Me, me, me

Topics: Ethical egoism, Egoism, Altruism Pages: 2 (708 words) Published: October 15, 2014
Identify which one is the most likely egoist option and explain why you think this is the case

Option C is the most likely egoist option. This is evidenced by the words "this just means less people competing with me for scarce opportunities and resources" (Eccles, N. 2013), which indicates that the person in the scenario is concerned with his/her own wellbeing first and foremost, and that is what egoism is all about - "a tradition which is based on 'self-interest' rather than some idea of the greater good" (Eccles, N. 2013).

Tell us what you think of this option.

This option is clearly an example of egoism, since self-interest is central to what the person is saying. The principle of self-interest, or selfishness, is also in clear contrast with the meaning of altruism: " the principle or practice of unselfish concern for the welfare of others" (Collins Dictionary. [sa]). An altruistic person will therefore take care of others before themselves.

Considering the world we live in, one can not realistically believe that ethical egoism, in other words the idea that "being selfish is not just sensible, but morally good" (Eccles, N. 2013), is the right thing. Imagine how much worse the reality of 20,000 children dying would be if everyone in the world only takes care of themselves. No charity organisations would exist, and no-one would lend a helping hand to those in need. The 20,000 would grow exponentially, leaving the world a much worse place (although utilitarians may disagree and say that it is a good thing!), devoid of hope and optimism. I can therefore say that I disagree with the argument of Ayn Rand when she says that there is virtue in being selfish. Her argument about altruism being evil (Eccles, N. 2013) is quite irrational, since doing something good to help others, and by doing so making the world a better place, is by no means evil.

I think that we are all driven by a certain degree of egoism, although not entirely. In order to be able to...
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