Ethical Egoism

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Love Your Neighbor As Yourself: Response to Ethical Egoism
22 March 2013

We are often taught at an early age that when struggling to make a decision to “let our consciences be our guides”. Conscience can be defined as our adherence to moral principles, or our considerations of fairness and justice. The word “consideration” is used because every individual has their own standards for what they feel to be morally right versus what they feel to be morally wrong, however this concept is not as black and white as it may seem. We accredit our moral considerations to many external and internal factors. An example of an external factor is government laws because they are predetermined rules about behavior and action that have …show more content…

Self-esteem is achieved when we accept the fact that we were not put on this Earth to serve the demands of others and by doing so we surrender our lives to be used as property for the sake of another’s gain. Once these values can be grasped and understood and we learn to fight for our personal happiness above all else will we “will learn to live like men” because we will accredit pride as the reason and sum of our virtues. Louis Pojman is a philosopher and critique of Rand’s theories on ethical egoism and her disregard for the similarities between selfishness and self-interest. “Ethical egoism is utilitarianism reduced to the pinpoint of an individual ego. Instead of advocating the greatest happiness for the greatest number, as utilitarianism does, it advocates the greatest happiness for my-self.” (Pojman, 542) Pojman criticizes Rand for her assumption that the only options to achieve morality are to either to be an absolute egoist or an absolute altruist, when there are a number of alternatives offered between the two. A person who is simply altruistic will not be able to achieve happiness solely through his attention to the needs of others; the same way a simply egotistic person will not be able to achieve happiness solely through his attention to himself. While Pojman acknowledges that self-love and self-interest as positive attributes, he believed that they can morally detrimental if they are executed at the expense of others. He

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