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Altruism

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others? - Martin Luther King, Jr.
The very core of peace and love is imagination. All altruism springs from putting yourself in the other person's place. - Harry Emerson Fosdick
If the meaning of life is not a mystery, if leading meaningful lives is within the power of all of us, then we do not need to ask the question `What’s it all about?’ in despair. We can look around us and see the many ways in which life can be meaningful. We can see the value of happiness while accepting that it is not everything, which will make it easier for us at those times when it eludes us. We can learn to appreciate the pleasure of life without becoming slaves to appetites which can never be satisfied. We can see the value of success, while not interpreting that too narrowly, so that we can appreciate the project of striving to become what we want to be as well as the more visible, public signs of success. We can see the value of seizing the day, without leading us into a desperate scramble to grasp the ungraspable moment. We can appreciate the value in helping others lead meaningful lives, too, without thinking that altruism demands everything we have. And finally, we can recognize the value of love, as perhaps the most powerful motivator to do anything at all. - Julian Baggini
The recognition of the fragility of human life and all in it, as well as the ever-present possibility of tragedy, is essential to understanding the role of love in the meaningful life… Altruism cannot be motivated by pure reason alone. The desire to do good is rooted not in reason but in the varieties of love: the love for a partner, familial love or a kind of general love or fellow feeling for others. Without such love, all the rational reasons in the world would not motivate us to do good. - Julian Baggini
To see altruism itself as the purpose of human life is confuse means and ends. We need to know whether good deeds are essential for life to be meaningful or whether they just comprise one possible road to fulfillment. Helping others cannot be the purpose of life, because helping others is just a means to an end… Altruism is thus not the source of life’s meaning but is something that living a meaningful life requires. - Julian Baggini
There are three basic types of human transactions: (1) the threat system – “Give it to me or I’ll kill you” or today’s more sophisticated version: “How much will you pay me to stop harming or annoying you?”… (2) the exchange system, the narrow waveband of market transactions with which economics concerns itself, and (3) the integrative system, i.e., the transactions based on the love, sharing, and altruism of which human beings are capable in spite of the denial of these phenomena in economic theory. - Kenneth Boulding, fully Kenneth Ewart Boulding
Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one's own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action is the only criterion of moral value - and so long as that beneficiary is anybody other than oneself, anything goes. - Ayn Rand, born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum
If it is true that what I mean by “selfishness” is not what is meant conventionally, then this is one of the worst indictments of altruism: it means that altruism permits no concept of a self-respecting, self-supporting man - a man who supports his life by his own effort and neither sacrifices himself nor others. It means that altruism permits no view of men except as sacrificial animals and profiteers-on-sacrifice, as victims and parasites - that it permits no concept of a benevolent coexistence among men - that it permits no concept of justice. - Ayn Rand, born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum
Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one's own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action is the only criterion of moral value -- and so long as that beneficiary is anybody other than oneself, anything goes. - Ayn Rand, born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum
Beware of an inordinate desire for wealth. Nothing is so revealing of narrowness and littleness of soul than love for money. Conversely, there is nothing more honorable or noble than indifference to money, if one doesn’t have any; or than genuine altruism and well-doing if one does have it. - Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully
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