Helping Others

Topics: Altruism, Selfishness, Egoism Pages: 4 (988 words) Published: April 29, 2014
Philosophy 202
Ethics Class
July 25, 2013
Helping Others
One day on the way home from work, I was driving on the freeway. I passed a car that had broken down and was sitting on the side of the road. There was a lady and her two littlechildren that were stranded. It was hot outside and I stopped to see if I could help. I gave them a ride to their house, made sure that they would be ok and then I left. I never saw them again. I didn’t know this family; I didn’t stop because I thought that I may win an award or get famous because of it. I stopped because I have been in that position before and know how it feels to be stranded with your children. Why would someone help another person whom they don’t even know? There have been some controversial theories on the helping of others. One theory is from the egoists. A major believer in the egoism theory is the famous author, Ayn Rand. She believes that a person should only help another person if they hold value to them, or if in helping them they will receive something in return, which is all supposed to relate to one’s own happiness. Egoism claims that each person has but one ultimate goal: his or her own welfare. This theory also implies that not everyone can be an egoist. It relies on other people being altruistic. Most altruists believe that each person has an obligation to give pleasure and take away the pains of other people. Altruism involves the unselfish concern for others. It entails doing things only out of a desire to help, not because one feels obligated to do so because of loyalty, duty, or religious reasons. Altruism involves true selflessness. The sacrifice of one’s own welfare for the welfare of another is what this theory is about. Rand believes, as do most egoists, that an altruistic person has low self-esteem and a lack of respect for other people. I can’t see how this could be true. I think that one would need to have some self-esteem in order to risk their lives for others. And in...
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