Is Selfishness Compatible with Kindness?

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Leonid
Posts: 126
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 4:20 pm

Re: Is Selfishness Compatible with Kindness?

Post by Leonid » June 12th, 2012, 2:39 pm

I think that this issue is best clarified in the Nathaniel Branden article "Isn't every body selfish?" I which I strongly recommend to read, it could positively contribute to the discussion. http://www.naturalthinker.net/trl/texts ... Toc6821586

You premise is that selfishness could be irrational, that is-man can act mindlessly in order to promote his best interests. But this is contradiction in terms. As for kindness-it is a form of value-trade. To be able to engage in such a trade man first has to recognize his own value, in other words he has to be selfish. Selflessness means valuelessness and by definition contradicts the concept of kindness.

Stanley Huang
Posts: 526
Joined: April 7th, 2011, 9:52 am

Re: Is Selfishness Compatible with Kindness?

Post by Stanley Huang » July 11th, 2012, 10:03 pm

Yes, selfishness is compatible with kindness, because selfishness itself may not be evil and secondly, there is no contradiction between selfishness and kindness. In fact, a kind person who is nice to the other person may do so out of his selfish desire, like whether a person wants to die for his country, or whether a mother is kind to her child; I believe a person is kind or friendly to other people because of his selfish desire. So, selfishness is compatible with kindness.

To add, selfishness is different to responsibility. Responsibility is doing what you do want to do. But selfishness is doing what he wants to do. So if a person wants to help people, he has selfish desire and therefore selfishness is compatible with kindness.

Now, German philosopher Kant was more in favour of responsibility than selfishness. He is treating humans maybe like a heartless machine. But to me, selfishness is more important than responsibility, because we are humans. I do not agree with Kant's moral idea.

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