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Is real Altruism even possible?

We can argue the giver feels good about themselves after giving. Or that they do it to get points with God. Even the atheist still can feel good about themselves. You could argue that feeling was just a side effect and the ultimate motive was the good. But we cannot help but feel good. Why do we really help. Are we all truly selfish and only dressing it differently. Whom are we really fooling except ourselves.

Could we say if a person puts their own life in danger to save someone else count as altruism? As that's the ultimate sacrifice.

  • All desires are of a self, just as are all thoughts and willings. But it is equivocation to say that this means all desires are for the self. (Rawls makes this point somewhere in AToJ.) – Kristian Berry Sep 26 at 15:08
  • It looks like you're pushing Christianity, or some other sacrificial savior model. Please define "Altruism", and explain what would make it "true"/"real" or not, with examples. Human action generally has cause. It may be intrinsic or extrinsic, conscious or not, etc. If you mean to remove motivation, intrinsic causes of action, then how an action is classified would be subject to external factors. I doubt most would consider such actions altruistic. More an accident of fate. If you mean to remove all cause, then no human action is possible at all, altruistic or not. – xiota Sep 26 at 15:33
  • I mean can we really help others without reaping any benefits at all for ourselves. Either through feeling good about it Or having an ulterior motive or benefit) – Steve237 Sep 26 at 16:32
  • Sure it's close. It's somewhat open-ended though, but I think most philosophical ideas are. personally I think altruism is a contradiction and hence non-existent. – Steve237 Sep 26 at 19:54

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