True Generosity is a LIE!

by Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu

Think you’re an especially generous person? You’re not! You’re as selfish as everyone else– according to new research, anyway. Anthony explains the subconscious motivations behind why we give.

Read More:
Reciprocity explains food sharing in humans and other primates independent of kin selection and tolerated scrounging: a phylogenetic meta-analysis

“Helping, i.e. behaviour increasing the fitness of others, can evolve when directed towards kin or reciprocating partners.”

Human fronto–mesolimbic networks guide decisions about charitable donation

“Humans often sacrifice material benefits to endorse or to oppose societal causes based on moral beliefs.”

Activation Of Brain Region Predicts Altruism

“Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered that activation of a particular brain region predicts whether people tend to be selfish or altruistic.”

My Short Interview with Richard Dawkins

Male scarcity is associated with higher prevalence of premature gestation and low birth weight births across the USA

“Modern adverse birth outcomes may partially result from mechanisms evolved to evaluate environmental conditions and regulate maternal investment trade-offs.”

Kin Selection

‘Selfless’ Genes Attract Mates, Psychologists Find

“There is genetic evidence that selfless or altruistic behaviour may have evolved because it was one of the qualities our ancestors looked for in a mate.”

Watch More:
Nice Guys Finish First:

Get Rich, Cheat More:

How To Make Friends:


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accelworld17 September 9, 2013 - 9:46 PM

That's adorable. I believe love can prevail over all our instinct since without being able to make a connection with others, we may not choose to live at all.

Gemeral dis September 11, 2013 - 7:34 AM

This is why ''help'' to Syria or Afghanistan is just selfish on another natures part, even if Russia helps Syria by condemning America and Israels occupation, Russia will still want something in return.

The Predator September 11, 2013 - 7:54 PM

Causing the death of another animal and not feeling bad for it does not necessarily indicate a personality disorder. Example: Hunters. They kill animals all the time – for their own survival… which is a selfish act. Moving an animal out of harm's way is genuinely altruistic because there is nothing to gain, except knowing you saved an animal life. Do good for goodness' sake, not for the fear of the consequences if you don't. Doing good out of fear is a poor view of reality.

YxtreaM September 11, 2013 - 9:20 PM

I help people because it makes me feel good. I guess it's a bit selfish because I do it because I feel better about myself. But I don't help anyone to get their help afterwards.

sputnikjammer September 14, 2013 - 2:52 AM

This video is wrong I don't care what you say making other people happy makes me happy end of.

eerikk September 21, 2013 - 3:13 AM

Wow. This was terrible. Altruism is so much more complex. Read some Kierkegaard before you try to tackle this subject again.

lekiscool September 22, 2013 - 3:26 PM

hey!!! I live near UCSB and I have friends that go there… thanks for the shout out!

sputnikjammer September 27, 2013 - 12:39 AM

I would say both but more for making them happy.

EaglesQuestions September 27, 2013 - 12:59 AM

Is this really a fair assessment, though?

Due to how "selflessness" is being defined, there is no possible example in which a hypothetical event could be taken for proof of the opposite opinion. There is nothing you could ever possibly observe to investigate it.

Even given some extreme hypothetical situation, involving huge sacrifice and no gain, it would STILL only be explained away as "wanting to feel good about one's own actions."

DysnomiaFilms September 29, 2013 - 10:06 AM

Yeah, we have to define on what level we consider things "selfish". If other people being happy makes us feel good, even if it's just that we feel like we are morally good people which makes us happy, is that selfish or not?

Our most basic instincts are for the survival and happiness of ourselves and our species. Nobody's going to do something which doesn't give them something they, in some way, want. There's no reason to and it makes no sense. People don't do things they have no desire to do.

hdvip September 30, 2013 - 8:41 PM

When was the last time you donated or helped someone anonymously and never shared the story with anyone?

Wagner Henrique October 7, 2013 - 5:48 AM

I dont go around saying this to people but I have donated a kidney to someone who I only new the gender and age – nothing else. So I disagree that generosity is a lie.

TheaDragonSpirit October 13, 2013 - 1:11 AM

I disagree… they could be going for social respect in which case they will gain nothing physical. Ha.

TheaDragonSpirit October 13, 2013 - 1:16 AM

Yes you can do something selfless for someone. It's easy here is some money. Go spend it on what ever you want. There done. Go in to a charity place put all your money par your lose change in a charity box when no one is looking. Give money to a cause and don't tell anyone you do it. Now you could argue this makes you feel good, but it actually pisses me off… so I am just doing it to do the right thing. So I am being selfless because I believe doing the right thing is more important than me.

TheaDragonSpirit October 13, 2013 - 1:22 AM

Basically to be selfless is to put doing what is right over what you want, even when it seems hopeless. That is being selfless. Although you could argue that by helping the majority it indirectly helps you. But if when you did what you did as a sacrifice… and didn't give a shit about reward. You did it selflessly. It's quite easy to do. You just do what you think is right over what you want. So you do things that upset you to do whats right over things you enjoy.

TheaDragonSpirit October 13, 2013 - 1:25 AM

For example when you see a old lady in your way you don't push her in front of a car and laugh… over helping her across the road while she gropes you. That kind of thing. And you don't do it because some hot lady is at the other side of the road. You do it because you know it's right. It's really that simple. Sacrifice of want/gain over doing what is right. But usually want and doing what is right aline. So this is probable more healthy a choice. Less stressful. :-)

TheaDragonSpirit November 3, 2013 - 8:31 PM

Ha! Yup and those who don't and let people live everyday are altruistic because they don't just do what they want. And some even go as far as to help people, when they lose out over gain. I mean no more annoying if you push them in front of a car you have a lot to gain. And going to jail and setting up a whole system to protect the weak over the strong… who would of though of doing something so altruistic. Ha. I mean it's almost like people want people to be happy.

HaloZombie298 November 4, 2013 - 8:56 AM

My answer to being generous to friends is simply because they are my friends…..and friendship is magic.

Junko Enoshima November 17, 2013 - 4:26 AM

I honestly don't care about anyone else in the world except my family and close friends, I could care less if a stranger died in a fire today or a kid got run over and bled to death. I really do not care about other people.

David Jameson November 20, 2013 - 10:14 AM

I wonder how me giving air-activated hand-warming packets to a homeless man during cold weather fits in with this conclusion then… as I don't expect anything from him, and I don't know anything about him other than he looks to be pretty old, I'd say at least 60.

Jah Sma November 27, 2013 - 5:04 AM

Always think about this, everytime, everywhere. 

NateThatsNasty November 27, 2013 - 12:03 PM

interesting topic indeed. but jus because generosity started off as mutual benefit type of thing, doesnt mean we still today do that. we are blessed with minds far superior to animals. including early man. we no longer live off of instinct and survival. we have evolved passed that. there are people out there who are truly giving and loving and there really is no selfish reason behind it. 

Bidmartinlo November 28, 2013 - 2:10 PM

If I'm nice… it would mean I expect vassalage in return! I wouldn't tell you, though. >:|

AUTHOR V. MARIE November 28, 2013 - 7:28 PM

I remember studying this topic in grad school and understand it.  If we don't want something "tangible" back, we want to feel good about doing it.  This subject is not about selfishness…that's a totally different topic!  If you donate an organ, you may not expect one in return but if you tell people you did that or even feel good within yourself for doing it…you have not done a self-less act.  It goes a little deeper than caring about the "welfare" of others. 

trinix777 November 29, 2013 - 12:02 PM

We care about things just because we want to. Altruism is a delusion, there is no meaning of life, humanity will go extinct in the future and later the whole universe.

Bret Gammons December 18, 2013 - 2:09 PM

This reminds me of a 'Friends' episode.
It's also one of my the many, many reasons I abhor Randian objectivism: Altruism results from personal, even selfish motivations, and some people become happier through generosity.

João Dias December 21, 2013 - 8:54 PM

I care about every one ( a lot more my family) then me, i prefer to that person be alright then me i dont know why but im like that…

EvilWiffles December 31, 2013 - 9:35 AM

It sucks being human. 
Takes a lot of effort to get laid :c.

CyberdarkHellKaiser January 23, 2014 - 5:03 AM

I suppose most people don't understand the.. PRICE of altruism.

McDucky January 23, 2014 - 2:00 PM

I have been thinking about this my entire life (ok, maybe not until I was 10).  
We're only selfish.
Even things such as giving our lives to save someone is selfish. At least your intentions.

Barry Vennard February 22, 2014 - 8:55 PM

One cannot be alive (at least not for very long) without self interest.  However, there are degrees and that makes all the difference.  Selfishness is the pursuit of one's desires with little or no regard for others.  All the cells in one's body have a degree of self interest as they exist in mutually enhancing relationships with other cells.  Cancer cells are not as enlightened and they eventually bring about their own extinction in a body.   People can be that way as well.

Zack Stephens February 23, 2014 - 11:37 AM

Okay, so charity is automatically selfish because of this research? I mean, I don't think the countries we donate to are going to send us something back because of that; it's completely selfless to donate to a cause and to help others in need without expecting anything back. 

Marc Arriaga March 18, 2014 - 2:43 PM

Don't give me that bull shit you give money to a stranger on the street but don't expect it back a stranger would run into a burning building if they know someone's in the by they don't know who the person is are what they look like animals save other animals a dog saving a human or a human saving a dog isn't going to Chang anything ya that person or dog may do something generous later on but they don't do it for a need so don't make claims about an look at what you won't to see

Darren Luke April 4, 2014 - 7:57 PM

If you give things to people because they need help, you can make some people feel bad especially if it is known that was the reason for your help and you would have been better off not helping them.  It is not uncommon to hear "I don't need your help" or "I don't want your pity".  It is intent vs impact, your intent is to help, your impact may be offensive.

N A April 20, 2014 - 10:32 AM

There is in very rare cases. The data very much so outweighs the instances of true altruism; especially when you eliminate the least and most 2% for statistical accuracy. 

Lester Dela Cruz July 17, 2014 - 11:08 AM

I'm always trying to be nice to get laid… never worked yet.

Erin Murphy August 17, 2014 - 10:26 AM

Making donations to other countries helps their economy and security, which in turn benefits our own nations security. If Bush had not defunded Latin Amercan trade agreements, we might not be seeing the level of immigration we are seeing now. Not all of those immigrants are young kids who think they will be allowed to stay in the U.S. because of immigrant child advocacy laws. People donate to a cause because of the "good" they see that cause doing for others, which in turn may benefit them or those they care about or because they feel they are fulfilling a request from someone else they care about. (like their mother who died from cancer) All of these things in turn make one feel a sense of accomplishment and self-worth that aids one's self-esteem. Also even if you aren't consciously performing acts of selflessness to get laid you are unconsciously being motivated by socially and genetically ingrained drives to be selfless which in turn benefited your ancestors in getting laid and make you more mate worthy.

Lyras Otaku August 29, 2014 - 5:18 PM

I'm the generous one in my friends-Group, and its kinda true, that i expect something from my friends: To be thankful, because seeing them happy, makes me happy.

Sprinklejinx October 9, 2014 - 8:33 AM

This isn't always the case. I went to New York for the day and a man asked us for a dollar so he could get on the bus. I gave it to him without hesitation. I knew I'd probably never see that guy again let alone get anything in return out of him, but I did it anyway. Hopefully he didn't spend it on drugs.

An Ian November 15, 2014 - 8:45 AM

going to say knew it but lets watch the video 1st

yup knew it genorus becuse on an instinctive level its just a simple you scratch my back I scratch yours

Pnospric December 10, 2014 - 12:08 PM

So why is it that I love giving things to people and being selfless, but I have a panic attack and want to hide every time they try to do the same for me?

cominatrix September 28, 2016 - 7:33 AM

Friends did it first

ellellen00 ._. August 15, 2017 - 5:20 AM

humans rely on each other because we are flock animals, therefor evolution made it so we feel good when we do things for others. if you do something for someone to make them happy it automaticly makes you happy too, thats how the avrage human works. if we go by this logic your "selfless" acts might just be a way to make yourself happy, you gain from it because of evolution. I contemplate this almost every day, is selflessnes real? we gain from helping others, it makes us happy, what would happen if that stoped? what if we are all just selfish deep down, not realising it? do I need therapy? we may never know.