Selflessness is a state in which an individual is not conscious of himself or herself. Arguably, a person is selfless when there is no representation of himself or herself in the mind. Fictional situations like a deaf and blind body in a void space predict that selflessness is possible. However, the reality in which matters around awaken the senses of human beings contradicts the possibility of being utterly unconscious of oneself (Milliere 19). Generosity and selectiveness of people while relating to their fellows are the issues of concern in selflessness. A person who is not conscious of himself or herself would not be selective while servicing others. Thus, natural selection and costly signal theories that base the survival of living organisms on the quality they exhibit would be nullified by the possibility of selflessness (Iredale, Van Vugt, and Dunbar 386). This paper discusses whether anyone is selfless with emphasis on self-consciousness and preferences in making choices.
Consciousness encompasses being informed of events that have left diverse experiences in a person’s life. There are different aspects of self-notion, which are, a sense of owning the body, having the body as an agent, being cognitive, and decision making (Milliere 6). It is conceivable from these attributes that complete selflessness cannot exist since at no instance can a person lose all the notions of conscience. However, partial altruism exists because of the possibility of an individual lacking one or two of the assumptions involved in self-recognition. It is through having in conscience about one’s body that intuition and meditations become processes of decision making (Milliere 23). The implication is that being aware of one’s self makes it impossible to be selfless.
Preferences in making choices or distinguishing one event from the rest are impossible to achieve in a selfless state. The chance that a person is not selective is exhibited in generosity while dealing with people on different occasions. However, kindness is outwitted by the natural selection theory, which draws into understanding that survival in an environment requires a given trait (Iredale, Van Vugt, and Dunbar 386). For instance, the selection of sex-mate in the human population involves preference of beauty by men. It shows that being selective on an attractive woman by a man would make him show charity to her (Iredale, Van Vugt and Dunbar 391). Analytical experiments have demonstrated that donations of men to meet the basic needs in a society mostly go into women’s affairs (Iredale, Van Vugt and Dunbar 391). Moreover, the services a man would easily give to a woman are rarely given to fellow men. It implies that the generousness of men is an indication of sex-mate preference and not selflessness.
In conclusion, no one is selfless. It is either the person is partial in his self-consciousness notion or completely selfish. Every person has a record experience that dictates the nature of choices made in a different situation to attain well-being in life. It indicates that the person would be having clear conscience on himself or herself. Moreover, preferences made while discriminating between different events show that the person is determined to satisfy himself or herself. The pleasure found in selecting a sex-mate and other traits for surviving in an environment fulfills personal interests. Thus, no one is selfless since all people would prefer the best trait to sustain an individual’s self.
Iredale, Wendy, Mark Van Vugt and Robin Dunbar. “Showing Off in Humans: Male Generosity as a Mating Signal.” Evolutionary Psychology, vol. 6, no. 3, 2008, 386-392.
Milliere, Raphael. “The Varieties of Selflessness.” Philosophy and the Mind Science, vol. 1, no. 1, 2020, 1-41. Web.