Christian Ethics

Good Essays
1. What is the difference between self-interest and selfishness? Why is this distinction important when considering the competitive market economy as appropriate for a society?
a. Self-interest is when someone is trying to protect their interest, but they also take into account how it may affect others. Whereas selfishness is where one makes decisions based on one’s self with no regards to others. It’s important to decipher these two meanings when considering the competitive market and what may be appropriate for a society because if one is acting out based on self-interest, yes, they may be looking out for themselves, but they are also looking out for their customers. These are the type of people you can trust and want to invest your time and money into. People acting out of selfishness, figure out a way to get what they want and bail once they can’t make a profit anymore, leaving their customer in the dust. Also meaning, they’re going to be unreliable if and when times get tough and have no morals or obligations to the people who invest into them.
2. Does your textbook present only positive economics and avoid any normative economics? If not, give some examples of normative issues covered in your textbook.
a. After reading Stapleford’s Bulls, Bears and Golden Calves, it is safe to say that any textbook for that matter doesn’t posess “only” positive economics and does in deed hold normative economics. As economist Roger Miller commented: “…the very choice of which topics to include in an introductory textbook involves normative economics. There is not a value-free, or objective, way to decide which topics to use in a textbook” (Stapleford, pg 43.) I decided to examine this a little further and came to find that in our Economics: Private and Public Choice by Gwartney and authors, it states in the Preface “This text addresses all of them and provides both economic analysis and empirical evidence that will enhance understanding of these critical issues…This



References: Gwartney, Stroup, Sobel, Macpherson. (2013). Economics: Private and Public Choice 14e. Mason, OH: South-Western. Stapleford, J. (2009). Bulls, Bears and Golden Calves. Madison, WI: IntraVarsity Press.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    1. What is the difference between self-interest and selfishness? Why is this distinction important when considering the competitive market economy as appropriate for a society?…

    • 526 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Christian Ethics Project

    • 478 Words
    • 2 Pages

    1. What is the difference between self-interest and selfishness? Why is this distinction important when considering the competitive market economy as appropriate for a society?…

    • 478 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    1. The difference between self-interest and selfishness could perhaps be best described as the difference between a desire to be monetarily successful and voracious greed for every last penny. Self-interest is when someone wants more for themselves, regardless of what it is they desire. A person could want more money, a bigger television, faster computers, or just better health with six pack abs. Selfishness is much more like when someone is willing to do anything, including hurt others, to get what they want. The difference is subtle, but it is there. Now, in terms of a competitive market economy, selfishness will lead to eventual collapse, while self-interest could potentially increase the general good, even if inadvertently. Selfishness is corrupting and businesses that are so will seek to draw as much profit out of their employees and customers as is possible, heedless of economic survival.…

    • 1078 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the text Twenty Questions by G Lee Bowie, I chose the chapter “Why Shouldn’t I Be Selfish”? In that chapter the two selections that were chosen were The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins and The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand. The two discuss and give examples of how selfishness is simply for survival and how being selfish can benefit that individual. The term selfishness stated by Ayn Rand is defined as “concern with one’s own interest” (525). In both selections of the chapter both philosophers compared how ones selfish action is based on the question, who benefits from it? Based off of both selections “The Selfish Gene” and “The Virtue of Selfishness” it can be agreed that when one is selfish he thinks of only the benefits he gain from it and not his rival.…

    • 550 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Malcolm X

    • 754 Words
    • 4 Pages

    When I think of self-interest, the first thing that comes to mind is one's happiness in doing whatever they desire. Ever since I've started taking an economics class this semester, this word has been a topic for discussion. After every class discussion, my interest in knowing more about the word grew. Self-Interest is a complex word and its meanings are broad. From an economist point of view, the word means " one's desire could prosper all." I never thought anybody's self-interest could benefit others.…

    • 754 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Acc 557

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages

    McConnell, C., & Brue, S. (2005). Economics: principles, problems and policies (16th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.…

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    McConnell, C., Brue, S., & & Flynn, S. (2009). Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies. (18th, Ed.) Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Irwin.…

    • 1251 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The success of a society is reliant on individual sacrifice. Ambitions driven by selfishness are detrimental to a community. Numerous instances of human history and literature have demonstrated the importance of limiting self-interest.…

    • 314 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    James Rachels

    • 745 Words
    • 2 Pages

    James Rachels argues against theories of selfishness that the psychological egoists maintain. He challenges the view that everyone always does what he or she wants by showing that we often dounpleasant tasks for the future pleasures or from obligation. Altruism is recognized as not acting in self interest. He also clears up the confusions that selfishness and self interest share the same meaning. *Psychological egoists argue that we always do what we want to do. Rachel says that is questionable and there are two classes of actions that are exceptions to the generalization. One is a set of actions we do not want to do but we do as a means toan end we want to achieve. For example, going to the dentist to fix a toothache or going to work everyday to get paid at the end of the month. The other set of actions are those which we do, not because we want to or because there is an end to achieve but because we feel obligation to do them. Rachel states for example, someone may do something because he or she has promised to do it and thus feels obligated, even though he or she does not want to do it. The second statement psychological egoists argue is that, to do what one wants to do is acting selfishly, therefore we always act selfishly. Rachels states this example, Smith wants to do something that will help his friend even if it means putting on hold his own enjoyments, and Rachel says that is what makes Smith unselfish. Rachel says the mere fact that I am acting on my wants does not mean I am acting selfishly; that depends on what it is that I want. If I want only my own good, and care nothing for others, then I am selfish; but if I also want to help other people, and if I act on that desire, then m y actions are not selfish.*The psychological egoism stance can ask then why Smith gets satisfaction from helping hisfriend and the answer is because he is selfish. But actually if we have a positive attitude towards reaching a goal, we get satisfaction from reaching the goal.…

    • 745 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    selfish compared to, say, helping others or extending your energy to others rather than yourself.…

    • 1691 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Accordingly, it’s the primary goal of this brief article to differentiate the concepts of self-interest and selfishness: to praise the concept of self-interest as the catalyst of moral action, therefore worthy of admiration; and thus to admonish selfishness as the instigator which often leads to immorality and inconsiderate hedonism. Consequently, containing these two sentiments from one another in order to redeem the term self-interest and to specify its appropriateness becomes an intellectual…

    • 1077 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    People generally, act in their own financial self-interest. The Principle of Self-Interested Behavior states that when all things are equal, parties involved will gravitate to the action that is most financially advantageous. A key concept with this principle is the idea of opportunity costs, or the difference between the value of one action and the value of best alternative (Emery, Finnerty, & Stowe, 2007).…

    • 763 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Selfish Vs. Selfless

    • 914 Words
    • 4 Pages

    I think people are more selfish than selfless because of the way our society has changed effectively, in terms of behavior. They’re definitely selfless as well, but not as often because of the fact that they sometimes get influenced to do bad by others around them. If it wasn’t for bad influences, I’m sure most people would be very selfless, with good matters, behavior, and actions.…

    • 914 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    O 'Sullivan, A. and Sheffrin, S. M. (2003). Economics: Principles in action. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.…

    • 1489 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Ethical Egoism

    • 1371 Words
    • 6 Pages

    When people do things it is usually for their self-interest no matter how you want to put it. In some cases it is not good to act in your own self-interest but in the interest of others. Sometimes people get being selfish, confused with self-interest. This is easily done since they are so similar because they both are dealing with self. They are also different because being selfish ties more into personal egoism. I believe that it is good to act in your own self-interest for your benefit as long as it is not for a bad cause. Hypothetically, if I was walking around school giving people the answers to test 's for some extra money this would give me pleasure because I would be getting money out of it, but it is for a bad cause. There are four types of ethical principles that I will be using, which are Rational, individual, personal, and universal ethical egoism (Hinman, page 119). There where two pieces of literature, Flannery O 'Connor 's short story, "The Displaced Person" which has lots of characters that illustrate the different types of ethical egoism, Alexander Solzhenitsyn 's novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, which is basically about one character who illustrates ethical egoism, and the movie Gandhi…

    • 1371 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays

Related Topics