Selfishness as an Integral Part of Human Nature

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“It is truth universally acknowledged that humans are selfish and self – centered. Selfishness is not a characteristic only a bad person has, but is part of our human nature. Despite most human being’s perspectives, “selfishness is the driving force behind everything we do.”(Richard) We need to be selfish at times and think of our own needs first in order to survive. But still, we consider being called selfish or self-centered insulting. I did a survey of what people perceived as selfishness, and over 75% considered it a negative personal quality to have. According to the Oxford dictionary being selfish is considered being concerned with one’s own interest or pleasure. So some, if not all, if not in our actions, then in our thoughts, put our own interest first. A very informative website on human nature stated that “selfishness is around us all the time and if selfishness did not exist there would be no motivation for humans to do anything' (Richard) Doing simple things such as feeding our hunger is considered selfish however if we don’t feed our selves we can’t tend to the needs of others. Therefore, thinking about selfishness, and considering it with deep thought, that means selfishness can be looked at as positive in some cases.

People enjoy the benefit of when they achieve their own goals. Therefore, the motivation to help others without helping themselves is almost non- existent. To illustrate, many hard working athletes strive to receive attention, next level training, and exposure to outside organizations. In order to achieve their own goals, they actively try to receive recognition for their hard work and to impress their coach. In the process of achieving his goals, a person may help others if it doesn't hurt him and he can receive some benefits in the future. Personally, most can say that we live in a society where every situation has to be a win –win situation. However, people place high priority to reaching their own goals. As a result, people's actions are determined by personal goals that they set, not ones that others set. Some people think that people's actions are motivated by self-interest. Others believe that some actions can be selfless. One reason is that each person has responsibility to maintain his own well-being. If people do not take care of themselves first, they may suffer negative consequences, such as diseases, and abuse. For example, the German philosopher, David Throug, stated that “people must be selfish because they need to protect their own life.” (unknown article author) If they truly work for others without being reimbursed, people would be hurt and used for others' benefits. In order to prevent self-harm, and being taken advantage of, a type of selfishness is required.

In conclusion, selfishness is a part of nature. It is part of every human being. Regardless of what all humans may believe, selfishness is a part of everyone and is the motivation behind everything that we do. Some believe in order to survive humans must be selfish and think of their own needs above others. Humans always act out of self-interest and only behave unselfishly because they are compelled to do so by what has been said and passed around by others. Socrates asserts that “to do wrong is in itself a desirable thing, yet to suffer wrong is undesirable.” (Stone, Kem)

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Selfishness as an Integral Part of Human Nature. (2020, December 14). WritingBros. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
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