QUESTION TEXT: There is no genuinely altruistic behavior. Everyone…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: There is no genuinely altruistic behavior.
REASONING: Everyone needs some self-esteem. Having self-esteem requires that people feel useful and needed. Behavior that seems altruistic can be interpreted simply as being motivated to reinforce the belief that we are useful and needed.
ANALYSIS: There are two problems. First, just because we can interpret behavior one way, doesn’t mean that explanation is correct.
Second, it is possible to have more than one motive for an action. Some actions could be altruistic, but also boost self-esteem.
- No. The argument is presupposing that no one is altruistic.
- The argument is assuming that there is no altruism.
- The main point of mentioning self esteem is that one part of it (the need to feel useful) could be interpreted as a motive for seemingly altruistic acts. It may be that self-esteem has other characteristics, but that doesn’t matter.
- The argument doesn’t mention being useful or needed. It mentions feeling useful or needed. It’s a huge difference.
- CORRECT. We “can” interpret altruism as being self-interested. It’s not clear that we should, though. It might be an incorrect interpretation.
Free Logical Reasoning lesson
Get a free sample of the Logical Reasoning Mastery Seminar. Learn tips for solving LR questions