I Want to Fit In

Politically Incorrect Social Studies

Selflessness is a Falsehood

Posted by iwanttofitin on February 27, 2007

Not too long ago I was asked the following question:

Would you ever adopt a foreign child?

After almost no thought and consideration I gave my answer:

Of course not!

The questioner then proceeded to ask me why this was and me being up front and frank about things gave an answer that came from the heart. No, I didn’t explain how it would be hard on the children as they grew up because they look different. I didn’t even claim that it would be too expensive. My only reason is that I don’t want a foreign child. I want my child to look as close to me as possible. That’s it. Plain and simple. You see. I am shallow and will be the first to admit it. That doesn’t mean I don’t see what’s on the inside of people. I do. But for some things, I am as shallow as they come. Basically that means I’m selfish.

It’s a trait inherent in all of us. If you take selflessness to its logical conclusion, you come to selfishness. Nothing is ever done solely for someone else. Don’t believe me? I’ll work this one out with you.

Going back to adoption. When you adopt, who are you doing it for? Most of the time people can admit they are doing it because they want a child and can’t have one of their own. That’s selfish. No problem with that. You could even say you are doing it to give someone a better life. That would be the noblest reason to adopt. Selfless, yes? Yes and no. You’re still doing it because you want to. That in and of itself is for yourself even if you think it’s the right thing to do. You are willingly being selfless which is selfish. There’s no way around it.

Taking a bullet for someone you love is a nice gift to give someone. It’s the ultimate sacrifice to give your life for someone else’s. But who are we trying to kid? You are really doing it for yourself. Think of all the glory and praise you’ll get from friends and family. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s the ultimate Academy Award, when they actually meant something.

Another example would be if you had to have sex with a super model in order to make sure you didn’t tell her agent that she was anorexic. You aren’t doing this for her no matter how noble it may be. So it’s understandable that you would want to act in a selfless way towards her. She would lose her job and you are keeping her employed by having her sex forced on you. In reality though, who in their right mind wouldn’t go for that. That’s almost like saying “Here’s $1,000 not to work.”

Here’s one that really takes a lot imagination to see the selfishness in it. When the U.S. stole land from the Indians it seemed like the right thing to do. We were protecting the natives from the dangerous terrain and wild life. There were precious resources that the world needed and Europeans were the only one’s capable of extracting them. We did it for the rest of the world. Think of that. Helping the entire world. How is that not selfless? Well, it isn’t. We now know that it was selfish. Who would have thought that we wanted that land all to ourselves? I only just found that out after reading a history book today.


2 Responses to “Selflessness is a Falsehood”

  1. ab said

    Wow. Yep. You’re selfish. And you don’t deserve to warp kids with your sick sense of self. And blatant, whether you choose to see it or not, ethnocentric racism.


  2. JBT said

    If we (humans) didn’t naturally prefer having children of our own, we’d just die off. Aside from that obvious reason, there are both scientific (Evolutionary) and spiritual (“be fertile and multiply” GEN 1:28) reasons for wanting your own child and not someone else’s.

    Weather or not it’s selfish vs. selfless is probably more an argument of semantics than morality. There’s nothing inherently wrong with acting in your own self interest.

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