Altuism Essay

849 Words Nov 8th, 2015 4 Pages
Nandulal Thibeault
May 11, 2015
Louis Wolner

Altruism From an atheist’s perspective, altruism is impossible. There can be no such thing a selfless act because all behavior is rooted in subjective frameworks that are projected onto the external world. The belief that the highest good a person can do is self-sacrifice is a personal belief, and the drive to adhere to this belief is self-serving. To not adhere to such a personal belief would cause cognitive dissonance, and the many clever ways that humans avoid cognitive dissonance have been made evident (Chapanis & Chapanis, 1964). Gandhi preaches about detachment from the fruits of action in his translation of the Bhagavad Gita. Doing good works in service to
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That which does not promote DNA replication brings pain; that which does promote DNA replication brings pleasure. Therefore, we give either because it is more painful not to give, or because it is pleasurable to give; there is no such thing a selfless act. However, the field of psychology is not incompatible with a belief in free will and a spirit. The future of psychology should incorporate an appreciation for spiritual beliefs. If there is an after-life, my negation of the possibility of a selfless act would still apply. Service to others and self-immolation performed in conjunction with a belief that such behavior is factored in to a judgment after death are in violation of a premise of altruism: actions must be performed in the absence of self-gain. My random act of kindness was to put wood preservative on the end grain of a pressure-treated wooden post that had recently been installed on a handrail in my neighborhood. The homeowner, or whoever did the job, did not know that crosscuts on pressure-treated wood must be coated with wood preservative. I drive by that house almost every day and it pained me to see exposed and untreated engrain on a doulas fir post. The homeowner will never know it was me who preserved his wood from rot. However, I received satisfaction out of performing the task. If we perform a thought experiment, we can adjust

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