This is kinda of turning into an Emma response blog
I'm also really talented at typing my philosophies in cogent ways so this will be great.
So, I personally find myself thinking about the episode of Friends, "The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS." Joey makes the point that there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. Phoebe tries to prove him wrong, but isn't able to do it. Basically, the point is that you can't do something nice for someone else without getting some satisfaction out of it for yourself. It's funny as ever, but I think it's a apt philosophical point.
I believe that there is no such thing as a selfless action. I believe every action a person makes is in someway self-gratifying. The motivation may not be selfish, but in someway it will benefit yourself.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about this and the thing that really strikes me is how one can perceive absolutely everything as selfish and be absolutely correct. In fact, I can look at opposite actions and see them both as selfish. The most basic example I can come up with:
If I eat, I am eating food that other people could use to nourish themselves.
If I don't eat and starve, I no longer can be productive in society and others will have to attend to me while I die and in the handling of my corpse.
There is no middle ground there. I can't not be selfish either way.
I really think the value of the line between selfless and selfish is pretty much nothing. How I really judge things is by their motivation. It really isn't that one is being charitable, but why he or she is being charitable to me. Being charitable is selfish either way, if you really thing about, but is one doing it for the acclaim and glory, or for the happiness of helping those less fortunate and seeing their lives improved.
I really think whatever you do or want, the judge of it's morality should be the motivation of it. I really think guilt of 'the self' is really built into western culture. Doing anything to benefit oneself in anyway is frowned upon and I don't think that's the right way. My self is as important as any other selfs out there and I'm allowed to want and do.
Thanks for reading