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Ibomorelikeibno

Is man good by nature or does he do good to get something out of it?

Do you do good for the sake of others feeling good or do you expect something out of it?

You changed your question a bit here.

So according to your topic, if man is good by nature, why would he commit bad deeds? Some people do good to get something out of it while other just do it because they think they're helping someone which is benefit them in afterlife etc, I think the main purpose is for self benefit anyways. If you do good to someone, someone will do good to you. So i guess human is sort of selfish but some people aren't even bothered to do good to anyone...

Is this just for the sake of debate? if not, would you provide some context so that i might be able to help you in this, if it's a question ;)

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I had trouble finding the exact wording but i guess you did answer the question because I have a similar response

I am planning to do this for a presentation and I really wanted other people's feedback like I wanted to see what people thought you know, like Its not necessarily a question and I need an answer. You can say it is up for a debate somehow :)

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As the selfish being a human are we will always do things that would benefit us. for example, when people go to vote in the elections they vote for the candidate that will benefit them most, and in second hand comes what will benefit society.

Humans are selfish and strive to always feel better about themselves, we hear stories about how good people are to others and almost feel guilty that we are not as unselfish as they are. But what does this lead to? it leads to the idea that you have to do something good to make yourself feel really good, and a recent trend in my country (sweden) is that you post your nice deed online on facebook and you receive tonnes of likes/shares. This is strengthens the idea that we do good deeds to make ourselves feel good. Because how many people do actually keep quite with their good deeds? If someone would donate a large sum of money it would be exploited that this person is really unselfish, but wouldn't the really unselfish act be to donate the money anonymously and not tell a soul about it? Even so, you would still feel good about yourself because you know you helped someone, so all in all, there are no completely unselfish acts and we do all good deeds to feel good about ourselves and convince ourselves that we are not terrible people.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_egoism

But as can be seen in the critizism of the article, psychological egoism may account for many actions that we do, but fails to explain ones in which we do not really have time to reflect upon the rewards or outcomes of the actions. But no, I would say that we are not altruistical. At least not in a purely altruistical sense.

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I believe that it is unavoidable to have ulterior motives whether they are accidental or on purpose when doing good things.

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It depends entirely on your definition of human nature. Is human nature good or is human nature bad? I agree with Laura and say humans, by nature, have selfish and bad motivations. Others disagree and believe human are naturally good. This may stem to some of your core beliefs. For example, in Christianity many believe that as Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, sin was introduced into the world. By freewill we chose to sin...anyways it spirals into super controversial topics that I'm rambling on about....Most succinctly stated, it depends on your view of human nature.

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Okay here is a scenario. You are walking across a bridge in late november, the side walk is icy yet a random individual has decided to take the risk of riding their bike on the icy bridge. You do not know this person. Anyway on their way across their bike slips and they go over the side into a river. Them being fully clothed and the water cold you know they have little chance of making it on their own and they would drown before emergency services would be on the scene, so you jump in and assist them to shore. You might say the saviour would be a hero, so thats a motive... However, when weighing your options before jumping in, is that the first thing in your mind? Your more likely thinking about the potential for drowning yourself.

Its unlikely a person who is driven so purely but self-benefit would risk their life for that of a random for a potential 5 minutes of fame...

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Just remember that even if you do accept that humans are naturally "bad" doesn't mean they are incapable of good...

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The responses are greatly reflective. Thank you all so much for them, they are truly helpful.

I love the swedish example and I do agree.

People do good things sometimes for the sake of it but inside, they do do it to feel good about themselves. Even if i were to anonymously donate.

About the icy bridge example, yes indeed ! The initial thought would be. " I have to jump in to save their life" it is seen as a counter example to the "you do good deeds to make yourself feel better" although after that the 'hero' would feel pretty good about themselves.

In my opinion, it all depends on the situation one is in but overall, humans have some minor and partial reason to what they do and it may not always be for the sake of doing something good

Take the tutoring example, when you tutor someone you might be trying to help them but what if that tutor simply learns better by teaching it to other people. their reason to tutor may differ than what is expected which is for the sake of increasing the other person's grades or broadening their understanding concerning a certain topic.

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Surely there should be some neurological experiments and such lying around on the net, so if you feel like getting a more specialized view (a scientific rather than philosophical), I would recommend you to look further into neurology.

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Because humans are animals, we are interested in self preservation(Not all of the time though, look at IB students! They're messed up! They don't give a pile of horse dung about self preservation!)

Therefore, it is likely that we would mostly do things good for our general survival and well being.

And the things we do for our general survival and well being may generally seem at times selfish and bad but I don't think we should condemn people for these kind of behaviours.

I personally think that if people do good things, it would be to look good in front of other people and to be perceived as being good to others. Being perceived as good by others might help your well being and our general survival(people help you because they think you are a good person)

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"Is man good by nature or does he do good to get something out of it?"

This is slightly off-topic, but if you're referring to people in general (rather than men), it is more accurate to use 'humans'. :)

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Okay here is a scenario. You are walking across a bridge in late november, the side walk is icy yet a random individual has decided to take the risk of riding their bike on the icy bridge. You do not know this person. Anyway on their way across their bike slips and they go over the side into a river. Them being fully clothed and the water cold you know they have little chance of making it on their own and they would drown before emergency services would be on the scene, so you jump in and assist them to shore. You might say the saviour would be a hero, so thats a motive... However, when weighing your options before jumping in, is that the first thing in your mind? Your more likely thinking about the potential for drowning yourself.

Its unlikely a person who is driven so purely but self-benefit would risk their life for that of a random for a potential 5 minutes of fame...

Actually, the concept of self benefit is a bit different than being selfish, perhaps you're driven by your emotions and not by will?

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Man "by nature" is an interesting statement. As intended by nature, man is an animal, and doesn't imply any of the nuances and laws imposed by our self-made society today. We came from animals, and phylogenetically we are animals. In my opinion, every action is determined by self-benefit, though it may not be a selfish action, like shawd0wboss said above me. We eat because we need to. We sleep because we need to. We love because it feels good to us. In that same vein, we help others out of expectation that others help us.

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i would say man is neither good or bad out of nature. we have free will and in some cases you can get more out of being bad than good. so i understand the argument of only helping to get something in return but i think true favors do exist and doing something good just for something in return is arguably bad.

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If the term, "good by nature" implies actions beyond self-benefit then I don't believe it exists. Even if someone manages to do good deeds, he/she benefits by receiving something at the end (such as gratification, or goals of reducing poverty in a rural area) I believe everything we do is connected to building emotional and physical stability. To sustain life, man needs to meet his primitive needs, like others have mentioned. For instance, an employee would be constantly bribing his/her boss with gifts and acts of kindness just to increase his/her chances of promotion. This promotion brings in more wealth and allows the employee to be more financially stable. As for cases that Luka mentioned, how do we really know whether someone is fully driven by the will to commit ethical deeds? Said person could be suffering from massive guilt and may think that by saving the drowning person, the guilt would disappear. The situation could be endless.

From years of being around and communicating with people, I do think that most people are indeed inclined to do specific deeds for certain benefits. Then again, there are varying theories from many philosophers regarding the "nature" of humans.

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