We are all selfish to varying degrees but if self love or gratification becomes our primary focus it is something that feeds on itself, and our personal lusts whatever they are can never be satisfied.
Of course, yes... I understand that if we take it to the absurd - that if every
decision someone makes must be selfish... then this will lead to trouble. Possibly even self-destruction.
But what if different people have varying levels of selfishness?
What if a certain (small) amount of selfishness is actually good for us?
What if a certain (small) amount of selfishness is actually good for only a few of us - but not for other? - Should those few not be allowed to follow through on that selfishness?
A family grows up taking care of a farm.
Generation after generation cares for this farm, and the food it produces.
One generation decides they hate farming, and they would rather become doctors.
The older generations see this as "selfish" - the farm is a family tradition and needs to continue - to help the town.
The generation that hates farming also sees this as selfish - they want to become doctors and help the town that way, not help the town by providing some of it's food.
Let's assume that this family is one of many farmers - it won't kill the town if this family stops farming.
Let's assume that there are also many doctors - it won't kill the town if this 1 generation doesn't become doctors.
The choice is up to the generation (or maybe the family?)
Should they be 'selfish' and become doctors to make themselves happy?
Or should they be 'unselfish' and do what the family wants them to do to keep the family happy?
It is my contention that this generation should do self-reflection.
This is a decision that will primarily affect their own lives to a very high degree.
I don't even know if the word "selfish" applies - but, at least, it is how many people use the word today.
My larger contention is that "personal religious beliefs" are along this line - they should be made "selfishly" because they primarily affect the individual making the decision. Others may call it "selfish" in a negative way all they like, even though they themselves are likely a part of the religion they prefer (wouldn't that be "selfish" in the same way?)
I think the world would be a better place if we could all agree to be adult and mature about such personal decisions and not only allow each individual to make their own decision - but promote
that each individual should make their own decision - and that such a decision should be made in alignment with that individual's personal identity (found through self-reflection by the individual.)