Is Selfishness Bad ?
I have a psychological and philosophical question:
It’s about being selfish. Are all human beings selfish? From Psychological point of view, isnt it true that all humans are selfish because all humans actually do the things that appeal to their self interest. Like for example, if I want to eat a certain kind of food, am I not being selfish? Actually I have recently realized that from the last many years I had been behaving very selfishly. I made friendship with those whom “I” like. I helped those people whom “I” wanted to help. I was a member of Toastmasters Club and I left it and joined another one simply because “I” wanted to. So I was always after my own self-interest, it was all about what I wanted. But isnt this natural?
Its not a religious question but a Philosophical and Psychological one. Kindly enlighten me with your opinion from both Psychological and religious point of view.
I think to be selfish is to be human. We all work for self-interest. The one who believes that he is genuinely altruistic in his approach is seriously mistaken.
To be selfish is therefore not bad. What is undesirable is to not be mindful of moral obligations while pursuing one’s goals. We earn, we marry, we meet others etc for reasons of self interest. There isn’t anything inherently wrong in it. However, we should be aware of the moral limits we are not expected to cross.
Even when we do acts that are traditionally considered unselfish, like we pray, we help others etc, we are pursuing some hidden personal goal. We are looking for either the pleasure of God, or humans, or the promise of God’s rewards, or satisfaction of the conscience. All of these are personal goals. Despite being personal, they are desirable.
However, if someone pursues selfish interests that are immoral or in case they are morally acceptable but they are sought beyond acceptable limits, then such pursuits shall be considered as undesirable.
There is nothing wrong in making friends of your choice. In fact, that is what you would naturally do. However, what you would be expected not to do is cause deliberate harm to those you haven’t made friends.
And Allah knows the best.