“It is very clear that self-acceptance and self-worth must come first before we have a valid measuring stick by which to measure a love for others” (page 22, Stress, Charles Garland Edwards, Pacific Press Publishing Company, Idaho, Canada, 1982). Sooooooo true!


Some say that when we help another without getting a reward that we in fact do have at least one reward.  We feel good about it.  We also avoid the feeling of guilt.  We avoid the fear of being in a world where nobody helps by being an example and showing that such a world can be possible.  Our aim is wellbeing.  Rewards can be lost and they abandon you in death.  We know that.  So it is in our self-interest not to love them too much.  That is why our egoism is more subtle than the obvious doing of good for praise or to avoid being hated.


If we are born self-interested then we have to just accept it.  We have to need to find ways of being as sensible as possible within this framework.

the options

Putting myself first is called egoism which is option one. Putting others first is called altruism and it is option two. The third and last option is egotism which is the view that I should put myself first in such a way that I walk over others.
Altruism is not the doctrine that we should help others. You can be any of the three and still help others. For example, if you practice egotism you have to be kindly to your gang who you will use to rob a bank. Altruism is the doctrine that we should help others avoiding any benefit for ourselves - you do good wholly for them and not you. People confuse altruism with the doctrine that we should help others. The confusion is why people think that those who are against altruists are bad.


Altruism holds that it is great to do good and just give to others and to do no taking.  But you do not consider a robber an altruist though he or she is clearly going after something that is going to rob him of his freedom and abandon him on his deathbed.  Money.  Selflessness is not inherently good.  What about great altruists who suddenly started robbing banks?  Once you see yourself as an object to be used for some goal there is no telling what you will do with it.
Altruism denies that people have rights.
Mary helps the old woman and her motive is to satisfy her desire to help. This is considered to be selfishness. She does it for herself not the old woman.
Mary helps the old woman and her motive is to help the old woman. This is praised by the altruists. And praised even more if Mary has depression and can't feel good afterwards about it.
There is more happiness in scenario one than in scenario two. Altruism then cares about how the old woman feels not you. This degrades you and denies that you are as good as her. Why should her feelings matter and not yours? Then illogically if she were the one helping you it would deny that it cares how she feels. So it degrades her as well and hypocritically denies it. It punishes the doer of the good work by using praise to degrade them.


John is suffering and needs me to help.  Altruism pretends there is a difference between the selfish, "I help John because I want to" and the supposedly altruistic "I help John because I want to and I want to because he wants me to help him." If you help somebody because you want to, you must do it because they want you to help them for otherwise you can't help them. You are not helping an old woman if you get her across the road when she doesn't want your help. Altruism is a lie.


Altruism says that if I help John because I want to and not because he is suffering then that is evil not just selfish.


But altruism is not great either.


It is not your fault if you find egoism to be the most humane if imperfect option.  Be egoist. 


when you are free indeed you are an egoist
You are not yourself if you are controlled by your anger or hatred or if you do things that cause others to become your enemies. You are not truly selfish when you are controlled by theses forces inside you. You need to be free from them to be yourself - to be a true egoist. It is simply false that you need to have hate and anger and a desire to trample on others to be selfish. The opposite is the truth. In the biggest things in life, love and reproduction and war, we are less free. Why the big deal about free will?

Egoism is the truth. Altruism is rubbish.  Selfishness if defined as what takes from others or prevents them from having is a good description of altruism which takes away people's happiness in the name of morality.  The person you see in the mirror hurts you the most in life and altruism or trying to be selfless that is the biggest reason for that.  Free will supposedly is a gift from God to give you dignity and to learn you to use it wisely.  It makes you feel like a mini-god that you control all in your mini-universe, the cosmos in your head and immediate vicinity.  So it is at least a low level self-deification and is not really capable of caring about a God for real.  If free will is to be validated then the religious version is total nonsense.  There can be no selflessness then before a God.

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