Religion creates community, community creates altruism and altruism turns us away from self and towards the common good. Altruism is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions.a) Is any altruistic action always at the expense of the self and is synonymous to self-negation?b) Some philosophers and scientists argue that there is no such thing as true altruism. Give your opinion on the same.

Is any altruistic action always at the expense of the self and is synonymous to self-negation?
Many philosophers understand and claim that the altruistic action is always at the expense of the self. I consider this a mistaken view and I consider that altruistic action needs not to entail loss to self. I my view, altruism would be healthy attention to self and healthy concern to others.
Some philosophers and scientists argue that there is no such thing as true altruism. Give your opinion on the same.
The notion that “There is no such thing as true altruism” –  is based on premise that a selfless act is something from which the doer gets absolutely nothing at all (not even the sense that they’re a good person, the absence of regret etc). Practically, if we go by this notion, then I agree that there is no such thing as altruism. But if a selfless act can be one that offers no more than a tiny feeling of goodness (or something as small), then of course altruism exists. I think that altruism as an instrument to nurture ego should be distinguished from true altruism.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Religion creates community, community creates altruism and altruism turns us away from self and towards the common good. Altruism is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions. a) Is any altruistic action always at the expense of the self and is synonymous to self-negation? b) Some philosophers and scientists argue that there is no such thing as true altruism. Give your opinion on the same. {150 words, 10 marks}

Published: September 22, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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