"Altruism is a code of ethics which hold the welfare of others as the standard of  'good', and self-sacrifice as the only moral action. The unstated premise of the doctrine of altruism is that all relationships among men involve sacrifice. This leaves one with the false choice between maliciously exploiting the other person (forcing them to be sacrificed) or being 'moral' and offering oneself up as the sacrificial victim."
Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands
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OK, there is a set of definitions drawn into certain personal conclusions.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Altruism - I thought meant the implict acceptence that 'Everybody and Everything that we perceive in the world is as True as our own Being - and that with equal count'. Logically enough it befitted only a philosopher or a theoretical scientist and all others's life-oursuits were with narrower gamut of considered values - as for instance a King is expected and required to 'be partial to his own land and people' vis a vis all others.
     -- vedapushpa, Bangalore - India     
    Altruism is indeed the notion that 'self-sacrifice' is needed for the common good. It is the modus operandi of most governments and religions.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    This is BULLSHIT! You don't have to be "self sacrificial" to be altruistic. You could be bounding effective, successful and prosperous and carry others along for the ride, not because you owe them or need something from them, but because it makes you feel good to see others feel good. If you're not a very effective person, are just scraping by, then altruism might be painful. But in that situation it will probably also be character building and may lead to greater effect and lesser painful altruism. Here's some of what the dictionary says about altruism, notice the stark absence of any notion that altruism requires self sacrifice: Altruism: (1) The principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others ( opposed to egoism). (2) The philosophical doctrine that right action is that which produces the greatest benefit to others (3) The principle or practice of unselfish concern for the welfare of others. To defy altruism is a mistake that leads to easily brutal and treacherous wrecking of the so ego-maniacal. If you do nice things for others, probably most of them will return the favor. If you face many situations where you condemn others to torturous conditions for the sake of your power or enjoyment, odds are good you'll eventually find yourself easily discarded. It's not even worth debating. If you want to make the whole world your enemy, have at ego mania and see how long it lasts for you. Silly ridiculous.
     -- DanielVincentKelleyOnYT, Newport Vermont     
    Ayn Rand wrote that altruism (with self-sacrifice) was the morality underlying communism and the most murderous regimes in history. She regarded selfishness as a virtue and disagreed that it required that you sacrifice others to yourself. Just the opposite. Your self-interest requires that you respect the rights of others.
     -- Anonymous, Ormond Beach     
    Anonymous, it is hard to disagree with Ayn Rand.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    Al-truism is not any 'self sacrifice' -- It is a 'non judgmental' principle which accepts human follies and frailings 'as such'... and its core thought is plain acceptence . Altruism is the principle of a mendicant or a Saint and it contrasts itself with the 'narrower' notions like a State rule or a community ethics. Altruism can also be said to mean 'Scientfic' - which is similarly an objective-positive statement of truth as such without any right or wrong verdicts.
     -- Vedapushpa, Bangalore - India     
    I rarely disagree with E Archer, but the time is now. I seriously doubt that altruism is the"modus operandi of most governments or religions". Governments steal from productive citizens and give to the non producers and I don't call this altruism. I call it theft.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
    "...the only moral action." ONLY ?
     -- Bobble, Charlotte, VT     
    jim k, I should clarify that governments _use altruistic reasons_ to steal from productive citizens as their modus operandi.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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