Should we be altruistic?


A belief or practice of selfless concern for the well-being of others. Ever since I scored INFP -T ( on a personality test, I didn’t know WTF “altruism” even was. Is it something we should be? Would there be open source and Linux without it? And is that why I’m such a fu*cking pu*ssy?

Maybe I didn’t always make the right decisions, and maybe I was friends with people that hated each other… but meeting other people like me on here is a fu*cking amazing experience I’ll never forget <3

IMHO, I think it’s important because not everyone has the luxury of being loved or knows what it’s like to be cared for. I’ve had my fair share of family troubles where I felt I wasn’t loved, and if it wasn’t for certain people in my life, I would probably be a terrible, shitty, negative ass person. Some people feel so hated and can’t trust anyone, they won’t even accept love because they can’t love themselves, let alone be themselves. Some people believe there’s no point in doing something without some kind of benefit in return. But I think there is a benefit, and that’s putting faith back in humanity. Fu*ck sadness… fu*ck fear, take the risk, and make someone’s day.

What do you guys think?

EDIT: I should have just made this fucking thing a poll xD


Absconditus Says:

We find meaning and purpose in life where we can. Balancing altruism and egoism in one’s life is easier for some than for others. Plenty of egoist individuals will seek out altruists and take advantage of them. The balance arises when we learn the meaning of “love thyself” and use that path to then love others (with circumspection). We must all find our own balance and path…

As an example, the noted writer and philosopher, Ayn Rand, was very dismissive of altruism and was a firm believer in selfishness as a guiding virtue. These guiding beliefs are evident in her novels and essays.

Suzy says:

“Altruism is a $P00K!!! BTW I’m going to go ‘shoplifting’ now.” Max Stirner (real quote) I don’t just say this for the memes. There is no true “altruism”. No one is an altruist. When I say this I’m not saying “We are all ass holes who only help people to make ourselves look good or something like that.” most people like to help other people. I’m saying that we help people for selfish reasons.

“Even if altruism is not true. Promoting it is good society.” No, promoting altruism does not do good for society. When you put altruism as a value you get people who are not in any way “altruistic” and these people do more harm then good (environmentalism and most political ideas). These people will grow and do more and more harm when you put altruism as a value (This is what the Whig View of History truly is). Egoism does have it’s problems (like it may lead some to hedonism) but with it you do not have these people. “Shame on the egoist who thinks only of himself!” Max Stirner. To be an egoist is not to think that “altruism is evil”. To be an egoist is to say “I do want I want and to ignore that which get in the way of my ego.”. If is stop doing something because it is “altruistic” I am getting in the way of my own ego.

To be an egoist is to live beyond good and evil. It is not to say “There is no good and evil.”. it is to only obey my ethics.

“Would there be open source and Linux without it?” First say free-software it helps the idea spread better. Second, yes, read The GNU Manifesto. Richard Stallman started the GNU Project for himself. Linus made linux for himself. All the good free-software tools are made for one guy. There may be an “altruistic” side to free-software but that comes after the egoistic side. Also free-software is the default sate of software.

Pianist Says:

I agree with @suzy for the most part. Altruists are altruists for selfish reasons. There was a “Friends” episode in 90s, where Ross proven it to Phoebe nailing every case of altruism out there. The bottom line is, – you do things for others to make yourself feel better. I also agree that altruism shouldn’t be promoted. These things suck on the industrial scale. Whatever you share with your peers and strangers should be your personal decision. With that said, I must admit that sometimes being altruistic opens avenues you weren’t even aware of. Like github account was the decisive factor in some of my latest job offers. There you go, selfish reason again!

I don’t do a lot of open source code, but when I do, I do it for the selfish reasons – to have more eyeballs on my code base.

Alex says:

Most of the time, helping others is quite good for the helper.

Let’s take an example : I’m in the tube, a mom or a dad with a baby in a stroller is stopped at the bottom of a stair. If I stop to help him, I’m going to lose a few seconds and do a little more sports than if I don’t. And the parent will thank me, I’ll be perceived as a good person by anyone around, and feel proud of myself. I’ll also have contributed to make it appear more normal to onlookers to help parents struggling with a stroller in stairs. That way, I will have slightly moved the social norm in my city from “normal not to help” to “anyone who doesn’t help should be ashamed”, and slightly increased the probability to receive help if I happen to be in this situation.

But if I just shake my head and go up the stairs without helping, I’ll feel a little less of myself, not having the courage to help someone in need. And I’ll be just one more unhelpful person in a crowd of egoist cowards. I will also feel that shall I be in this situation, nobody will stop. Because passing without helping is what people do in this case, and that’s the standard in our society.

Altruism should be promoted, and largely is. Superman is highly altruistic, and so are most heroes. And that’s a good thing, since helping each other makes the society more comfortable to live in.

Egoists behaviors are highly toxic if performed in excess. I don’t like to live in a society where it is quite normal that anyone wealthy will do all he can not to pay taxes. It makes it normal, and there is nearly no stigma attached to tax evasion, making it quite easy for people to evade tax even though the consequences of this behavior is destroying our schools and hospitals. Same goes for pollution : when a firm secretly rejects toxic products in water, it seems the classic egoist behavior that we expect members of our society to have. Thus, it becomes the normal behavior to have, that any company hoping to make money must follow. It should not be so easily “understood” and forgiven.

Eyez Says:

I doubt there is a “true” anything.. egoist, altruist, etc, because there are many factors to anyone’s individuality. Even an extrovert may wish to have ‘some’ time alone to themselves, for instance. I think it is more a question of balance, like which end of the scale weighs the most? I think even Ghandi had some selfish reasons to live the life he did, but to say no altruism exists would also be wrong… maybe. Just think of all the people who have died to either save others or just make society a little better or who spent their lives trying to make the world better, even though it was hurting/killing them, in the process.
There are definitely selfless acts, especially when the loss of one’s own life is concerned. How can we call that a selfish act? I would say, that is as altruistic as it gets. At that point, one gives up all selfishness and ego, unless they have immense faith in the here-after. So religion, might be debatable, but an atheist that gives their own life for the benefit of another, I think should be considered a true altruist, at least in that moment.