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« Is it love, or is it reduced calories? | Main | "The surface should shimmer" »

July 31, 2007


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You tell it like it is. Nurture of a proper kind may help us control our self-interest to the extent that we can live in a civil society, but nothing can eliminate the dark side of human nature. Denial leads to destruction of the society itself. The blathering liberal ignoramus has lethal hate for those who don't accept his view of the world. Does that make his savage nature noble?

The dark side of human nature is obvious. What amazes me is how civilized we humans have the capacity to be, regardless of motive. But I'll dispute Dr. Helen on the "everything is self-interest" bit. I have seen far too much sacrifice for love in my life to buy that. And if love falls under "self-interest", then "self interest" loses its meaning.

Let me try this again - lost the whole comment I just wrote...

I disagree - period. I believe that people who are altruistic (let me define: "Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness" as defined on dictionary.com) don't go around flaunting their acts of goodwill and helpfulness - it's contrary to the definition. Therefore no one knows about it. If you don't know who the people are, you can't study what they do and why they do it.

She points to a study that Steven Landsburg wrote about - showing just how awful people are. I read the article, saw the definition he has for altruism: "personally paying for the privilege of enriching a total stranger"... ummm... come again? Quite a bit different than the standard definition above. The entire premise of the study was fatally flawed from the little I could see. (we won't even mention that the subjects were all college students)

How can something be studied when it isn't being correctly defined? In other words - you throw out the given definition and create one of your own. And if the true definition of altruism is that of helping others selflessly - then whether or not a person gives away money that wasn't theirs in the first place to a person who they only know is in the next room and may not even need any help... what were they studying again? It doesn't look like altruism to me - in any form.

But what's really sad... now the notion is firmly planted isn't it. Anyone who gives anything must be doing it for their own selfish reasons. You want to kill all acts of helpfulness in this country - there's no faster way to do it than to start telling those who want to help - they are a bunch of selfish jerks who wouldn't be doing anything if they didn't get something out of it.

Sorry I don't buy it. That's the problem with sociological studies - and probably why I had such a hard time with the class... they make no sense to me at all. Then again what do I know. *grin*

Obvious to you and me, B.D., but not to our friends on the left side of the aisle who still can't figure out why we can't all just get along. If self-interest has to do with "selfish genes" -- the ones that make it through the great winnowing process of evolution -- then mother love is the mother of all self-interest.

Hello. I am contacting conservative bloggers around the country since I am one as well. I hope this email is not an intrusion.

I came across your site through Pajamas Media since I like that site as well.

Thank you.

eric aka www.blacktygrrrr.wordpress.com

P.S. If you are open to doing a link exchange, I get some pretty decent traffic.

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