Some people are more selfish than others


The human being as selfish loner?

Even great thinkers like Arthur Schopenhauer or Friedrich Nietzsche claimed that humans are selfish loners. He only lives in a community because of cultural constraints. Research has now refuted that.

Today we know that it is a human need to experience community. Even more: it is even detrimental to the salvation of the individual if he isolates himself for too long.

Stronger together

Individualism was still being extolled in the 1990s. Everyone should act out and strengthen their own ego, it said. That is a sure way to survive in our society. Egoism was preached almost like a religion. But from the beginning of human history, the group was vital.

Even then, it would have been difficult for an individual to hunt. The prospect of rich prey was significantly greater in the group. The ability to cooperate developed. Consideration and courtesy also paid off. For example, in caring for the offspring. A functioning network of relationships emerged.

Relationships want to be cultivated. Above all, careful interaction with one another is the guarantee for a close-knit community.

Rules had to be found for this. What is allowed and what is not? Who determines what is right and wrong? Philosophers have been wrestling with each other about this for a long time. There is no definitive answer to this.

Selfless helping for the good of the community

There is one phenomenon that casts reasonable doubt on the assumption that we are all egoists. It's called altruism. Your own good is subordinated to the good of the community - and even voluntarily. In the research of evolution in the time of Charles Darwin, selfless help was a major headache.

It has now been proven that altruism does no harm. The good deed also promotes your own health. And those who often help others can earn a good reputation. He is then valued in society.

However, there is of course the risk of falling short in the long run and being exploited. Animals also give their lives selflessly for family members. They don't do this to increase their reputation, but to ensure the continued existence of the clan.

Mankind also has to think about the continued existence of its own species in the long term. If today's man continues to ruthlessly tamper with the treasures of nature, his descendants will go away empty-handed. In terms of environmental protection, altruism would also be a good alternative.