Monday, February 21, 2011

Good deeds

As I mentioned, I've been watching Friends a lot. The other night, was an episode called The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS. She's mad because she wrote a letter to Sesame Street that went unanswered, which is...well...rude. I mean, you expect better from Muppets.

Anyway, the show evolves into a debate between Phoebe and Joey about whether or not there is any such thing as a truly self-less act. When you do something good, even if someone else benefits - you feel good. So, it's not completely self-less.

If you think about it - that sort of makes sense. It feels good to help a friend. Whether you can be there for them when they need advice, or support, or to loan them money or do them a feels great to know that you're able to be there for a friend.

But is that selfish? I mean - you don't do the favor or good deed so that you feel good - it's just a side effect. So what makes something selfish? The end result - or just what motivates you in the first place? I sort of think it's the motivation...but what do you think?

Plus - I don't really want Joey Tribbiani to be right, either....


  1. Good deeds may not be selfless, but that doesnt make them selfish. If you want to do a good deed because it feels good, what's the difference? The end result is the same. Everybody wins.

  2. Also true. I guess the thought is that every act is either selfish or selfless, which is probably false.