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Altruism or Benevolence?

Posted by Herb7734 4 months ago to Philosophy
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This is an area badly in need of clarification. So, with a little help from some perceptive minds, let's explore: There is a great confusion in the minds of most people concerning the nature of altruism or that it derives from the principle of benevolence, good will and kindness toward others.Advocates of altruism take great pains to encourage this belief--to establish a "package deal" so as to conceal from their victim the actual meaning of altruist morality .

The view that altruism and benevolence are the same is a great error. Altruism holds that man must makethe others above self. Such a view is worse than mistaken; it is a perversion entailed in the technique called "the big lie."It represents the exact opposite of the truth;altruism and benevolence are not only different, they are mutually inimical. man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the moral justification of his existence, that self-sacrifice is his foremost duty.A philosophy that tells man that he is no more than a sacrificial animal . This is not an expression of benevolence or good will.

Let us do a thought experiment, a device which served Einstein so well.:Ask yourself what your reaction would be if the person you loved were to tell you:"Don't imagine that I want to marry you out of any selfish expectation of pleasure.Don't imagine that I see anything to admire in you,or that I find your company interesting, or that I enjoy our relationship any manner whatever.In fact, I find you boring and thoughrolly unappealing.But, I wouldn't be so selfish as to seek anything personally from our marriage.Don't imagine that your thoughts or feelings are of any actual interest to me or that I do any of the things I do for you because I care for your happiness -- don't think that there's anything in it for me whether you're happy or not. I'm not an egoist, after all I'm marrying you out of pity,out of charity, as a duty I'm marrying you out of compassion for your flaws, not admiration for your virtues because I know that you need me. I'm doing it as an act of sef sacrifice"


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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 months ago
    During my "between relationships" stage of my life, I was amazed at the number of people who would repeatedly pick addicts, abusers, or other criminal types as mates. The women distinctly emitted an aura of thinking they were "saving" the dysfunctional male to make him better, and in a few bizarre cases, where the man did reform, those same "rescuers" almost immediately dumped him, and found another distorted soul. Was this altruism, or simply a mental disorder, where the women came from an abusive environment and were only comfortable in the same situation?

    I saw far fewer males with this attitude. I have been blessed with a quick mind, excellent health, and an instinct for staying out of financial trouble, and have engaged in what I believe as acts of benevolence for people down on their luck if I thought they deserved a break. I definitely don't go eagerly hunting for situations where I can sacrifice myself or well being, so I guess I'm not guilty of altruism. Some have tried to tell me my military service was altruistic, but I tell them it was a worthwhile investment of my time, to help retain the concept of a government intended to serve the free individual.
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    • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      During the 70s when I was a newspaper reporter in a mostly rural dry county in Alabama, "outlaw women" was a label for ladies who hooked up with losers who were in and out of jail for bootlegging, DUI, growing marijuana, burglaries, passing bad checks, cockfighting and all kinds of naughty misbehavior.
      The county jail, several stories high, was right next to the one-floor newspaper I worked for. One day an "outlaw woman" with a kid was seen pointing up at a jail window and heard saying, "Look, there's daddy at that window. See? He's a jailbird. Wave. Say "Hi, Daddy. Hi, Jailbird."
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    • Posted by Lucky 3 months, 4 weeks ago
      Dr Z. Quote-
      A woman chooses a man that she can change for the better, she never succeeds.
      A man chooses a woman hoping she will never change, she always does.

      As for altruism and benevolence, so much does more harm than good which is not surprising when noting that actions are often based on feelings. I am unconvinced that it must be like that as Rand describes in Atlas Shrugged. This is a good topic and I hope for some good contributions.

      For this forum the starting point is that trying to do good with other people's money is Wrong, and very likely to fail. But that is just the starting point.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      I like Rush's definition of the military; "Their job is to kill people and break things." For those who have that ability and still agree with the basic premises of those they defend, they are a blessing and should be honored as such. If there is such a mind. It may be that is why they have trouble as civilians in some cases.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 4 weeks ago
      " "saving" the dysfunctional male to make him better, "
      I wonder what would happen if those men were indeed "saved" and rose up as strong individuals. It would be revealed to be a horrible Jim and Cherryl relationship. They want to be patted on the back for taking in strays rather than have a real relationship with another person.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 4 weeks ago
      They view their self worth as it is reflected tn the gratitude of the recipients of their largesse. If they are unappreciative -- better still. They can then add martyrdom to their self esteem.
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    • Posted by 4 months ago
      Altruism is a part of a mental disorder called liberalism.How many times have you see the example I gavebut unspoken. Even without verbalizing it eventually becomes clear as to the sacrificer's attitude without verbalizing.
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  • Posted by chad 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    Benevolence: 1) disposition to do good 2) a: an act of kindness b: a generous gift 3) a compulsory levy by certain English kings with no other authority than the claim of prerogative
    The first two definitions are voluntary, the last compulsory by claim of authority. I think one of the first and largest problems of humanity to think and act for one's rational self interest is the belief that authority can command the violation of morality and the subjects must give in until permission is given to be objective and act on one's own volition.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      What's the alternative? Open rebellion doesn't bode well for the individual.Enter subterfuge, until the taker of freedom is subdued.
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      • Posted by chad 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        When I was much younger, 50 years ago, I thought that objectivism was so obvious all you had to do was teach, explain it and others would simply hit their forehead and say; "DUH".
        You cannot use violence to make people free so a rebellion is useless. If people do not choose it they cannot be forced, that is the antithesis of objectivism. Socialism will only work with the use of violence for even those who believe in it would not choose it if others around them were not living it. They would see the obvious difference and live objectively even if they believed in collectivism. They might still try to convert others but if they could not demand it (enforce) there would be very few who would actually try to live it. For those who made that choice that would be okay for them.
        What is the alternative? Before the advent of the computerized society I had a plan I think would have worked much like Galt's Gulch. Now with the entire world being monitored except a few tribes deep in the jungle or on isolated islands in the Indian Ocean the only choice is to try to live unobserved which will become increasingly difficult as RFID chips become implanted in everything we might own (including ourselves) and tracked you won't be able to trade or sell something to another without it being tracked, monitored, approved, licensed and taxed, or forbidden. If you think of an alternative let me know.
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        • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          It is strange that the more Objectivists I have contact with express the same as you . It seems that once the layers and layers of junk which is piled on over the truth that once revealed becomes so obvious that everyone merely says "Why have I been so blind all these years?"And yet, most who read Rand don't get it. To us it is as plain as the fact that water is wet, bu to others, it is a premise to quibble over. Express any objectivist premise to a liberal and you'll get lots of "Yes, but."and after a while, you'll realize that we live in an insane world where the obvious must be denied in order to squeeze it into an untenable agenda.
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          • Posted by chad 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            I remember being in a conversation once with a woman who said she had read Ayn Rand but disagreed with her because why should only architects be free? When I tried to explain that wasn't the point it just went downhill from there and I walked away.
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          • Posted by IndianaGary 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            "To us it is as plain as the fact that water is wet, but to others, it is a premise to quibble over..."

            Since most people are religious, they are used to bringing emotion to the table rather than thinking. Many people believe that they can fake reality, because, they believe that they can get away with it long enough to live out their lives and to hell with morality. What do they need morality for?
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  • Posted by Solver 3 months, 4 weeks ago
    Do you think that altruism also causes societies to coddle, thus encourage, the rise of these poor PC schooled tribes of easily triggered narcissistic winey neurotic tantrum throwing snowflakes (AKA useful idiots of cultural Marxism)?
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    • Posted by 3 months, 4 weeks ago
      Typical teens. They are all "Rebels without a cause" which the more rational of them will outgrow. If not they become the true believers , the "useful idiots." They are the entertainment outside; the sideshow tent hoping to lure you in for the sideshow which never lives up to te promise of the outside lure..
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      • Posted by Solver 3 months, 4 weeks ago
        Not all teens are these “typical teens.” What caused the “untypical teens” act differently? Or, act much more rationally?
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        • Posted by 3 months, 4 weeks ago
          It all has to do with hormones and blood flow. They are experiencing huge body changes accompanied by glandular caused emotions and in some cases no outlet, or sometimes many outlets which take negative or positive forms.With anticipation and training these "feelings" can be funneled into positive areas rather than typical random spurts of energy guided by half-formed brains.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 4 weeks ago
      I think this "cultural Marxism", PC, etc, do not exist. Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged described the real unhealthy behavior patterns that come from altruism. PC and the like are empty political slurs.
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      • Posted by Solver 3 months, 4 weeks ago
        Cultural Marxism simply takes the failed methods of Marxism and apply some new and updated methods to a culture itself. The goal is to destroy a capitalist system created by the “privileged white males.” It is taught in schools, colleges and universities,
        https://youtu.be/JhmUzP4ahmc
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          The video looks like phrases (yes, subjects or objects with no verb!) and sentences spliced together making it impossible to know what he's saying.

          He calls capitalism a sexist, homophobic "system", which I think is categorically wrong. Private ownership of the means of production has nothing to do with bigotry.

          Later he says people must be prepared to take up arms if necessary against laws passed by a democracy that creates tyranny of the majority. I agree with him on that point.
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          • Posted by Solver 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            The short video is highly compressed but it’s still clear the professor is preaching falsehoods and sedition to these impressionable young minds.
            I’d be curious to see if any critical thinking is done in the Q/A session.
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  • Posted by  $  exceller 3 months, 4 weeks ago
    Commendable effort to clarify terms.

    I say commendable because the confusion will be permanent as long as humans populate this earth. It is not because the distinction if difficult to perceive, it is because humans are lost in the great fog of society's rules, which makes sure the distinction will never be clear.

    Even though there is an easy way to know it: one is mandatory the other is voluntary.

    Your example of the person admitting that he/she is marrying another out of self sacrifice is a case of pathology. There are cures for that but considering that the majority of humans suffer from some kind of psychological condition, it is commonly accepted. Very few possess the logic of John Galt.
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 4 months ago
    Dear Herb7734,
    Your sedulous distinction tween
    Altruism and benevolence is
    unexpurgated. Agreed the connection in the big lie is essential . The greatest evil (IMHO) is to fraud the world of their voluntary generousity and benevolence to assist humanity during natural disasters.
    Leaving the victims worse of then before.

    I am going to nominate this for post of the year.+1
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  • Posted by freedomforall 4 months ago
    I don't need a government contract for a personal relationship. Dream on socialists ... marriage with one who can think and act in his self interest is not in the cards for you.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    When I was 15, I used to think that love was unself-
    ish devotion. (I think I had been reading too much of Erich Fromm's stuff). But I could not imagine myself
    falling in love and loving someone with a totally un-
    selfish devotion; even free of mercenary taint, there would still be the fact that I loved the person because I got some sort of pleasure in his existence, it was still self, self, self, and I believed myself incapable of love. And I thought that my parents must never have loved me, or I would have somehow "caught" it from them. And one night in the Waynesboro library, I saw books on a swap shelf (donate one and take one away and keep it), and I saw The Virtue of Self-
    ishness
    by Ayn Rand (and with a few articles by
    Nathaniel Branden). I was intrigued by the title,
    expecting cynical stuff. I leafed through it a little
    bit, and traded for it, and took it away. And, even-
    tually, Ayn Rand's philosophy straightened me out. (I have also had some remorse for the way
    I had unjustly blamed my parents--although they
    didn't repudiate altruism, either).
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    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Without (I hope) being too chauvenistic, it seems to me that I have encountered Teen girls' attitudes such as yours even My granddaughter's.It seems to be some sort of hormonal infliction that turns reality into thickly iced birthday cake.Whereas with boys, they come down with extreme cases of macho-ness brought on by excess flows of testosterone as opposed to estrogen.Plus, you cannot use the "logic" of anyone under 25 because their brains have not fully formed yet.
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      • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        Well, I think I was logical. And it would not have to apply only to romantic love. If you love a baby, be-
        cause he is so amusing, etc., that is selfish,too. (Of
        course, if you're the parent, the kid is sort of your instrument for living on, but if you are not, if it is just your sister, or someone else's baby, that selfishness applies, too). As to the "macho-ness"
        of boys, don't I know it. The way they were so aggressive in the hallways, kicking me in the butt, or other such stuff, I couldn't stand the punks, either.--And to this day, I have no great liking for adolescent punks, and no disposition to put up with any of that macho s***.
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        • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          Oh, they outgrow it - or pretend to.But every now and then you'll run into a boy or girld who never outgrew.
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          • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            Yeah, once I started working and having jobs, mostly it was all right working and being around middle-aged men (about 35+ or 40+ years old). They were pretty decent. In a plant, the rule with middle-aged men was, you do your job and they'll do theirs; you do your share of the work and they'll do theirs; and if you be fair with them, they'll be fair with you. And even the punks behaved better in the plants, usually, than in school. But I have met a few who still had that punk attitude.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 4 months ago
    I might have accepted that "self sacrifice" from Shannon Tween or maybe a few others at one point in time just to indulge in the shear selfish enjoyment of it.
    But, Let's look at this another way: How can one, "love thyself" AND be altruistic at the same time...this is where the Organization of the teachings goes south, I'm talkin Socrates south here.
    So let's put these concepts back into perspective: "Love thyself" - care for yourself and your own survival in appreciation of existing.
    That seems to be a rationally "Celf Interested realization of that statement.
    But at the same time we are to help others, which actually means, "Share one's abundance, (what ever you have in excess beyond your own happiness and survival" (which humans seem to do without so much as a pointed waving finger...if allowed to)...That seems to me to be the meaning and intention of, "benevolence" or what I would call: Mutuality. Something mankind could not have survived this long without.

    Now, Altruism...does not fit the "Human" narrative when considering the above concepts. It is purely a "Collective" concept, one inwhich would eradicated mankind off the face of this earth.
    BUT...it does have it's use IF we apply it to Governments. I envision this being applied in the sense of an individual, having enough abundance to survive and wishing to dedicate the time, knowledge and good will, toward the protection of everyone else's natural rights of property, contracts and happiness.

    I really do not think that a "Conscious being", actually sacrifices him self in the service of or protection of, others or even an ideal. One might calculate the odds of survival and take the risks in spite of the odds, but I don't think, one actually thinks they will not survive those risks.
    Not one cell in the body sacrifices itself for the survival of the community of cells we call you.

    And That is the Caveat. Obviously, only the "Non-Conscious" entities could be altruistic: sacrificing self for an ideal or the collective. We see that, certainly in regards to islam and many like them throughout history.

    That is Progressive revisionism and confounding of our language...Un-confounded by your's truly, the best way I can.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 4 weeks ago
      I think perhaps that you're making a simple consept unduly complicated.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 4 weeks ago
        Did you mean: Concept?...laughing

        Once one understands these concepts, yes, it's simple but remember, it is progressivism and the uneducated left that has confounded these concepts.
        I saw the need to untwist them from altruism.
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        • Posted by 3 months, 4 weeks ago
          It is my f'ing, fumbling typing technique.. I went to the Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe school of typing.
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 4 weeks ago
            Laughing.
            Never had the problem while writing the first book, now that I am writing all the time...F.Fumbling seems to happen often.

            Must be the additional cosmic radiation messing with my coordination skills.
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            • Posted by 3 months, 4 weeks ago
              What did you do with your aluminum hat?
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              • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 4 weeks ago
                It was only good for gama and micro waves but cosmic radiation goes thru most anything...need a hat made of monotomic gold which "Deflects" these rays away from one's head.
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                • Posted by 3 months, 4 weeks ago
                  Ooooh, -- expensive.
                  Name, publisher and best place to buy books written by esteemed compatriot, Old Ugly Carl
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                  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 4 weeks ago
                    A cheaper way out of this conundrum is to just walk barefoot in the grass, on rocks, sand or even cement...tile, grounded to earth, works as well.

                    Grounding gives one a cone of protection similar to a mast on a sailboat.

                    Authorhouse or any other book site (download): The Fight for Conscious Human Life. PDF format.
                    Now that I have become a slightly better writer, I'm not so proud of my first attempt.
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    • Posted by 4 months ago
      Do you mean Shannon Tweed? If so, she is married to Gene Simmons of KISS. She makes soft core porn. Has 2 children by Gene. A very nice lady. Gene likes to pretend he's a bastard, but come to the nitty-gritty he is gooey caramel in the center..
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