Monday, September 24, 2012


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



  1. I agree. One of my favorite things about doing yoga is the attitude that this time (during your yoga session) is about you. You are focusing on yourself, thinking about how you feel. It's all about encouraging yourself, taking care of yourself and finding a peaceful mindset. Your motivation doesn't come from what the person next to you can do, it's purely your own. And in that way you're responsible for your own progress or lack thereof. I just like that it's like, this is YOUR time. Do something for yourself. Make yourself better and give yourself permission to love yourself. I think you're right, we have this odd combination of being very materialistic and being very guilt-ridden about that, to the point where it seems like you can't do anything right. And the reminder that it's okay to focus on yourself in a positive way is really nice.

  2. Also I don't know why that turned into an ad for yoga. But you will never hear me say a bad word about yoga.