The Sinlessness of Selfless Sin; Nature of Selfishness


The question was asked of me

Would you save your own child, or the lives of 400 people, if you had to pick between the two?

I think most would like to say that they would save the 400, even if they would feel the confusion of the ethical dilemma in practice, and might even pick contrarily. In reality I do believe that altruism tends to favor kin.

Would you shoot yourself in the head to save anothers life? Suicide is immoral, I think. But if you don’t want to die, do it still carry the same immoral implication? I personally don’t think so. And that suicide, facing God with that stigma, is in reality is loving, selfless act worthy of salvation. It’s what I would like to call “the sinlessness of self-less sin.”

I am forced to ask, which is actually selfless and which selfish? Saving your kid or saving the 400?

On the one hand, saving 400 brings with it a reduced sense of guilt for having saved a higher quantity of lives, a minimized degree of damage, the praise of a hero, the praise of a martyr, the societal mourning for your own loss, and 400 people owe you their lives. You get a lot out of it, it seems.

Whereas knowingly taking on the burden and the guilt of responsibility for 400 lives to save one seems far more selfless to me. To accept the shame and guilt of letting so many people die due to your action or inaction, just so that your own shall live. Is it selfish for saving your kin? Or is it selfless for saving another at such a huge socio-cultural-political detriment to yourself?

I wonder, is it still selfless to act in favor of many strangers at the cost of a few kin because of your own arrogant and self-righteous sense of ethics? Holding yourself to adhere to a social expectation? Or is it selfless to act in favor of a few kin at the cost of a many strangers by placing your own ethics on the back burner and sacrificing your own soul in the process?

Even if you are not of a religion, soul-sacrifice comes in the form of forever feeling guilt and shame – a far greater burden than risking your own life. Any suicide, they say, is a selfish act because its relatively easy to end your own pain, the suffering comes to those who live and outlive.

Isn’t sacrificing your own soul for what is right the greatest gift and the greatest loving act anyone can perform? The ultimate personal sacrifice. Would God judge you any differently?

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