[Discussion] What is the meaning of selfishness

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Platyfish

Member
Jan 19, 2019
10
45
So this is a thought/thought pattern I have had from probably since I was 5 or so (I am now 23). At times i have started to build towards a reasonable understanding until inevitably something happens, i learn something or i just question it for long enough where it breaks back down. It has been a major factor in my decision making criteria for the smallest of tasks to larger motivations in most aspects of life. And that is the question of: What is the exact meaning of selfishness. When does eating become selfish? Sleeping? Speaking your mind? Earning/spending money? Giving/taking?
Of course every aspect of life has selfishness attached to it, but personally I haven't for a reasonable amount of time been able to establish a core understanding of its balance. And this has caused me over time to behave in self destructive ways and develop habits that have resulted in me throwing away a good life full of opportunities, souring relationships and overthinking my way close to insanity.
What do you guys think, where is the line that deems your actions as being selfish or not?
 
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Diceroller90

Trying to find the bright side in everything.
Jan 12, 2020
20
129
So this is a thought/thought pattern I have had from probably since I was 5 or so (I am now 23). At times i have started to build towards a reasonable understanding until inevitably something happens, i learn something or i just question it for long enough where it breaks back down. It has been a major factor in my decision making criteria for the smallest of tasks to larger motivations in most aspects of life. And that is the question of: What is the exact meaning of selfishness. When does eating become selfish? Sleeping? Speaking your mind? Earning/spending money? Giving/taking?
Of course every aspect of life has selfishness attached to it, but personally I haven't for a reasonable amount of time been able to establish a core understanding of its balance. And this has caused me over time to behave in self destructive ways and develop habits that have resulted in me throwing away a good life full of opportunities, souring relationships and overthinking my way close to insanity.
What do you guys think, where is the line that deems your actions as being selfish or not?
It is well known that Christians believe all humans are inherently evil and it required the death of God as a sacrifice to even give us a shot at being good. I bring this up because, even if you are not a Christian, it is a truism. Maybe we aren't evil for the reasons the Bible says, but life itself is inherently self serving. The organisms that passed down their genes were the ones who focused on themselves rather than martyring themselves.

It is my belief that a healthy civilization creates morals that tempers these evils into virtues. A violent person in the wilds of anarchy is a force of destruction. A violent person in civilization is the shield that protects it from enemies. It is the same principle behind those career classes that tell you to turn your weakness into strength. So rather than saying “I love to please other people” you say “I’m committed to finding solutions to people’s problems," which brings us to the core of your answer. If your selfishness helps civilization, its good. So if you are a valuable member of society, it would be bad if you were altruistic enough to never eat because you were giving all your bread away. That means you starve to death and the civilization is worse off with you. However if you were a thief robbing from valuable members of society, then that selfishness is bad because it harms civilization.

Of course this all relies on your moral compass being calibrated to the health of the civilization. Good and evil are nothing more than directions. Something good brings you closer to your desired goal, something bad brings you away from your desired goal. Christians believe anything that emulates God is good and anything that rejects him is bad because God is good. Civilizationists of course believe in the health of the civilization as the calibration like I said. A solipsistic person will say whatever benefits him or her is good. A nihilist will just spend three hundred so words dancing around the point like I just did.

So what is selfish? That is for you to decide. There are no universal definitions. All you can do is find a definition that lines up with how you perceive the world.
 
Last edited:
porfin1234

porfin1234

Specialist
Dec 26, 2019
360
820
Selfishness... not considering how your actions impact others. Always doing things in a way that benefit you at the cost of others wellbeing. Not willing to reciprocate in a relationship.
 
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