Humanity: One Versus Many | INFJ Forum

Humanity: One Versus Many

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by NeverAmI, Jan 26, 2010.

Share This Page

Watchers:
This thread is being watched by 6 users.
More threads by NeverAmI
  1. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,794
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    The concept of altruism frustrates me. I obviously feel something beyond the idea that we are simplistic primates with only the capability to act based on what benefits ourselves. This whole fundamental philosophy of always acting in what benefits the self seems to have validity in some, but I certainly don't believe it is the only underlying driving factor in humanity as a whole.

    So my question is, do you believe that ultimately, underneath it all we are completely driven by our own basic needs? I personally I see a community, humanity as a whole, as more important than myself. I see the survival of humanity as the ultimate achievement. This does touch closely to the basic survivalist instinct shown by others, but it is about the survival of humanity as a whole, and not necessarily the survival of myself.


    Do you think that this theory is flawed, in that ultimately there is some explanation that links the desire for many to survive back to basic self survival instincts?

    Also, if this theory is already out there and you know about it, please feel free to enlighten me.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    WellNoWonder likes this.
  2. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Threads:
    206
    Messages:
    6,233
    Likes Received:
    465
    Trophy Points:
    676
    MBTI:
    ENTJ
    Enneagram:
    Type me.
    Self interest is not purely atomistic. If you sacrifice yourself for others who carry your genes, then you're still in accordance with evolutionary drives.

    I do think that everything we do comes down to self interest, but that is not the same as what we call "selfishness."
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,380
    Messages:
    28,269
    Featured Threads:
    93
    Likes Received:
    22,757
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    To say that everything can be reduced to our self interest is reductivist and suggests we're all secretly plotting to benefit from everything good we do, and thus we can't do anything to benefit anyone else without benefitting ourselves.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. OP
    NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,794
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    But what about the desire to assist others you don't know, simply because there is a possibility that one of them will have more to offer than yourself? Or because you know they are in trouble and they will most likely fail or at least be set back considerably if you do not assist? Is this all based upon an intense inferiority complex that convolutes my interior ego? If I felt that my self potential was greater than that of others, would that change how I view and/or act? That last question isn't even really relevant because I really don't cut myself THAT short.

    Also, I question how much Ne comes into play. If you can relate to someone else's circumstance, in a truly logical sense, why wouldn't you exert some efort to save them a great deal of effort?

    If you see humanity as one being, one system, and you can offer some of your resources to others, regardless of your social link, then why not?

    What makes one see humanity as a single giant entity that can and should be contributed to? This is what I argue, that I don't see 'me,' I see 'us.'
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #4 NeverAmI, Jan 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  5. ec3khrl

    ec3khrl Community Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Threads:
    9
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    ENTP
    Before one is forced to choose between one and whole, nobody is supposed to be able to answer that question to himself.

    What you think you believe is true may not be what you choose in the end.
    That's what I believe.
     
  6. OP
    NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,794
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4

    I am not talking about any specific future or hypothetical scenario, I am talking about a tendency to help others when the situation presents itself. I don't talk about a speculative or ideal approach, I talk about past experiences that have allowed me to formulate a theory.

    Sacrifice doesn't necessarily mean life. Circumstance can always alter the way someone will make a decision, but it is less about being a martyr and more about a lifestyle.

    I don't typically fantasize about one day dying to help others, it is about relating to others and assisting if they are in a rut even if I don't necessarily want to, and I don't expect to gain anything. That isn't to say I haven't asked myself how I would answer a certain ultimatum regarding the sacrifice of myself if it were to benefit others, but as you stated, it is completely out of scope for this discussion.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #6 NeverAmI, Jan 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  7. Peguy

    Peguy Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Threads:
    1
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    First off, humanity is a moral-ethical concept, not a biological one. You seem to be a little confused about this.
     
  8. OP
    NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,794
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    Can you elaborate?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. Peguy

    Peguy Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Threads:
    1
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Sure, although I hope you dont mind when my mind is in better shape. You know how Ni is. :wink:
     
  10. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Threads:
    29
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    528
    MBTI:
    INxJ
    Enneagram:
    4w3
    Well, in either case, would it really matter? I mean, it's a theory, and the fact of the matter is, we are more than just the theories about ourselves -- even if it were all instinctual or self-serving, it wouldn't matter because it creates what we know in life anyways, and we are free to enjoy that as it is.

    I believe that humanity as a whole is both very complex and rather simple -- we are very self-serving, but through that need we become something much greater.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. OP
    NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,794
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    It matters because it is one of the major questions of what motivates a human. Also, it matters to me because this is a major source of miscommunication between myself and others, and I want to get to the root of it.

    People tell me that even the desire to help others is based on some sort of gain inside myself. I just can't grasp what I would gain. People say that I feel good when I help someone else, but not really. The more I think about it, the more it is like I am completely emotionless when I help someone else. I do it because it makes sense to do it. Maybe they will help someone else, maybe it will spread far enough to really make a difference, if it doesn't oh well.

    Maybe I do it only as an experiment. THAT I might believe as a selfish intent or motivational driving factor.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. Peguy

    Peguy Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Threads:
    1
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
  13. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Threads:
    29
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    528
    MBTI:
    INxJ
    Enneagram:
    4w3
    I'd say mindlessly doing things to help others would be a more social conformity issue than an instinctual need to self-gain, but that's still on the pessimistic side of things. I mean, so what if it is selfish? It's mutually beneficial in either case -- if you're happy and they're happy, then there's no problem. People tend to associate selfishness with a negative connotation, but really, it's not all bad. A person who is happy and fulfilled is more free to make others happy and fulfilled, which in turn makes them even happier.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. OP
    NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,794
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    Of course!

    I hope the statement is not based on the title, because I didn't have any sort of real underlying reason for putting humanity, and it really has no bearing on the content of my question/debate.

    I am not sure where I made it sound like this is a biological debate other than the "proof" that scientists have for altruism not existing.

    Sometimes I word things incorrectly, I sometimes use words without knowing their full meaning. It has always been a problem of mine. I am more than welcome to any enlightening observations though.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Gaze likes this.
  15. Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,380
    Messages:
    28,269
    Featured Threads:
    93
    Likes Received:
    22,757
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    But if you're not happy and fulfilled, and don't feel "free" to make others happy, but do so anyway, even sacrificing your own well being, then how does this factor in the whole self-interest/selfishness paradigm?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. Peguy

    Peguy Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Threads:
    1
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    You're INFJ, so that's all to be expected. :wink:
     
  17. OP
    NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,794
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4

    My argument is that I am not really happy afterwards. Maybe I am happy unconsciously and that is why I help but I certainly don't realize it consciously.

    It may be a social conformity issue, but it isn't done because of the expectations of others, it's not like they are going to know whether or not I stopped. It is me putting myself in their shoes and saying, yea that sucked when I was stranded on the road for hours without help. If I stop then they will not have to wait hours like I did without help.

    It is just genuinely not wanting someone else to suffer needlessly.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #17 NeverAmI, Jan 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  18. OP
    NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,794
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4

    Actually I have been running through a ton of MBTI types. I went from INFJ, to INFP, to ISTP, to ISFP, and now I am trying to simply let my true type show itself.


    I am fairly confident I am not INFJ due to an extreme lack of judging.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Raccoon Love likes this.
  19. Peguy

    Peguy Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Threads:
    1
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Well whatever. LOL!

    Anyways did you check out that link I posted?
     
  20. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Threads:
    206
    Messages:
    6,233
    Likes Received:
    465
    Trophy Points:
    676
    MBTI:
    ENTJ
    Enneagram:
    Type me.
    It has nothing to do with "secret plotting," nor does it mean that we cannot act to benefit others without directly benefiting ourselves. But the very fact that a particular person is doing something means that that person is wanting to do it on some level, and therefore he must have some interest in it. Consider a soldier jumping on a grenade: his friends in the foxhole are not carrying on his genes, and he is acting to ensure an end to his own life... so what drives such action? Well, he knows that if he absorbs the blast, then his friends have a good chance of surviving, whereas none of them would have a good chance if no one jumped on the grenade. So he is acting to minimize the harm done by the grenade, not to his own person, but to all the people in the foxhole as a group. We do have evolutionarily ingrained urges to help other humans, and the soldier is acting on those based on an emotional judgment.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
Loading...

Share This Page