Altruism David Brooks Summary

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David Brooks in his New York Times article “The Power of Alturism” states that “the push of selfishness is matched by the pull of empathy and altruism” (Brooks,2016) in the beginning of his article. His thesis makes it very clear that he believes that people become selfish versus selfless when receiving reward for what humans do naturally without reward. Basically people are naturally altruistic without having to be rewarded for acts of selflessness and kindness. Brooks also argues that we should pursue altruism more. He backs this up multiple times in his article by providing examples. On the other hand, this is very much an opinionated article that seems to be very bias. By reading his article it seems to me that he chooses to direct the readers view towards his view by stacking the deck in his favor.
Brooks encourages bringing back natural altruism without the motivation of financial or any other type of gain. He says “We
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Using statements like “back then..” and “since then” (Brooks,2016) Brooks indirectly influences the reader to believe that the institutions of today do not hold the values they once had. He uses examples of churches and military service which “classically” have “honor codes” (Brooks,2016) but, do not have the same standing in the communities of today as they once did. He guides the reader to affirm that the institutions of today “manipulate incentives” (Brooks,2016). “We’ve wound up with a society that is less cooperative, less trusting, less effective and less lovely” (Brooks,2016) is an excellent example of brooks using pathos to appeal to the readers on an emotional level. All these examples have the reader believe that the views and values of these classic institutions have taken the back seat and that we need to return to the way that they used to
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