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Philosophy Says: Selfish Vs Selfless

Apparently when you do a good deed for someone, you’re not supposed to feel good about it. Because if you do, that means you’re selfish. In my Philosophy Ethics class, we discussed the difference between Selfish Vs Selfless and supposedly there’s no such thing as an unselfish deed. Now I know that may sound a tad bit crazy, but let me explain further.

In order for a good deed to be unselfish, you must have a good intention for doing the deed. We tend to do good things with the hope of some good karma coming our way and according to philosophy that’s selfish. Here’s the definition of Selfish:

“(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.”

As you can see, this conflicts with what philosophy says. Because if you’re supposedly selfish, then you’d only do things for yourself and not others. However, I can also see why some philosophers say that there isn’t a such thing as an unselfish good deed.

When we do good things, most of the time we do them because it’s the right thing to do and it’ll make us feel like a good person. We don’t do them for the sole purpose of helping others there’s always some type of personal pleasure.

In order to do a unselfish good deed, you can’t feel good about it. Yes, I know it’s confusing because I was confused in class as well (inserts lost spongebob meme).

Here’s the definition of Selfless:

“concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish.”

An example of a selfless act would be getting up in the middle of the night to give your friend a ride home from their third shift at work. You have to get up in three hours and you don’t want to get out of bed but you do it anyway because you don’t want them walking at night by themselves.

Go out and do a good deed today. No, not with the intentions of getting good karma though.

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