William Norman

Cleveland, OH, United States

About William



Comments & conversations

William Norman
Posted about 3 years ago
Would the habit and so the crux of 'selflessly' spending on others destroy if we start 'expecting' that it would bring happiness?
This may be merely a semantic difference, but I believe it is not useful to define altruism as lacking any benefit to the person acting for others. It becomes a tautology as you define whatever motivated a person to act in a way that benefitted others as a personal benefit and thereby disqualify the act as altruistic because of that motivating personal benefit. Instead, I think it is more useful to consider it in terms of your emotional reward coming from helping others; if you do an act for the benefit of another and it triggers an emotional reward it is then altruistic whereas if you do it for some tangible personal gain e.g. money, reciprocity, etc. it is not altruistic. The other way of looking at it seems to define it right out of existence, which really does us no good in discussing the concept, and has the negative consequence of framing what would otherwise be an altruistic act in terms of "selfishness" rather than recognizing that the act is clearly not done for the same type of personal gain as we would expect from truely "selfish" acts.