HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

RATIONAL SELFISHNESS IS WHAT WE NEED!

the options

Putting myself first is called egoism which is option one. Putting others first is called altruism and it is option two. The third and last option is egotism which is the view that I should put myself first in such a way that I walk over others.
 
Altruism is not the doctrine that we should help others. You can be any of the three and still help others. For example, if you practice egotism you have to be kindly to your gang who you will use to rob a bank. Altruism is the doctrine that we should help others avoiding any benefit for ourselves - you do good wholly for them and not you. People confuse altruism with the doctrine that we should help others. The confusion is why people think that those who are against altruists are bad.
 
Altruism denies that people have rights.
 
Mary helps the old woman and her motive is to satisfy her desire to help. This is considered to be selfishness. She does it for herself not the old woman.
 
Mary helps the old woman and her motive is to help the old woman. This is praised by the altruists. And praised even more if Mary has depression and can't feel good afterwards about it.
 
There is more happiness in scenario one than in scenario two. Altruism then cares about how the old woman feels not you. This degrades you and denies that you are as good as her. Why should her feelings matter and not yours? Then illogically if she were the one helping you it would deny that it cares how she feels. So it degrades her as well and hypocritically denies it. It punishes the doer of the good work by using praise to degrade them.
 
Altruism cares about your motives most of all. It is the kind of thinking that cares about spirituality and not people. It is totally ridiculous to say to a man who fears losing his wife to another, "You should fear the loss of her because it will mean you won't be able to be altruistic to her if she leaves." If that should be the way he should think he would not fear losing her at all!
 
Altruism pretends there is a difference between the selfish, "I help John because I want to" and the supposedly altruistic "I help John because I want to and I want to because he wants me to help him." If you help somebody because you want to, you must do it because they want you to help them for otherwise you can't help them. You are not helping an old woman if you get her across the road when she doesn't want your help. Altruism is a lie.
 
Altruism, because it denies the existence of human rights and makes no sense, cannot be regarded as anything other than a disguised form of egotism. You are considered to be a selfish egotist if you rob banks even if it is for what you call altruistic reasons.
 
Egoism believes in the right of each person to be happy and to be their own person.  Rand and some ethical egoists seem to think that being happy yourself puts you in conflict with the happiness of others.  This view makes working for the happiness of others seem self-destructive.  That is a mistake for while certain things that make me happy might have to make another unhappy in general I cannot be happy unless the people around me are sufficiently happy.  In most cases, my happiness is taking from nobody else's or theirs mine.  It does not follow that if each person works for their own happiness that they cannot all be happy.

 

Altruism denies the value of happiness and cares only about service so altruism and egoism are wholly incompatible.  Selfishness can be defined by many as what takes from others or prevents them from having but this is not what egoism does.  So we must be careful to say that egoism is self-centered but not selfish as in that interpretation of selfish.
 
Egoism is to be a blessing to others because with it I look after others for myself. This is really just loving myself. I may not look for a reward but doing things for them is the reward. That is the only reward I want. Loving others and not myself as in altruism is evil. The egoist can do exactly what the professed altruist does but the egoist drops all the pretending and so the egoist should be better at good than the altruist.  People don’t want altruists helping them for the altruist does the good without seeking any joy in it. They want egoists.
 
is altruism concerned with good results?

Altruism is thought to be a consequentialist doctrine. That means that you must do whatever action that will bring the best results for others. It is not the same as Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism teaches that you do what is best for others and try to include yourself. Altruism agrees but says you should not include yourself.
 
The central problem with this is that altruism says that serving others is important and your happiness is not. How you could work out what is best for others with that kind of attitude is baffling! If you are an altruist and altruism is right and good, it is your duty to make sure that others are altruistic as well! If altruism will make you unhappy, you must encourage others to afflict themselves with the same misery. Altruism is not a consequentalist doctrine.
 
If it is the consequences that matter, then does the motive matter? Altruism says you must have an altruistic motive. So this declares that the motive not the consequences is what matters. Jesus then was advocating altruism when he said you should loan things to people who will not return them to you. The motive is what matters not the bad results for you or anybody else. Is this not advocating evil? Jesus would reply that the motive is so important that it is love to have the right motive regardless of the consequences. He taught for example that you should love God so much that you would take on a cruel death that degrades those who kill you and devastates your friends and family. He practiced that ethic himself, if the gospels are to be believed!
 
Altruism claims that the most important doctrine is that man has no right to exist for his own sake. It says that you should not exist except to help others. Jesus agreed but held that this means that man must live for God and then neighbour. This is a variation of the usual altruistic idea that man must live for neighbour. The altruistic doctrine implies that there is no such thing as human rights. Jesus said that altruism towards God matters more than altruism towards your neighbour which actually a harsher and tougher version of altruism that commands you to serve your neighbour at your own loss. God makes bigger demands than any neighbour would. Jesus for example said that God was perfect and asks everybody to be as perfect as him. Also it is easier to sacrifice for a neighbour you do see than a God who may not exist! It was the cleverest move in history when Christianity gave the world a law to keep that it cannot keep to see it torn apart by despair and frustration.
 
If altruism is so great, you should not treat yourself to an evening in to enjoy your bath and eat chocolates. Instead you should be out looking for somebody to sacrifice to.
 
Jesus commanded that we are to love (agapao in the Greek the gospels were originally written in) God with all our hearts and strength and to love (agapao) our neighbour as ourselves. Agapao refers to self-sacrificing and unconditional love. A good translation would be altruistic love. In other words, it is a love that is independent of feeling or affection. For Jesus, if you agapao yourself that does not mean you have great self-esteem at all. It means you treat yourself in accordance with what God calls good. You love yourself if you die for God for God commands that you die for him rather than break God's law. There is nothing consoling about this kind of love of self. Agapao was sometimes used to describe non-altruistic forms of love in ancient times but the way Jesus says God must be loved more than yourself certainly proves that he meant altruistic love. The context tells us what he meant by love. Anyway the other meanings of the word were loose and careless and rare so Jesus should be taken to mean altruistic love. The gospels were using the word properly.
 
Jesus declared that this agapao for God and neighbour was the greatest commandment. So it is more important to have agapao for your wife than eros, erotic love or sexual affection. It is more important to have it than to have the warm liking love (non-sexual affection) that is called philia for your friend or parent or brother or whatever. These other forms of love must be rooted out if they endanger agapao or if they are not based on it and taking their impetus from it.
 
The doctrine of altruism hinders the believer in altruism from creativity and self-development and self-improvement and makes him a missionary out to make others as bad as himself. The doctrine does not give a toss about consequences though at times it may seem to have good results. These results are just luck. They were not the responsibility of the doctrine.
 
If X acts altruistically in the interest of Y, and Y acts altruistically in the interest of X then no progress is made. Altruism is anti-progress.
 
The doctrine makes it impossible to tell an altruist apart from a begrudger. Perhaps one sets an example of altruism to stop people enjoying the good things they have?
 
altruism refuted, egoism vindicated

What I am most sure of in my life comes first. I come first for I am most sure of my own existence. I know that everything else could be an illusion. But I cannot believe that my existence could be an illusion for there has to be something to have the illusion. This tells me that I should put myself first in accordance with egoism.

It follows that anything I do should be done for my own pleasure and I should train myself to enjoy simple and easy-to-do things like helping others for that guarantees happiness. I can't feel safe in the world unless I am a very safe person to know. What kind of person I am determines how I see the world. If I can't do good that proves I am a good person I will not be very confident in the goodness of others. I will suffer. The more good I do for others the more I am a blessing for myself. I may not get rewards and I may meet with much ingratitude. But my power to be happy despite it all will be my reward.
 
This is the answer to the silly idea that if I put myself first I am being arbitrary. They say, "Why should you come first rather than your neighbour?" You are not being arbitrary. In fact, the best way to love yourself is by doing all you can for others. If you believe you must only work and live for the sake of others that means you don't think much of them for you must expect each of them to believe the same.
 
Altruism is based on treating the question of why I should come first rather than my neighbour as demanding the answer: "I shouldn't but my neighbour should." This makes no sense. It is far more arbitrary to heed altruism.
 
Some objectors to egoism say that egoism is a theory so to obey it is to be arbitrary. But altruism and egotism are theories too! Also, if we have no real option only egoism then it is not a theory anymore but a truth. And it is truth not theory.
 
To hurt anybody is to show immense immaturity for you are showing everybody else that you would treat them as badly if they filled the shoes of your victim.
 
It is thought that the egoists have to have strong self-esteem and have to like their own faults. That is incorrect for the egoists like their good side and see the dark side as the fault of the programming they received. They must wish to correct the dark side but they must not let it make them feel bad about themselves.

Even if egoism has faults it is better than altruism. It is because the egoists enjoy helping others that the egoist will not steal or harm others and does not fear to bring others to believe in egoism.
 
It is thought that an egoist cannot encourage other people to be egoists for that is encouraging them to try and get the better of them in life. It seems that if you had a friend and both of you were going to an interview you can't encourage your friend to do her best to get the job. This is rubbish. The egoist is thinking of herself or himself. No true egoist thinks only about money and jobs and not friendship. The egoist knows that suffering and disappointment and hurt and being lied to are a part of life and will not try to avoid them too much. The egoist should be confident and not fear competition. If another person is better for the job the egoist has to be glad that he or she got the job. Altruists naturally would have to encourage others to try and do better than them as well so what difference does it make?
 
It is false that the egoist can behave dishonestly and cruelly when he or she will get away with it. To make evil is to will the enemy to exist - and evil is the enemy that has no loyalty to those who befriend it. True self-interest will avoid evil. To enjoy evil is to enjoy your potential enemy. The egoist never has to pretend not to be self-interested. A husband who caresses his wife without enjoyment will find that it is in his self-interest and hers as well to learn to enjoy it and to say so. Self-interest helps others when practiced properly. Selflessness does not and cannot. A woman goes to the poor to help them all her life though she would rather be a model and enjoy life. It is said that egoists condemn her for that and non-egoists praise her for it. The answer is that proper self-interest seeks happiness in helping others for in this work happiness will always be found. Jobs and money and marriages can pass away but friendship remains.

Egoism alone is the rational philosophy. Egoists behave nearly exactly like non-egoists might but the attitude is different. Egoism will make you happier about being a good person. If you are not a proper egoist then you hurt yourself and degrade yourself when you hurt others unduly. It is degrading not to be an egoist for you don’t need to be anything else.

Moreover, you cannot be altruistic anyway.  

When altruists are really just egoists who pretend not to be egoists, how could egoism do any harm?

“It is very clear that self-acceptance and self-worth must come first before we have a valid measuring stick by which to measure a love for others” (page 22, Stress, Charles Garland Edwards, Pacific Press Publishing Company, Idaho, Canada, 1982). Sooooooo true!

People who tell me to love God are telling me that I should not put myself first. I love only me and God cannot be good according to believers unless he makes me with the power to love him if I so choose. I don’t have that power and to say there is a God is to say that I do and should not put myself first.
 
If I am honest, I do everything I do because I feel like it. If I help others, it is because I wish to. It is about my wish and not them. Those who disagree are confusing the benefit for others with the wish to commit the act of benefiting others. The two are separate.
 
Let’s prove it.
 
If I value money my act is to value. The money is incidental. How do I know? Because if I value people my act is to value. In both I value, my action is to value. It is exactly the same act but it is only what is valued that is different. If I throw a snowball my act is to throw. The exact same act will throw a javelin. The act is the same – it is only what is thrown that is different. So it makes no sense to say that to value money is selfish and that it is unselfish to value people. The act is exactly the same, the valuing is exactly the same but it is only the focus of the valuing that is different. It would make as much sense to say that tasting wine was good but tasting milk was bad. Or that tasting wine was unselfish and tasting milk was selfish. Tasting is just tasting just as valuing is just valuing. If tasting something in particular has good results or if valuing something in particular has good results, if they help people better than not doing them would, that is a by-product of the tasting or valuing. People will value what they want or are pre-determined by their psyche to value. It is the valuing that is important – not what is valued. Therefore if I am selfish for valuing money I am just as selfish for valuing people.
 
There is no sacrifice for what I do I want to do under the circumstances. My will is just about me meaning that if I do wrong it is a mistake and not a sin or crime. The will is about gratifying desire not about evil and good which are the consequences of the intent but not the intent itself. Life is easier when we remember that what we do, we do for ourselves even if we are not keen on it and it gives us a sense of comfort. The doctrine of free will takes that away from us. People never do wrong because they deny their responsibility – they do it because they fail to see how useless and unattractive wrong is. The doctrine of free will suggests otherwise which is why the doctrine is a slander against us that we will not stand for. You are not really free if evil is based on misunderstanding. You need to understand what you are doing to be truly free. Religion hates the sinner by accusing her of a freedom and wickedness she does not have.
 
It is argued that the motive of self-interest would have nothing to aim at unless the person had other motives as well. For example, you don't want to become a doctor just because of the prestige, you want to do a good job as well. But is this correct? You can't have the prestige unless you do a good job. So you can do the job well only to get the prestige. The "other" motives are only different forms of the self-interest motives or support self-interest.
 
It is argued that not all our desires are geared towards self-interest. It is said that hunger is a desire whose object is eating and not your interests. This view says that hunger is a first order desire and self-interest a second order desire.
 
The problem with this idea is that hunger is a desire we cannot control. It comes from the body. Feeling hungry or not feeling hungry has nothing to do with the kind of person you are. Being self-interested does. The hunger example is irrelevant. If you have no self-interest you will not eat. It is not true that the hunger is a first order desire. The self-interest is.
 
People may say that you give money to the starving because you don't want people to starve and not because you want to satisfy your desire to help them. But the only difference between, "I give because I want to help" and "I help because I want to satisfy my desire to help" is in the wording. The meaning is the same. This being the case, our giving is the act of an egoist. You give only because you feel inclined to. You do it for you though others benefit.
 
Deniers that we are all naturally egoists say, "You may feel good to help the starving. The feeling doesn't explain the motive. The motive explains the feeling." But if you take egoism to mean doing things to satisfy the desire to do them and not how you will feel after then there is no problem. This is the correct understanding of egoism. Besides you know you will feel good if you help, so we are entitled to guess that it does explain the motive.
 
Maybe we could say that the first order desire is to help the starving and the second order desire could be to satisfy your desire to help. But how can you know which desire is the strongest - assuming there is a difference between them which there is not?
 
Some philosophers say that you can give into irrational rage which contradicts self-love. But irrational passions can warp your sense of self-love. When you are being irrational because of passion, that is self-love and just because it may have bad results for you does not imply that it is not self-love.
 
Self-interest requires that you forget about happiness

Seeking nothing back means you seek the sense of freedom in return for what you do and that beats wealth or any other reward.  So you seek something back after all!

 

One version of psychological egoism says that people only do good or bad for the pleasure they are going to get out of it. But against this it is argued that you can be self-serving without seeking pleasure. You can seem to be good because you are after sometbodys money even though you know you won’t live long enough to enjoy the money and don’t particulary enjoy being rich anyway.
 
We know that if we do something and seek nothing back that we find we will derive happiness from it. Happiness involves being at peace and you cannot have happiness if you keep wanting it for then you have no peace. If you forget about it, you get it. You are making yourself happy not by working for it but by letting yourself be happy. Seeking nothing back is not being unselfish but being truly self-centred the only way we can be.
 
Forgetting about happiness then to be happy is not selflessness at all. If altruism makes sense, then we should forget with the intention of being unhappy. Forgetting about happiness to be unhappy would imply that it is reasonable for somebody to ask you to carry them on your back from Edinburgh to London.
 
Would forgetting about happiness to be neither happy or unhappy be better? You wouldn't want that. You would be trying to make yourself unfeeling and numb.
 
You have to forget about happiness to be happy for the alternatives are bad. So you wouldn't be doing the forgetting unless you believed or felt you were going to be okay.
 
Death does not seem real to the person risking his life who jumps into the water to save you from drowning and that is why he is able to take the risk. He enjoys the forgetting and this enjoyment takes over. It is not the best kind of enjoyment but it is still enjoyment. He forgets about happiness to find happiness. That is his intention despite the consequences.
 
when you are free indeed you are an egoist
 
You are not yourself if you are controlled by your anger or hatred or if you do things that cause others to become your enemies. You are not truly selfish when you are controlled by theses forces inside you. You need to be free from them to be yourself - to be a true egoist. It is simply false that you need to have hate and anger and a desire to trample on others to be selfish. The opposite is the truth. In the biggest things in life. love and reproduction and war we are less free. Why the big deal about free will?
 
Christians and egoism
 
Christian morality is a heap of absurdities, guesses and above all contradictions. In the world, you have all those different moral systems. None of them add up and result only in defensiveness and bigotry and hypocrisy. Ethical egoism (our view that it is good to do things only because you want to) is opposed because it supposedly makes people immoral. In fact, it is the best of a bad lot. When that is the case, how could it matter if we assume psychological egoism is true? If we have to guess that we are altruistic, that we are egotistic, that we are egoistic or that we are a mix then why not guess egoism?
 
Conclusion

Egoism is the truth. Altruism is rubbish.  Selfishness if defined as what takes from others or prevents them from having is a good description of altruism which takes away people's happiness in the name of morality.  The person you see in the mirror hurts you the most in life and altruism or trying to be selfless that is the biggest reason for that.