Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Risk is confused with selflessness and risk becomes an argument for altruism

THE PILL

Everything in life is a risk whether it is selfish or unselfish.

What if a permanent happiness pill existed. Will I take it or not? Taking it means there will be no more risking. Not taking the pill means saying yes to risk. I will be accused of being self-centred for taking it. Altruists say I should throw it away and go and serve others who need me.

If I canít be happy unless my family is looked after financially then is taking the permanent happiness pill an option? Just imagine you are offered the pill in such circumstances. Imagine that you know you will never get into trouble by taking it. And that you will spend your money on yourself and enjoy it no longer thinking how your family needs it. What then? If I want my family for my happiness then I will take the pill. It is more reliable!

If I take the pill I take it for a reason and because of my interests.

If I donít take it I also take it for a reason and because of my interests.

Objectors will say that the reason I take it is out of self-interest and the reason I donít take it is out of altruism.

Let us examine this.

If I satisfy my desire to take it I am selfish. If I satisfy my desire not to take it then I am altruistic.

In either case I satisfied a desire. The desire to have tea instead of coffee or coffee instead of tea is just a desire. A desire to see others happy and a desire to be happy yourself is a desire for self-fulfilment. A desire is a demand by your heart to be satisfied. Keep the focus on the word satisfied. The consistent altruist will have to pretend there is no satisfaction at all in acting altruistically.

The objection makes the inexcusable mistake of thinking that the results of an action determine if it was selfish or altruistic.

An act doesnít become selfish just because of what it led to. An act doesnít become altruistic just because others were bettered by it.

The same motive, to satisfy my desire to act, caused both actions. Only the results were different. And the results have no relevance to judging the action to be altruistic or selfish.

Then they will answer that the desire was different in each case. The desire that I responded to if I took the pill was selfish. The one I responded to if I didnít was unselfish or altruistic. One desire was for something for myself and the other desire was for something for others.

Again to look at a blue car and to look at a green one is different but does not mean you have different eyes. Your desire is to be what you are - a desire-haver. You get something for yourself just by desiring. Desire is just desire.

Desire has two sides, what I want and what I want NOT TO HAPPEN. Each desire is really two desires.

Consider the motivation for your egoistic refusal. I refuse the pill because the thought of my loved ones being deprived makes me unhappy. I refuse it because I donít want it. I refuse it because I value them. This valuing is egoistic because if they were totally hateful I wouldnít. I am not valuing them because they are my relations but because they are good relations. I value them because it gives me pleasure and happiness to be associated with them. The reason I want them to be financially secure and help them is because they help me make myself happy. I need them to make me happy. Even the biggest egoist or egotist in the world agrees that you need people to be happy and money and wealth and sex and fun mean nothing by themselves. You donít want money because it is money. You want it because of how you feel about it. It is what it does to your ego that you want. I reject the pill because I am an egoist and because it makes me happier to treat who I value well.

Altruism risks denial of how I seek something even self-approval in "sacrificing" for others. This risks me not being clear on what I want and what dangers I want to avoid. It risks me by telling me not to take the pill.


IT IS NOT THE PERSON OR THING

As Friedrich Neitzsche observed in Beyond Good and Evil the desires mean something to us, not what is desired. All the money in the world wouldnít please you if you didnít have the desire for it. We can be wrong about exactly what we want and need. So risk is inevitable. It is harder to avoid risk if you think of others not yourself.

RISK TAKING

Smoking is addictive. Anything that is addictive makes you imagine that it is going to make you happy. Risk is a way of telling ourselves we are bigger than what we have and not its prisoner. A risk is merely avoiding a bigger risk - the one of turning into a prisoner of circumstances. That is why we end up with addictions - we think they keep us free.

People engage in dangerous sports for a thrill. It is not the kind of thing you will get into unless you will get a great buzz during it and after it. This makes the perception of danger less strong. They feel confident that they will evade any danger so that the danger will not be an issue. Dangerous sports are egotism in the sense that they are engaged in for glory and the thrill. Engaging in dangerous sports is selfish because it risks breaking the hearts of those who love you. If that is an example of altruism, it is not a good one! If its not altruism, it is egoism and so even dying for saving the life of a child isnít necessarily altruistic to any degree.

Risks and mistakes are often a pair. People making mistakes only means that they went after what they thought was their best interest. It does not mean that they are not interested in what they see to be their best interest. Egoism is about satisfying the desire to act and this takes over and can make the egoist do and pursue actions that seem to be terribly bad for her or him.

ALTRUISM RISKS BEING WRONG IN PRINCIPLE

What is psychological egoism? Egoism/selfishness is when you are good to people but mainly or only because in some way you benefit from it. Some call the idea that your main motive is always selfish predominate egoism. We will ignore that though it is regarded as more likely to be true than the suggestion that we are all about self.

If we don't want psychological egoism or predominate egoism to be true that may mean we are in fact being selfish when we say we reject them. If they are true then we are being selfish.

A person who helps others just so that he can feel good is definitely an egoist for it is the feeling not the people that matter to him. And the danger is that if he is sure he can feel great by abusing people he will if he can get away with it. Altruism is not immune to this problem for it is often an egoist who does not see their own egoism and who identifies as altruist. The rage you get from an altruist when you doubt them proves they have gut instincts that they are not as selfless as they appear.

THE HYPOCRISY OF THE RISK DOCTRINE

Altruism calls for risk but in ways it will not tell you.

Altruism risks encouraging others to hurt themselves.

If I drink myself to death but have plenty of charm the altruist will say I am a great person for the only person I hurt was myself. It is as if others matter more than me and it is better to hurt myself than anybody else. The altruist will praise me for injuring myself instead of injuring another. People are not as upset about me hurting myself as they are about me hurting others. How could the altruistís praise be worth talking about when the altruist thinks of me in myself as worthless and just there to please others? Is the altruist not being egotistic never mind egoistic?

Imagine there was a paedophile who kidnapped a child and molested her. He then killed her. He killed her not for his sake but for his family because he knew they couldnít cope if he went to jail. And the shame would kill his mother. He saw his crime of murder as a necessary evil. Altruists class him as an egotist even when they consider his motive for killing her. If he is an egotist so is everybody else. He risked somebody for himself.

A man beats up the little girl next door. Her parents come to him and say they are not going to press charges for it would be hard on his elderly mother if they did. Altruists say they are terrific altruists for doing so. But are they not putting others before the protection of their child? It is the son who has hurt the mother if charges are pressed. The parents risked doing the wrong thing in the name of altruism.

The heart can deceive you. You can be convinced you have done something for an altruistic or caring reason or other-centred reason and be wrong. A person who does not believe in an afterlife but who serves others will be less likely to be prone to such deception than a person who does the same but believes that it is no big deal to mess up this life for there is a better one beyond the grave. Yet Mother Teresa is regarded as the zenith of altruism. That is another tragic example of risk.

ALTRUISM DENIES THAT ONE LIFE IS AS GOOD AS MANY

Here is an example of human hypocrisy.

A person is captured by dangerous psychopathic terrorists. Three people risk their lives trying to rescue the person from certain death. The three will be praised for doing this and encouraging each other to do it even if they are the ones that wind up dead. They are praised for putting one life before three lives.

Altruists will say that nobody has the right to weigh lives so if the train is hurtling at five people you cannot pull a lever to get it to go at the side track where one person is standing. Yet if three die for one they will show how hypocritical they are and commend what the person has done. They would encourage the person to do it if they could.

The assumption is that you are like a god having the right to judge and decide whose lives and how many lives matter. Does the number of lives matter? If it does not then you cannot say one life is worth taking to save five even if there is no choice. Do you have the right to judge five lives as more valuable than one life? Is that not comparing something totally valuable and thus denying it really is totally valuable?

The three are called altruists. This altruism is certainly selfish. It proves how altruism is just self-will in a new guise. If you intend to be selfish, it might be irrational to be selfish that way. So are we to pretend it is altruism just because it is irrational selfishness? If the three risked their lives to get money they would be called selfish even though they are risking as well. So the fact that they are risking for another person proves nothing.

Altruists are liars and they project their corruptions onto heroes. Altruism is nonsense.

FEAR

Altruism pushes fear on those who believe in it. It is scary to believe you should spend the rest of your life denying yourself to lift up your cross for God or others or both. Fear is the root of all evil and stupidity is behind fear so altruism sanctifies all three and calls them good. You know that it is fear of your own unhappiness that motivates you whenever you do evil. If you want to make a pact with the Devil become an altruist or a Christian! It is because people forget themselves and switch to sensible self-interest now and again that we have any happiness on this planet. If altruism is good then evil and despair are good. So we cannot say that egoism is refuted by the risk element for you are going to have the risk with altruism anyway. Fear breeds risk and more risk.

CONCLUSIONS

Risk is confused with altruism. But selfish risks happen all the time. Altruistic philosophy is parasitic on how people admire those who take a risk that benefits others. It pretends to regard life as precious but in the real world that is not what it does at all.