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Can true altruism exist in humans?

Can people really act with 100% altruistic behaviors; in other words, can people act in a way that solely benefits another individual without any type of material or emotional personal benefit?

For example, one can suppose that a type of gift given from one individual to another is entirely for the benefit of the receiver, but then we may also suppose that the gift provides some type of benefit to the giver (good feelings, potential reciprocity expectations, etc).
Is there any way for a human to perform an act such as this with zero intentions to benefit in any way?


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  • Oct 10 2012: I guess it's all about your ego - the higher the ego, the less altruistic you are. And yes, there really are people who do stuff without expectations, and rare they might be, but you can't count them out. But indirectly, there is a sort of emotional expectation as Feyisayo Anjorin stated very well. When you help out someone, you expect them to be happy, satisfied and sometimes thankful too. If they don't give you the feeling they liked your help, its not really gonna encourage you to do the same thing again. So yes there are some expectations, but certainly not selfish ones.

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