Why help others?

Posted on February 20, 2020 · Posted in Blog, General, Personal

Aristotle believed that by practicing certain virtues, human beings could lead a flourishing life ( eudaimonia). Being Benevolent & generous are important virtues which should not be practiced in excess as was the case with other virtues. He wrote that finding happiness and fulfillment is achieved by “loving rather than being loved”.

Epicurus wrote about the importance of having true friendships and the need to have special bonds with people who shared common values. Friendship as we know is reciprocal and it’s important to help each other out during tough times.

Immanuel Kant was of the belief that any action such (as helping others) may be considered just and moral if it survives three conditions

  1. Can this law be made universal ? – (What of everyone did this ?)
  2. Does this respect human dignity ? – ( Treating people as ends and not means )
  3. Reciprocity – ( What if someone did this to you ?)

Jeremy Bentham would have wanted you to make a neat calculation as to how many people would be harmed and how many people benefited by your act of helping others. If more people were to benefit from your action , then he would recommend you to go ahead.

Now that Aristotle,Epicurus,Kant and Bentham have spoken, I’d like to add my reason on ‘why help others?’

The simple answer to that is you feel good. When helping someone is done out of pure choice and not because you feel shame,guilt,or peer pressure to do so, you feel a strange special sensation that can only best be experienced. We are after all social animals wired to connect,empathize and act out of compassion for our fellow beings. – Midhun Manmadhan

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