quotations about altruism
The person who works for recognition devalues the work he does.... altruism's true name is always Anonymous.
DAVID MARUSEK, Mind Over Ship
That man is good who does good to others; if he suffers on account of the good he does, he is very good; if he suffers at the hands of those to whom he has done good, then his goodness is so great that it could be enhanced only by greater sufferings; and if he should die at their hands, his virtue can go no further: it is heroic, it is perfect.
JEAN DE LA BRUYERE, "Of Personal Merit", Characters
There's no such thing as altruism. No such thing as a truly selfless act. We always get paid, one way or another.
HAHA LUNG, Mind Control: The Ancient Art of Psychological Warfare
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., MLK, Jr. Quotes: The Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.
There is no limit to the good a man can do, if he doesn't care who gets the credit.
The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: "No." Altruism says: "Yes."
AYN RAND, Philosophy: Who Needs It
What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone.
WINSTON CHURCHILL, Liberalism and the Social Problem
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
ALBERT EINSTEIN, Youth, Jun. 1932
I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.
MOTHER TERESA, attributed, U. S. House of Representatives, Congressional Record, Nov. 15, 2005
He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.
CONFUCIUS, attributed, Treasury of Thought
Animals have genes for altruism, and those genes have been selected in the evolution of many creatures because of the advantage they confer for the continuing survival of the species.
LEWIS THOMAS, Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony
What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
ALBERT PIKE, Ex Corde Locutiones
The world exists only on account of him who disregards his own existence.
"A cigar," said the altruist, "a cigar, my good man, I cannot give you. But any time you need a light, just come around; mine is always lit."
KARL KRAUS, Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths
No people do so much harm as those who go about doing good.
MANDELL CREIGHTON, Life, vol. 2
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
Altruism is an instinct for survival that may be in our genes--an internal force for goodness in everyone that begins with birth.
JAMES R. OZINGA, Altruism
The most altruistic and sustainable philosophies fail before the brute brain stem imperative of self-interest.
PETER WATTS, Blindsight
Individual versus group selection results in a mix of altruism and selfishness, of virtue and sin, among the members of a society. If one colony member devotes its life to service over marriage, the individual is of benefit to the society, even though it does not have personal offspring. A soldier going into battle will benefit his country, but he runs a higher risk of death than one who does not. An altruist benefits the group, but a layabout or coward who saves his own energy and reduces his bodily risk passes the resulting social cost to others.
EDWARD O. WILSON, The Social Conquest of Earth
Altruism in nature remains an exception. It poses a puzzle, being in prima facie conflict with the survival of the fittest and most selfish.
PETER BIRKS, Privacy and Loyalty