Life should primarily revolve around serving others

July 23, 2019, 9:57 am

Agree27 Disagree15

64%
36%

The debate "Life should primarily revolve around serving others" was started by mwest0097 on July 23, 2019, 9:57 am. 27 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 15 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

Allirix posted 3 arguments, mwest0097 posted 2 arguments to the agreers part.


mwest0097, Allirix, sk25, milk_tea, jrardin12, Sumit082, happy, codyray16 and 19 visitors agree.
Nemiroff, JDAWG9693, Nteby5, Steelheart, MADHURA, The_Pyschoone1, jbusey, Eurah, kittrapper and 6 visitors disagree.

Allirix
replied to...

Yeah, it's actually that gene-centric view of evolution that led me to Social. Definitely a good read

3 months, 3 weeks ago
mwest0097
replied to...

@Allrix, if you haven't read it, I'd recommend in turn Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene." While potentially disturbing if you philosophize about it too much, it explores the power our DNA has over our desires. The goal of any gene is to propogate, even at the cost of the original "host." Luckily, this means that whatever is best for our genes will usually be what we see as best overall, but it is slightly off-putting that we don't have very much control (if any) over what we find desirable or moral, and that DNA acts almost like a virus, guiding it's host to spread the DNA. Overall it was a really interesting book.

3 months, 3 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

I recommend reading "Social: Why our brains are wired to connect". It's a neuro-scientist summarising what his research, as well as others, says about why we have a fundamental drive to serve others, even when it costs us our lives.

Summary:
Based on over a decade of groundbreaking research in social neuroscience—how our brains respond to social engagement— Social reveals that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental than our need for food and shelter. It is, Dr. Lieberman argues, the key to our success as a species, and one of the reasons we evolved large brains in the first place. Lieberman and others have discovered that when our brain is not focused on a specific task, it uses its spare time—its default network—to learn about and master the social world. We've been told that we need to commit 10,000 hours to become a master at complex skills such as chess, music, and math. Lieberman argues that each and every one of us has spent 10,000 hours learning to make sense of people and groups and our place in them by the time we are ten. So many of us believe that physical pain and pleasure guide our actions Yet new research by Lieberman and his UCLA colleagues using fMRI (frontal magnetic resonance imaging) shows that our brains respond to social pain and pleasure just as powerfully as they do to physical plain and pleasure. When asked what the most painful experiences in our lives have been, most of us do not recount an injury or a broken limb—we describe the death of a loved one or the end of a marriage or relationship. Fortunately, the brain has evolved sophisticated mechanisms for securing our place in the social world. We have a unique ability among species to "read" other people's minds, to figure out their hopes, fears, and motivations, allowing us to effectively coordinate our lives with one another. This wiring in our brains allows us to restrain our selfish impulses for the greater social good. And it is the malfunctioning of this wiring that leads to the challenges in connecting with others that we see in autism. Based on the latest, cutting-edge research. Social has startling real-world implications for how we work and live. The surprising insights revealed in this pioneering book suggest ways to improve learning in schools, make the workplace more productive, and improve our overall happiness and well-being.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

It seems paradoxical, but I think life should primarily revolve around serving others, even though it is for an ultimately selfish reason. People need a source of meaning in their life, or they end up having an existential crisis. Without purpose and meaning, there is no reason to go on. Serving others is often the surest way to feel like you are doing something meaningful.

In addition to that, serving others usually serves your best interests as well. Granted, there are ways to go about serving others that lead only to you being taken advantage of and reaping no benefit other than feeling good about a good deed, if you can still feel good about it when you're taken advantage of. But a skillful practice of helping others while still remembering to care for yourself so you maintain your capacity to serve improves the lives of you and everyone you come in contact with, making the world better as a result.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

Sometimes serving yourself enables you to better serve others later #effectiveAltruism

3 months, 4 weeks ago
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