Just gonna throw some random thoughts since there is little else happening today.
If the message of this thread is that all good acts are ultimately driven by self interest then I obviously agree.
Any good action is likely to fall in one of two categories, either a good deed with the purpose of gaining something, support, control, favor etc.
Or a good deed that is purely the product of that sneaky urge to feel good about yourself.
Its also true ofcourse that while do gooding to people you don’t know in order for you to feel good is probably a very useful misfiring. Given not all aid and help is needed, wanted or well applied. But sometimes it is, regardless of the reasons, and people who don’t want or need help are free to decline it.
I might help my dumbass neighbour carry in a tv just cause I feel good about helping, or because I like the psychological victory over having him need my help.
He will ofcourse still get his tv inside so if he is fine with it all is good.
Its our gift by evolution perhaps to be the most egocentrical altruists on this planet.
The question is if there exists any selfless deeds at all, I would be tempted to say yes on certain acts that fall on people within ones close social group. Such as a parent sacrificing itself for its child. On the other hand one might argue that its just biology at work but at some point the lines between instinct and free will gets very blurry.
But beyond the close social order, I really don’t think there are any purely selfless deeds. We’re just not wired for that.
Even people who give their lives for complete strangers may very well still be doing it under a twisted sense of self worship, perhaps combined with biological predestination.
It surely is a well demonstrated trait throughout history that especially men will gladly unmake themselves for the glory of their own self image. Hence we got concepts like honor. The question of just whats the basis for such things is to me quite interesting.
In the end, we all probably got bad reasons for being good. Although that is probably a beneficial twist of our social behaviour.