... the cooperative forces are biologically the more important and vital. The balance between the cooperative and altruistic tendencies and those which are disoperative and egoistic is relatively close. Under many conditions the cooperative forces lose, In the long run, however, the group centered, more altruistic drives are slightly stronger. ... human altruistic drives are as firmly based on an animal ancestry as is man himself. Our tendencies toward goodness... are as innate as our tendencies toward intelligence; we could do well with more of both.
Warder Clyde Allee
We're selfish to some degree, that's not a criticism and it doesn't mean that we are all narcissists. But in any situation our minds naturally evolve to what's in it for me? How does this affect me? Can this benefit me? Can this harm me? Then we might move on from that and have a more altruistic point of view about things but that's almost always our initial response.
It's not that bad things never happen. But there's a pattern in which most people are calm, resourceful, altruistic, and they improvise emergency systems that work really well - whether it's getting the babies out of a collapsed hospital or putting together a community kitchen to feed everybody for the next few months.
Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires.
Socialists do not merely want a welfare state, they absolutely must have one. They must have a grovelling dependent class from which to obtain their daily opiate: an hallucinogenic euphoria which comes from the delusion of being superior to and more altruistic than all others. They must have 'the poor, huddled masses' in much the same manner as vampires must have the blood of their victims.
Happiness arises as a result of different causes and conditions. If you harm someone out of anger, you may feel some superficial satisfaction, but deep down you know it was wrong. Your confidence will be undermined. However, if you have an altruistic attitude, you'll feel comfortable and confident in the presence of others.
While I have very little to say in favor of sex (it's vastly overrated, it's frequently unnecessary, and it's messy), it is greatly to be preferred to the interminable torments of romantic agony through which two people tear one another limb from limb while professing altruistic devotion.
The more adept we become at cultivating an altruistic attitude, the happier we will feel and the more comfortable will be the atmosphere around us. But if our emotions fluctuate wildly and we easily give in to hatred and jealousy, even our friends will avoid us. So even for people with no spiritual beliefs, it is important to have a peaceful mind.
I'm very much a believer in the character always heading for something or after something. But that doesn't always have to be a selfish thing - it could be an altruistic thing as well. You can't play good; you can't play evil. But you have to think: what does this person want to happen in this situation?
Because people are ever willing to believe the negative over the positive. It's easier for you to think me corrupt and evil than it is for you to see me for what I really am. No one wants to believe that some people are willing to help others out of the goodness of their hearts because they can't stand to see someone suffer. So few people are altruistic that they can't understand or conceive that anyone else in the world could ever put someone else's good above their own. (Leta)
The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure. God is big enough to receive us with all our mixture.
Richard J. Foster
Every good relationship we have is a gift of God's grace. Left to ourselves, nothing good would happen. Our problem has everything to do with sin and our potential has everything to do with Christ. Sin always draws towards self-interest. It is possible that even in our most altruistic moments are driven by what we get out of them
Timothy S. Lane
The Jews emerge into history, not a nation of keen spiritual aspirations and altruistic ethics, but that pagan people, worshipping rocks, sheep and cattle, and spirits of caves and wells, of whom the Old Testament, tending towards its higher ideal, gives fragmentary but convincing evidence.
James T. Shotwell
I think that both here and in England there are two schools of thought--those who would be altruistic in regard to the Germans, hoping that by loving kindness to make them Christian again--and those who would adopt a much tougher attitude. Most decidedly I belong to the latter school, for though I am not blood-thirsty, I want the Germans to know that this time at least they have definitely lost the war.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
These illustrations suggest four general maxims[... ]. The first is: remember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to yourself. The second is: don't over-estimate your own merits. The third is: don't expect others to take as much interest in you as you do yourself. And the fourth is: don't imagine that most people give enough thought to you to have any special desire to persecute you.
These illustrations suggest four general maxims[...]. The first is: remember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to yourself. The second is: don't over-estimate your own merits. The third is: don't expect others to take as much interest in you as you do yourself. And the fourth is: don't imagine that most people give enough thought to you to have any special desire to persecute you.
A wider of more altruistic attitude is very relevant in today's world. If we look at the situation from various angles, such as the complexity and inter-connectedness of the nature of modern existence, then we will gradually notice a change in our outlook, so that when we say 'others' and when we think of others, we will no longer dismiss them as something that is irrelevant to us. We will no longer feel indifferent.
It is no accident that narcissists and altruists often have a magnetic attraction to one another. Can you see how perfect the fit is? The altruistic feels the need to selflessly serve others and this is just what the narcissist wants. Narcissists want to be worshipped and gratified in every way possible, and this is just what altruists offer, thinking it demonstrates their moral virtue.
Still, even the most admirable of atheists is nothing more than a moral parasite, living his life based on borrowed ethics. This is why, when pressed, the atheist will often attempt to hide his lack of conviction in his own beliefs behind some poorly formulated utilitarianism, or argue that he acts out of altruistic self-interest. But this is only post-facto rationalization, not reason or rational behavior.
Intimacy, says the phenomenologist Gaston Bachelard, is the highest value. I resist this statement at first. What about artistic achievement, or moral courage, or heroism, or altruistic acts, or work in the cause of social change? What about wealth or accomplishment? And yet something about it rings true, finally""that what we want is to be brought into relationship, to be inside, within. Perhaps it's true that nothing matters more to us than that.
There are a few exceptions, however, to this rule that our projection of ourselves is lower than the facts of Nature, and the unicorn -- noble, chaste, fierce yet beneficent, altruistic though solitary, strangely beautiful -- is the clearest exception of all. The unicorn was not conceived in fear. Our early sense of Nature's majestry and mysetery is revealed in him.
Evolutionary psychology tells us that men, especially powerful men, feel invincible and entitled to spread their seed, and that women can't resist the scent of masculine power. Women, by contrast, are said to be more altruistic and collaborative, seeking power so that they can share it with others.
This points to a nagging and important question about free-market ideologues: Are they 'true believers', driven by ideology and faith that free markets will cure underdevelopment, as is often asserted, or do the ideas and theories frequently serve as an elaborate rationale to allow people to act on unfettered greed while still invoking an altruistic motive?
The blessings of stupas are such that they benefit all beings, regardless of their connection and motivation. If one participates in a stupa's construction and ritual activities, or honors the completed stupa with an altruistic resolve to benefit all beings, then the blessings are such that the Buddha himself could not describe them.
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
Not everybody, however, has a genuine sense of humor. That calls for an altruistic detachment from oneself and a mysterious sympathy with others which is felt even before they open their mouths. Only the person who has also a gift for affection can have a true sense of humor. A good laugh is a sign of love; it may be said to give us a glimpse of, or a first lesson in, the love that God bears for every one of us.
The modern world needs people with a complex identity who are intellectually autonomous and prepared to cope with uncertainty; who are able to tolerate ambiguity and not be driven by fear into a rigid, single-solution approach to problems, who are rational, foresightful and who look for facts; who can draw inferences and can control their behavior in the light of foreseen consequences, who are altruistic and enjoy doing for others, and who understand social forces and trends.
Robert J. Havighurst
One reason that a truth and reconciliation process is needed for group selection is to return to the simplicity of the original problem and Darwin's solution. As Ed Wilson and I put it in our recent review article titled "Rethinking the Theoretical Foundation of Sociobiology": Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary.
David Sloan Wilson
Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn't trust the evidence of one's eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice.
Edward W. Said
Moreover, it is difficult to reconcile Hobbes's distrust for the individual with his confidence in the altruistic nature of the individual or individuals who will oversee and control the Leviathan. Are not the latter also of flesh and blood? Hobbes seems to be saying that man's nature cannot be trusted but the nature of a ruler or a ruling assembly of men can be trusted. How so?
If any feel that as psychiatrists directing a hospital for alcoholics we appear somewhat sentimental, let them stand with us a while on the firing line, see the tragedies, the despairing wives, the little children; let the solving of these problems become a part of their daily work, and even of their sleeping moments, and the most cynical will not wonder that we have accepted and encouraged this movement. We feel, after years of experience, that we have found nothing which has contributed more to the rehabilitation of these men than the altruistic movement now growing up among them.
William Duncan Silkworth
The event of falling in love is of such a nature that we are right to reject as intolerable the idea that it should be transitory. In one high bound it has overleaped the massive of our selfhood; it has made appetite itself altruistic, tossed personal happiness aside as a triviality and planted the interests of another in the centre of our being. Spontaneously and without effort we have fulfilled the law (towards one person) by loving our neighbour as ourselves. It is an image, a foretaste, of what we must become to all if Love Himself rules in us without a rival. It is even (well used) a preparation for that.
My chief aim was to combat the view that there can be no true morality without supernatural sanctions. So I argued at length that the social, or altruistic, impulses are the real source of morality, and that an ethic based on these impulses has far more claim on our allegiance than an ethic based on obedience to the commands of a God who created tapeworms and cancer-cells.
Margaret E. Knight
The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism - are forced, indeed, so to spoil them. They find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty, by hideous ugliness, by hideous starvation. It is inevitable that they should be strongly moved by all this. The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man's intelligence; and, as I pointed out some time ago in an article on the function of criticism, it is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought. Accordingly, with admirable, though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease. They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor. But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim. Just as the worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it, so, in the present state of things in England, the people who do most harm are the people who try to do most good; and at last we have had the spectacle of men who have really studied the problem and know the life - educated men who live in the East End - coming forward and imploring the community to restrain its altruistic impulses of charity, benevolence, and the like. They do so on the ground that such charity degrades and demoralises. They are perfectly right. Charity creates a multitude of sins.
Post-adolescent Expert Syndrome The tendency of young people around the age of eighteen, males especially, to become altruistic experts on everything, a state of mind required by nature to ensure warriors who are willing to die with pleasure on the battlefield. Also the reason why religions recruit kamikaze pilots and suicide bombers almost exclusively from the 18-21 range. "Kyle, I never would have guessed that when you were up in your bedroom playing World of Warcraft all through your teens, you were, in fact, becoming an expert on the films of Jean-Luc Godard.
I confess that altruistic and cynically selfish talk seem to me about equally unreal. With all humility, I think whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, infinitely more important than the vain attempt to love one's neighbor as one's self. If you want to hit a bird on the wing you must have all your will in focus, you must not be thinking about yourself, and equally, you must not be thinking about your neighbor; you must be living with your eye on that bird. Every achievement is a bird on the wing.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
The child's personality is a product of slow gradual growth. His nervous system matures by stages and natural sequences. He sits before he stands; he babbles before he talks; he fabricates before he tells the truth; he draws a circle before he draws a square; he is selfish before he is altruistic; he is dependent on others before he achieves dependence on self. All of his abilities, including his morals, are subject to laws of growth. The task of child care is not to force him into a predetermined pattern but to guide his growth.
Unlike men in the same position, women leaders have to continue to walk the fine line between appearing incompetent and nice and competent but cold. Experimental studies find that, unlike men, when they try to negotiate greater compensation they are disliked. When they try out intimidation tactics they are disliked. When they succeed in a male occupation they are disliked. When they fail to perform the altruistic acts that are optional for men, they are disliked. When they do go beyond the call of duty they are not, as men are, liked more for it. When they criticize, they are disparaged. Even when they merely offer an opinion, people look displeased. The perceptive reader will notice a certain pattern emerging. The same behavior that enhances his status simply makes her less popular. It's not hard to see that this makes the goal of getting ahead in the workplace distinctly more challenging for a woman.
Standing there, peering around his room, Pete realized something that should have dawned on him years ago: Science really did suck. (Russell was right.) There just wasn't any point to it. Sure, in its most altruistic distillation, science saved lives-but when had it ever made those lives worth living? The cold machine called science's sole purpose, and Pete knew it now, was to drain the wonder out of things, to sap the imagination of its juices, to rob possibilities from dreamers. Science explained without ever getting to the crux of the matter, locking us all into a single paradigm of thought: that all we are is randomly accumulated stardust hanging out on a larger clump of randomly accumulated stardust that is spiraling out and away from other chunks of randomly accumulated stardust, on a collision course with an empty infinity.
He caught a glimpse of that extraordinary faculty in man, that strange, altruistic, rare, and obstinate decency which will make writers or scientists maintain their truths at the risk of death. Eppur si muove, Galileo was to say; it moves all the same. They were to be in a position to burn him if he would go on with it, with his preposterous nonsense about the earth moving round the sun, but he was to continue with the sublime assertion because there was something which he valued more than himself. The Truth. To recognize and to acknowledge What Is. That was the thing which man could do, which his English could do, his beloved, his sleeping, his now defenceless English. They might be stupid, ferocious, unpolitical, almost hopeless. But here and there, oh so seldome, oh so rare, oh so glorious, there were those all the same who would face the rack, the executioner, and even utter extinction, in the cause of something greater than themselves. Truth, that strange thing, the jest of Pilate's. Many stupid young men had thought they were dying for it, and many would continue to die for it, perhaps for a thousand years. They did not have to be right about their truth, as Galileo was to be. It was enough that they, the few and martyred, should establish a greatness, a thing above the sum of all they ignorantly had.