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#30320 - 10/06/09 01:39 PM Empathy....
Morgan Offline
Princess of Hell
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Registered: 08/29/07
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It seems Woland and I disagree on this notion. I am open to new ideas and so thus please go on...

My previous listed view:
Empathy, nope. Why should a Satanist have empathy for everyone? Why would one waste the energy when it has no benefits to oneself. Empathy is a tool used to manipulate people into doing things they really don't want to do.

The church, media, society, families, and some friends use and try to force empathy upon you so you give in and accept their points of view.

Now if you want to take their views and twist them into serving your own purposes, that is different. That is not true empathy, that's manipulation of a persons ideas/beliefs to serve your own needs.

Morgan
_________________________
Courage Conquering Fear
Fuck em if they can't take a joke
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#30322 - 10/06/09 01:57 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Morgan]
Nemesis Offline
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Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
To each their own, I say, and I say leave it at that.

Personally, I've had more empathy for a shark caught in a net than for some of the sacks of shit that pass for human beings.
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#30325 - 10/06/09 02:29 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Nemesis]
Doomsage680 Offline
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Registered: 10/01/09
Posts: 111
Loc: NJ, USA
I saw an Ayn Rand-Mike Wallace Interview where he asked her about caring for her fellow man, loving all people and such. She said something close to, "No one loves unconditionally...When you are asked to love everyone, you are being asked to love no one." She has also been quoted saying "Beware of the man who asks you to sacrifice. Where there are sacrifices, there is someone collecting the sacrificial offerings."
I agree with Morgan, it has no value unless it serves your self-interests.
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#30326 - 10/06/09 03:18 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Doomsage680]
Caladrius Offline
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Registered: 07/25/09
Posts: 318
Loc: SoCal
Perhaps wiki and webster aren't the best place to gain a practical understanding of what "empathy" is?

It's a like a good boxer or martial artist. One who can "empathize" or "feel" his opponent, and "become one" with that opponent to the point where the opponent's next move can be "felt" intuitively.

Or it's like a very skilled detective on a case who enters a crime scene in the woods. He is able to "empathize" or feel or become the suspect in his minds eye.

Or, how does that saying go: A good serial killer is one that blends in? It's the ability to empathize or feel the people and surrounding which gives such a killer the ability to "blend in" and survive long enough to do his "duties."

Or a cheetah, with that intense stare, and it's ability to "empathize" or feel its prey or "become" that prey; which allows this cheetah to intuitively feel it's preys every move.

Empathy is different than compassion/pity and sympathy.

There is a great video on a group of people with this power of "Empathy" which they use to hunt; in which hunt, not being able to "become" their prey means an unsuccessful hunt. I'll see if I can post it here. It didn't work. I'll put it in the video section later. Well, if anybody wants to watch the great video, it's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52k6FdApB94



Edited by Caladrius (10/06/09 03:24 PM)
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#30327 - 10/06/09 03:23 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Morgan]
Woland Moderator Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 763
Loc: Oslo, Norway
 Originally Posted By: Morgan
It seems Woland and I disagree on this notion. I am open to new ideas and so thus please go on...


Firstly; my original comment was in fact a joke...

 Originally Posted By: Woland
Dear Morgan.
How on earth can you state that empathy is un-satanic?
Few things in life is more self-serving than...


Yet; as jokes go, not without truth or merit.
Empathy for "everyone" (a gross generalization) is of course counter-productive, and not the issue per se.
Individual and wilful empathy is another business entirely.
As I read the essay, (quoted below), no trace of "empathy for everyone" emerged from the text.

Forgive me for diving into a: You said, He said, I said, fest.

 Originally Posted By: Caladrius
"this is, in essence, a return to a tribal way of life, a return to and a development of empathy, and a return to the law of personal honour in place of the abstract law of The White Hordes and of the Magian."


 Originally Posted By: Morgan
My previous listed view:
Empathy, nope. Why should a Satanist have empathy for everyone? Why would one waste the energy when it has no benefits to oneself. Empathy is a tool used to manipulate people into doing things they really don't want to do.


Empathy as a conceptual "truth" might of course be used as you describe.
So what? That is merely a tiny fragment of the feeling the word strives to describe.

 Originally Posted By: Morgan
The church, media, society, families, and some friends use and try to force empathy upon you so you give in and accept their points of view.


Of course. But I fear you might be mistaking empathy for empathy.
The pornographic wallowing in other peoples real or fictive suffering is more often than not mistakenly identified as empathy.
The same goes for certain people who view themselves (either of their own accord, or because they are told so) as victimized, and therefore deserves attention and/or compensation.

Empathy is not a duty.
It is a concious choice, based on an individual judgement of the given situation.
If I see a person or animal drowning, I will react.
Un-Satanic? Or honourable?


 Originally Posted By: Morgan
Now if you want to take their views and twist them into serving your own purposes, that is different. That is not true empathy, that's manipulation of a persons ideas/beliefs to serve your own needs.


You said it!
Not entirely sure what it meant, but you said it!

My main point about empathy as civil duty, is still:
It is self-serving...

Brownie points earned through a programmed reflex, without any mentionable thought or choice.
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Woland

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#30328 - 10/06/09 03:43 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Woland]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3810
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Empathy, as I understand it, is the the ability to/result of (being able to) pick up on another persons feelings. If fred is angry, and given the knowledge of the circumstances that lead fred to become angry, empathy is the result of being able to put oneself into freds shoes, so to speak.

If Sally gets robbed and loses everything she owns, empathy is me being able to feel what that might be like if it happened to me.

I think this is an invaluable tool in lesser magic, or more mundanely being able to effectively deal with people. It is much easier to choose an angle of approach if you know the persons emotional state before hand.

But as Mah mentioned already, empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy is honestly caring about someones feelings, while empathy is no more than being able to understand them and their cause.

To me, sympathy is reserved for those I actually care about, not only for philosophical reasons but also because I just don't care about those I, well, don't care about! Empathy on the other hand I find is a good thing to cultivate on a more universal scale. A sharpened edge in the toolbox.
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#30484 - 10/14/09 12:18 AM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Woland]
ballbreaker Offline
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Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Woland
Empathy is not a duty.
It is a concious choice, based on an individual judgement of the given situation.
If I see a person or animal drowning, I will react.
Un-Satanic? Or honourable?


I agree with you here, but think this needs some clarification (although it's pretty much implicit in your description). The 'conscious choice' is not the 'feeling' but rather to act on this feeling or attempt to suppress it. i.e. Unless I indoctrinate myself not to care about anyone except for those who are close to me perhaps I could be rid of the sadness I feel when I see commercials inviting aid for diseased children in Africa or when I see a quadriplegic homeless person (This is not to say, necessarily, that those of us who don't feel this way have indoctrinated themselves against some 'common humanity' or some such).

On the flipside, I've never called the number on the screen to make a donation and could hardly be said to have done anything inspiring for the quadriplegic hobo (a little bit of charity now and then really doesn't change his situation, it seems). But if I had I don't see how this would necessarily smack against egoistic principles, especially if I am pretty lax as to whether or not you do as I do. Charity, empathy, sympathy (I won't use "altruism" because of its trickiness)...these all seem to be personal ethical choices we can make without placing implicit moral demands on others or sacrificing our 'egoism'; i.e. I could volunteer at a homeless shelter and, so long as I'm honest with myself that I'm doing it for my own emotional profit, be consistent with Satanic ethics.

I don't think it matters "what" you're doing, only "Why" you're doing it. It's a question of intent over the action itself in my mind.

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#30528 - 10/15/09 10:44 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Caladrius Offline
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Registered: 07/25/09
Posts: 318
Loc: SoCal
"[...]Satanists are more like wolves[..]"

That's a great illustration. Wolves don't seem to have a "language" as we humanly understand the word. How does a pack of wolves "communicate" with each other and the pack? If not via a natural form of Empathy by which each wolf can "feel" or is "in tune" to the needs, 'feelings', and intent of their fellow pack mates and the whole pack itself? Without the ability to feel the pack's intent, and needs, how does something like a pack of hyenas or a pride of lioness hunt in co-operative groups? Telepathy?
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#30530 - 10/15/09 11:39 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Caladrius]
Morgan Offline
Princess of Hell
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
From random house:
Empathy, identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings or thoughts of another person

Wolves communicate thru howls, barks, yelps, biting and play or real fighting. Just like every other species of animals. They are not mute, they do communicate.

"By comparison, Satanists are more like wolves, in that we can form packs and establish dominance. Both the alpha and the omega males eat. Everyone helps the tribe, because the tribe helps them live. If you don't want a pack, you can leave. It's fairly simple"

In wolf packs, the Alphas eat first and breed, and the omegas eat scraps. Through fighting your ranking is settled as to when you eat. Yes, as a member of the pack, you defend the pups, and territory, and you help hunt. True, you can leave the pack, and some male wolves do to set up a new territory and breeding ground.

So, yes, Satanists are like wolves. We defend ourselves, our territory, move to better land and opportunites. Hunt alone or in packs, and we do make sure the omegas eat last, if we let them eat at all.

Morgan
_________________________
Courage Conquering Fear
Fuck em if they can't take a joke
Don't Like What I Say, Kiss My Ass



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#30568 - 10/17/09 12:01 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
ballbreaker Offline
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Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Toronto, Canada


Reminds me of a passage from the Genealogy of Morals, although the point being made in the quote is not completely relevant to the subject at hand, it is telling...

"That lambs dislike great birds of prey does not seem strange: only it gives no ground for reproaching these birds of prey for bearing off little lambs. And if the lambs say among themselves: "these birds of prey are evil; and whoever is least like a bird of prey, but rather its opposite, a lamb-would he not be good?" there is no reason to find fault with this institution of an ideal, except perhaps that the birds of prey might view it a little ironically and say: "we don't dislike them at all, these good little lambs; we even love them: nothing is more tasty than a tender lamb" "

The lines afterwards are even more telling, but I've done enough quoting for one post.



Edited by MawhrinSkel (08/10/10 06:14 AM)

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#30587 - 10/18/09 12:37 AM Re: Empathy.... [Re: ballbreaker]
Phenex Offline
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Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 11
I believe that empathy is a very important perception to be able to access when taking into consideration the thoughts and actions of another. To empathize is to, in some way, put yourself in their place, to attempt to understand their reasons. Before making a judgement, some sort of understanding is required, making empathy a rather dire skill for those who are interested in reasonable social thinking. As has been said, sympathy is a completely different matter; I may work to understand the subject's point of view, but whether I allow myself to associate emotionally with their cause depends entirely on my personal opinion. Empathy is more of an intellectual understanding than a sort of attatchement, and therefore, I think it a very Satanistic skill, to some moderation.
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#30607 - 10/19/09 01:04 AM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Phenex]
Master Magick Offline
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Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 63
Loc: New York, USA
 Originally Posted By: Morgan
From random house:
Empathy, identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings or thoughts of another person


My POV on this ...

Empathy has a bad rap. By those of us who are sometimes more like wolves, it is sometimes seen as weakness or manipulative upon us by others. But I would offer that empathy is a useful tool and also something that is sometimes unavoidable.

To feel and understand where someone "is comming from" is very useful and sometimes necessary. I don't have to stand in front of a whip to know how it feels, if I can "feel" the whip through the emotion of someone being flogged, I'm there with them.
I can have empathy for my enemy, beaten and broken at my feet, for my competitor who is going out of business, for a victim of a crime, for the loser in a game. I don't have to like them, agree with them or care about them. But I can use empathy to understand and learn from their experience, to "walk in their shoes".

Of course there is empathy for friends and family who are suffering or troubled. I think it probably goes without saying that for those we love and care about, we usually have empathy for thier hurt and loss.
Empathy is not sympathy. I don't feel bad for the loser, poorly managed business or dead guy. But empathy is definitely on the must have magickal skills list "the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person's feelings" The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language Don't leave home without it!
More importantly, if you can "feel" through empathy (call it powers of observation, people skills, gut, etc.) what other people are feeling, you will often hold an Ace when dealing with those people and from my satanic point of view that's a good thing and not always hard to do with the herd ;\)
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#30633 - 10/19/09 01:47 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Morgan]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3117
Empathy

I can see no harm in having empathy about something, as far as I know understanding the feelings and emotions of a person doesn't imply having some sympathy for it.
A person simply "knows" the emotions, the action you are going to undertake might depend on the observation/ knowledge but doesn't mean you can't do the things you would have done if you hadn't any empathy.

A descision/action can be based on empathy and sympathy, but it should normally be done with a "sane" mind or some rational logic, discarding the emotional feelings of others.
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#30636 - 10/19/09 03:28 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Master Magick]
ballbreaker Offline
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Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Master Magick
Empathy is not sympathy. I don't feel bad for the loser, poorly managed business or dead guy.


Hm. This is a more interesting topic now, one that it seemed Woland was hinting at when he discussed saving the drowning child (or whatever the example was).

Is it "unSatanic" to feel sympathy towards those who are not immediate friends or loved ones? Personally, I don't see what's wrong with sympathy in and of itself, which connects well to what I mentioned in my above post; i.e. the intentionality behind sympathy.

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#30638 - 10/19/09 04:41 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: ballbreaker]
Phenex Offline
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Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 11
I believe it depends on the certain person with whom one might sympathize, as to whether the feelings are "unSatanic" or not. With victims of rape, and the families of murder victim, or other individuals of the sort, I can surely sympathize with. However, as for random people bitching? If the situation is one that I would be upset over if it were me, than I am willing to sympathize. But as for random, meaningless issues that are mostly made up by the supposed "victims?" I could care less.
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#30642 - 10/19/09 07:34 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Phenex]
ta2zz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

 Originally Posted By: Phenex
I believe it depends on the certain person with whom one might sympathize, as to whether the feelings are "unSatanic" or not.

On these questions of what is or isn’t Satanic I must ask who is keeping score and why? In my opinion if you or anyone for that matter worry that what you do is not Satanic enough or possibly unsatanic then clearly you have chosen the wrong title.

If Satan points are being handed out nobody told me…

 Originally Posted By: Phenex
With victims of rape, and the families of murder victim, or other individuals of the sort, I can surely sympathize with.

Why? Understand their pain and suffering sure but why should I care what they feel? Unless it somehow touches my life, as said by others here I usually feel nothing other than it sucks for them and better them than me. Should I want or expect them to care how I felt were the tides turned and it were my pain and suffering in the news?

Do I dare say that most adults involved in being raped or murdered are responsible for their own actions? Most are victims walking around waiting for a predator to recognize and act on this. Of course there are victims of murder during a crime but did the people try to defend themselves or did they lay down like good dogs and wait to die hoping for the best, like those aboard those fateful flights on 911? Can I view things from their perspective of course I can however I admit it only brings me more questions like. Where were the men (and strong women), where there only sheep?

 Originally Posted By: Phenex
However, as for random people bitching? If the situation is one that I would be upset over if it were me, than I am willing to sympathize. But as for random, meaningless issues that are mostly made up by the supposed "victims?" I could care less.

I could spend my days empathizing and sympathizing for others that do not touch me personally. If this were a pleasure for me and not taking away my time to advance my position, and myself then it would be a very Satanic thing for me to do. Of course if it cut into my time so much that I no longer cared about my own family or my own personal gain then it could be seen as quite the opposite.

Enjoy

~T~
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#30644 - 10/19/09 09:47 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: ta2zz]
Phenex Offline
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Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 11
Why yes, there is a Satan scoreboard. Haven't you seen it? :P

I suppose is may be easier for me to sympathize because I, myself, was raped when I was a child. So, perhaps these feelings of sympathy are only, in truth, left over empathy, and memories from that moment. It is easy to become very frightened when attacked, making it harder to fight back. Honestly, I feel much more emotion towards child rape victims than adult victims; Is this correct, in my weighing one situation of more importance than another? Perhaps not, but as this discussion is about, it is much easier for to empathize, and therefore understand, a child victim's situation.
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#30645 - 10/19/09 10:10 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Phenex]
Morgan Offline
Princess of Hell
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
The Satan scoreboard is located on the modernsatanism site. It's not here, if you have to question what you do if it's satanic or not. Then you're not a Satanist, your playing dress up. You are most likey a lost dark hippy.

So what you were raped, big fucking deal, you were raped as a child so what. I don't feel any empathy or symapathy towards you either. Oh, and before you go crawling up my ass about it, I'm a survivor too.

I still feel as I stated earlier that:

"Empathy is a tool used to manipulate people into doing things they really don't want to do."
plus
"Now if you want to take their views and twist them into serving your own purposes, that is different. That is not true empathy, that's manipulation of a persons ideas/beliefs to serve your own needs."

Excuse me, I need to go kill a cow now,
Morgan
_________________________
Courage Conquering Fear
Fuck em if they can't take a joke
Don't Like What I Say, Kiss My Ass



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#30667 - 10/21/09 01:12 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Morgan]
ballbreaker Offline
member


Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Morgan
It's not here, if you have to question what you do if it's satanic or not. Then you're not a Satanist, your playing dress up.


Ok. But you said: "Empathy, nope. Why should a Satanist have empathy for everyone? Why would one waste the energy when it has no benefits to oneself."

Thus the question of whether empathy (and sympathy) are "unSatanic". I don't think anyone is seeking validation here when they ask that.

Arguably a Satanist is defined by his/her beliefs and actions, so the question is really whether "real Satanists" should pay much attention to the tugs at their heartstrings. My earlier post made a distinction between feeling empathetically or sympathetically and acting on these feelings. The "feeling" does not seem to be some rationalized process where we decide whether we feel happy or sad after witnessing some event or being told some story, the feeling just "is", so I don't think it's fair to say that I shouldn't feel sympathy towards the rape victim; I either feel sympathy or I don't.

"We should devote our 'emotional energy' strictly to ourselves blablabla"...why does this necessarily exclude feelings of sympathy?

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#30668 - 10/21/09 01:55 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: ballbreaker]
Morgan Offline
Princess of Hell
stalker


Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
The comment of mine you quoted was directed at Phrenex and her statement of : "I believe it depends on the certain person with whom one might sympathize, as to whether the feelings are "unSatanic" or not".

I hope that clears things up for you on that matter.

If a Satanists feels tugs at their heartstrings as you so put it, one should question themselves to why they are being made to "feel something". Is it really coming from inside them, or are they being made to feel something because of some outside manipulation.

You can feel however you want to feel or act on any impulses you may have, but at least understand why you are having those reactions.

Are they your own, were they smoothly conned on to you by a "loved one" or by the mass media.

Why is it so hard for some people to admit that they honestly don't give a shit?

Why is it so hard for some people to understand how other people really don't care if others live or die.

"Now if you want to take their views and twist them into serving your own purposes, that is different. That is not true empathy, that's manipulation of a persons ideas/beliefs to serve your own needs." --- my words I feel are still true.

Whatever......

Go hug a cow, a tree, a smelly hippy, go feed the starving children, or put the vatican up for sale.

Morgan

_________________________
Courage Conquering Fear
Fuck em if they can't take a joke
Don't Like What I Say, Kiss My Ass



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#30669 - 10/21/09 02:20 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Morgan]
ballbreaker Offline
member


Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Morgan
You can feel however you want to feel or act on any impulses you may have, but at least understand why you are having those reactions.

Are they your own, were they smoothly conned on to you by a "loved one" or by the mass media.


Right. Answers range anywhere from general penis envy and being beaten as a child to the euphoria mushrooms tend to bring on. So it's a problem of psychoanalysis or something, what does it matter that we feel a certain way towards something?

 Quote:
Why is it so hard for some people to admit that they honestly don't give a shit?


I don't know...but that's not really what we're talking about, is it?

I appreciate your stream of consciousness-esque post and all but I think you're missing my point. You started the thread asking the following question:

 Quote:
Why would one waste the energy when it has no benefits to oneself.[?]


I've technically answered this already, and it partly comes down to your definition of 'self-benefit' being narrowly construed as manipulating others to some end.

So maybe the following thought-experiment can clear some things up and see where we stand:

If I volunteer at a homeless shelter every now and then because I not only get a sense of satisfaction out of doing so but I may also like the social status it gives me because all my peers are quasi-socialists, am I acting "unSatanically"?

Really, all I've been saying is that empathy comes down not neccessarily to any actions we take as a result of our feeling but the intent behind these actions. On the other hand, if all you're really talking about is strictly feelings and whether we should feel this way or that way then I'm not sure how well I can sympathize (haha) with your position. Really I think all we have here is a failure to communicate (on my part), we probably aren't disagreeing on anything.

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#30672 - 10/21/09 04:17 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: ballbreaker]
Morgan Offline
Princess of Hell
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
"If I volunteer at a homeless shelter every now and then because I not only get a sense of satisfaction out of doing so but I may also like the social status it gives me because all my peers are quasi-socialists, am I acting "unSatanically"?"

No, you are doing it for yourself. Plus, you are the only one who can judge your own actions. If you look to others for confirmation that you are acting satanically, you aren't.


"Really, all I've been saying is that empathy comes down not neccessarily to any actions we take as a result of our feeling but the intent behind these actions."

Is the intent of your actions based on your own desires or the result of an empathitic push by someone else? I think that is a big difference.

"Really I think all we have here is a failure to communicate (on my part), we probably aren't disagreeing on anything."

I don't think we are disagreeing, I think we are looking at it from different angles.

M
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Courage Conquering Fear
Fuck em if they can't take a joke
Don't Like What I Say, Kiss My Ass



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#30673 - 10/21/09 04:44 PM Re: Empathy.... [Re: Morgan]
Phenex Offline
stranger


Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 11
First of all, over my being raped, I was not asking for sympathy. I was saying that it is easier for me to feel empathy for rape victims because I UNDERSTAND. I don't want sympathy from you, and I'm sorry that you seem to think that every mention of a past experience is posted for a sympathetic reaction. I was using my resources, stating a fact, offering my view on empathy. Nothing more.

I do believe, however, that all acts of "good" are for one's own purpose. When it comes down to it, everything humans do is selfish, because the whole of society is based on survival. When people do "good deeds," it is because of their own want. If one did not want to do something, they wouldn't. Even if an action is decided because of someone else's want for you to do it, it is still YOUR doing, and whether it comes from wanting to please that person or wanting to save your own ass, it is still a selfish action.
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