Or why I am a slightly Left wing Christian?
I am going to begin by using a couple general definitions from the OED .
The definition of selfish is (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure:
The definition of selfless is concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish: an act of selfless devotion
Doing something for others that causes you discomfort (hard labour or sacrifice) with no chance for reward except for the knowledge that it was the right thing to do is difficult. If you are a Christian you understand the concept because the life of Christ (if you believe) is the best example. Basically the teaching is that Christ gave everything including his own life (by his death) to everyone for everyone. That was the true example of selflessness. Whether you believe the story or not is really not relevant That was the underlying teaching. Christ gave all for us we should walk as he walked and give all for others. Not really a hard message to read but a really hard one to act on. Almost everything we do right or do wrong can be connected back to this idea.
Now am I innocent am I not selfish? No of course not. Are there any people free of selfishness no. . A truly selfless person would own nothing except what he needs to survive. He would give everything to others and give all his effort to others. Is this possible yes, but you have to be prepare to live a truly miserable life. My thoughts are that the message of Christ came to us to early in our evolution that we are too close to being animals that act on desire to survive and thus selfishness helps us along. That said it was a message we needed to hear then so we could mature with it as we evolved.
In a perfect society we would all be selfless and it might work. Each person working for the other and if everyone did this then we would have no starvation no wars no crime etc…. but there is a problem with this. We are humans complete with all the desires and wants it comes from evolving from animals that had to compete for food and shelter. We evolved from creatures that had to be selfish to survive. Now here’s where I tie this to the real world so to speak away from the perfect society were we all help out and no one is so selfish as to get rich off of others. Total selflessness is not possible and even a close proximity is not possible unless we first make the attempt to give up selfishness first..Will we ever become a totally selfless society Not likely but the closer we come to it the better we are.
For my right wing friends this is the reason I am left wing. In a truly socialist arrangement if there are 4 children and 100 toys of equal value each child would have 25 toys given them to use. In a capitalist society each child would have to earn the toys and the child or parents that exerted the most effort would get the most toys.Both systems seems fair but the one that is closest to my Christian beliefs is the first one where no child or parent would want more than they needed and once that was fulfilled they would naturally give what they did not need to other children regardless of effort. And If they were all truly selfless they would give the toys willingly.
That said in today’s world a less than perfect world the system we have works the best when the government seeks to allow business to compete for the rewards and monitors it so no one company is allowed to unfairly have all the rewards. Until such times as we become truly selfless people (all of us) we have the best of all possible systems.