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?

 


MY VALUES EXPRESS WHO AND WHAT I AM SO TO SERVE MY VALUES IS SELF-INTERESTED

Love, compassion, mercy and justice are principles independent of what anybody wants them to be. It is impossible for anybody who signs up to these values to mean exactly the same thing by them. The words cover this up and give a false impression.

For that reason, love in John's life is not the same as love in Jane's life.

So your values say something about what you are as a person and who you are. You are your understanding of the values. Thus when you serve your values you really serve yourself.  You interpret values that in themselves are not up for interpretation so following and promoting your values is self-interest.

If you truly knew what love was 99% and would not accept to live by it unless 1% had to be your version then love is clearly not as important to you as you are.

This refutes altruism the notion that we can love good for good's sake. It is a vindication of egoism. Egoism means I do what I do to honour myself. It means I make others happy for it fulfils me to do so. It differs from egotism which abuses and steals from others.

The egoists do not think about and work for their own happiness. They forget that and help others and then they find they are happy. They use an indirect method. Altruists do that too and pretend it is self-sacrifice.

Egoism is to be a blessing to others because with it I look after others for myself. This is really just loving myself. I may not look for a reward but doing things for them is the reward. That is the only reward I want. Loving others and not myself as in altruism is evil. The egoist can do exactly what the professed altruist does but the egoist drops all the pretending and so the egoist should be better at good than the altruist. People don’t want altruists helping them for the altruist does the good without seeking any joy in it. They want egoists.

If I am honest, I do everything I do because I feel like it. If I help others, it is because I wish to. It is about my wish and not them. Those who disagree are confusing the benefit for others with the wish to commit the act of benefiting others. The two are separate.

If I value money my act is to value. The money is incidental. How do I know? Because if I value people my act is to value. In both I value, my action is to value. It is exactly the same act but it is only what is valued that is different. If I throw a snowball my act is to throw. The exact same act will throw a javelin. The act is the same – it is only what is thrown that is different. So it makes no sense to say that to value money is selfish and that it is unselfish to value people. The act is exactly the same, the valuing is exactly the same but it is only the focus of the valuing that is different. It would make as much sense to say that tasting wine was good but tasting milk was bad. Or that tasting wine was unselfish and tasting milk was selfish. Tasting is just tasting just as valuing is just valuing. If tasting something in particular has good results or if valuing something in particular has good results, if they help people better than not doing them would, that is a by-product of the tasting or valuing. People will value what they want or are pre-determined by their psyche to value. It is the valuing that is important – not what is valued. Therefore if I am selfish for valuing money I am just as selfish for valuing people.

There is no sacrifice for what I do I want to do under the circumstances. My will is just about me meaning that if I do wrong it is a mistake and not a sin or crime. The will is about gratifying desire not about evil and good which are the consequences of the intent but not the intent itself. Life is easier when we remember that what we do, we do for ourselves even if we are not keen on it and it gives us a sense of comfort. The doctrine of free will takes that away from us. People never do wrong because they deny their responsibility – they do it because they fail to see how useless and unattractive wrong is. The doctrine of free will suggests otherwise which is why the doctrine is a slander against us that we will not stand for. You are not really free if evil is based on misunderstanding. You need to understand what you are doing to be truly free. Religion hates the sinner by accusing her of a freedom and wickedness she does not have.

If psychological egoism is wrong then why do we need extreme examples to refute it such as a soldier blowing himself up to save the life of another person?  The examples are sledgehammers - believe he was a hero and not seeking something for himself or you are bad person and a cynic and slandering a good man.  That such bullying is present says the refuters have something to hide.

If the soldier is playing God by adopting values because he wants them and not because they are right and/or has in some sense his own meaning of justice and love then he is serving himself.  He is dying for his values yes but one's he has misappropriated.

THE KIDNEY

We all need a motive to act. Motive by definition means I want to satisfy myself and help others in a way that makes me feel fulfilled. Here is an example, "I want to donate my kidney to save that little girl whoever she is." You are not giving the kidney because of an obligation but because you want to.  But we are saying here there is an obligation - a self-made one. You make giving an obligation not because it is but because you want it to be.  See the point?

OBJECTIONS

Psychological egoism, which in this case means you create your values and thus follow yourself when you follow them,  according to Joseph Butler is refuted by the fact that your desires cannot be all about you. If it is all about you then nobody will help you or care for you and you will self-destruct. So you must want good things for other people in order to be able to fit in and be part of a community that helps you. You have to love football for its own sake in order to get anything out of playing it.  But it is egoism to love money for its own sake.  There is no such thing you love it for your own sake.

Some feel that guilt is about other people not you so refusing to do something bad in case you feel guilty is not selfish or self-centred.  Guilt is about you being the being that hurt them so it is about you. 

People may say that you give money to the starving because you don't want people to starve and not because you want to satisfy your desire to help them. But the only difference between, "I give because I want to help" and "I help because I want to satisfy my desire to help" is in the wording. The meaning is the same. This being the case, our giving is the act of an egoist. You give only because you feel inclined to. You do it for you though others benefit.

Deniers that we are all naturally egoists say, "You may feel good to help the starving. The feeling doesn't explain the motive. The motive explains the feeling." We have to remember that does not always happen. You can be motivated to do good and feel horrible. If you take egoism to mean doing things to satisfy the desire to do them and not how you will feel after then there is no problem. This is the correct understanding of egoism.

Maybe we could say that the first order desire is to help the starving and the second order desire could be to satisfy your desire to help. But how can you know which desire is the strongest - assuming there is a difference between them which there is not? A strong desire and a passion are two different things. You may not realise how much you want something.

It is argued that not all our desires are geared towards self-interest. It is said that hunger is a desire whose object is eating and not your interests. This view says that hunger is a first order desire and self-interest a second order desire. The problem with this idea is that hunger is a desire we cannot control. It comes from the body. Feeling hungry or not feeling hungry has nothing to do with the kind of person you are. Being self-interested does. The hunger example is irrelevant. If you have no self-interest you will not eat. It is not true that the hunger is a first order desire. The self-interest is.

Some philosophers say that you can give into irrational rage which contradicts self-love. But irrational passions can warp your sense of self-love. When you are being irrational because of passion, that is self-love and just because it may have bad results for you does not imply that it is not self-love.

It is argued that the motive of self-interest would have nothing to aim at unless the person had other motives as well. For example, you don't want to become a doctor just because of the prestige, you want to do a good job as well. But is this correct? You can't have the prestige unless you do a good job. So you can do the job well only to get the prestige. The "other" motives are only different forms of the self-interest motives or support self-interest.

People who tell me to love God are telling me that I should not put myself first. I love only me and God cannot be good according to believers unless he makes me with the power to love him if I so choose. I don’t have that power and to say there is a God is to say that I do and should not put myself first. The people are abusing me for it is not what I am and even if I had the choice it would still be wrong.

GRATITUDE

Gratitude is appreciation. It is taking delight in somebody or even something doing good for you. It takes delight in them and in the act they performed. Love in the final analysis is really gratitude. This is a reason why we cannot believe people who claim to love evil people and hate their evil deeds. But that aside, gratitude is joy that you got something. If you do something for another - if you give away your last penny - for love then it follows you are really doing it for yourself.

MATERIAL DESIRES ARE IN IN FACT INCIDENTAL
 
If I value money my act is to value. The money is incidental. How do I know? Because if I value people my act is to value. In both I value, my action is to value. It is exactly the same act but it is only what is valued that is different. If I throw a snowball my act is to throw. The exact same act will throw a football. The act is the same – it is only what is thrown that is different. So it makes no sense to say that to value money is selfish and that it is unselfish to value people. The act is exactly the same, the valuing is exactly the same but it is only the focus of the valuing that is different. It would make as much sense to say that tasting wine was good but tasting milk was bad. Or that tasting wine was unselfish and tasting milk was selfish. Tasting is just tasting just as valuing is just valuing. If tasting something in particular has good results or if valuing something in particular has good results, if they help people better than not doing them would, that is a by-product of the tasting or valuing. People will value what they want or are pre-determined by their psyche to value. It is the valuing that is important – not what is valued. Therefore if I am selfish for valuing money I am just as selfish for valuing people.

I ALWAYS VALUE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES
 
There is no sacrifice, for what I do I want to do under the circumstances. The circumstances are forced on me so I have to want enough to act so it is still self-interest.  When I say I don’t want to do it, I mean that I am getting little something out of it but nevertheless I still want to do it enough to be able to do it. My will is just about me meaning that if I do wrong it is a mistake and not a sin or crime. The will is about gratifying desire not about evil and good which are the consequences of the intent but not the intent itself. When I kill a person, I don't do it to take away their life but to fulfil my wish to end their life. Life is easier when we remember that what we do, we do for ourselves even if we are not keen on it and it gives us a sense of comfort. The doctrine of free will takes that away from us. People never do wrong because they deny their responsibility – they do it because they fail to see how useless and unattractive wrong is. The doctrine of free will suggests otherwise which is why the doctrine is a slander against us that we will not stand for.

FINALLY

I make all values my own whether they are love or anything else. To serve my values is to serve myself. I am an egoist.

APPENDIX

GOD

You are in a bad situation. A baby is in the burning house. You can risk life and limb to rescue the baby.

Two instincts are compelling you to act.

The self-preservation instinct wants you to protect yourself.

The compassion one wants you to sacrifice yourself to help the baby.

Some say that is an example of how moral values are above and beyond you and sometimes above and beyond each other. They are said to point to a transcendent God who creates moral value.

That is an odd argument.

The error is in assuming that if I make my values in a sense bigger than me I am reaching out to God. Maths is bigger than me and I don't have a maths god. And who says valuing my preservation means I am making the value bigger than me? I only need it to equal me not rule me.

I may want to preserve myself but not see it as a moral value. Just because I have a value does not mean it is a moral value.

It could be that if you value self-preservation you are treating it as a moral value even if you do not intend to or think of it that way.

Nobody says that you need to choose the right moral value all the time to honour moral value. So what if I go with self-preservation then instead of compassion?