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When do a persons values come before their own wants?

Question asked by: knowitall

A persons values can come before their own wants at many times. Indeed all you need to do is think of examples of when this happens.

For instance, lets say that you really want to buy some sweets with your last pound. However as you approach the sweet shop you see a homeless person shuffling along and coughing as they have a very dry throat.

If you think they are genuine and you are altruistic by nature, then you may well decide to put your values above your wants and decide to buy them a drink rather than get your sweets, as your value that it is good to help others in greater need than you comes to the fore over your want for sweets.

There are millions of similar examples like this, for instance many people who want to get from a to b quickly forsake buying a car to do so because they have consideration in their values for the good of mankind in general and therefore don't want to pollute the world for future generations through using gas guzzling 4x4s, for example.

That's the simple answer. The philosophical debate kicks in when you decide whether altruism makes sense and is a coherent notion or not.

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Question Keywords

wants  values  persons  

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