Egoism Ethical Principle

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Ethical egoism Pages: 3 (1094 words) Published: October 6, 2012
Egoism is one of four popular ethical theories. The principle, or basic premise behind the Egoism theory is that self-interest is most important. By definition, egoism is the theory that one’s self is, or should be, the motivation and the goal of one’s own action (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). An argument can be made that no human ever makes a decision without considering themselves, or that there is no true altruistic act anyways. So, it is important to differentiate a normal decision a person makes, and decision a person makes based on the egoism theory. A person may make a decision for themselves, for someone else, for God, or even for the good of the planet. Even if that decision benefits them personally, it would not be considered egoism because they are not considering themselves only. This principle provides that a person with any set of morals will still do what is in their best interest, and only what is in their best interest when making a decision (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Whether or not others benefit from that decision is not important to the person making the decision. This ethical theory is not a consistent way of decision-making for the good of the group, because each person varies in their morals and motivations, which leads to a different decision being made for each separate individual. In many cases, what is best for one person is not going to benefit the group as a whole, but at the same time, if there is a group of people similar enough to each other, what is best for one person may be the best for the group, and therefore, the egoism ethical theory would be effective. There are several reasons for accepting this principle. First and foremost, we know our own wants and needs much better than the wants and needs of others, which allows us to pursue our wants and needs more efficiently than trying to figure out how to help others reach their wants and needs. Another reason for accepting this theory is that other people...
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