Well, I wouldn't exactly go THAT far, but I'm glad I've left that misimpression. On a subject as ambiguous as altruism, I simply wanted to explore both sides of the coin.
I could certainly use the exercise - I'm about 28 pounds above my old high school weight, and I'm practically starving myself to get back there.
I'm interested. The only acceptable "rule" I've felt able to endorse is like a hybrid of the golden rule, and libertarianism.
No man-made idealism will ever be perfect. It's probably safe to say that no idealism will ever be perfect, since they're all man-made. So our calculations wrt how to behave in ways that are "best for humanity" will always be complicated and dynamic, depending on current circumstances and opinions.
With all due respect, Simon, and I DO respect you, RE: "However we don't always behave altruistically in order to make ourselves feel good. On some occasions, we do it just for the other person, perhaps a stranger. Our feelings or personal advantage can be irrelevant to us."
I still maintain, as I did before in a comment, I believe, to Unseen, this behavior falls under the "What A Good Boy Am I," as per Eric Berne's Games People Play. ("What A Good Boy Am I" is my own invention, premised on Berne's games, which, I maintain explains soldiers falling on grenades, etc.)
Falling on a grenade for a "payoff" of just a couple seconds? That doesn't pass the giggle test.
Who calculates how long a payoff will last? I mean, besides you --
Apparently you do, too.
How do you figure? Other than counting on your fingers and toes, that is --
I figure because you seem to think that the seconds between seeing the grenade and taking the explosion is sufficient time to enjoy the psychological reward.
Or is there another way or reckoning it?