Is Altruism Possible

Topics: Altruism, Virginia Tech massacre, Liviu Librescu Pages: 2 (539 words) Published: April 6, 2013
Is Altruism possible?
Altruism is defined as “A selfless concern for other people purely for their own sake. It is considered to be a motive to increase another's welfare without conscious regard for one's self-interest.” The question then is, is Altruism possible? Personally, I believe that altruism is possible. Of course most people would say that it is not , basing their conclusions on the fact that we as human beings tend to be more selfish and would help others only if we can gain something from it ourselves, or believe that the individual will reciprocate in the future. Others also argue that when we think we are being altruistic there may be other motives at play, such as the desire for recognition, to make us feel better. Are we stating then that we always act selfishly and always have selfish tendencies? Because we are imperfect human beings does not mean that we should always use our imperfections as an excuse to refute the fact that we have at some time done something altruistic in our lives. If feeling satisfaction in an altruistic act makes it selfish, then, no act can be considered altruistic. We need to ask ourselves then, does helping someone else give us more satisfaction than helping ourselves? If that is the case, then we are altruistic and it is possible. Altruism is when you act for somebody else’s benefit rather than your own. It is concerned not with duty or consequence but with motive. More often than not we read in the papers or hear on the news how greedy and malicious individuals can be. However, on the other hand, we are so proud to hear of instances whereby individual s jeopardize their lives to save others, whether it be running into a house blazing with fire to help a child or an individual caught In the flames, or consider the case of the Virginia Tech professor Liviu Librescu “ a 76-year-old professor who survived the Holocaust was shot to death while saving his students from the Virginia Tech assailant.” Librescu blocked the...
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