Hot Take AI: EXPLAIN CONCEPTS: Have you ever doubted some conventional wisdom?

Victor M

Level 10
Thread author
Oct 3, 2022
Have you ever doubted some conventional wisdom? AI'S like Gemini and ChatGPT can help.

Question for AI: There is a widespread viewpoint that helping others is not a good thing. What is the basis of that opinion



The viewpoint that helping others isn't a good thing is uncommon in most cultures. However, there are some underlying reasons why someone might hold this belief:

Focus on Self-Interest:
Competition and Scarcity Mindset: In highly competitive environments, some people might believe that resources are limited and helping others puts them at a disadvantage. They might prioritize their own success over the well-being of others.

Social Darwinism (Misinterpreted): A misinterpretation of social Darwinism could lead someone to believe that only the "strongest" survive. Helping others might be seen as weakening their own position.

Negative Past Experiences:
Being Taken Advantage Of: Perhaps someone who has consistently been taken advantage of after offering help might develop a cynical view and become hesitant to help again.

Unwanted Help and Backfired Efforts: Past experiences where their help was unwelcome or had unintended negative consequences could make someone wary of offering assistance.

Philosophical Views:
Radical Individualism: Some extreme individualist philosophies might emphasize self-reliance and independence to the point where helping others is seen as unnecessary or even hindering their own growth.


The viewpoint that helping others is not a good thing can be rooted in several arguments and perspectives:

Encouraging Dependency: Some believe that helping others too much can foster dependency, where individuals rely on external assistance instead of developing self-sufficiency. This can lead to a lack of personal growth and resilience.

Enabling Negative Behavior: In certain situations, helping others might enable negative behaviors or bad habits. For example, continuously giving money to someone who mismanages their finances may prevent them from learning financial responsibility.

Resource Depletion: There is an argument that helping others can deplete one’s own resources, whether time, money, or energy. This can lead to burnout or insufficient resources to care for oneself and one’s immediate responsibilities.

Misplaced Efforts: Sometimes, efforts to help can be misguided or misdirected, leading to ineffective or even harmful outcomes. For example, charitable efforts that don’t address underlying issues can create temporary relief but long-term problems.

Unintended Consequences: Aid can sometimes have unintended negative consequences. For example, foreign aid in the form of food donations can undermine local agriculture by driving down prices and making it difficult for local farmers to compete.

Moral Hazard: Helping others can create a moral hazard where people take greater risks or behave irresponsibly because they expect to be bailed out or helped in times of trouble.

Philosophical and Ethical Beliefs: Some philosophies, such as certain interpretations of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, argue that prioritizing others' needs over one's own is detrimental. They believe that individuals should primarily focus on their own rational self-interest and that altruism is counterproductive.

Inefficiency and Corruption: There’s a concern that in some contexts, such as governmental or large-scale charitable organizations, the help provided is inefficiently used or diverted through corruption, leading to minimal actual benefit to those in need.

Diminishing Personal Responsibility: Some argue that a culture of help and aid can diminish the sense of personal responsibility, where individuals or communities expect external help rather than taking responsibility for their own situation.

While these points highlight the basis for the opinion that helping others may not always be beneficial, it's essential to recognize that this view is context-dependent and that many believe in the importance and positive impact of helping others when done thoughtfully and effectively.



It's Important to Note:

Limited Viewpoint: These viewpoints tend to be narrow in scope and overlook the broader benefits of helping others, such as fostering stronger communities and creating a more positive social environment.

Altruism and Cooperation: Humans are naturally social creatures, and cooperation has been a key factor in our evolutionary success. Most societies value helping behaviors.

Here are some counter-arguments to the idea that helping others is bad:


The Helper's High: Helping others often leads to a sense of satisfaction and well-being, boosting mental and emotional health.

Reciprocity: Helping others can create a cycle of reciprocity, where people are more likely to help you in return when needed.

Stronger Communities: Helping behaviors build trust, cooperation, and stronger social bonds within communities, benefiting everyone.

Overall, while some might hold the view that helping others is not beneficial, there's strong evidence that it contributes to both individual and societal well-being

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