True, Natural altruism is something we need to learn
Opinion from the Internet about Freud, ego, altruism:
“Personally I think Freud is wrong about the inherent ego. Evidence of human development would seem to suggest that contrary to his claims humans are intrinsically altruistic. It is our willingness to share without immediate reward that leads to success for without that we would not share information.”
When we look at what happens in the world on the level of actions you are right. There are many people sharing their wealth with others, figuratively or even literally sacrificing their life for others, serving other people all through their lives, etc.
But there is a deeper layer most people are completely unaware of, which is the level of intention: why, for whose sake we do whatever we do?!
And it is on this intention level where we are born inherently, irrevocably egotistic, self-serving and self-justifying. And in truth the intention defines the actions, so as a result even when the action is seemingly positive, giving, caring, if the intention is selfish the end result will be negative.
And we have the whole Human history with its helplessly recurring vicious cycles, and our own generation stumbling from crisis to crisis as proof.
We are neither evil, nor sinful.
Nature’s evolution created us with the inherently egotistic, selfish intention, to make calculations only for our own sake. As a result we will have the conscious, proactive chance to complement our original intentions with new, “Nature-like” intentions, goals, purpose.
When we say people are egotistic we don’t need to imagine all of us like ruthless politicians, greedy business people causing open, intentional harm to others.
Being egotistic, selfish means that by default we simply can’t act, move a finger unless we can identify at least a certain level of reward, positive feedback, fulfillment for ourselves.
We can’t even “love” unless that love yields a good feeling, pleasure for us as well, if the reward is missing we can’t “love”.
This I how we are born but it is very difficult to detect the underlying, subtle intentions behind every action so most people are honestly convinced they can act altruistically.
But true altruism is something much deeper, serious. A truly altruistic act means that the “self” disappears and one acts unconditionally, without any reward, even without any feedback, even if the person we bestow, give to doesn’t even know we are giving.
This kind of true altruism doesn’t exist in us, if we want to have it - and we will have to have it as otherwise we won’t survive in Nature’s truly altruistic system - we will need to go through a very serious, gradual preparation for it.
So Freud is helpful as he let’s us know what intentions truly act inside us, so we would know how to change, upgrade ourselves.