Selfish Heaven

If you spend your whole life adhearing to morals that someone told you “if you follow these, you’ll get into heaven”; morals like being nice to people, and this is the main reason that you are being nice to people, are you not a giant jerk? The only reason you’re being nice/good to people is for your selfish want of getting into heaven, so you’re in a happy happy joy joy place for eternity. You are helping people for PERSONAL GAIN, and that is it. Why must we have morals? Can’t we just be genuinely nice? If we stopped these morals that were all made in fear of not getting into heaven, war would deminish exponentially. Why can’t people just agree that we were born, are here, and will die as an individual? I’m missing the logic of morals, they are ultimatly built from our fear of not getting into heaven. How could heaven be gotten into when you’re trying to get into it greedily, going against your own morals?

Actually, if you are a bright person that feels some empathy for others you will act ethically toward others just because you want to have a nice environment in which to live.

People that are less bright (in tune, whatever) need to have a mystical security guard and carrot and stick goal (heaven) in order to be good.

Check this out from Kohlberg.

Everything everyone does for…any… reason is ultimately out of self interest.
If you think that selfishness is somehow ‘wrong’ you are probably entrapped by the very religion you are lashing out against.

I think there are many layers to selfishness and self-interest.

I like to help people (i.e. give a hungry person some bread) because I want them to be happy (or happier). One could say that I’m acting “ethically”/“morally” out of my self-interest of seeing people happy, so that would be selfish, but then again, I see it more as my action is caused by self-interest, and I’m acting for the other person. And “acting for the other person” is ethical/moral I suppose. But there’s nothing wrong with “my action being caused by self-interest” because self-interest is the only way we can act on anything. If I want to arbitrarily raise my hand in the air, then guess what: the simple fact that I want to raise it is “selfish”, but it’s not a bad selfishness. So technically, anytime we will to do anything it’s “selfish”. But this sort of selfishness is not any ethical or moral term, so we don’t have to really worry about it.

Exactly. If a person’s objective is to not be selfish, and they’re trying to acheive an ETERNITY of happiness in heaven through being good to people now; that seems a bit… well, contradictory to that person’s beliefs. Personally, I don’t believe in heaven but there is a SUBSTANTIAL amount of people that do, so when they end up contradicting themselves what happens? I know I contradict myself; I don’t think there’s anyway not to. To me dying and having no wants is freedom, but I don’t want to die yet. I feel the want in life is continue to become closer to perfection, but I don’t believe in perfection; so I believe it is an unreachable goal. I’m just asking to be able to better distinguish the ways in which people contradict themselves always.

I know that you think that you sound all cool and sardonic and quasi-nihilistic when you say stuff like this, but it’s bullshit all the same. When I give a homeless person a dollar I am not hoping to gain the favor of a higher power, or stroke my superiority, or put the person into a postition in which they now “owe me one.” When my sister and I donate blood at the clinic we don’t know who will receive our blood, and we certainly don’t expect recompense for it. I could go on.

If you truly think this way then then that’s your business, but don’t for a second attempt to make blanket statements about all of humanity simply because it suits your ideology. In my opinion, psychological egoism was invented by over-educated, misanthropic burnouts as an excuse for despair and depravity.

well TECHNICALLY, both in catholic and eastern orthodox, if you do shit just to go to heaven you end up in hell (for arrogance/selfishness)

you’re supposed to do the good shit just so, half pretending you dont know it’s gonna be rewarded.

you know, it would pay to really look into religion sometime, it is, much like astrology, the result of over a thousand years of human effort. shabby and shitty yes, but complex none the less.

the act/feeling of love isn’t a means to an end… it’s complete unto it’s self. This would certainly be considered selfless in my mind.

Why do you donate the blood? Because “you” want to? Who causes the act? As i read in a previous post, all acts are ultimatley selfish, you do not fall in love because you “hate” it, but because you “love” it. You love the idea of being happy and this iwould have to say is the motivation for all your actions. Actions that effect the public and actions that do not.


I wrote something about love prior to this post but i hadn’t realized that you did so too. I think love is a means to your own happiness, “love” is just another word for happy. When one says “i am in love”; you can normally suggest that they are “happy”. Most lovers part because this “love” is no longer keeping them happy, there is no selfless act otherwise most couples would stay together. Surelyu couples do not break up because they want to deliberatley want to harm the other person? Surely they break up because they are no longer happy…the relationship itself is no longer a means to their own happiness…whether the other person is still finding happiness through you is irelevant. It is “you” that you are in it for.


I see what you’re getting at… but consider this: If I jump infront of someone I love (pretend I’m an athiest) to take a bullet to the chest intended for them (by a random shooter neither of us know) then where is the means to the end there? I will not be happy dead, in fact I will be pissed to be dying… but I did it out of the love for that said person.

See what I’m saying? I’m not happy or content to die, knowing I saved my lover… because she will still loose me, it was just an act of love.

The movie ‘hero’ has a great scene in which two lovers know one of them needs to die, and they’re are both waking to the ‘spot’ in which this would happen and the woman stabs the man in the side, a non-fatal blow… but enough to render the man unable to walk… now he’s mad that he hadn’t done it to her first, and she knows this… so it’s not like she commited the act for her own happiness… because it isn’t making him happy at all and so shouldn’t make her happy… she does it for him to live, but in a way it’s stab at his honor because he feels he should be the one to go. But never the less the love is there.

This is why I feel love to be complete undo it’s own… it can feel selfish because it’s so good you just want to drown yourself in it… you want to spend all day in bed with your lover, and this can be seen as selfish… but in fact, the times you are the most selfless are when you are in love… I mean think about it, when you’re single most of the stuff you do is for your own interest… it seems like the only time you’re not… is when you’re totally and fully in love.

But who ‘chose’ to jump infront and take the bullet? And so why did ‘one’ choose to do so? Because ‘you’ wanted to? so why did you do it? Because you chose to.

Or perhaps you would rather die than to be without the said person? Is that reason not enough to commit yourself to the act?

Actually, whether or not you are a “good” person isn’t important on whether or not you get in heaven. All you have to do is say I’m sorry, please forgive me (in christianity). I’ve never believed that part of christianity, though, it isn’t even remotely fair.

About being nice to get into heaven: Everybody is selfish, it’s human nature. It doesn’t make the good you do any less good, though.

When you say, “sorry” under that system, you really have to mean it. The god has to be able to read your mind and know that you aren’t just sort of sorry.

I’m sure most people would be really, really sorry, if the alternative is going to hell.

Sure, but you would have to really understnad and feel that. Under the logic, god would know that you are feeling that way and then he would forgive you.

So, even Hitler could be in heaven if he meaningfully said that he was sorry.

We’re not arguing choice here though… in the example it’s my choice, but that doesn’t make love a means to and end… or at least if that end is death, then I don’t see it as valid

But the point here is just that, there is a cause to your act and you are the cause. Perhaps you used this act as a means attain a good reputation?

but the freaking point is that youre NOT doing it for a reputation. look at hive minded organisims. bees for example, they put the hive before themselves even though if they die, the hive would not benefit them whatsoever. they do it out of instinct and emotion. anyone who has an instinct knows what its like, it just feels “right” do do something. i would imagine that is why the bee would die for the hive, because it feels like the right course of action. now if a person were in a stressful situation and was acting on instinct as well as emotion, they could very well take a bullet for their lover, simply with the lover in mind. they might think “i want her to live” and yes, that is his goal, that is what he wants, but he wants in IN THE INTEREST of the other person. it dosent benefit them, and theyre not taking into account such things like what life would be like without so and so, they just jump in front of the bullet in interest for the other person.

Ok… let’s start with the first sentence.

I agree with you, there is a cause to my act… and I’m the cause. But just because I am the cause to an action doesn’t mean that that said action… is one that was caused by selfish desires. Just because -I- decided… does not make it selfish. That is my point. If I travel to some foreign city I’ve never been to before, and most likely never will be to again and I have a homeless person (or any person for that matter) a couple dollars… there is no self interest there (at least not in my mind). It’s a selfless act… I believe these can exist.

I think you’re more thinking along the lines of Golden Currie when he said that ^

And there’s nothing wrong with that… there is no answer here… I’m just trying to explain my side. I don’t see ‘wanting’ to do something as part of some spectrum of ‘selfish’ because the thing I -want- to do isn’t impacting me really. I don’t find ‘peace of mind’ or shit like that as a good answer because it’s a copout… I’m already at peace, and I still give away some change sometimes… and maybe one day I’ll take a bullet for my girlfriend/wife whatever’s going on at the time.

As for ‘using this act’ as a means to retain a reputation. I actually laughed at that one… albiet more of a ‘heh’. If you think I’m here to gain a reputation then you’re mistaken… I’m not mad, some people do like to be ‘well known’ or respected online… there’s nothing wrong with that… clearly it’s on your mind as you brought it up, but I don’t personally care too much. I think if I really wanted to be respected I’d tell everyone about myself and inimportant facts regarding my life. In fact I think all I’ve told people on here is where I live, my age and that I play basketball.

This isn’t an act… this is me working a summer job that basically has me sit in a room with a comp and some keys that i use to open and close some doors occasionally… this act is me getting paid to write my thoughts.

But I can play along if you want… consider me a monkey who beats off, throws his own shit around and bangs on a computer… that way you’re winning in this contest that seems to be going on in your head.