QFMR: Altruistic or Pragmatic?

As I often do, I have been pondering what is important to me in terms of how I interact with the world around me. And, I find, sometimes, that I have a conflict with being pragmatic versus seeking an altruistic way of being. Sometimes, I find that these two characteristics can be opposed to one another. I have always felt that striving for a standard has to be paramount to everything, but there have been times when it’s been much easier to just be pragmatic about something.

For example, stealing is wrong, but if I were starving and my children were starving, I could see myself stealing food. Is it wrong? Or is it pragmatic? I can tell you, at one time, however, I would have always seen stealing as wrong – i.e. the altruistic approach to life. There are other examples, I can pose that would demonstrate the conflict. Death is one of those. As someone who is pro-life (not to get overly political, because I am posing a hypothetical), the intentional killing of anyone is a standard that should be wrong on all accounts; as a parent, however, I could easily see myself taking the life of someone that posed an imminent deadly threat to one of my children.

I’m being somewhat vague here, because I am noticing some of my political philosophies are being challenged lately, and I really don’t want to get into a debate with anyone. Suffice it to say, however, I am pondering the ideas of idealism and reality – or as I put here, altruism versus pragmatism. What if I am on the wrong side of history on somethings going on in the U.S. political environment right now? What if my desire to pragmatically approach life is at odds with the altruistic standard supporting humanity?

So, it has me wanting to pose a Question For My Readers:

What holds more power for you – altruism or pragmatism?

5 thoughts on “QFMR: Altruistic or Pragmatic?

  1. The altruistic standard against taking a life is good, but society has always done that selectively. Whether that’s taking a life in war, in self-defense, in capital punishment, in euthanasia, in pulling the plug on someone in a vegetative state, leaving people in a situation where a domestic abuser is likely to end up killing them, or leaving a child in a situation where abuse or neglect could kill them, the altruistic standard is in some ways just an illusion.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve found that a “mixture” of both tends to work with “extreme pragmatism” like a measure of last resort – stuff you’d do if you had no other choice or it’s really life or death. However, being “totally altruistic” tends to bitch-slap one really hard because the world, on the whole, isn’t all that altruistic itself so one must find some kind of balance in this – IMHO. Like, religion teaches us to be altruistic – love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek, do unto others, etc., but real life shit is much more pragmatic; you turn the other cheek, you’re gonna get your jaw broken.

    So you always try to put your best foot forward… but be ready to bury that foot in someone’s ass if you have to… because someone can always find reason to do it to you.

    Liked by 4 people

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