Does pure altruism (Doing something good for someone else for no selfish reason) exist?

Does pure altruism (Doing something good for someone else for no selfish reason) exist?


Depends on what you consider altruism. I do plenty of nice things for other people, but part of the reason why is because those things also make me feel good about myself. Making myself feel good feels like cheating, but also, wouldn’t any altruistic person feel good about doing good?


That is why I say no. That chemical feedback you get is a reward.


Then doesn't that make everything anyone does selfish?


Yes. Yes it does. The thought goes that at your core you are selfish which makes sense. However, in extreme situations I think this can be challenged


Technically, all selfless deeds are selfish. A human will only do something if they receive a positive response from their brain for doing so. Even if it's being happy they made someone else happy.


I do lots of things that don't make me happy.


I’m afraid that’s called life mate


I would say yes, but I also believe the best/easiest if not the only way to fix society, is for everyone to adapt a view of selfish altruism.


No, because at the end it makes YOU feel better, yeah maybe also the others, but the end of the line is that you will feel better with yourself so, in some way, is selfish.


I don't think that is selfish, but i see your point.


I’m the only no I feel so embarrassed?


I mean if you want to get nitpicky “no” has a better case for being the correct answer. Even if you’re helping someone because it conforms to your ideals of being a good person that’s a selfish reason. If you’re doing because it makes you feel good to make them feel good that’s a selfish reason


I suppose it just says more about you that you would never do anything good if it meant you didn't get something in return


Nah men, that not what he meant(I assume). Even if you "don't expect anything in return" you get satisfaction, higher self esteem, more positive opinion of you and so on.


Getting something in return can be looking good in others eyes etc but I don't think feeling good about doing good things would come under a selfish reason to do something


It does. If you didn't feel good about it you wouldn't do it.


But would you really say that's selfish? I wouldn't. Someone doing something out of the kindness of their heart just because they are a good person albeit making them feel good isn't a selfish act imo. By that logic me going for a run, or me watching sports is also selfish because I enjoy doing them and get great satisfaction from it


It’s not selfish there is a big difference between doing things for little personal gain to being selfish, when making a decision to do something there are multiple factors that come into play one of them being selfish, that’s what this question is asking if there is anything that has absolutely no selfish reasons. If you do something kind for someone and feel good about it it is still a selfless deed, though there is a small portion of it that is selfish making it not pure altruism. Doing things like going for a run or watching sports because you get enjoyment from it isn’t selfish because there is no selfless alternative, it’s neither selfish nor selfless


I’m starting to believe the only thing that is capable of puts altruism are robots. They have no motive for doing good and only do so because they are programmed to.


No, No matter what someone does it’s always for personal gain.


I retrieved a persons belongings from across the river because I could swim good. My mom jumped in too because if I go down she goes down. Is that it?


On a smaller level, like picking up something the other person dropped or warning them about something, it exists because it takes almost no effort and humans like to help others (mostly) On a medium level, like washing the dishes or going to the grocery store, it depends on the bond the people share. You'd go to a grocery store for your wife, but if a random stranger gives you a list and ask you to do the same, you'd (hopefully politely) refuse. On a larger level, like watching over a pet or lending 50000 dollars, the bond really needs to be fucking strong/you have a favour to return/ you expect something from that person in the future. These things require too much effort and your brain automatically calculates if it is worth it. Of course, there are exceptions to this role. Notably, people who work at charity centers etc.. But that is because those people have good morals, and core values trump "calculations".


Even if you’re doing for the sole purpose of someone else’s well being, the positive feeling you get from being selfless makes it by definition impure.


Impure? That's going too far.


When I say impure I’m referring to op’s use of pure.


I think they meant pure like quintessential, not morally pure. But it's just semantics


I actually like helping people as long as it doesn't involve any direct physical thing (like helping move stuff, cleaning etc.) But totally fine with like giving loans, tips, information, anything digitally (games)


Depends on how "pure" your definition of altruism is. Poor people donate more money to help the poor than wealthy people do. This is because they empathize with their situation. Is caring for another person because you empathize with their suffering not altruistic? I get the argument that people do good thing because it makes them feel good about themselves, but many people do good things to avoid suffering or to eliminate self-imposed guilt caused by doing nothing.


Every "altruistic" deed ultimately comes back to if you want to do it or not. For example donating to a charity might be seen as selfless but people will do it because it makes you feel better in some way


100 billion Humans have lived the chances that it happened at least once is basically a statistical guarantee.




Joey proved this doesn’t exist in Friends


Yes, but most people don’t do this kind of stuff, most people do good things either because they get something or make themselves feel better.


My MIL will always go out of her way to help someone, almost always to her detriment. She would literally give you her last dollar if you needed it. She's been SOL too many times to count in the 6 years I've known her because of her compulsive altruism. No matter the warnings from literally everyone around her she'll help out the town scum.


Even with really strict definitions, yes. You can do something good for somebody you don’t like and aren’t happy about doing it because it’s the right thing to do. That’s probably very rare, but it is possible.


I don't believe so because even if you are doing something out of the "kindness of your heart", you still expect or long for some sense of accomplishment or compliment. whether it's a simple thank you or hoping that someone will appreciate the work you've done behind the scenes. even if it's not directly praise to you, you do it with the idea that the person who sees what's been done, will be pleased.


First of all, it does in the normal way everyone means It's rare, but it exists. Secondly, altruism exists far more commonly in small acts. Have you ever held the door for someone? Most people do that without expectation of any form of reward. It isn't a big act true, but maybe we should realize that we are better people than we give ourselves credit for, at least in small ways.


Everyone saying that you do it cuz it makes you feel better? Meh. I've bought my niece dinner before, not because I want to help my brother out but because I know it is the right thing to do.


Does it count if someone do something for another even though it’s painful biochemically count? Like they think it’s the right thing to do, which is “for themselves” in a sense, but they do feel pain and that’s selfless.


I think at best you do it for the enjoyment of helping others or in the idea of helping the future which you felt others did for you. Not that it’s bad, but that it’s not completely unselfish