Krauser recently published an extremely well written overview of the philosophy of selfishness, which suggests a mirror in PUA philosophy.  If your mind is suited to philosophy, it is a well organized and clear headed read.

I left these comments:

You mentioned that altruism has at it’s root a search for personal happiness.

If you flip that truth around, all the nihilism disappears, because you realize that in order maximize happiness, we MUST do as our biological programming demands of us, and recognize and contribute to and receive positive feedback from those around us.

We are not only individuals, but are individuals that come pre-programmed to act as social insects. An ant is more than an ant when he is in a group. And human individuals are more than human individuals when in groups. Neither ant nor human is fully ant or fully human alone; we are built as social animals.

Our individual happiness is not individual after all.

Krauser replied:

I agree, but it’s a rather odd state of fairs. Doing something altruistic for selfish reasons. The problem with it is it’s not a very strong bulwark against the temptations of nihilism K.

Buddhism holds that karma holds within it no morality at all. Buddhists try to do good deeds for selfish reasons. Do good and good things happen to you, or a more nuanced version, do good and you’ll generally feel better.

Most people feel first, and their inner press secretary later explains why they feel that way. People feel that they don’t want to get cheated, and so explain that cheating is therefore wrong. Or they feel that they would be served by cheating, and therefore explain that the self is the only arbiter of right and wrong, and that what is right for the self is all the right that is required. There actually isn’t any contradiction between these two viewpoints, if you pull back the focus and notice that everyone who is not a full blown sociopath has no option but to swim and soak in the fact that we are socially plugged in and can never unplug. It is therefore simply both true that there is no ultimate right or wrong, no matter how much we FEEL bad when other cheat us, or FEEL good when we cheat others, plus it’s also true that doing good to others overall improves our social standing and feelings of well being, and that causing harm overall brings our feelings and social standing down.

The Buddhist notion of karma can be understood in a highly nuanced way, or for those who require more black and white barriers to action, it can misconstrued as a superstition such that “do good things and good things will happen to you”, and imaginary Karma Gods who control fate are dreamed up.

Some people can handle and understand the nuance, and work perfectly well with nuance, others can’t and so default to Karma Gods. Either way, once we realize the inevitable fact that we feel better when we are helpful, there is no falling back to delusions that being purely selfish is somehow a philosophy of life or a way towards happiness.

When you realize that our evolved psychological nature is built to reward you for sharing rewards with others, you’ll want to consciously craft your life such that you give and receive recognition for giving.  It’s just another hedonistic pursuit that is required to maximize life’s potential.  Avoiding that aspect of life would be a blind spot so large that it would not be possible to steer life towards contentment.

And so it is with all relationships.  Anyone who advocates “pumping and dumping the bitches” is deeply ignorant as to what causes happiness.

You don’t need Karma Gods or morality to acknowledge simple evo-psych facts.  Our emotional rewards were evolved within the context of being social, and therefore it is natural that overall we get rewarded for doing social good.  The idea of morality is completely unnecessary to come to the conclusion that having mutually beneficial relationships (including with women) is more satisfying than trying to get one over on anyone.