Statesboro, GA, USA
Hope that there are people out there that give because they want to, because they want to help someone or give to someone.
I want hope that the majority of humanity is not selfish and self indulgent.
That giving invariably involves receiving, does not mean that we invariably give in order to receive.
So your hope remains hopeful.
Do you not, when you give your love, expect love in return?
It is natural to do so. But that still doesn't mean that our motive for love springs from self interest alone. Some forms of love take us closer to the ability to love something or someone for its own sake. The kind of love that receives, C.S. Lewis called "need-love", and it is not always a bad thing, since need is a part of our human nature. But the kind of love that is a higher form, he called gift-love, which is more detached from self reception.
I suppose with that said it isn't always a bad thing but I seem to see, more and more each day, selfish motivation for most of what people do. It's a bit depressing to say the least.
If what you get out of the deal is at least equal to what youíre giving you give, if not you donít.
There are exceptions to this rule.
Unfortunately youíre going to be disappointed, every decision to give is based upon calculations based on self-interest which isnít the same as selfishness but could be classed as self-indulgent.
"Every" is a pretty ambitious word.
The simplest definition of "self interest" is interest in oneself. Why wouldn't it be possible to make a decision based upon interest in another, and to be somewhat self forgetful? Must interest in someone else, always be interest in self, in disquise?
For what itís worth selfishness is not an evolutionary stable strategy eventually the selfish people get their comeuppance once the tit for tat rule kicks in.
So the motivation not to be selfish is itself based upon nothing more than consequences to oneself? I think you're ignoring the possibility of higher motives for morality than just fear of personal pain. I'm not even saying that you should imagine that self interest isn't always present ... just that it may be concurrent with something else.
And about the interjection of evolutionary ideas ... To say that something is evolutionarily stable, simply because it exists, is nothing more than a truism. It is certainly not scientific. Though, this is a philosophy forum. And I welcome those kinds of statements as philosophy.
But if the usual method of suggesting what is evolutionarily fit (sheer existence in numbers) is used, then neither selfishness nor its opposite can be said to be superior. To discommend selfishness (not just self interest) one must move beyond an inconclusive scheme based upon survival alone. As long as the selfish do survive (and they have and do), one must make a kind of moral argument against it.
The older and more traditional moral arguments against being selfish, are not superceded by evolutionary argument, since they are more in line with our language and emotions surrounding the issue, and since evolutionary survival is simply a head count, never prescriptive or didactic.