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Karamazov: "He also discusses his belief that men only practice love for their fellow man out of a belief in God and the immortality of their soul. If they did not believe, Ivan says, than there would exist no incentive or reason for them to practice love and kindness. If they do not believe, then the only motive for action would logically be self-interest. "

Is that a truism? Do you believe that, in a mentality lacking love and kindness, the only logical conclusion would be that all actions would be driven by self-interest? The implication here is that self-interest is inherently a negative characteristic. Is it not possible that, while looking out for yourself, you can also look out for others? The man that helps and cares for others may draw greater fortune to himself. By looking out for others, you are in a way looking out for yourself?

Honestly, there is very little that I do that does not benefit myself in some way. I doubt there have been more than two cases in the past five years where I have done something that I did not think would ultimately benefit myself. If I make a sacrifice at work to help someone out, I believe that this action will be remembered and either they would help me out or I would gain better standing in their mind. If I was to perform community service, it would partially be because I could talk about it later and have others think highly of me. I'm selfish, but sometimes it benefits others.