An intention to help is fundamentally about me not the other


The way we make out that an intention is an intention and an action is an action, a different thing, is only a literary device. The will involves intention and action. An internal action happens. This is intention. So intention is an action in its own right. Then what you do as a result of the intention is extending it into the world. So intention is an internal mental action. Physical action may be the result of it. Free will means you have freedom of intention that is internal action and freedom of external action. Intention is one action. The power to physically act on this action is a separate matter.

We are acting beings.  Thus merely acting is a reward in a sense.  It is us letting ourselves do what we are.  Trying not to act is acting and is an attempt at self-abuse.  Thus act always involves desire and desire is about getting something back even if it is just being able to be what you are, an acting being.  Even when you do what you don't want to do you are still rewarding yourself by acting.


Some people believe that even when we do good for others our aim is for something for ourselves - they say we are inherently like that. We are psychological egoists.

Some psychologists who oppose psychological egoism, do so because they accept the following reasoning, “I like to do everything I do, at least under the circumstances. This is fact. But it is the intention, to help others for their sake and not mine or the intention to help them for my sake and not theirs makes the difference between altruism and egoism.”

Refuting this argument is the conclusive proof that psychological egoism is true.

Here is the refutation.
People think you have desires and you base intentions on them.

Intention is desire itself. When you spend money to buy a car you intend to buy a car which is the same as to say you desire the car.

But intention is a desire itself. The other desires are suggesting desires and intention is the implementing desire.

A desire always gives something back. Even giving into it is a reward in itself. You are an intention haver thus having any intention rewards you by letting you be what you are.

My intention, no matter what it is for, is not accurately defined as the reason I do what I do. It is what I desire to happen if I give into my desire to do something. It is then about pleasing myself. I intend to please myself no matter if I intend to give my right arm to save lives.

Some who forget that the desire to do something includes the intention, or strictly speaking IS the intention, would contend, “It is the liking to do it that makes it egoistic not the intention. The intention is totally irrelevant in relation to the altruism/egoism question. It is outside the discussion. It is possible to imagine a being that does what it likes without having any intentions. It is possible to imagine a being doing what it intends but not liking it at all.” Even with their bad logic, at least they still affirm that psychological egoism is true. In what way? If intention has nothing to do with altruism then it follows that there is no altruism. Altruism is basically the intention to sacrifice yourself and embrace suffering for others. You can be egoistic without having intentions. So it would follow that we are all either egoistic or egotistic.

When I intend to take coffee I also intend to be free. There are two intentions in every intention. I intend to be free and then I intend what to be free for. The first is the main thing.

I like to feel free above all things. Everything I do is done to gratify that feeling. It’s done for gratification therefore no matter how altruistic I appear to be I am not. I am only gratifying myself. When I do something I dislike because somebody else orders it to be done, I did it to gratify the feeling that I can obey it despite my repulsion.

It will be answered that I did it to obey not to gratify. This objection is based on a mistake. The mistake assumes that to obey is not the same as to gratify myself. It is. I want to obey under the circumstances.

It will be answered that just because the act was free doesn’t mean I did it to gratify the feeling of freedom. But freedom is about doing what you want under the circumstances. It is a want. It is not an emotionless power that is independent of every influence. It is a feeling itself.

We conclude that merely having an intention is a kind of reward in itself. It shows that anybody who denies they think of themselves is lying.  To be a person is to be an agent, a being who is about acting.  To act is to reward yourself by being what you are, an actor.


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