Why do we care about others?

When you picture what you would do with immense wealth, after all your carnal desires have been met, the answer is often something in service to others. Think public infrastructure, systems for culture, and giving people opportunities. But why do you want any of those things?

In fact, why do you even have ideals in the first place? Where did the value system of caring for others come from? You know that it feels good to help others, but it seems to be more than that.

Maybe it hurts yourself to be a bad person. When you imagine an alternative life where you live only for yourself, it seems disappointing. Sure, material benefits may accrue, but that hardly seems to be worth it.

So maybe it is in our biology to care for others - to have a conscience.

So going through a selfish perspective may also be the wrong way to justify our morals. After all, we are social creatures. We are not just individuals, but also individuals which belong to a community, a nation, and a species.

This may be why moral values matter so much. They are the ultimate motivation for what we do. They direct our goals and our lens of the world. If you work something you don’t believe in, then why work at all? So we better make sure that we do believe in our morals.

Justifying why we care in the first place may not be clearly answered. But at least it’s clear that we should understand whether something truly matters to us in the first place. It’s easy to delude ourselves or never inspect our beliefs. But shallow thoughts lead to waking up at thirty-five and realising you spent your life away.

Subscribe to Attempted Thoughts

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.