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are we all just users?

Discussion in 'Philosophical Musings' started by martinss01, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. martinss01

    martinss01 blissfully stupid

    so a thread i posted in the political forum got me thinking about something i came up with years ago.

    essentially that the quote "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is fundamentally flawed as a philosophy or a basis for (in)action/partnerships at any level.

    i view something along the lines of this as being more accurate "the enemy of my enemy is very motivated to use me to defeat their current greatest threat, this relationship is only as permanent as the existence of a greater perceived threat than i and all bets are off the moment the status quo changes".

    in fact, i would go a step further with this and equate it to all base human interaction. all relationships imo, be they at the gov. business or personal level in nature, are based solely on perceived mutual need. the moment one party no longer feels they "need" the other for any reason the relationship is over.

    im not saying this is wrong btw.

    in case anyone is wondering, the possibility that i recently had a relationship end is completely irrelevant to this conversation...

    on a somewhat related note. i believe the term "selfless act" to be an oxymoron. as human beings, we lack the ability to act in anyway without the expectation of gain either conscious or subconscious.

    no matter what you do for another thing/person/whatever or whether you consciously acknowledge you will receive a measure of gain from your action. there will always be an expectation of reward. be that financial or emotional. no matter what you give, be it time/money/<insertrandomthinghere>, to whatever group and or individual you know at least subconsciously that you will be rewarded. even if that reward is nothing more than feeling good/better.

    again, not saying this is wrong on any level mind you. but does anyone else think like this or is this simply more supportive evidence of my likely insanity?
     
    kinch and OHSportsFan like this.
  2. OSU_Buckguy

    OSU_Buckguy Senior

    i disagree. i think there are instances of true altruism, albeit extremely rare. in my opinion, true altruism is sacrificing one's life, knowing that you will necessarily die in order to save someone else. interestingly, i think this altruism is "heightened" if the person does not believe in the afterlife or if the one to sacrifice will knowingly suffer greatly while few, if any, others know. i also think that there are acts of true altruism that don't result in sacrificing one's life but instead are committed virtually without thought -- that is, a reflex. otherwise, i think there is almost always recognition or expectation of some kind of benefit.
     
    BUCKYLE likes this.
  3. ShowMeBuck

    ShowMeBuck You know what? Chicken butt.

    just because you feel good about yourself for doing something for others doesn't mean it's the only reason you are doing it.

    i don't think the men and women of the police and fire departments were after their own gratification when they headed on over to one world trade. call me overly simplistic but i just think there are real heroes who know someone has to step up and they have the balls to do it......simply for the greater good.
     
    LostLassie likes this.
  4. LostLassie

    LostLassie Am I Allowed To Say That? '17 BPCFFB II Champ

    I believe what you are describing is empathy/compassion. I've never thought of those qualities as carrying a component of expected payoff for one's actions.
     
    ShowMeBuck likes this.
  5. martinss01

    martinss01 blissfully stupid

    morgan freeman has a series on religion currently. one of the episodes i watched they did a study involving believers of multiple different religions and athiests. a couple of the very interesting tests involved the test subjects reactions to religious based cultural norms and a simple test involving saying an untruth out loud for money.

    in the cultural norm one, they asked the test subjects to look at pictures and then do certain things. one of the most interesting involved a wedding photo of two people they didn't know. they asked them to cut up the wedding pictures. they all strongly objected to do so and i want to say a few refused. but the one i thought was really interesting was when they asked them a list of questions then asked them to answer untruthful for money. for example they asked them their favorite color. then they were offered money to say their favorite color was a different one. all agreed to. same with favorite food and a couple of individually personal things. i want to say it was kids names or something silly like that. but across the board 100% no one was willing to lie about what type of "faith" they had including the athiests. which i found very surprising. for thousands of dollars they couldn't even get the athiests to say, "i believe in god". maybe it was just "those" athiests. but it struck me as overly odd.

    you may be correct, unfortunately we can't ask them at this point. but if its a reflexive action. is there a high probability they had time to look at the situation and make the determination that their actions would likely lead to their immediate deaths and truly accepted that possible reality? obviously i have no way to determine this one way or another. but my basic suspicion is that there is a good possibility they didn't consider that as an option in most cases. but still, putting your life on the line for someone you care about (no matter how real or immediate the threat) isn't without personal gain. remember, not all forms of "gain" have an intrinsic value.

    absolutely 100% no doubt completely correct and agreed. im not in anyway saying that personal gain is the only or even primary reason for doing anything. all im saying is that no matter how little there is on the table for you "reward" wise. and i use the term 'reward" literally as loosely as one can as what you believe to be a measure of gain i might view as completely worthless. all im saying is that im not certain any action anyone ever takes is that "value" ever 0 in their eyes. in fact, you may not even consciously realize you gained anything from what you did. doesn't mean you didn't though. there are all kinds of things that occur largely on the subconscious level that dramatically effect your day to day life =D.

    i think this is an excellent example of my point actually. outside of an order to do so, why do you think they hauled ass to that site? is it not likely that they wanted to simply make a positive difference on any level? don't get me wrong, my sister is a member of law enforcement. i absolutely respect them for what they do, the sacrifices they make and the almost always daily amount of shit they have to put up with. however, i gotta think thats pretty close to the bottom of the list for unrewarding jobs :wink:.
     

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