You are an Egoist too
Original, Unmodified Speech #
January 1st, 2017 #
Ultimately, you only do things for yourself—that’s the way your mind is built. That doesn’t mean that you should be mean to anyone else, because that doesn’t benefit you. I’ve found the people that say that they care the most about being selfless are the most selfish people themselves. But still, you feel somewhere deep inside that you want to be nice to people, even if you can’t immediately see its benefits.
Oftentimes, if you just do something because it feels like you should without knowing why, you’ll eventually stop doing it. For example, if you can’t see a reason that studying for tests helps you, you’ll probably stop studying for tests. If you can’t see why you need a lot of sleep, you’ll probably sleep less. And if you can’t see why you should be nice, polite, and respect people, you might just stop doing that too.
So now, the dilemma: you want to do good things that help others, but how can you do that if you are egoistic? Step one is to acknowledge that you do everything at the end of the day for your own benefit. Step two is to think about why you do specific things that you do, give yourself a reason that you believe. Without a reason for doing something, you might just stop doing it.
Now the dilemma with which I’ll leave you: My mom, like anyone else, is egoistic. My mom would be willing to die to save my life. How can those two points be reconciled?
Next post #
In the next post, we talk about how no answers to ‘what is the meaning of life’ seem to be satisfying.