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Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Selfishness as the Core Human Nature
Selfishness is a
pre-requisite for survival and maintenance for any living being on earth.
Richard Dawkins argues that a predominant quality to be expected in a
successful gene is ruthless selfishness. This gene selfishness will usually
give rise to selfishness in individual behavior. .
To be selfish is to
be motivated by concern for one’s self-interest. This requires one to consider
what constitutes one’s self-interest and how to achieve it — what values and
goals to pursue, what principles and policies to adopt. If a man were not
concerned with this question, he could not be said objectively to be concerned
with or to desire his self-interest; one cannot be concerned with or desire
that of which one has no knowledge.
The selfish person
is interested only in himself, wants everything for himself, feels no pleasure
in giving, but only in taking. The world outside is looked at only from the
standpoint of what he can get out of it; he lacks interest in the needs of
others, and respect for their dignity and integrity. He can see nothing but
himself; he judges everyone and everything from its usefulness; he is basically
unable to love. .
According to Thomas
Hobbes, “man in the state of nature seeks nothing but his own selfish pleasure,
but such individualism naturally leads to a war in which every man's hand is
against his neighbor.” . Hobbes describes man as being naturally vain
and selfish. He declares that:
Whatsoever is the
object of any man’s appetite or desire that is it which he for his part calleth
good; and the object of his hate and aversion, evil; and of his contempt, vile
and inconsiderable. For these words of good, evil and contemptible are ever
used with relation to the person that useth them….
In other words, man
by nature perceives a thing as being good or evil not in terms of how it may
affect the interests of others, but in terms of how it affects his own self-interest.
Hobbes argued that the basic attribute of human nature is egoism, which
inevitably leads to a savage and brutal competition for resources in the
absence of constraints imposed by a ruling monarch. . John Stuart
Mill Wrote, "Of the social virtues it is almost superfluous to speak; so
completely is it the verdict of all experience that selfishness is
natural." . Selfishness makes human beings individualistic
rather than a social being. Because, man has a code of ethics primarily for his
own sake, not for anyone else's. . Human beings operate on this
code which is intrinsic to their nature. No one is devoid of this nature. Thus,
this traditional understanding of human behavior by exalting a psychological
mind-set utterly divorced from anything outside the self. .
Hence, there is a need for breaking that core nature which is selfishness. And
Dawkins would put it sarcastically yet seriously, let us try to teach
generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what
our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance
to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to.
It is almost impossible to think about CSR when people operate with
selfishness. The “selfish individual who is the product of the stunted moral
development environment is not likely to contribute to the social good,”
. because there is very little to be said in favor of an
individualism which takes its orientation from a conception of the individual
as essentially “the proprietor of his own person, for which he owes nothing to
the society." But the next question that persuades us would be, is
everyone in the world selfish? What is the level of selfishness that can be
noticed around? Unless we delve into the nitty-grittys of this concept, it is
difficult to bring an awareness in the society to work for the progress and
development of it. (For more details read the book "CSR an Antidote to Selfishness by Joji Valli) Read on Scribd Read on Apple Read on Kobo Read on WHSmith