Is a motive altruistic, egoistic or egotistic?

A motive is a reason to do something.  It may or may not involve a feeling.  A desire can be a motive.

If we always have a self-interested motive then that means we do nothing except for a number of motives - one of which is about the reward we hope to get.  We will not help another person unless one or more of our motives is self-centred.  You will help nobody unless you come up with a motive of self-interest - unless you find something in it to aim for for yourself.  If you cannot help somebody unless there is something in it to benefit you then clearly you put yourself before the other person even as you help them.

Intention is the willing motive the one that makes you act. You can have one or more of these.  An act may have several intentions.  Desire always has an influence on what is willed. Even not wanting to do x is a desire.

What does the individual motives culminating in one act show?

That you cannot know if the act is really altruistic or egoistic or egotistic. You cannot know that for each act is given rise to by motives and each motive requires separate assessment. You never know which motive out of the three different types was the decisive one. It is hard enough for the doer of the act to know. The act having altruistic motives or egoistic motives or egotistic motives behind it does not make it all three. In fact as important as the act is, judging it as egoistic or egotistic or altruistic is irrelevant. It does not matter - only assessing each motive on an individual basis matters. It is not really about the act for the act is really just an outcome of motives so it is the motives that need examination and ask for it.

Is motive really good, bad or neither?

No for we do not think of good or bad or neither the very second when we exercise it. It is only good or bad or neither depending on the product and the thoughts and feelings that produced it. It is only indirectly good, bad or neither. That is to say that if a motive seems altruistic or egoistic or egotistic it is only indirectly so.

What do motives imply about 1, altruism, caring about others and not yourself, 2, the faked altruism in which you love others as yourself or 3, egoism, in which you care for others to please yourself, or 4, egotism in which you do not care for others but please yourself by walking all over them?

Each one of these four philosophies stands or falls not on its consequences but on the nature of the motive that is behind it. When it is the motive that matters, it follows that you cannot pick what you like out of them but have to follow one and one only because there is only one motive associated with each system.

When you do something kind for somebody should you do it because you want money or something off them or do it simply to fulfil yourself?

Do it to fulfil yourself and you will be happy because if you want something else you might not get it! This is as much selfishness as being kind to them for what you can get off them say money or whatever. The money is no good unless it helps you fulfil yourself and make yourself feel good.


Because you don't want the money in itself, you only want the fulfilment you think you will get from the money. You go after the same fulfilment if you do it to fulfil yourself or to get future fulfilment. There is no difference in that way. Do it to fulfil yourself and that is selfishness. Do it to get money etc and that is still selfishness. But the first is the strongest and best selfishness for it is more effective. The more selfish you are then the better! If you do not do it to fulfil yourself then you are being a pushover and urging the person to abuse you. That is actually a warped form of selfishness too. Everything we do is selfish. Altruism is nonsense.

Is it not silly to say that we should want to suffer if altruism is true for that would tell us to hate doing our good works so much that doing them is a torment?

The more you hurt for others the more altruistic you are. In a way or in the best way under the circumstances, the person with a built in aversion to doing good does far more good in giving ten cent to a poor person than a billionaire who at ease gives a million. Anything less than the fully agony is an insult. Goodness is in the will and not in the emotions so having bad feelings does not make you bad as long as you do not cause them. You have to will the good despite the revulsion.

What do you say to those who say that having bad feelings about doing good is a sign of a bad character?

That is not true morally speaking. If I forget the hate in me heroically to assist an enemy in trouble, I am regarded as deserving a better reward than one who helps the person easily. Practically speaking bad feelings are a sign of a bad or dangerous character for the person could be forced to harm by these feelings but altruism does not care about that. After all it says that if you could cure a tramps’ ulcer by sucking out the puss with your mouth you would be extremely repelled and if you did it, it would mean you are good not bad.

What do feelings and their constant changing and reversing tell us about motive and duty?

We know that feelings change rapidly and come and go so much that it is nonsense to say that the person who is good feels like doing good out of a sense of duty. Anyway the person who does that is interested in the feeling and not the duty!

Would those who realise morality is about motive say that a man who almost got drowned trying to save a child is better than one who never had this life or death crisis?

Yes. They commend the man who holds his tongue under provocation though he is so angry that he would like to get his own back though he knows he will relieve his rage and the other person will not be very hurt. We find them to be very inconsistent.

But you act from motives not just one motive!

Motive is about what I value. I do not value say love because I should but because I just do. How can you value altruism? Do you really care if a baby gets his food because the carer is altruistic? No you care that he gets the food. That cannot be called immoral though it may not be ideal. We cannot change how we think so it is not our fault even we think nature should have made us better than that!

That does not matter. One motive or a number of them still result in an action. Even not acting is a response. Each motive is an individual. You assess each one for altruism or egoism or egotism. What the others are is irrelevant when you are looking at this one. The notion that you are a mixture of selfish and unselfish is wrong if it means they are blended all together. It is like flour and milk in a mixing bowl which do not combine and can be completely separated. Its individual things in the one place but they do not form one unit.


The doctrine that motive is what matters says and implies that if you have a fault that forces you not to want to be good and you do good regardless then you are the best person and better than the person who does good because they like it. It is anti-happiness. Happiness must be a danger for it stops you developing revulsion for good. This revulsion is a gift when it is not your doing or fault. The doctrine is dangerous and morality is just a pack of lies. The alternative is to say that people matter and not virtues or gods or holy things. All we can do is do good because we like it and feel good from it and in that morality is about us and not about God or altruism. And also, we know instinctively that the individual should put themselves first for they are most sure of their own existence. Helping others to because it is good for your head and heart is putting yourself first in the right way. Do it! It might mean you are putting feelings before people but if the good is done who cares?

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