Eye In Control Man’s worst enemy has always been himself, his extremist thoughts and desires. His inclinations and actions seem to be guided by his drives that pull his strings in ways to create the show they fancy. “Are all actions motivated egoistically? ” This generalized question has been a debate for so long. In order to judge whether it’s guilty of being considered a tautology we need to define and dive in depth of the word egoism along with the phrase “human actions” and see If they coincide at all cases. The term egoism is derived from “ego” the Latin term for “l”.
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Egoism is the abit of valuing everything only by referring to one’s personal interest. This definition shows that a man with ego Is a man who Is selfish, concentric, arrogant and inconsiderate of others; one who puts his self-interest as a priority over other matters. But what is the self? Man is born with no awareness of what exists around him. As babies, our senses are the tools for measuring the pulse of our surroundings and with their help we construct a brief structure of what the world is. Initially, we are bestowed with some elements of the self not to our choosing, called genetic lements, which are passed down to us biologically.
Research have shown that In the blueprints of our genes we carry chromosomes that relate to our morals, mood and character; and so the “self” has already started formation. As time goes by, our Interaction with the environment we live In and our personal experiences synchronized with what we inherit biologically contribute in forming the identity of the ‘self. The ‘self is hence related to the mind and soul, i. e. the thoughts, emotions and visions that depend on the series of events occurred through our lives and their accumulation on the long run.
For that reason, the ‘self’ differs from one to another and so satisfying its interest dffers accordingly. Actions are the process of doing something typically to accomplish an aim; an Intention or an objective desired by one to reach.
Page 2 Control Man’s Essay
Accordingly, actions are based on decisions and the decisions are based on what the self chooses. The actions pursued by one are related to one’s ‘self or in other words the combination of ones convictions, views, and principles which are what the “l” chose to adopt from past experiences. Therefore one can logically say that actions are grounded on self-interest.
In a nutshell, one finds it hard to put all actions under the same category of Interest One can think of any two examples that seem to contradict and not be balanced in judgment but when we dig deep we tend to find that both fit in the same category. Consider the case where two men are having breakfast and they see a poor child longing for one bite. The first man gives the child his meal while the second keeps it for himself. The first man is viewed as altruistic for he gave up his own food to help the poor while the other one seems to be regarded as selfish for being inconsiderate and not thinking except of his own esire and need.
Come to think of it both are satisfying their self-interest; for if the first man believes in helping others then his giving action would have brought himself satisfaction. Let us consider another reason why people would do well; fear. Fear has always been a strong and influential drive. Throughout history we have seen countries forfeit, armles escape and people pretend because of fear. In relation to way these actions will come to haunt them back in the future and so this belief forces them to behave in a certain way.
It could also be that the first man gave away his reakfast for the reason that he is scared of what could go around if he left that poor child hungry when he was capable of easily helping him. Another important force that plays on our actions and compels them in certain directions is love. This significant feeling dominates our thoughts, changes our perceptions and definitely reorganizes our priorities thus rectifying our actions. It seems purely altruistic when a person is willing to do anything for a beloved one.
Yet again this can be Justified by the fact that this man will feel good about himself because his happiness lies within the other’s happiness. A mother is considered as the most selfless person who would blindly let go of her needs in order to provide her child with his. Nevertheless, it was her decision to bring a new life to this world and take the responsibility of raising him. What I am trying to shed light on is that a mother’s ideal actions bring her Joy and inner peace considering that all she does for her child will eventually quench her thirst for motherhood.
Most actions can be explained in this fashion, but what creates the confusion is self-sacrifice. How is sacrificing the self is of self-interest? How can you become the victim of your own interests? For instance, consider the self- sacrificing soldiers that save massive amounts of people, or the soldier that suddenly jumps to catch a grenade for another soul. How it is that such an act can be called egoistic? One could answer that he wouldn’t be able to live with the guilt or that he desires to be remembered and considered as a hero; however, it seems irrational for someone to pause in such a situation to think of all that!
A reasonable explanation could be, as said above, the construction of the self. As a soldier, he is fed with the idea that sacrifice is the utmost pleasure, an honor to his family and his country, in hich this idea turns to a fact implanted in his thoughts and self-interest in such a way that acting accordingly becomes similar to reflex actions done involuntarily and unconsciously. Thus giving credits for that soldier shouldn’t be more than giving credits for his comrade who pushes him to take the bullet. Both acted by what they believe most, prefer most, by their self-interest.
As mentioned earlier, the ‘self differs from one to another and so the action taken to satisfy it differs; but in both cases they are equated in the fact that theyre both fulfilling their preferences. Both actions an’t be equated by observation, but can be equated by the mere principle of their occurrence. It’s true we find the idea and the effect of one action better than that of the other but our topic is not studying the outcome of the actions but rather the reason of the act itself. In all cases, whether directly or indirectly, the self is being pleased.
Change of players and change of settings but the game remains the same. Doing an action for good or for bad, that’s not our subject; either way whether “l” is on the top or the bottom of the pyramid, the “l” is always in the equation. It is a atter of after a series of “why I did this” questions, the action narrows itself to the mere fact of having the “l” in the middle being pleased. It is always the case where the “l” is satisfied, but it need not be the case that the satisfaction of “l” is a priority for the action to be done.
Egoistic actions could result in win-lose scenarios and win- win scenarios. We always aim for the first win, the win for the self. As for the other win or lose, shouldn’t we give credit for those who aim to do well and achieve a win- action is a consequence of what his self wants? Or should we appreciate that the erson “chose” to shape his personality, according to the experiences and his nature, in a way that allows him to prefer what we call ‘good’? Is man that selfish? Is every act an ego act? Is this world nothing but a bunch of interests to be fed? Is there no love?
But the love of one’s self? No trust? Is this world deceiving? Should we be afraid? What about friendship and marriage? Are all those of no value? Mere illusions? Is it that we don’t desire to be thought as egoistic that we tend to prove this tautology wrong? When actually digging deep and analyzing the sentence we tend to find that t doesn’t stand alone but stands proved. “All actions are motivated egoistically. ” Can this be generalized? Even if we proved that it is always true, are we supposed to consider it and reckon it as a fact between one and himself and between one and the surrounding?
Or should we deceive ourselves and keep it disguised with the mask that we are good and we are intimate and objective in our actions? And be certain that it’s not a mask but our nature. Shouldn’t we do so to keep the pleasure of helping others, to keep the world united and to spread the atmosphere of altruism? Because once we embrace it as a tautology and an explanation to all actions, we will hate others, we will hate ourselves, and we will start believing we are selfish.
We will have no sympathy for others for now it’s conventional that no matter how good people behave, the reason behind that is their own satisfaction. Consequently, the standards of doing good will become lower. We will start aiming to achieve only the direct interest of self and care not to cooperate nor help nor care. We will result in an environment of hate, loneliness, fear, and emptiness. “Egoistically’ may seem harsh and unacceptable for some. But why not look at the glass half full not half empty?
Why inspect all the actions from the negative connotation that egoism carries? Why not see it as a requirement for the human to prosper and evolve? Why not admit that we are taught from the moment we open our eyes to this world to love ourselves, to love what makes us happy and enrich our souls with it. We need to objectively examine each of our egoism and cherish the positive effect it has on the surrounding, and agree that it does exist in that beautiful manner. A conceited word but of non- conceited results! A word of void intended to do right!See More on Altruism