I have to wonder if you're not being slightly naive here. I mean, are you saying that you want nothing for people? You have no motives? Everybody has motives. Name the person, the circumstances, I'll name the motive. Even saints have motives - to feel like saints, probably... But still, the point of any relationship is obtaining something from another person.
Education - whether its object be children or adults, individuals or an entire people, or even oneself - consists in creating motives. To show what is beneficial, what is obligatory, what is good - that is the task of education. Education concerns itself with the motives for effective action. For no action is ever carried out in the absence of motives capable of supplying the indispensable amount of energy for its execution.
When we think of a criminal, we imagine someone with criminal motives. And when we look at Eichmann, he doesn't actually have any criminal motives. Not what is usually understood by "criminal motives." He wanted to go along with the rest. He wanted to say "we," and going-along-with-the-rest and wanting-to-say-we like this were quite enough to make the greatest of all crimes possible. The Hitlers, after all, really aren't the ones who are typical in this kind of situation--they'd be powerless without the support of others.
I'm a person who really likes to understand motives - the inner motives and the inner personalities of persons. Why do people do some things? How do they deal with themselves while doing them? Definitely one of the most interesting parts of doing interviews and creating the movie was going into those persona issues in each one of them.
Everyone who comes within the reach of your knowledge is, as it were, on trial in your mind. It is easy to be an unjust, ignorant, and even a merciless judge. The real character of the actions of others depends in great measure on the motives that prompt them, and these motives are unknown to you.
Lawrence G. Lovasik
The proper office of religion is to regulate the heart of men, humanize their conduct, infuse the spirit of temperance, order, andobedience; and as its operation is silent, and only enforces the motives of morality and justice, it is in danger of being overlooked, and confounded with these other motives.
What a delight it is to think that you are quietly & philosophically at work in the pursuit of science... rather than fighting amongst the crowd of black passions & motives that seem now a days to urge men every where into action. What incredible scenes every where, what unworthy motives ruled for the moment, under high sounding phrases and at the last what disgusting revolutions.
Liberals and leftists have been dismissing inconvenient facts by attacking motives for generations. In the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, Soviet spies and abettors attacked the motives of their accusers because the fact of their guilt was undeniable. In the 1960s, over a thousand psychiatrists who'd never even met Barry Goldwater signed a petition saying the GOP candidate was too mentally unstable to be president.
Many ... begin to make converts from motives of charity, but continue to do so from motives of pride. ... Charity is contented with exhortation and example, but pride is not to be so easily satisfied. ... Whenever we find ourselves more inclined to persecute than persuade, we may then be certain that our zeal has more of pride in it than of charity.
Charles Caleb Colton
There are novels that end well, but in between there are human beings acting like human beings. And human beings are not perfect. All of the motives a human being may have, which are mixed, that's the novelists' materials. That's where they have to go. And a lot of that just isn't pretty. We like to think of ourselves as really, really good people. But look in the mirror. Really look. Look at your own mixed motives. And then multiply that.
Statistics show that the nature of English crime is reverting to its oldest habits. In a country where so many desire status and wealth, petty annoyances can spark disproportionately violent behaviour. We become frustrated because we feel powerless, invisible, unheard. We crave celebrity, but that's not easy to come by, so we settle for notoriety. Envy and bitterness drive a new breed of lawbreakers, replacing the old motives of poverty and the need for escape. But how do you solve crimes which no longer have traditional motives?
The parallel between antifeminism and race prejudice is striking. The same underlying motives appear to be at work, namely fear, jealousy, feelings of insecurity, fear of economic competition, guilt feelings, and the like. Many of the leaders of the feminist movement in the nineteenth-century United States clearly understood the similarity of the motives at work in antifeminism and race discrimination and associated themselves with the anti slavery movement.
There are three things that are the motives of choice and three that are the motives of avoidance; namely, the noble, the expedient, and the pleasant, and their opposites, the base, the harmful, and the painful. Now in respect of all these the good man is likely to go right and the bad to go wrong, but especially in respect of pleasure; for pleasure is common to man with the lower animals, and also it is a concomitant of all the objects of choice, since both the noble and the expedient appear to us pleasant.
Baumeister's point is that we have a deep need to understand violence and cruelty through what he calls "the myth of pure evil." Of this myth's many parts, the most important are that evildoers are pure in their evil motives (they have no motives for their actions beyond sadism and greed); victims are pure in their victimhood (they did nothing to bring about their victimization); and evil comes from outside and is associated with a group or force that attacks our group. Furthermore, anyone who questions the application of the myth, who dares muddy the waters of moral certainty, is in league with evil.
It can also be useful to politics, enabling that science to discover how much of it is no more than verbal construction, myth, literary tops. Politics, like literature, must above all know itself and distrust itself. As a final observation, I should like to add that it is impossible today for anyone to feel innocent, if in whatever we do or say we can discover a hidden motive - that of a white man, or a male, or the possessor of a certain income, or a member of a given economic system, or a sufferer from a certain neurosis - this should not induce in us either a universal sense of guilt or an attitude of universal accusation. When we become aware of our disease or of our hidden motives, we have already begun to get the better of them. What matters is the way in which we accept our motives and live through the ensuing crisis. This is the only chance we have of becoming different from the way we are - that is, the only way of starting to invent a new way of being.