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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In conclusion, Joel Feinberg argues against egoists and their Psychological Egoism theory. People can be happy, Feinberg claims, only when they desire something other than their own happiness. And since many people are happy, it follows that many people do desire something other than their own happiness. Therefore, psychological egoism is
Hook. Both John Stuart Mill and Peter Singer approach moral philosophy from a utilitarian perspective. In this paper, I will argue that Singer’s and Mill’s utilitarian philosophies share numerous similarities but also differ. Singer and Mill agree on the importance of selflessness, the idea that we can end human suffering, and the significance of consequences. However, their views conflict concerning the relevance of motivation. I contend that Singer improves upon Mill’s utilitarianism since Singer accurately recognizes the discrepancy between a life of absolute affluence and absolute poverty and also wrestles with the intricate concept of motive.
Ayn Rand had some interesting ideas in “The Ethics of Emergencies”. Her ideas in thus essay center on an individual response in an emergency. It looks at the acts of if one is selfish and decides to let harm become another, if one is selfless but fails to keep another from becoming harmed and if one is selfless and saves another but may do it for other motives. It is Rand’s take on choosing between your well-being and another’s well-being.
Many people in the world have accomplished selfless acts that bettered our world and made a lasting impact on history. For example Mother Teresa spent most of her life giving back and taking care of the ill. Many people aim to make a difference and live as selfless of a life as possible but in reality it is rarely accomplished. The goal of utilitarianism is to benefit those involved and even though the moral of the theory is good there are some implications that cause people to question the morality behind the theory. In both Mills and Pojman’s essays they determine the pros and cons of Utilitarianism .The theory of utilitarianism determines the moral of its action based on whether it maximizes utility. Mill states in his article Utilitarianism
A true ethical egoist would argue against the hypothetical egoist. He would not look to increase the happiness of others, only that of himself. A true ethical egoist must not become a hypothetical egoist, because then he is no longer an egoist. Nor should he become an individual egoist, because it would not be ethical. In addition, the truest ethical egoist must not publicize, or even try to persuade, others of his own policy. When an individual advocates his own doctrine upon others, he is then persuading them to do the same. Hence, each person would begin to pursue his or her own interest and thus it would not be to the persuader’s advantage, for it will harm his own interest. A true ethical egoist would convince people to do otherwise, and in return, this will serve the individual’s greatest interests.
In this reading “A Critique of Utilitarianism,” Bernard Williams discusses Utilitarianism: actions that produce moral good and how personal integrity is more affected than justice. Williams also discusses Consequentialism and uses two examples of negative responsibility to justify his reasoning.
Moreover, Ayn Rand 's contention expresses that a man has just a single life to live, when we put an esteem on an individual then they have moral worth or then the individual has characteristic and incomparable worth. The morals of benevolence views an individual 's life as something you should will to give up for the benefit of
In this essay I will argue that Bernard Williams’ critique of Act utilitarianism (and consequentialism more generally) is justified. I will first explain the concept of “negative responsibility,” and outline Williams’ argument and his example of Jim and the villagers. I will then explore the relationship between projects and integrity, and finally consider a potential objection to his view: whether or not Williams’ emphasis on integrity commits us to egoism. Consequentialist ethics are by definition concerned only with the consequences of actions. Given this definition, it follows that the particular agents involved in the causal chain of actions to consequences are insignificant —all that matters is that an action resulted in a certain state of affairs being brought about.
Ethical Egoism is a normative theory which focuses on individualistic consequences (Burgess-Jackson, 2013). Everyone is said to be motivated by their own self-interest, as it is their moral obligation to do what is best for themselves (Rachels, 2003). How an individual ought to behave is determined by whether the action creates the highest net utility for themselves (Rachels, 2003). In Thomas
Samuel Adams (1722 - 1803), an American patriot and politician, once stated, "Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason". This statement is significant, as it undermines two of the primary ethical doctrines in philosophy - the deontological perspective defended by Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) in Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals (634), and utilitarianism, supported by John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873) in his essay, Utilitarianism (667). Deontology and utilitarianism are contrasting theories. The former focuses on the intrinsic moral worth of our actions, whereas the latter argues that the consequences of our actions determine
In this chapter, Rest et al. (1999—in Svara 2015, 131) presents four psychological components that altars ethical decision making and behavior. These four components are Moral Sensitivity, Moral Judgment, Moral Motivation, and Moral character. Rest et al. (1999) states that moral sensitivity is the awareness of an ethical problem or dilemma as well as acknowledging the consequences that different courses of action can have on persons involved in the situation. Moral judgment includes the standards that guide our behavior and determines whether something is right or wrong based on one's personal views of right and wrong, as opposed to what others consider ethical. The Next component was moral motivation, which represents the inclinations to
During the process of this course I have been exposed to numerous philosophy’s on why and where human morality comes from. I have identified and agreed with many of these and disagree with many others. Looking back on the journey into this knowledge I find that even the philosophies I agree with most I do not agree with in total. Ethics and philosophy (in general really) is fascinating because it is so open, so up for debate and interpretation. That is what I have enjoyed most about this course, the discussion. While there are no doubt wrong answers, two people having differing ideas does not necessarily mean that both are wrong.
The branch that egoism and altruism fall under is called consequentialism. Consequentialism is concerned with consequences, contrary to the other main branch of ethics, non-consequentialism. Consequentialism is then separated into three categories: egoism, altruism, and utilitarianism. Egoism focuses on putting what is in the individual’s best interest over everyone else. There are two types of egoism: ethical egoism, which states how people should behave while following their own interests and psychological egoism, which shows how people actually behave. Altruism focuses on putting what is favorable to others above everything else, even when it puts the individual at a disadvantage. Utilitarianism focuses on what is best for everyone.
The person develops and follows self-chosen ethical principles in determining what is right. Since laws usually conform to those principles, laws should be obeyed; but when there is a difference between law and conscience, conscience dominates. At this stage the ethical principles followed are part of an articulated, integrated, carefully thought-out and consistently followed system of values and
The theory of psychological egoism shows that, at the center of each willful human activity, there is the inspiration of self-interest – that we do things on the grounds that they profit us. It doesn't propose how to live, yet rather how individuals do really go about their lives, regularly. This theory is extremely controversial because of the ease it decreases all activities to egomaniacal thinking. Extracting from that perception, we can extend that all the great done by individuals is an outcome of egotistical intentions. The theory utterly denies both the present altruism, and the self-less noble in individuals. Altruism is the bestowal of a profit by one individual to an additional in a caring manner. Such practices cost the individual