Is having children the most selfish act on earth?

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seeds
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Re: Is having children the most selfish act on earth?

Post by seeds » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:27 pm

11011 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:39 pm
if selfishness is gaining for one's self at some cost for another (without future compensation to balance), then the most selfish act is gaining entirely for one's self with no benefit whatsoever to the other, only harm.

since appreciation for life or desire to live (and therefore everything else that might be appreciated in life, any sort of compensation) occurs after the fact - after you are born, enter the world, realize you can't easily get out or otherwise feel various internal and external pressures to live - there is absolutely no benefit to being born for the unborn child.

therefore, those who bring such into the world are utterly selfish...
Spoken like a hardcore materialist who never allows himself/herself to entertain the possibility that there might be way more to life than meets the eye.

Did it ever occur to you that our momentary presence on earth may simply be the metaphorical “vestibule” of our being that stands between our nonexistence and that of the entrance into eternal life in a higher context of reality?

When we existed as fetuses within the darkness of our mother’s womb, we were completely unaware of the wonders and the higher level of consciousness that awaited us on the other side of her abdominal wall.

In which case, if you can just imagine that we might be in a similar situation with respect to what lies beyond the threshold of death, then perhaps you might be able to understand how misguided your antinatalistic perspective truly is.

The bottom line is that not only is having children one of the most unselfish acts on earth,...

(especially considering the hell that parents go through in raising the little monsters)

...it may very well be the only means for passing-on the most valuable gift in all of reality.
_______

11011
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Re: Is having children the most selfish act on earth?

Post by 11011 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:12 pm

Logik wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:11 pm
commonsense wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:59 pm
Could it be robbery? or even murder? rape? But the most selfish act doesn’t have to be a crime, just so long as it is the negation of altruism.
Altruism is selfish. Yay dopamine!
altruism is not selfish. a lot of people confuse selfish with self-beneficial. just because something benefits you doesn't mean it is selfish and conflating these two things is a way for people to gloss over the reality and implications of selfish by lumping it in with all motivated human behaviour which is usually at least self-beneficial.

selfish means you gain at the cost of others, and where they are not compensated at a later point, or rather it is not your intent or expectation that they will be. so stealing an old lady's purse is selfish, as i doubt she'd benefit in any way herself from the encounter. if she did benefit unintentionally on your part, like she got on the news for it, and they paid her for her time, more than what was in her purse that was stolen, it would still be a selfish act on the thief's part, unless he intended for things to happen that way. so selfish isn't just about consequences (who gets what), but the character of the person and intent. it is intentional behaviour.

self-beneficial is basically any motivated human behaviour. so humans have motivations, appetites, etc, which when satisfied give a reward, including like you say dopamine, also oxytocin for altruism, this is why women gain more from helping behaviour because they have more oxytocin than men, so they are more inclined to it because internally they get a bigger reward (typically). exchange is also a subtype of self-beneficial but not selfish. exchange takes from another but gives in return something of equal value immediately or at a later point. however, if you intentionally rip the person off then it is selfish.

and ya, as said before conflation of selfish and self-beneficial is a way people and society minimize selfish vs self-beneficial because typically people find the former more disagreeable, so people try to normalize it by conflating it with self-beneficial which doesn't feel as disagreeable. trying to mess with your perception of reality of your experience.

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Sir-Sister-of-Suck
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Re: Is having children the most selfish act on earth?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:26 am

No, in fact I don't think having kids can ever be selfish, even if know you have devastating genetics that will be passed on or something like that. You're not dispositioning anyone - because that person doesn't exist, yet.

Logik
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Re: Is having children the most selfish act on earth?

Post by Logik » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:39 am

11011 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:12 pm
selfish means you gain at the cost of others, and where they are not compensated at a later point, or rather it is not your intent or expectation that they will be.
No. The loss of others is not mandated in the definition. Simply not considering whether the other person loses or gains is sufficient for "selfishness". Indifference.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictio ... sh/selfish
Someone who is selfish only thinks of their own advantage
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/selfish
(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.
The example provided by the Oxford dictionary: "‘I joined them for selfish reasons’".

This example robs "them" of their agency. They chose to let me join them. If they did so then clearly me joining them benefits "them" in some way.
Neither do "they" understand why I joined them, nor do "I" understand why "they" let me join them. Clearly both parties had their reasons.

Both "I" and "them" are selfish, but the arrangement is mutually AND self-benefficial.
11011 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:12 pm
so stealing an old lady's purse is selfish, as i doubt she'd benefit in any way herself from the encounter. if she did benefit unintentionally on your part, like she got on the news for it, and they paid her for her time, more than what was in her purse that was stolen, it would still be a selfish act on the thief's part, unless he intended for things to happen that way. so selfish isn't just about consequences (who gets what), but the character of the person and intent. it is intentional behaviour.
And what if the old lady intended to be mugged, so THAT she can get on the news? Or claim a new phone from insurance?

Intentions don't matter without examining the outcome from a consequentialist point of view.

The question of "selfishness" cannot be answered without asking and answering "Whose will came to fruition?" and "Who interests and intentions was the outcome aligned with?"

From this point of view. Every single person is (at the very least) selfish. Unless they consciously act towards their own disadvantage, but that would be irrational.

An altruist then is somebody who consciously aligns goals/values/benefits with others.

Dimebag
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Re: Is having children the most selfish act on earth?

Post by Dimebag » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:37 pm

There is no way this question was asked by someone who has kids, as if they had they would surely know just how selfless a parent has to be in order to raise kids. Go talk to a few parents and think about all the sacrifices they have to make to raise their kids.

11011
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Re: Is having children the most selfish act on earth?

Post by 11011 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:09 pm

logik,

your definitions and angle on this make no sense. if one is chiefly concerned with their own gain while indifferent to others' then they will gain nothing since gaining for self requires consideration of others, their reactions and thus gains or losses. every time you gain something for yourself people react based on an assessment of their own losses or gains, whether independent of or in relation to yours, and their reactions have a significant bearing on whether you'll be able to keep your gains, whether you'll lose them, etc. being only of the mentality of gain for self to the exclusion of considering others is self-defeating and sounds more descriptive of impulsivity than selfish.

so anyone who is really concerned with their own gain, regardless, will also by extension be concerned with others to the point that they will 'consciously align goals/values/benefits with others' to some extent. that their end goal is really themselves, or that other people are just a means to that end, is moot and overlooks the discriminatory meaning of the word as far as the subject matter is concerned. like i am pretty sure humans acknowledge the 'self as ultimate motive' in a lot of human behaviour, involving others and not involving others, yet certain people or behaviour still gets called selfish in a consistent fashion over and above or apart from this baseline self-motivated behaviour.

what is the nature of that behaviour and/or mentality? i don't think it is indifference toward others.

this is why i took the approach i did before, to avoid these contradictions yet keep the word meaningful/discriminatory, true to its usage. dictionaries often fail in this department with their crude vague definitions.

thoughts?

Logik
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Re: Is having children the most selfish act on earth?

Post by Logik » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:27 pm

11011 wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:09 pm
logik,

your definitions and angle on this make no sense. if one is chiefly concerned with their own gain while indifferent to others' then they will gain nothing since gaining for self requires consideration of others, their reactions and thus gains or losses. every time you gain something for yourself people react based on an assessment of their own losses or gains, whether independent of or in relation to yours, and their reactions have a significant bearing on whether you'll be able to keep your gains, whether you'll lose them, etc. being only of the mentality of gain for self to the exclusion of considering others is self-defeating and sounds more descriptive of impulsivity than selfish.

so anyone who is really concerned with their own gain, regardless, will also by extension be concerned with others to the point that they will 'consciously align goals/values/benefits with others' to some extent. that their end goal is really themselves, or that other people are just a means to that end, is moot and overlooks the discriminatory meaning of the word as far as the subject matter is concerned. like i am pretty sure humans acknowledge the 'self as ultimate motive' in a lot of human behaviour, involving others and not involving others, yet certain people or behaviour still gets called selfish in a consistent fashion over and above or apart from this baseline self-motivated behaviour.

what is the nature of that behaviour and/or mentality? i don't think it is indifference toward others.

this is why i took the approach i did before, to avoid these contradictions yet keep the word meaningful/discriminatory, true to its usage. dictionaries often fail in this department with their crude vague definitions.

thoughts?
Then ignore my definitions and study Game theory.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_(game_theory)

In context of game theory, I am a rational egoist.
Rational egoism (also called rational selfishness) is the principle that an action is rational if and only if it maximizes one's self-interest.
You know what I deem to maximise my own self-interest? Building communities (businesses, cultures etc) that want to solving complex problems that other people want solved. This requires cooperation and win-win thinking.

But here's the thing. I could be doing the exact same thing in academia. Teaching young minds, working on challenging problems in physics.

So why am I in the private sector instead of academia?

Easy: profit.

Given the choice of being Einstein or Edison - I choose Edison. I would've hired Einstein...

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henry quirk
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"There is no way this question was asked by someone who has kids"

Post by henry quirk » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:28 pm

You got that right.

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