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Do my actions reveal me to be selfish?

June 25th, 2012
giving

As much as I understand I should value the joy and suffering of all people equally, I can't fully act on it. The happiness of my family and friends, of people around me, feels unavoidably important on a really deep level. I set aside money for Julia, money that can't be given away, so that she can have some spending money she doesn't feel guilty about. I buy presents for my sisters. I pay to go to contra dances. This is only revealed preference, however, in as much as it reveals me to be a human, with all the biologically based irrationalities that brings. I would be a better person if I could bring myself to give all that money on people who need it more, but I don't let angst over my failings keep me from giving what I can.

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