that purpose is.

Well, this is basically the compatibilist's view.  Unfortunately for you, the compatibilist argument is a poor attempt at creating a gray area between free will and determinism.  The fact of the matter is that this is one of those cases where black and white ARE the only choices - you either have free will or you don't.  You can't have your cake and eat it too... at least in this case. :wink: 


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Offlinesirreal
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1906382 - 09/11/03 05:57 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

It seems to me that free will is simply realizing that you have more than one choice. How you go about making that choice really is not important.


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I may not always tell the truth, but atleast I'm honest
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I see what everyone is saying. It is so hard to form an opinion when you see both sides so clearly!


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OfflineRhizoid
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1906625 - 09/11/03 07:08 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

the compatibilist argument is a poor attempt at creating a gray area between free will and determinism



I don't see it as gray, I see it as a mosaic of black and white pieces: this moment is determined both by information from the past and by the free-willed choice of picking this moment from all the possible ones that are accessible from this particular past.

This is compatible with metaphysical determinism if what we see as a free-will choice is actually deterministic information that is completely determined by a real[TM] free-will choice made at the beginning of time, but which has been hidden until this moment. But that kind of determinism is not different in any interesting sense from the indeterministic picture where the free choices are a sort of non-initial boundary conditions.


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1907643 - 09/12/03 12:05 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

maybe its not the fact that we create the grey area, but simply our capability to understand is in the grey area. We try and see through the fog, the haze of our swarming thoughts. Yet, we still try to create or do something that would push us through the cloud to understand. Thats what I think is going on with this issue. I agree with kaiowas on this though. I guess that just my interpretation. But are you saying we cant have free will and chose to compassion, because that would other wise be a contradiction to choice because you say that would be determinism?


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What?


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Zero7a1]
    #1907792 - 09/12/03 01:05 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Determinism undermines any meaning to acts of creation.
I like to think that anything that you or I or anyone creates is actually capable of having real meaning. If not, then we're all just one great big mechanistic reaction... change IS time and nothing else... humanity means nothing... beauty is a set of rules... subjectivity IS objectivity (sounds like doublethink doesn't it?)... the concept of existence is belittled...

If this sounds good to you, then by all means... write off these words as inevitable... it isn't going to change you a bit.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Does altruism exist? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1907800 - 09/12/03 01:06 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Patterns have no meaning to the determined. :wink:


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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