Craigslist is a very useful tool. You can find an ad for just about anything on craigslist from roommates and apartments to used sports equipment and cars. The most useful item found on craigslist was actually a kidney. It is possible to live with just one kidney. Humans are born with 2 so one can be donated with no significant changes in life style or standard of living. Selina Hodge a 28 year old resident of Miami desperately posted an ad on craigslist for a kidney. She needed a kidney donated to live. Stephanie Grant a 23 year old resident of Miami responded and actually gave her spare kidney to Selina Hodge ultimately saving her life. The women went through transplant surgery on Tuesday, and are currently recovering in the hospital.
It warms my heart to know that every day heroes like Stephanie Grant are in this world. Donating a kidney to a random stranger is the most selfless act you can do. Stephanie Grant got nothing in return for her kidney. Stephanie donated it completely out of the kindness of her heart. Stephanie acted completely altruistically towards Selina Hodge.
Some philosophers like Hobbes believe in psychological egoism. Psychological egoism is the philosophy that people act selfishly to foster their own self-interest or happiness. An example of this would be donating money to a homeless man on the street. According to Hobbes you do this to feel better about yourself not because you want to help out the less fortunate man. If you believe in the theory of psychological egoism then altruism the unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others does not actually exist.
Tocqueville is a French philosopher who believes in the theory of enlightened self-interest. Enlightened self-interest is the idea that people act to further the interest of others or groups they are a member of to further their own self-interest. This theory says that people will act altruistically because it benefits society or others which ultimately benefits themselves. Using the homeless man example again, you would donate to the homeless man because it furthers the interest of the homeless man. This ultimately benefits your own self-interest by solving the problem of the homeless man.
Does altruism actually exist? Or did Stephanie donate a kidney so that she would feel great about herself?