Altruism And Egoism : A Moral Code Of Conduct

1417 Words Oct 12th, 2015 6 Pages
In psychology, altruism and egoism are two contrasting views on morality, one holding that one should value principles/actions that benefit others over oneself, the other holding that not only are we innately selfish species, but that selfishness is how one ought to act. While both theories of morality are prevalent throughout history and cultures around the world, I will be examining the two sides of egoism: physiological and ethical, and how these can be connected to altruism. These theories are essential because they provide a foundation, development and a further understanding of one’s needs.
Psychological egoism is defined as the belief that the actions we perform actions for our self-benefit. In my opinion, egoism should not be looked at as a moral code of conduct that carries a negative connotation. Everyday we perform selfish actions for our self-benefit, we work for a wage, which in turn provides for ourselves and our families, if we choose to have one. It is impossible to go throughout our lives and not perform a single selfish action. In fact, it is because of our selfishness that we have survived as a species. According to the biologist Richard Dawkins, “The ruthless and selfishness of the genes make them able to procreate copies of themselves; this is the basis of the evolution”( http://old.unipr.it). Psychological egoism can lead to acts that not only benefit the individual but also the group.
For example, if someone volunteers their time at a homeless…
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