Good evening folks! Hope all is well in the life department. Tonight is gentle and breezy with a high chance of contentedness. I'm settling in with a dose of tangible serenity and a balanced temperament. The air is calm and the night is warm. Beautiful writing weather, indeed. (Before you start reading, I'll add in parentheses that the reason I often put certain words inside of quotation marks is because these words have different meaning for different readers, and since I aim to write for a general audience I want each individual to get the most out of my writing as possible)
I find the subject of altruism to be highly intriguing and one of undeniable relevance to matters concerning the whole of society and all general things. In a book I read recently, I came across an interesting concept that introduced a whole new way of thinking about altruism and the individual's perspective of "everyone else." Most conversations I have had so far in my "young" life related to altruism have been simply surface speculation and depthless debate, but I would like to go a bit deeper than that in the privacy of my own blog. Here is the quote I was speaking of directly from the book--
"You would die because altruism is an egotist's crowning glory, and you're a deeply egotistical man. Nothing appeals more to a man's self-importance than martyrdom, and you've always had a very high sense of your own self-importance."
I have heard this sort of argument against the genuineness of altruism in different forms by pessimists in my life, just never in this eloquent of a structure. I do not believe we are all inherently good, but I don't believe we are inherently bad, either. I believe we are both because they both exist in the consistency of their truest forms. This statement from this book immediately arouses debate in my mind. First of all, if this sort of claim about "goodness" was in fact verifiable, wouldn't it be acceptable for the idea of martyrdom to cause feelings of elation and an elevated sense of self-worth? Would some of us crave martyrdom for the simple display of our "goodness" to the rest of the world? It doesn't seem logical for feelings of self-importance to automatically be associated with selfishness, after all don't we promote these feelings as necessary to live a "happy" life? And then when we experience these feelings, we are deemed conceited or a person flawed with a superiority complex. Perhaps some of us are convinced that a portrayal of innate benevolence would simply reveal us as we truly are--miraculous constructs of seemingly contained energy that is designed for the renewal and maintenance of other energies, including that of our host planet and all of its biological products.
Is a desire for martyrdom permissible so that others see the release of a pained yearning that dwells inside the hearts of the truly brave? I believe that it is permissible. If someone selfishly, selflessly gives themselves away for the good of others, then I see it as the opposite of vanity- vanity's opposite being of humble origin, the result of the unpredictable yet predictable galactic marriage of chaos and order. A person is capable of taking a life due to a completely selfish pretense; it would only make sense for a person to be capable of giving their life because of a fundamental lack of "self-importance."
I would argue for the evolutionary side of the debate about altruism also but I feel that side is more easily proved yay than nay. Anyway, I suppose that's enough for us all to chew on tonight and I look forward to more chatting and RaMbLinG as always. :) -Gnight folks!