Can any person do any unselfish act at all in any regards?

Think about it honestly: Every single thing we do is more or less for the benefit of the self:

.Eating: self survival

.Helping others: self-satisfaction, or getting pointers with God (or Divine)

.Education/reading: Self-improvement

.Work: Survival

.Hobbies: self-enjoyment

.Love: selfish-emotion

.Pro-creation: self-need, progression of Love and marriage.


One could argue or come up with something which is not for the self, however it will be a subjective matter with lots of gray areas. We literally have no choice in the matter? We certainly can't say "it's how you look at it". Ultimately it could be broken down to a selfish act.

Is this built in our DNA to be this way and we're wired as such? Is this just to be human? It most certainly feels awfully sinful/sad not to find at least one thing we can do truly unselfishly. Seems to me like we are the middle-men in the grand scheme of things (in between creation and end), so to speak, and hence as such are not even capable to do so otherwise.

  • There is a huge difference between self-sustaining and selfishness. Those things you mention when viewed through the lens of what is required for an individual to maintain a healthy confidence and balance is what allows us to experience love, procreation, work, education, etc. as shared experiences which enrich both our partner/colleagues and our own lives. Your claim that everything we do is selfish is a version of psychological egoism. As Spinoza points out, there are those who wish to find all manner of fault in human emotion rather than understanding it. See Ethics Part 3, Appendix.
    – user37981
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 4:22
  • Yes I see what you are saying, but self-sustaining is still a selfish act. The self needs to go on, to survive, doing all those things. Not trying to find fault particularly, just getting to the root of it.
    – Steve237
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 4:32
  • Selfishness implies making a judgement on someone's behavior which assumes a form of guilt. Guilt is a manufactured emotion which religion created to invite someone into self rebuke. Calling anything selfish does not make it so.
    – user37981
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 4:46
  • Does this answer your question? Is altruism a contradiction? Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 8:05
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Is it possible to be truly selfless or altruistic?
    – Conifold
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 10:35


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