Continuing the discussion from If everyone was a perfectly rational altruist:
this is completely irrational. if there is a cosmic amount of happiness of all, it wouldn´t matter who the one specific being is, that is happy. we humans really mix things up: capitalism is not egoistic, it is just stupid. the few collect the money of the many and all people are unhappy, ( look at pictures of real rich people how tortured and old and exausted and wrinkled they look) especially the rich. their frills and furbelows and their power over others are just compensations for an empty and lost and disturbed soul. and unfortunately it is the same with what is usually considered as altruism. people like mother teresa needed helping others like a drug. openly practised altruism is a compensation. ( and when i glanced over the second text you linked, i got the same impression: it is not altruism to desperately need the self-image and the work “altruism”. even the topic is obviously flawed: “extreme altruism: should you care for strangers at the expense of your familiy?” -> when the conclusion should be, that strangers are not less valuable than relatives, and because of that conclusion people help strangers more than they would help relatives…???..and let the relatives pay with “expense” and make them unhappy…then there is no cosmic understanding, even no logic in their assumption. and they have to be accused of the neediness, to gain compensation and reputation and the cheers of others for their work for strangers. because strangers will be much more thankful than relatives. and they have to be accused that they cannot stand the “taken for granted” -situation with relatives when they care for them and that they have a longing for admiration for their work, like mother teresa. and this could only be considered as stupidity, because they would make much more people unhappy than happy. ) the usual meaning of altruism refers to a form of compensation for a lost soul. such altruists need people in need. and they would not help people to grow and not needing them anymore. because then they would be lost again. they would die if the world would be paradisical and there is no need for their work anymore.
the normal altruists are deluded and the normal understanding of egoism is a misunderstanding. it is pure egoism that i want a paradisical world, because i want to be surrounded by happiness and vivid energy instead of violence and torture and needy people. and if every single person in the world would be as egoistic as me, we would have paradise. and i don´t crave for admiration or praise ( =compensations, drugs), because it has no potential to make me happy. and if i only manage to make people happy who surrounded me ( no matter whether they are relatives or not!) and never get any attention, that i am doing so, it would completely suffice, if everybody would do the same!
and this is my way of thinking: i consider myself as a part of a complex and huge system and answer the question, if what i do, as only a piece of the puzzle, would work, if everybody would do the same. and yes, it would completely work, if any single person would manage to make herself happy ( egoism rules! happy people have no longing to make others unhappy). and yes, it would work, if any happy single person would make herself more happy with making everybody happy in her surroundings. and no, it would never make any sense, to invest more energy in making strangers happier than the beloved ones. because if everybody would do that, at best, everybody would grow up, having a stranger who cared for him ( instead of his beloved ones) and this could lead to the feeling of not being loved but to have to be thankful. ( and that wouldn´t change a thing to the better to the situation now…). the worst case - of which the world is full of - is, when unhappy people make other people unhappy, too. but that is the norm. and it is a psychologically law, that we reproduce our inside-world into our outside world. so if any so called altruist, who is unhappy, wants to make others happy, it is just a lost cause from the beginning.
questions for “altruists”:
- would you do this if you are completely alone and on your own? ( with no help and support from others? really selfless? just giving without getting? )
- would you do this if nobody would recognize what you did? (even the recipients of your help wouldn´t have a clue? nobody to thank you , nobody to admire you, nobody to praise you? )
- would you do this if there is no proof, that you are the person who did a good deed? ( no receipt, no membership…nothing…)
- would you even do this, if you could never know if your efforts to help would have the effect you wished? ( like giving a beggar money and he bought alcohol instead of food)
- would you even do this, if you are not able for self-praise and the idea of being a good person?
if you will answer only one question with “no” you are not selfless. immanuel kant once struggled with this problem in “the metaphysics of morals”. it is nice to read because it is much more psychology than philosophy.