Quote/Altruism according to Webster is the unselfish regard for the welfare of others. I feel that you are trying to depict it as requiring self-sacrifice. I would certainly kill somebody in self-defense if it were necessary and this would not be inconsistent with altruism because the alternative of allowing him to kill me would be less good for him than the losing of his own life./
Unless you have made some typing errors this is stunningly arrogant! You would kill in self defence because it would be better for your attacker to be dead than alive...how the hell would you know!! Are you omniscient?! Why can't you just admit that you'd do it out of self-defence? Which, yes, would be self interest. We have developed to survive, like all animals.
Please, I beg you, allow yourself ordinary humanity, not this aspiration to what you believe to be your self-elevating 'altruism', which doesn't really exist. (I would agree that altruism can seem to exist and may exist from parents to children. But we could easily see that as biologically hard-wired into our responses for the sake of the survival of the species. But it's still a wonderful and life affirming necessity).
You're thinking seems hair-shirt and convoluted and leads you down a very worrying alley.
There is a very slight change of tone from you in your last post. You have addressed me all along with this sweeping moral judgement of my character, without knowing me at all. Also a tone of a complete right to do so. I feel you would not have addressed a man this way. And I think this is tied into your idea that egotism and narcissism must be suppressed.
I suspect you of seeing women as a representative of the above characteristics, more than men, and of feeling rather superior to anyone with a smidgeon of such. You didn't bother answering my charge that you have a problem with me, outside of our disagreement here. Otherwise why would you address me in such a lofty and sanctimonious way from the start?
A real debate could have been had. You still don't bother to answer my genuine curiousity and puzzlement over some of your views. You make lazy statements back at me. As though.."That is that. I have spoken and you are wasting my time."
I have felt quite nastily misunderstood by you. But altruism is your watchword apparently. Yet your main observation is that I am peskily disagreeing to fake 'sounding right'.
I have taken a long time writing these posts to you, and re-read and checked them before posting. You continue to dismiss my deeply thought out rebuttals as now no more than me being a deliberate nuisance as here QUOTE "I hope you are not assigning your own definitions to words, (example??) intentionally misrepresenting me or confusing my positions in order to make yourself sound right."
And when I expressed my shock and hurt at your casual insults to my whole character you showed no sympathy or apology. I wasn't worth it it seems. And now I need swatting away as the superfluous creature you see me as. Not agreeing with you for very good reasons is not an option for the likes of me. I suspect you of misogyny.
QUOTE/"I feel that you have understood this all along but have reacted as you have simply because you disagree with it. That is, I think you in fact endear egotism and narcissism at least to some extent and in this are no more than lukewarm toward Secular Humanism"/
Have you understood anything I've said? My arguments for secularism? I understand very well what you're saying. "Endearing egotism and narcissism" seem to be serious transgressions in your eyes, oddly. There are so many bad things a human being can do yet I am truly baffled about your worries over "egotism" and "narcissism". No I don't mind them, except as I said, narcissism is really a mental disorder. Everyone has an ego - your's comes over very strongly - and even with 'extra ego' I fail to see why you think atheists should work on 'suppressing' this. In most religions there are many constant admonitions against vanity, enjoyment, following your own desires and yes, egotism. This is manifest in all the ways women are trained within religion to cover themselves, to not assert, not embellish and 'good girls' don't pile on the make-up, the sexy clothes, the swagger.
We are atheists, there is no need for that. Wanting to be attractive, to adorn, to live life playfully and to express oneself in any way one wishes - including men - is allowed. You can have your odd ideas about atheists 'should' be more this, and 'should' be less that, but why on earth pick these things that are impossible to suppress (unless you are forcing and faking suppression for appearance's sake, leading to unconscious hypocrisy ), why not concern yourself with the whole of humanity and the seriously damaging things human can do? Why have an austere opinion about atheists appearing more selfless than the rest of the population? We already appear to behave better anyway.
I also try to follow the golden rule, as do so many, and I think the push for stronger secularism in all countries is almost an emergency. I simple don't need to attach the name of a charity (even tho' I am a member) to both those things to get behind them. But, mystifyingly, you believe without that word, you say I can't think what I've told you I think. Many people in the world haven't heard of humanism but follow and support those precepts.
I think atheists ought not to set limits or lay out rules for each other. That's religion. If theists misunderstand us it won't be addressed by us knocking ourselves out to 'appear' more 'pure and selfless' than them. Those things deform the religious mind. They don't allow for ordinary humanity, and the lovableness of most of us, even with our egos, which help us survive. Even you John.
QUOTE/My stance is that by definition an altruistic Atheist is a Humanistic one (by my definition) that rejects egotism and narcissism./
Apologies, I don't really want to drag this out much longer either. I was looking up some definitions and came across this ATHEISTIC WEBSITE which explains my view very well and seems to be an essay in a conflicting response to someone very like the one we have been having. Well, I'm not sure you had any desire to debate. Just to loftily shoo me away. From the site :
"Altruism, like the doctrine of free will, is a sheer delusion. Men are motivated in their behavior, whether good or bad, by the inexorable demands of self-interest. The kindest, the noblest act in the world, as well as the basest, springs from a desire for self-satisfaction. Why bedrape the fact with tinsel trappings about "our love of others"? Even our "self-sacrifices'' and "selt-denials" give us satisfaction.
I write for realists, not for those who crave sugary pap. My statement --"awful'' to Mr. Nicholas -- that I do things because they give me satisfaction, and not through altruistic motives, will be understood by everyone who appreciates the motivating factors that underlie behavior. Everything that gives me satisfaction is determined by my likes and dislikes; these, in turn, are determined by my whole conditioning. If writing for a Fundamentalist paper gave me greater satisfaction than writing for The Truth Seeker, I would probably be writing for the religious press. As it does not, and since I despise religion, I am doing what is natural in the case: writing for The Truth Seeker "as a matter of habit". And isn't Mr. Nicholas advocating his opinions as "a matter of habit"? Isn't his own conditioning responsible for everything he does?
Mr. Nicholas states that he too, dislikes "the sentimental claptrap" and boasting of pseudo-altruists". He should. Their effusions are nauseating. They are, in fact, the chief cause of my criticism of the Humanist movement, which is constantly prating of its "love of mankind". Those who talk in this way talk like politicians on the eve of an election. Give me the men who never use these honeyed phrases and nine times out of ten they are doing more substantial good in the world than those who boast of their "altruistic" service.
I subscribe to the Hobbes school of thought rather than to that of Auguste Comte and the English Positivists, who formulated "altruism" "as a convenient antithesis to egoism", This "convenient antithesis" is a pure perversion of the facts that underlie behavior -- and I dislike perversions whether they are "convenient" or otherwise.
Altruism, therefore, is a false and pernicious doctrine: false because it ignores the basic facts that determine conduct; pernicious because it would have us love all mankind. This, by the nature of things, is impossible. He who says he loves all mankind is either soft in the head or a liar.
Ethically considered, altruism is a corroding and demoralizing doctrine. No one can love all mankind, or all men. We cannot love the child-beater, the swindler who defrauds his victims, the cruel Inquisitor, the Gestapo agent. We cannot love the hordes of human jackals that have reddened the pages of history or the billions of persons who have lived on the misery of others. Neither can we love those who pollute the world with tyranny and oppression. To say we do, is sheer hypocrisy.
Love is that feeling of tenderness and devotion which we bestow on those who are nearest and dearest to us and who give us our greatest satisfaction. It is an exalted gratification. As such, it is a limited and restricted emotion. To love all mankind is an impossibility. To claim to do so, is to act the hypocrite."
Quote: "Please, I beg you, allow yourself ordinary humanity, not this aspiration to what you believe to be your self-elevating 'altruism', which doesn't really exist."
(No tag again ergo the quote.)
I started reading the response you wrote containing the above quote and it became so ridiculous to me that I couldn't finish it nor stomach looking at the one you posted under it.
Don't tell me that I am not altruistic and am attempting to appear to be for self-elevating reasons when I know my motives. Moreover, don't tell me that I do not know what is good for people in a golden rule sense when in literally every civilized society in the world people who don't know this are considered to be insane.
Very respectfully if you think the world doesn't have a handle on golden rule morality or that nobody subscribes to it I suggest that you get psychological help.
I'm sorry you couldn't relate to me without resorting to profanity. I respect you but do not find you to be very entertaining in this regard. Neither was I entertained by your remark that my interacting with you as I have had something to do with your being female. I have made multiple posts in multiple discussions over a long period of time in AN that might change your mind (if it exists in good faith) if you care to research them.
Very respectfully, despite you responses I am not at all convinced that you find anything wrong with my positions but rather that you have been throwing up a lot of flack simply because you freely care very little to be a Secular Humanist in the mode that I have advocated.
I have presented my positions very clearly on several occasions and in this do not see the need to present them again.
Very respectfully, I would like for this discussion to end now. If you have further comments to make I hope you afford me the grace of making them civilly but in any case I do not expect to respond.
Let's agree to disagree.