Are people naturally selfish or selfless

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Are people naturally selfish or selfless

That is, are we predisposed to act cooperatively, to help others even when it costs us? Or are we, in our hearts, selfish creatures? This fundamental question about human nature has long provided fodder for discussion. Hobbestoo, argued that humans were savagely self-centered; however, he held that salvation came not through the divine, but through the social contract of civil law.

On the other hand, philosophers such as Rousseau argued that people were born good, instinctively concerned with the welfare of others.

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But even the most compelling televised collisions between selfishness and cooperation provide nothing but anecdotal evidence. And even the most eloquent philosophical arguments mean noting without empirical data. These studies were carried out by a diverse group of researchers from Harvard and Yale—a developmental psychologist with a background in evolutionary game theorya moral philosopher-turned-psychologistand a biologist-cum-mathematician —interested in the same essential question: This focus on first instincts stems from the dual process framework of decision-making, which explains decisions and behavior in terms of two mechanisms: Intuition is often automatic and effortless, leading to actions that occur without insight into the reasons behind them.

Reflection, on the other hand, is all about conscious thought—identifying possible behaviors, weighing the costs and benefits of likely outcomes, and rationally deciding on a course of action. With this dual process framework in mind, we can boil the complexities of basic human nature down to a simple question: In other words, do we cooperate when we overcome our intuitive selfishness with rational self-control, or do we act selfishly when we override our intuitive cooperative impulses with rational self-interest?

Humans are naturally selfless. Prove it? | Yahoo Answers

To answer this question, the researchers first took advantage of a reliable difference between intuition and reflection: Whichever behavioral tendency—selfishness or cooperation—predominates when people act quickly is likely to be the intuitive response; it is the response most likely to be aligned with basic human nature.

Each paradigm consisted of group-based financial decision-making tasks and required participants to choose between acting selfishly—opting to maximize individual benefits at the cost of the group—or cooperatively—opting to maximize group benefits at the cost of the individual.

The results were striking: The researchers followed up these correlational studies with a set of experiments in which they directly manipulated both this apparent influence on the tendency to cooperate—processing speed—and the cognitive mechanism thought to be associated with this influence—intuitive, as opposed to reflective, decision-making.

In the first of these studies, researchers gathered participants undergraduates and participants from a nationwide sample and had them play a public goods game with one key twist: In the second, researchers had participants from a nationwide sample play a public goods game after they had been primed to use either intuitive or reflective reasoning.

Both studies showed the same pattern—whether people were forced to use intuition by acting under time constraints or simply encouraged to do so through primingthey gave significantly more money to the common good than did participants who relied on reflection to make their choices.

This again suggests that our intuitive impulse is to cooperate with others. Taken together, these studies—7 total experiments, using a whopping 2, participants—suggest that we are not intuitively selfish creatures.

But does this mean that we our naturally cooperative? Or could it be that cooperation is our first instinct simply because it is rewarded? After all, we live in a world where it pays to play well with others: As one way of addressing this possibility, the experimenters carried out yet another study.

In this study, they asked participants from a nationwide sample about their daily interactions—specifically, whether or not these interactions were mainly cooperative; they found that the relationship between processing speed that is, intuition and cooperation only existed for those who reported having primarily cooperative interactions in daily life.

Throughout the ages, people have wondered about the basic state of human nature—whether we are good or bad, cooperative or selfish. This question—one that is central to who we are—has been tackled by theologians and philosophers, presented to the public eye by television programs, and dominated the sleepless nights of both guilt-stricken villains and bewildered victims; now, it has also been addressed by scientific research.Nov 24,  · If both players do not cooperate, they both receive a payoff, but it is less than what they would gain if both had cooperated.

In general it pays to cooperate, but it can pay even more to be John Chapman. This informs followers that we are all blessed as sinners, and thus by faith within the Bible and the fact that selfishness is a sin, humans are indeed "selfish naturally".

Are people naturally selfish or selfless

Even the most selfless or simply godly of serves can be viewed as selfish. Yet instances of selfish behavior also abound in society. One recent study used a version of the classic Prisoner's Dilemma, which can test people's willingness to set aside selfish interests to.

Everyone Is Selfish. Even the most selfless person on Earth is selfish. We need to be selfish to survive. It is a natural instinct.

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If a caveman sees some food on the ground, they're not going to give it to another person. They are going to eat it. Self defense also counts as selfishness. Feb 22,  · Hi there, I am doing a debate in my philosophy class.

My topic is, "Humans are naturally selfish." What I would like you to do is try and prove to me the opposite statement, "Humans are naturally altruisitc (or selfless)." I have already completed my arguments, and im confindent that I can counter anything the other .

I think you are right in many ways that children are selfish and need to be selfish but I have also seen very young children be completely selfless .

Selflessness Is Selfish - DebateWise