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March 22nd, 2012, 13:27
Greed and selfishness are universal human traits. We all have them, and there's no way around that.

However, we do have brains as well - and I'm personally a bit of a utilitarian. My brain tells me that while something might be better for myself in the short-term, it's not necessarily better for myself or those around me in the long-term.

So, what I would consider uncivilised behavior is to let greed and selfishness take over and drive our actions or our inaction - without constant use of our brains.

Basically, our mental capacity and knowledge are the tools with which we can improve ourselves and the world as a whole. Our "hearts" shouldn't even enter the equation beyond serving as an additional motivator.

The issue with being self-serving is that we're not "cups" that can be perpetually filled. We have a surprisingly modest capacity for indulgence - and once that point is reached, it becomes a delusional pursuit of an ever elusive satisfaction. The road to perpetual satisfaction, in my mind, is to consider others so as to provide a more stable source of satisfaction, that's external - rather than the unreliable internal sensations. This is a chain-reaction, and as it spreads - the external source of satisfaction strengthens, to the benefit of everyone.

This position of mine is no less selfish than just serving myself - because it IS serving myself, in addition to serving others.

The only difference is that I consider it a more informed position than pure self-satisfaction.
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