No such thing as a selfless act..

 Ive been thinking about the phrase ‘there is no such thing as a selfless act’.  Its an interesting thought that no matter what you do and how well motivated there is always a selfish angle. 
 
So I started with the definition of the word selfless.  The problem with this is that the definition is somewhat cloudy.  If the definition is ‘ acting with less concern for yourself than for the success of the joint activity’ then lots of people do that all the time,  where as if the definition of ‘selfless’ is the exact opposite of ‘selfish’ then how can it be possible?  Is it ever possible to do something nice for someone else without the most fleeting moment of awareness that you did a good thing?
 
So then I moved on to philosophical forums.  Wading through a load of verbal tosh,  I decided that philosophy forums are full of people that talk hogwash. Very long winded ways of trying to sound clever and not really saying anything much and apparently never ever really getting to the point.
 
Various examples of selfless acts discussed  were:
 
A mother that dies to save her child.
How can that be selfless? You would have the immense satisfaction while you made the choice of knowing that the thing that was most precious to you was going to be safe. Even the smallest sacrifices made for our children have a big payback. 
 
A person that gets knocked over by someone on their way to commit a murder.
Anything accidental to my mind is not an ‘act’.  There was no decision to get knocked over and no concious decision to act in any way made,  so I think that one has to be disregarded.
 
Someone suggested suicide bombers acted selflessly in their own minds.  Whoever suggested that obviously didnt understand the huge reward they believe theyre getting for doing it. This also lead me to believe that anyone that acts for a religious reason can never be said to act truely selflessly.  Their reward is eternal salvation.  I mean saying ‘do a few nice things now and put up with a bit of crap and your gonna be happy for ever and ever and ever’… pretty big karmic payback right?
 
Anonymous acts of kindness,  say giving money to charity, still leave the person doing the giving with a rosy glow. so again not selfless,  plus they can give themselves a pat on the back cos noones gonna know they did it so doesnt that make them an even better person?   If making someone else happy in the smallest way makes you happy then its no selfless act. 
 
It seemed to me that while you have a sense of self then it’s impossible to do anything for anyone without some kind of karmic pay back.  Which lead me to the thought that the only way you can truely commit a selfless act is to be dead while you do it. Now Im not talking being stuck on a mountain and your comrades eating you once you kark it, cos again theres no decision on your part hence no real action. While it can obviously be argued that carrying a donor card may give you a sense of goodness while your alive, at the time you actually donate your bits and bobs you have no awareness of it at all. So while this isnt a truely selfless act,  I think its about as close as you can get. 
 
So anyway the upshot of all this is: I reject the criticism that set me on this road in the first place.  No selfless acts til Im dead cos theyre impossible… sorry!
 
And now for something completely different…..
 

 

spoiler alert (sorry it just made me snigger) 

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5 Responses to “No such thing as a selfless act..”

  1. Hello Daf! :)Interesting, I\’ve always thought people do "good" for the benefit of themselves. Usualy to make themfeel less guilty about the lives they currently have, have led, or maybe because of the religious rewards.Either way I\’m with you 98%! However, there is a few genuine ases. What about the men of D-Day?What about a person that would fly a rocket in to Comit about to hit Earth? Is that person not selfless?

  2. Or, because they\’re doing it to save their own family, does that make them selfish? Because they\’restill acting in their own interests, to save their fmaily and thus their blood line?

  3. Aye.. heh heh. I came over to wish u a happy Christmas, I wasnt expecting this to be here :-)okay, its 2.45am but Im gonna give it a go. basically, u said.."It seemed to me that while you have a sense of self then it\’s impossible" but then u said "unless u are dead" .I think opposite to that, I think, (unless u are Alive)

  4. truely alive, as in realising u are existing as an interactive \’energy\’/frequency,effecting all things, Although It might sound dead to take your own personal emotions out of it, and never judge a situation, u soon start realise that it sounds that way but it doesnt feel that way, at worse it feels like everyone around u is dead.

  5. Tricky Its a big question with little space to answer heh heh, i\’ll meet u down the pub :Pbut I think some people who youve mentioned above, probably look into the future of the humanity of the planet, therefore it is a selfless act, because its a completely different reality from which they are coming from.. but when u manage to take your emotions out of it all, then u realise its ALL only a distraction from realising, reality should be (and IS) something else 😉

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