Egoistic Hedonism - Essay

Topics: Psychological egoism, Ethics, Individualism Pages: 2 (734 words) Published: January 4, 2013
Is it unreasonable to ask people to sacrifice their own pleasures for those in poverty in other areas of the world?

“The achievement of his own happiness is man’s highest moral purpose” – Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand once quoted that “The achievement of his own happiness is man’s highest moral purpose” as an egoistic hedonist we cant help but agree with this quote as we know that one should try to maximize their net pleasure i.e. pleasure minus pain. I believe that the happiness of one’s self should always be above the happiness of others, if it is in our human nature to do so then do so we shall.

Egoistic Hedonism can be judged as an ethical way of life, we know that greater happiness comes to those who pursue it therefore we should all aspire to have the same goal, in doing so the more people who do this the better. This ideal is teleological. A teleological argument is that which states that any decision should be based on results or consequences therefore actions have instrumental value because of what is produced. Since it is a teleological argument we can say that there is a significant exclusion of ‘moral’ actions, these are acceptable as the output of these actions are justified i.e. one’s happiness. For example The Myth of Gyges. Written by Plato in book 2 of Republic this story attempts to justify why a man should live a moral life by being an egoistic hedonist. In this story we learn that Gyges a shepherd has discovered a powerful ring that allows one to turn invisible. Gyges decides to use his power and become the chosen messenger who was to be sent to the court to deliver a message to the king. Once he arrived he used his power to seduce the queen, in doing so he overthrew the king and claimed the kingdom for himself. An egoistic hedonist can’t help but think that the actions of Gyges were perfectly moral. Though his initial action of killing the king was not considered moral the end product was, whereby he owned the kingdom and satisfied his need...
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