How kindness is truly in our self-interest

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How kindness is truly in our self-interest

Post by Prof » April 27th, 2012, 2:24 am

After Windy34 may have viewed a brief video clip on the topic of a kindness ‘boomerang’, the theme of which was we reap what we sow when we sow the seeds of kindness, Windy informed us of his belief that when we sow, we don’t necessarily reap.

He wrote these words: “Reaping what you sow is not a for sure science. [sic] You might reap what you sow, and then again you might not.”

I found interesting this rather brief column from Ode Online which, in a sense, disagrees. It cites three research studies and summarizes their findings: ... ml#respond

The article points out that giving, and sowing seeds of kindness is actually in our real self-interest. The author reports that the studies show that we can receive a kind of high, and also improved health effects from being kind to someone - even to a stranger:, someone we don't know. In that way we do 'reap' what we have sown.

Later on, Windy34 says: “Why would anyone want to be nice to someone who did not treat him good or did him absolutely no good? No one in society is nice to someone who treats him bad.” He is not aware that some individualss have often been nice to those who treat us badly because (– in some cases, learning from the new system of Ethics, described in the writings of Dr. M. C. Katz –) they have resolved to be 'a good person who wants a good character'; they have dedicated themselves to this self-image and who, as a result, treat people nice. They want to generate added value in each situation in which they find themselves.

As I have pointed out in the thread entitled The Beautiful Simplicity of Ethical Concepts: - ... amp;t=6059
ne of the ethical principles in the Unified Theory of Ethics is to honor others [more formally stated: to Intrinsically value them], and hence to treat them decently.

Is Dr. Linden wrong when he argues that kindness is really beneficial for the giver?

The video which Windy34 may have taken a look at is here:

What are your thoughts about this?
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Re: How kindness is truly in our self-interest

Post by Scott » April 27th, 2012, 5:14 pm

Interesting topic, thanks for posting! Of course, kindness is often beneficial to the giver otherwise people wouldn't be kind.

Kindness can get people in trouble too. Well-known proverbial stories regarding swimming animals attempting to help snakes across the river only to get bitten by the snake and drown are one good imaginary example.
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Re: How kindness is truly in our self-interest

Post by Prof » April 28th, 2012, 3:04 am

Scott observes "Kindness can get people in trouble..."

Along those lines, see pp.35-37, "The cost of helping," in ASPECTS OF ETHICS ... ics%20.pdf

Also, in ETHICAL ADVENTURES, pp. 37-38, see the chapter on kindness, in which it points out that sometimes kindness is perceived as an annoyance, say to someone in a hospital bed who just wants to rest, or who has 'too many gifts' already; or the giving of a gift to someone who doesn't want that gift. Here is a link to it:

-- Updated Wed May 02, 2012 7:24 pm to add the following --

With regard to the problem of exceptions to the general rule of kindness, since we don't want "to get in trouble", if the recipient of a kindness is not made happy by it, then the giver won't get that high. True kindness usually is mutually beneficial.

To act in accordance with the Hierarchy of Value [HOV] is in one's self-interest; to violate the HOV is not in one's self-interest. That means we give priority to the Intrinsic Values, such as people. We are to care more about people than things, and things rather than systems, bureaucracies, and technicalities. It also means avoiding selfishness, avoiding catering to your own ego (above and before consideration of others.) If we fail to do this - to live by the HOV - we are acting in a counterproductive self-defeating manner. 8-)

As was said by the Supreme Court of 'obscenity". the same applies to "self-interest": we know it when we see it. ;)
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