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?

 


An intention to help is fundamentally about me not the other

Some people believe that even when we do good for others our aim is for something for ourselves - they say we are inherently like that. We are psychological egoists.

Some psychologists who oppose psychological egoism, do so because they accept the following reasoning, “I like to do everything I do, at least under the circumstances. This is fact. But it is the intention, to help others for their sake and not mine or the intention to help them for my sake and not theirs makes the difference between altruism and egoism.”

Refuting this argument is the conclusive proof that psychological egoism is true.

Here is the refutation.
People think you have desires and you base intentions on them.

Intention is desire itself. When you spend money to buy a car you intend to buy a car which is the same as to say you desire the car.

But intention is a desire itself. The other desires are suggesting desires and intention is the implementing desire.

A desire always gives something back. Even giving into it is a reward in itself. You are an intention haver thus having any intention rewards you by letting you be what you are.

My intention, no matter what it is for, is not accurately defined as the reason I do what I do. It is what I desire to happen if I give into my desire to do something. It is then about pleasing myself. I intend to please myself no matter if I intend to give my right arm to save lives.

Some who forget that the desire to do something includes the intention, or strictly speaking IS the intention, would contend, “It is the liking to do it that makes it egoistic not the intention. The intention is totally irrelevant in relation to the altruism/egoism question. It is outside the discussion. It is possible to imagine a being that does what it likes without having any intentions. It is possible to imagine a being doing what it intends but not liking it at all.” Even with their bad logic, at least they still affirm that psychological egoism is true. In what way? If intention has nothing to do with altruism then it follows that there is no altruism. Altruism is basically the intention to sacrifice yourself and embrace suffering for others. You can be egoistic without having intentions. So it would follow that we are all either egoistic or egotistic.

When I intend to take coffee I also intend to be free. There are two intentions in every intention. I intend to be free and then I intend what to be free for. The first is the main thing.

I like to feel free above all things. Everything I do is done to gratify that feeling. It’s done for gratification therefore no matter how altruistic I appear to be I am not. I am only gratifying myself. When I do something I dislike because somebody else orders it to be done, I did it to gratify the feeling that I can obey it despite my repulsion.

It will be answered that I did it to obey not to gratify. This objection is based on a mistake. The mistake assumes that to obey is not the same as to gratify myself. It is. I want to obey under the circumstances.

It will be answered that just because the act was free doesn’t mean I did it to gratify the feeling of freedom. But freedom is about doing what you want under the circumstances. It is a want. It is not an emotionless power that is independent of every influence. It is a feeling itself.

We conclude that merely having an intention is a kind of reward in itself. It shows that anybody who denies they think of themselves is lying.