Are Humans Selfish By Nature?

The question of whether or not human beings are inherently selfish is a complex and nuanced one that has been debated by philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists for centuries. Some argue that selfishness is a fundamental aspect of human nature, while others argue that it is a product of cultural and societal conditioning. Are people naturally able to offer love and forgiveness to others?

Inherent Selfishness of Human Beings

One argument for the inherent selfishness of human beings is that it is rooted in our biology and evolution. From a survival perspective, it makes sense for individuals to prioritize their own needs and wants in order to ensure their survival and the survival of their offspring. Additionally, many argue that the concept of self-interest is necessary for the functioning of society and the economy.

Or Unselfish By Nature?

On the other hand, there are those who argue that selfishness is not an innate aspect of human nature. They point to the existence of altruistic behaviors and the capacity for empathy and compassion as evidence that selfishness is not an inherent aspect of human behavior. Additionally, some argue that selfishness is a product of societal and cultural conditioning, and that different cultures and societies may have different norms and values surrounding self-interest.

Some of the key arguments for both sides include:

Arguments for the inherent selfishness of human nature:

  • Survival and reproduction instincts drive individuals to prioritize their own needs and wants.
  • Self-interest is necessary for the functioning of society and the economy.

Arguments against the inherent selfishness of human nature:

  • The existence of altruistic behaviors and capacity for empathy and compassion
  • Societal and cultural conditioning play a role in shaping individual behavior and attitudes towards self-interest

Ultimately, the question of whether or not human beings are inherently selfish is a complex one with no clear answer. It is likely that both biology and environment play a role in shaping individual behavior and attitudes towards self-interest.

How to Become Unselfish

Becoming unselfish can be a challenging process, but it is possible with effort and dedication. Here are a few strategies that can help:

  1. Practice empathy: One of the most important ways to become less selfish is to develop the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Try to understand their feelings and perspectives, and think about how your actions might affect them.
  2. Volunteer: Giving back to your community through volunteer work can be a great way to develop a sense of compassion and empathy for others. It can also help you to focus less on your own needs and wants.
  3. Practice gratitude: Being grateful for what you have can help you to appreciate the good things in your life and to focus less on what you lack. Try keeping a gratitude journal or expressing appreciation to the people in your life.
  4. Learn to manage your emotions: Selfishness can often stem from negative emotions such as fear, anger, and jealousy. Learning to manage these emotions can help you to think less about yourself and more about others.
  5. Be mindful of your actions: It’s easy to slip into selfish habits without realizing it. Try to be mindful of your actions and consider the impact they might have on others.
  6. Practice forgiveness: Holding grudges and resentments can be a form of selfishness. Practice forgiveness, and focus on letting go of negative feelings towards others.
  7. Develop strong relationships: Strong relationships with others can help to foster feelings of empathy, compassion, and generosity. Work on building and maintaining strong relationships with family, friends, and loved ones.

Ultimately, becoming unselfish is a journey that requires time, effort, and a willingness to change. It is important to be patient with yourself and to remember that change takes time.

Become Like Jesus

Getting to Know Jesus Christ and accepting him as Savior and Lord will change everything about you. Come as you are. When you believe in His name the Holy Spirit will live inside of you. Your life will become full of joy, You will learn to leave selfishness behind and live the wonderful life you were created to live.

We invite you to watch the Great News for You video on this page to find your new life in Jesus Christ.


Watch this video!

If this video connected with you in some way, and you’d like to find out more about having a relationship with God and how His forgiveness and grace applies to you, a great place to start is praying the prayer below. The words themselves aren’t magic, but if you earnestly pray them and mean them, God will hear you! He’ll help you in ways you don’t understand, and we’ll help you find support and next steps.

The Prayer

Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray,

Did you pray this prayer?

So Now What?

If you really meant that prayer, the next step is to get you connected with other Christ-followers near you so you can grow, learn and become stronger in your faith.

Click the CONNECT NOW button below to find a group of believers who can help you establish that relationship with God that you’ve only just begun.

God loves you – specifically you! And because He does, you have a bright future! Trust Him to help you find it.

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Connect with Other Believers

Take the next step and get to know others just like you who are looking for real answers. You will find amazing support and community, and answers to questions you may have not even thought to ask!

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