The Convention of Altruism

N. Lygeros

Translated from the Greek by Athena Kehagias




Altruism, this ethical principle which states the selfless concern for others, this deliberate denial of self-interest for the selective benefit , is a incomprehensible notion for many. Especially in a system of mass democracy where everyone is unknown to others, how could altruism devise ?
While the word philoxenia is quite common, it is indicative, that the word altruism is not of Greek origin and that the only word associated with this notion and is very positive in other languages, and that is of Greek origin, empathy, has a negative notion in Greek. And if we believe in the radical ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein and we remember . ."The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. My knowledge is limited to what i can put forth verbaly ' we then understand how important is the process of the devising of the word altruism.
Verbal difficulty causes a cognitive difficulty to an audience that doesn't know the mental schemes of this ethical principle. For this reason, the physiological response to altruism is not at first positive, but interrogative. The positive action is not sufficient. There is always the question: Why do you do this? As if what is incomprehensible is necessarily dangerous. The only answer to the reason for the existence of altruism is: the need.
The altruism institution was born from the need of refugees and of the appeals. For a potential European country, the only justice is European. And the only legal solution to the Cypriot problem can only be European. Alone, nobody can do something for himself, but he can do nothing for the others. If everyone helped each other, then indirectly he would strengthen his own case and selectively a whole group of people create an utopic project for each one alone.
In the same sence, an isolated lawyer may not be able to perform a national project, whereas a group of lawyers may well be able to perform it. Therefore the convention of the institution is compulsory, if we really want to contibute to our country. And generally the response of the lawyers was very positive, because through the institution they can actually contibute something valuable to society. Now the minimum, almost symbolic cost of each appeal and the drop of the percentage, allows everyone to be activated without obstacles. If we ourselves do not help our society, in what right would we expect and demand the progression of matters?
The Cypriot problem will not solve itself! Now everyone has a role to play in this batlle. Each person with his appeal says: I belong to this nation. Of course many will say that the refugees will do it now for personal interests, but altruism is a matter of innocence, not of holiness. When you are jailed and someone breaks your chains, you must escape. Each runaway is a defeat for the prison. If you can help others, even better. Its of importance for this to be done by everyone who can.
As intelligence is the fight against fate, altruism is its necessary impact. In a crisis situation, the intelligence becomes a strategy, altruism an institution, and the convention of altruism, a force of justice.







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