Exactly as the title says. Tell me why being selfish is wrong.

I'm not of the opinion that a rational, considered self-interest is wrong. I think it's usually the best way to go. In fact, I would say it's kind of like our default setting, but I've seen quite a few people post recently about how being selfless is good. I disagree.

Why do you think that selflessness is good? Why do you think that selfishness is bad? Do you think it's the other way around? Or maybe neither is good nor bad?

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It sounds here as if you want to fight all tendencies towards pursuing ones' self interest.  Perhaps I misunderstood.

If you accept rational self interest as a good thing, the only thing you have to worry about is fighting whatever impulses you might have to go over the line into the various bad forms (brutishness, rude asshole, callousness, etc).

You should always look out for yourself. But as Forrest Gump's mother said, " A man only needs so much, the rest is just for showing off."

You can't be selfless for very long unless you are also a little selfish sometimes.

The question is to broad. Selfishness is not always, specially if you believe in an subjective morality.

BUT I would say Selflessness is better than selfishness more often, IF it is reciprocated.


In a society were everyone is looking out for their own self interest, will eventually lead to people stepping on each other to get ahead.Our society is a great example, were some of those people reach high office and you get selfish leaders.

On the other hand, a society that is selfless would lead to a society were there is unity, and progress is accelerated. Since the ones that are behind are helped, and the favor being returned later on.

But I dont think selfishness is the worst thing, after all it is part of what helped us get this far.

If you think the question is too broad, then feel free to cut it down to size!

Lets chop it. Can selfishness be synonymous with loving/respecting oneself?

Can selfishness also be synonymous with being disrespectful to oneself and others.? (Apparently so.)

 So if it can be both then lets focus on the 2nd selfish. The answer is no. Not ok.

First one: Yes. But I don't call it selfish. I call it doing the next right thing.

everybody is selfish, its only wrong when others do it.

Curious... does this mean that it is ok  to harm others through putting yourself first? Or is it just not ok when others do it to you?

It's ok to occasionally be selfish but if selfishness is the default setting it's definitely not a good thing. Being selfish is bad because it's anti-social. Anti social behavior does little good for a species that is highly social and dependent on others to survive and thrive.

IT's not. 

Yahweh is selfish and I am fine with it.

It really seems to be a balancing act of sorts. As a predominantly lone wolf type of individual I have realized through the years that no one else is responsible for my happiness. It lies squarely on my shoulders to be content and at peace. Acts of kindness and giving are not something I premeditatively consider. It usually happens spontaneously and with no thought of reward. Admittedly I do feel good about myself afterwards but I am just as happy being alone and fending for myself without consideration of society in general.  Selfishness is not a state of mind but more so a survival instinct. As Dale said "No harm, no foul."

Can true selfishness work with humanitarianism?

Yesterday my friend Paul told me "I've just been doing Paul lately." I  immediately knew what he meant. He went on to tell me that he had been at the gym, learning new languages, watching a few great films etc.  Some might call this being "selfish". He would but more to the point he would describe it as selfish. Meaning the conclusion ( "I've just been doing Paul lately.") has already been established.

 I would argue that if the word "selfish" was never used as a catch all we would not be having this conversation.

 If Paul had said "I've been really selfish lately." and left it at that then I might wonder what he meant by it but most people -I think -generally assume the worse. I use this (others potential assumptions) as a compass of sorts. It's a key to communication that we are specific. We can agree to call both life and death life  but that just confuses things.

 If Paul had said "I've been really selfish lately, not spending much time with friends and family but making self improvements and expanding my horizons." That is more specific.

 One thing I want to touch on is that the words "good" and "bad" have their own connotation. Some words are ambiguous, but I think it's pretty clear what their connotation is. If in fact words did not have connotation then we probably wouldn't have the word "connotation". 


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