Can we give without the expectation of compensation for this action? After my very first donation at the nearby charity shop, I caught myself thinking „I have contributed to the community so I am to be praised for covering these opportunity costs”. Am I a hypocrite fallen angel? After investigating the issue, I am relieved that even philosophers have contemplated about the existance of pure unselfishness.
Being socialized in a secular society I looked for factual evidence to justify my shameful narcissism. According to the scientific approach the way our own brain is wired is responsible for our unique personalities and preferences. Our decision-maker centers consist of neurons incorporating the wisdom of the whole evolutionary process. Individuals willing to come together and meet the needy’s necessity definitely have contributed to the survival of the species. Here roots the reasons charitable giving activates the pleasure center of our brains.
Scientifist have carried out numerous experiments to find out exactly which step of the donation process ignite our neurons. Is it always the act of providing public good? Or are we convinced that the world is just and our good deeds will be rewarded? As a matter of fact for some people, the improvement of their social status is the key motivating factor. Their self-esteem is boosted by publicly defraying the opportunity costs of charity giving. I am wondering which is the stonger trigger, the altruistic willingness to sacrify or the fact that donation is affordable.
At the end of the day I stopped self-loathing. No matter which pleasure center is activated or why taking pride in charity giving is feasable. The resolution is a win-win situation.
Do you have other convictions about donation? Please leave a comment.
Are you interested in experiments related to charity giving? Please refer to these links: