Egoism Vs Utilitarianism

Egoism vs altruism essay.

The ethical debate between Egoism and Altruism was extremely interesting to read about. I truly had an “aha” moment because this debate is a topic that is rarely tackled or approached from the perspective that being selfish is not a bad thing. At first, I thought this argument against altruism was insane, however, once I tried to think of examples that prove its insanity I thought of nothing. This is when I came to the conclusion that yes, whether its selfishness or selflessness, both have different meanings to different people. Laurena Becker, in her article “Encyclopedia of Ethics,” mentioned that one of the definitions for selflessness is “a regard for the well-being of others for its own sake” (35). I believe this is the definition that most people refer to. For example, when we think about a sister staying up all night to take care of her younger sibling whose sick, we tend to say “aww, she’s so sweet and selfless”. However, can we even say that a sibling is selfless for taking care of her own sibling? A part of me views that as being her job as an older sister while another part of me also views this as being a kind gesture; and in actuality it may be a little bit of both. This aspect interferes with Rand’s statement, in the book “Objectively

Ethical Egoism Vs Utilitarianism

Both egoism and utilitarianism are theories of normative ethics, which provides a system of rules for determining what one should and should not do from a moral perspective. Using these two theories, we can compare and contrast how each would respond to the moral issue in which academically failing school districts across Ohio removed students from the attendance roles in an effort to improve test scores. in order to ensure continued funding and accreditation in their districts.

Consequentialism Essay

Consequentialism and non-consequentialism are both action based ethical frameworks that people can use to make ethical judgments. Consequentialism is based on examining the consequences of one’s actions as opposed to non-consequentialism which is focused on whether the act is right or wrong regardless of the outcome (Burgh, Field & Freakley, 2006). The three sub-categories of consequentialism are altruism, utilitarianism and egoism.

The Theory Of Psychological And Ethical Egoism

When looking at the ideas of egoisms, two major views come out in the form of psychological and ethical egoism. While both of the views hinge on the idea that everybody acts in their own self-interest, the major separator is that ethical egoist views their pursuit of their personal gain morally right (106), even if they have to kill or steal for it, compared to the psychosocial egoist who just state that the only thing that motivates humans is their self-interest while the moral standings stay the same (91) 1. And while some ethical egoists and also psychosocial egoists it is not prerequisite. The major issue is the definition of psycho egoism, that the only motivation of humans is their self-interest denying altruism, this ideal is false.

Egoism vs Altruism

The current political atmosphere has brought about a renewal in the interest of the works of Ayn Rand. The Russian-American novelist has once again been thrust into the limelight for a new generation of readers and political thinkers. Her ideas have been lauded in the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, and like many things these days, has had her ideas bent to meet certain political agendas. Much like Lenin used the ideas of Marx and Engels, the political right has used Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead to push for their version of what America should be.

Peter Singer: Famine, Affluence, and Morality Essay

As opposed to the deontological account, the consequentialist believes in the prior conception of the good. If something is good then it is right to promote something good according to consequentialism (Lillehammer, 2011, p. 90). Moreover, the actions with the best end results or consequences are what are to be evaluated as good. It must be clear that good intentions are not, at all, of value to consequentialists. Further, it is important to note that in decision-making, a consequentialist must hold to the demands of impartiality. Consequentialism upholds the idea that no one person is worth more than another (Lillehammer, 2011, p. 90).

Egoism, Psychological And Ethical, And Altruism

From the moment you are born, you are being influenced. Influenced on what to wear, how to do your hair, how to speak, whom to associate with, etc. All of these criteria make up who you are. These influences determine how you think and what you believe. With all these influences in our daily lives we inevitably do actions throughout the day, and our actions have consequences. Some consequences are good and some are bad, but based on our actions are there ulterior motives involved? Do we do things to solely benefit ourselves or do we sometimes do things to help out others and the greater good of mankind? These questions bring to the surface the topics of egoism, psychological and ethical, and altruism.

Theory of Morality: Monism, Pluralism, Particularism

When analyzing consequentialism, one would come to the conclusion that it is a monistic view. Particularism challenges consequentialism when it states to always choose the action with the maximal amount of goodness to come of it. What if a human was in a situation where one had to make a decision where both outcomes are equally good/bad. The example of whether a perfectly healthy man should be sacrificed for 5 ill humans in need of organs. The goodness of saving 5 lives as opposed to one is considered to produce more goodness than keeping one life. Obviously, this is not how our world works. The rule of consequentialism does not hold it's own with this example. Consequentialism bases their way of making decisions by using a form of measurement. It seems that not all choices in life are that easy to make, especially by solely measuring happiness. Particularism focuses more on particular circumstances. What could create more goodness in one situation could do the opposite in another situation. Who is to say what creates the most happiness? One human may believe action a will create more happiness than action b, but another human may believe action b will create more happiness. Consequentialism seems to be a good view for the overall wellness

Consequentialism Vs Deontological Analysis

The consequentialist is focused on the consequences of the action. If the end result provides more good than bad, they would conclude the action justifies the end result. To make a conclusion the consequentialist would ask; who will be affected by the action, who would benefit from performing the action, who would be harmed by performing the action, who would benefit from not performing the action, who would be harmed by not performing the action. The consequentialist would then make a decision based on were the most good would be derived. One of the most well known practices of the consequentialist theory is Utilitarianism which is focused the the better good for society.

Utilitarianism is a theory within ethics that states that people should base their actions on what is best for the society. Ethical egoism is the exact opposite; it states that people should generally base their actions off of self-interest. It is impossible to say either utilitarianism or ethical egoism is correct, by looking into two case studies though, we can see how followers of each theory base their decisions.

Psychological vs Ethical Egoism Essay

There is a certain innate desire to help others, just as others will feel that same fulfillment for returning that aid. At the same time, however, there is also an inherent yearning to seek out one’s own best interest. This brings about a discussion regarding the difference between psychological egoism and ethical egoism. To understand the similarities and differences, one must first understand the two concepts including their natures, as well as their doctrines of motivation.

Teleology is considering an act morally right or acceptable if it produces some desired result such as pleasure, the realization of self-interest, fame, utility, or wealth. This is broken down into two different teleological philosophies, egoism and utilitarian. Egoism is the right or acceptable behavior in terms of its consequences for the individual. Utilitarianism is following a relatively straightforward method for deciding the morally correct course of action for any particular situation. They identify all the foreseeable benefits and harms that could result from each course of action for those affected by the action, and then choose the course

Consequentialism Theory Essay

The two most vital consequentialist theory is egoism and utilitarianism. Under utilitarianism theory, we aim to product the greatest happiness for the greatest number of participants. The greatest happiness is the only decisive component to evaluate whether an action is right or wrong (Shaw et al, 2013).

Consequentialist and Non-consequentialist Theories

Consequentialist: Focuses on the result of an action. The act is considered a good act if the result is good, likewise and act is considered bad if the result produced is bad. Under the consequentialist theory, we have Egoism and Utilitarianism.

Ethics: Ethical Egoism and Utilitarianism

Descriptive egoism holds that for each individual, there is only one ultimate aim survival and the betterment of the sole individual based on their own hierarchical principles.

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Egoism Vs Utilitarianism

utilitarianism vs egoism essay

Show More Wolf rejects self interest theory in ethics. Both Egoism and Utilitarianism is based on self interest, though they differ from each other in a significant way. Egoism seeks happiness for the individual, whereas utilitarianism seeks happiness for the majority. It seems to Wolf that self interest is grounded on purely subjective phenomena, and hence, declares the subjective feature of a life. The problem she identifies with utilitarianism is that the theory needs something more than happiness ‘because meaning requires us to be open and responsive to values outside ourselves, we cannot be preoccupied with ourselves. If we want to live meaningful lives, we cannot try too hard or focus too much on doing so.’[2010:52] Hence, meaningfulness is an …show more content… Objects are three types; natural, non-natural, and super natural. These three objects differ from each other, hence, any endeavor to define or to explain one quality by the other would create a fallacy. Ethical naturalist such as Mill had committed this fallacy. This fallacy will occur ‘when a person confuses good which is not in the same sense a natural object whatsoever with any other natural object’.[1903:13] Mill argues in his Utilitarianism, ‘…happiness is a good, that each person’s happiness is a good to that person, and therefore that general happiness is a good to the aggregate of all persons.’ [1863, ch. 4] We can formulate his argument in the following way; (Each person’s) happiness is (a) good (to that person). Therefore (General) happiness is (a) good (to the aggregate of all persons). Therefore Happiness is good. It is obvious that Mill defines good in the aid of happiness where the former one is something non-natural and the latter one is something natural. Hence, a fallacy occurs. But, the terms ‘happiness’ and ‘meaningfulness’ do not conceive the opposite qualities like happiness and good, rather there is a similarity exist between them. A dialectical diagram will help us to understand their inner relation. We can render the statement A into statement B, statement B into statement C, but never to statement D. A: subjective attraction meets objective …show more content… It is redundant to say that snow is snow, in the same manner redundant to say that loving object is worthy of love. Moreover, the word ‘love’ is an ambiguous word. Let us explain one of Wolf’s examples. If I go to the hospital to see my ill brother, this event does not make me happy rather it gives me pain. Hence, not happiness but, acts of love motivated me to see an ill person. Pain means simply the absence of happiness or pleasure. When my brother became cure; does not it give me the happiness? We then, from the explanation of Wolf, can conclude: illness gives me pain and cure gives me happiness. Wolf might have argued that my brother’s illness gives me pain and his recovery from illness gives me happiness because I love him. I positively engaged him at the time of illness as well as at the time of recovery. If I do not love him, then his pain or his pleasure does not affect me. It may be happen that my brother does not love him though I love him. In that case, he would not be happy to see me. Does then the act of love make meaningfulness? It had better to concentrate on the phrase ‘positive engagement’. Undoubtedly, engagement may take the form either positive or negative. The reciprocal love between two objects can be regarded as positive engagement, whereas the one faced love between two objects can be regarded as negative engagement. Wolf’s definition of positive engagement actually fit to the negative definition when she says

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Ethical egoism vs utilitarianism.

The two moral theories we really took inspiration from is Ethical Egoism, and Utilitarianism. Ethical Egoism is serving your own self interests, and to be moral in this theory is to act in our own self interests, and is immoral not too. Utilitarianism is a theory that focuses on maximizing pleasure for the most amount of people, and minimizing pain for the most amount of people. The way Utilitarianism does this is by looking at the consequences for the action you are going to do. One was the consequences…

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Ethical Egoism Vs Utilitarianism Essay

Ethical egoism and utilitarianism both find their idea of morality in the same way. Both use the outcomes of their actions as the basis of what is morally correct. However they aren’t exactly the same, in the way they find their principles as to what the outcome should be. Ethical egoists want what is best for number one, themselves. Utilitarians want the greatest good for all people. Ethical egoism makes less sense than utilitarianism as a conduct for life practices. John needs money to buy medicine…

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A Case of Ethical Egoism and Utilitarianism

“A Case of Ethical Egoism and Utilitarianism”

It is believed by most of the philosophers that the ethical equality of an action is judged completely by its results. But here, an important question arises: How will someone judge what is right and wrong ?. Some people say that right and wrong can be judged through the intentions of the person performing the action. Whereas, at the same time, some people say that right and wrong can only be judged by the action of the person. But judging what is right and wrong just by action give rise to another question which binds us in a complete dilemma. What makes an action moral or immoral ?. Some consequentialist responds to this question by saying outcome of that action defines whether the action was moral or immoral. In other words, only the end justifies the means. But how will someone decide whether the consequence itself is good or bad, moral or immoral?

People act for many reasons. Some of the important questions which arise are For whom ? or For what ? or Should they act for themselves ? or Should they act for God ? or Should they act for good of the planet ?. So with this, another important question arises, Can an individual ever act only according to his own interests without the regard for interests of other people? Also can an individual ever truly act for others’ completely disregarding his own interests ?

To answer such questions and determine the morality of the action, two basic arguments: Utilitarianism and Ethical egoism came into existence, which are two faces of the same coin named Consequentialism.

Utilitarianism is one of the best known and the most influential moral theory. The basic idea behind this theory is that whether actions are wrong or right based on the results produced by it.

According to Utilitarianism thoughts, actions are judged by the means how much they are benefited to the majority of human beings. This means that utilitarians believe that a moral consequence is that which produces the greatest good for the vast majority of the people. Philosophers call this Utility. In other words, an action can be called moral if it produces the most utility or is the most beneficial to a large group of people. According to Bentham:

Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure.It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do.1

But there are multiple ways to define this. The greatest good could mean happiness or it might also mean the best chance at survival. For example, If someone is walking down the street and sees an apartment on fire. What is the right thing to do? What is moral? He is going to be judged based on the results that come from his actions, and also his actions should produce the greatest happiness to a great number of people.

For example, someone is walking down a lane and sees an apartment on fire. The first choice is to keep walking. So in this situation, he has three choices. The first choice is that he keeps walking neglecting the fire. As the consequence, large number of people will die and no one is saved. So this action has the most negative consequence and is considered immoral. The second choice the person has is he himself jumps into the burning apartment and rescue as many people as he can. The consequence is that few people are saved, so this action can be considered moral. The third choice is that he calls the fire department which will save everyone present in the burning apartment. So this act is the most moral choice as it has the most positive consequence.

But, not every time, the situation would look simple. When considering into utility, it is hard to predict which action producing the greatest good for the majority of the people could have a negative influence on oneself ? Utilitarianism requires selflessness and foresight to figure out how one’s action will affect the vast majority of people and not just oneself.

Utilitarianism is one face of the coin which helps one to decide whether the consequence was right or wrong. Moral or immoral..? Another face of the same coin is Ethical Egoism. In this, morality is defined by the impact of one’s action on himself. One does not need to worry about causing greater good to great number of people, instead one should work on one’s self- interests. In other words, by the theory of ethical egoism, it is just immoral to risk your own life than to be killed by someone else.

The theory of ethical egoism may sound selfish in nature. But a lot of our legal system supports this theory. Suppose if I decide not to help someone in need, then I build up a bad reputation and no one will help me when I am in need. So it will be in my own interests and benefit to consider other people’s need and aid them. In other words, in this situation, trying to help other people is the best way to help myself since all the other people will think that I am well, hence based on the above scenario, egoists argue that self-interest creates a very strong sense of responsibility towards others.

But this thing is likely to create conflict because there can be situations where one’s pursuit of his self-interest might disrupt other’s pursuit of self-interest. Each person wishes the cooperation of others to acquire items inclusive of friendship. Supporter of ethical egoism James Rachel says:

It is possible for people to act altruistically and perhaps many people act that way, but there is no reason why they should do so. A person is under no obligation to do anything except what is in his own interests2.

Incase of a fire hazard, the person witnessing this would simply ignore this as doing anything would not be in his own self-interest which will lead to him avoiding the situation.

The above arguments requires a deeper analysis to provide sustainable insight of both the concepts.


Utilitarians believe that their theory of Utilitarianism is relativistic instead of absolutist. Absolutist moral views believe that certain action will always be morally wrong irrespective of the consequences. For example many campaigning group suggests that torture is always morally wrong and unacceptable, whether it is to instil fear in the population or to stop the terrorist activities. But Utilitarians having a relativistic moral views says that whether an action is right or wrong will always depend on the consequence produced. They would say that torture is morally acceptable and right if it is used to stop the terrorist atrocities and thus producing a great amount of pleasure among a vast population.

Also, many philosophers believe that this theory is impartial. Its main aim is to secure the maximum amount of pleasure for a large population. It does not give special preference regarding which people should have access to it and which people should not. Utilitarian theory is associated with equal consideration of interests, as far as total pleasure is maximized.

A major flaw in the theory of utilitarianism can be related to the tyranny of the majority. As this theory is a relativistic one, it seems to be opened up to cases where majority exploit the minority for a greater good and the pleasure. For example, the total pleasure of a large and prosperous country would be maximized if all the resources of a small country were forcibly taken away from them and exploited by the people of a larger country. This act seems to be immoral and unjust if seen through humanity point of view, but according to utilitarianism, this act is completely just and moral as it brings a great amount of pleasure to the population of the larger country which robbed the smaller country of its resources.

Another flaw in this theory is judging the action to be morally right or wrong only after the consequences come in front of us. The flaw is that there is no one in this world who can predict the future. So, it seems wrong to base our ethical choices on what may or may not come about in the future. It’s a mistake to generalize an action based on right or wrong because each action is done on the basis of different contexts and circumstances.

Euthanasia, the biggest bioethical problem is the end of life filled with struggle and pain. Utility favors an action right if all it gives pleasure in its highest sense. For people, euthanasia is a product of snatching away of all pleasures from life leaving only pain and struggle and hence opposes utility in a sense that it degrades the value of life which for many people is an opportunity to experience all sorts of pleasures that the society can offer them. Euthanasia is not only the struggle of the person asking for it but also for people related to him/her, which eventually leads to taking an atrocious decision against all odds. More number of people become sad seeing their own loved one suffer without any recovery.

Demanding euthanasia is more of a self-interest act in order to get rid of all the pain in life disregarding the concerns of other people related to the person, which brings us to the concept of ethical egoism.

Egoists also argue that if so called unselfish actions produce self satisfaction in the doer and this sense of satisfaction is pleasant state of consciousness, and according to ethical egoism, the important point of action is to achieve pleasant state of consciousness instead of bringing good to others. But there are people who argue, Isn’t the unselfish man the one who derives satisfaction from helping others and selfish man doesn’t ? The people who argue this have a view that the people who derive satisfaction from others are the one being selfish rather than the people who only pursue their own interests.

Ethical Egoists believe that there is no particular action which can be considered as plainly wrong. As long as an action serves to promote your own interests, then it is morally right thing to do. But then, there will be situations where rape, murder, stealing and lying will be right thing to do according to some people, as these actions are the best means of promoting their own interests. But these things are really disgusting. Some things are just plain wrong even if they would benefit someone, which cannot be explained by this theory.

It is an advantage for everyone to live in a society where people’s rights and interests are respected and also only in such a society, someone can live a happy and secure life. So, being kind to others would merely be doing someone’s part to create and maintain such society which is an advantage to him. So, Egoists believe that they are not so bad man as they would be as kind and considerate as anyone else because it is to their own advantage. But at the same time, people who oppose ethical egoism argue that there is no reason for egoists to think that if they won’t honor the rules of social game then a decent society would collapse.

Also, an egoist can’t endorse that egoism be universally adopted by all and sundry, as he desires a global wherein his very own interests are maximized and if other people adopted the egoistic coverage of pursuing their personal pursuits then any such international could be not possible. So basically an egoist wants others to be altruists. So ethical egoism is at bottom inconsistent because it cannot be universalised. If everyone else is seeking to pursue their own interests, then it makes it more difficult for someone to achieve his goals.

The exposure argument towards moral egoism basically proposes that ethical theories have to be publicized, or made recognized to everybody possible, due to the fact these arguments are approximately dwelling a very good existence. However, the moral egoist will prefer actions in his intention, if he continues this a secret and allows others to continue performing altruistically. The extra he convinces others to do selfless matters on behalf of himself and others, the higher off he could be in attaining his own self hobbies. So ethical egoism is satisfactory applied through trying to misinform others.

Since the purpose of ethical egoism is personal happiness or pleasure, and one way that most of the people benefit pleasure is from wholesome relationships with others, it would appear that comradeship and circle of relatives may be goals for an ethical egoist. However, deep friendships and loving family relationships require performing selfless acts on behalf of buddies and own family. Can a person who’s usually concerned most effective together with his personal hobbies and in no manner with others, ever have sincerely deep friendships? This is referred to as the paradox of ethical egoism.

Ethical egoism has no solutions to offer when a problem arises involving conflicts of interests. It would even include hurting the other people knowing that nothing bad would ever come to that person, for example murdering someone when someone is sure that no one will ever find out.

The Golden rule of Kant, which says,

One should treat others as he would like to be treated.

This would seem moral and logical as one would never wish to harm themselves.This theory never covers this blot of selfishness.

The first example is the best example of unpredictability flaw of utilitarianism, suppose five trackers were trapped in a landslide. Rescue operation was delayed for ten days and they could have died of hunger. So they arrive at a decision to eat one of their friends for food supply. One of the person is selected randomly and is killed by other four friends. Also, in rescue operation, ten rescue workers die. After the rescue operation is successful, all the four survivors were found guilty of murdering their friend and were given death penalty . So studying this example, the sacrifice of the tracker to save his four friend was just a waste. That tracker thought from utilitarian perspective that only one should die instead of all five, and other four will live a happy life. But eventually, all of them were killed along with ten rescue workers in this situation. Had he thought from ethical egoism point of view, only five of them would have died instead of fourteen people. Was the sacrifice made by the tracker morally right or wrong ?

A real life example in which one cannot judge who is right and wrong just by using these two theories is Statue Of Unity. A lots of crores of money and manpower has been spent in building this statue by the government. It may be possible that government has taken this task to show their potential and power. Some people believe that this is the case and government is being egoist. Critics argue that the money spent on the statue could have provided food and shelter to large number of people. So the task of making the statue is waste of resources. But at the same time, there are people who think that this statue will be a tourist attraction which will provide employment to the tribals living their, improving their condition of life. Even if this is true, there will still be lot of money to be spent on this monument for maintaining it. So was it a justified act to spent the people’s money on this statue rather than spending it on improving the lifestyle of people who have difficulty in getting one time food?

Of course, there will always remain many difficult philosophical problems. On the same hand, there are so many utilitarianism and ethical egoism theories, which is believed by many people that these theories can solve most of the philosophical problem. Still, there are so many philosophical problems which remain unsolved even in today’s world.

The modern society is made up of a large number of people with their own unique thinking ability and everyone has the right to act on their own, according to their interests. Everyone in the society has their own set of ideals and even own way to attain pleasure. It is not always necessary that everyone in the society will get pleasure from the same thing. The thing which brings pleasure to some group of individuals may bring pain to the other group simultaneously.

Another question is, Can the amount of pleasure that one person gets from particular action be compared with the amount of pleasure of different person doing different task? It is literally impossible to compare the pleasure and pain of different individuals doing different tasks.

So, not a single philosophical problem in modern world can be solved only by using the theory of utilitarianism or the theory of ethical egoism. We need a collection of all such theories into one theory which will result into the maximum utility and is accepted and just to a vast majority of people.

But how can someone take a utilitarian decision when his own loved ones are on stake? One’s instinct will always insist to take wrong decisions and will lead in favor of his own loved ones if not Should the right to pursue one’s self interest always be given the highest priority? In any case, it is difficult to choose between ethical egoism and utilitarianism.

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utilitarianism vs egoism essay

Compare And Contrast Ethical Egoism And Utilitarianism

The Argument on How Utilitarianism is a Superior Moral Theory than Ethical Egoism Philosophy has been a field of study for centuries. Some philosophers have developed ways to determine what is ethical and what is not. This has led to several normative ethical theories describing how people are ought to live a moral life. Some of the most prominent of these theories have set the criteria for morality in very unique and peculiar ways. Two of which are the ethical egoistic theory and the utilitarian theory, each seeing morality in its own distinctive way. By comparing and contrasting the view these theories pose on morality and by analyze how each stands in some of the world’s most modern day issues, one can understand why utilitarianism is a …show more content…

In this essay, the author

in Rachels 65). So, we should have no considerations for the people who would be affected by our actions other than our selves. A commonsensical person can see how this could lead to several negative consequences and moral injustice. Take for example, a rapist who seeks sexual pleasure by forcefully acquiring it from his victims or the Joker who causes terror for the pleasure of watching the world burn (The Dark Knight). To the ethical egoist, since these actions are selfishly done for one’s own benefit, they are morally justified. This is irrational due to the idea that what separates us, human beings, from all the animals, or at least the noncomplex species, is that we usually care for our fellow peers in society and that we can reason based on that care. Any rational person would judge these actions as wrong since not giving value to this is almost as leveling humans with the animals of nature. Unlike ethical egoism , utilitarianism does count others in the equation of morality. Instead of acting selfishly, a utilitarian requires us to act “as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator.” (qtd. in Mill, Utilitarianism.). There’s no superiority to one’s selfish desires simply because they are themselves. To the utilitarian, …show more content…

Ethical egoism is arbitrary and puts ourselves above everybody else for no apparent reason. Ethical egoism splits everybody into two groups, ourselves and everyone else, and says that we are the morally superior. This brings up the question, why are we, ourselves, morally superior to everyone else? Failing to answer this question, means that the ethical egoist has no rational reason to choose ourselves over anybody else. So, with similar rational, it could just have been that everyone else is morally superior to ourselves. The ethical egoist seems to be completely arbitrary in this decision. This theory doesn’t even know why it is putting us, ourselves, above everybody else. One can compare this to a racist who says white people are more superior to blacks (Rachels). Several decades ago they would rationally argue that blacks are intellectually inferior and a threat to the world peace but today there is substantial amount of evidence to refute these claims. Now the racist has no reasons for the racial discriminations and white people and black people are equal, meaning that being racially against black people is arbitrary and has no rational reasoning. Indeed, ethical egoism is just as arbitrary as racism is, but once again, utilitarianism

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Ethical Egoism versus Utilitarianism Bibliography 6 Pages 1482 Words

             ETHICAL EGOISM VS. UTILITARIANISM              According to Lawrence Hinman, ethical egoism asserts that everyone should always act in their own self-interest (105). With the reference to the word "should", this statement is obviously normative, which imposes an imperative of what one "ought" to do. Furthermore, ethical egoism supports the theory that first and foremost the rightness or wrongness of one's action depends upon the consequences of that action (118). Therefore, ethical egoism is part of the consequentialist, or teleological (purposeful), theories. To assess the importance of consequences in ethical egoism, consider that right actions are those that promote self-interest and wrong actions are those that minimize self-interest. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy claims that ethical egoism reinforces the advancement of one's own good that is in accordance with morality. Here, the pursuit of morality is interchangeable with the pursuit of self-interest.              It is maintained that there are three types of ethical egoism: personal egoism, individual ethical egoism, and universal ethical egoism (Hinman 120). The first, personal egoism, applies to individuals who attempt to act in their own self-interest at the expense of everyone else (who are insignificant to the individual); these people have no concern whatsoever about the actions of others. When personal egoists come to mind, one might think of an egotistical, selfishly inflicted individual. The second type of ethical egoism, individual ethical egoism, is more of an ethical theory than the last and claims that (1) I should act in my own self-interest, and (2) everyone should act in my self-interest; because this theory states how everyone ought to act, it proven to be a better argument than personal egoism, but it still encourages a sense of selfishness. The third type of ethical egoism, universal ethical egoism, poses a more rational cas...

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This is discussed by Shafer-Landau in The Fundamentals of Ethics; he says that ethical egoism “arbitrarily makes my interests all-important” (114). If a person is required to do whatever is necessary to increase their well-being, then they must only act in their interests. Ethical egoism allows individuals to think that there is no one more important or as important as them. It supports the belief that egoists should only care for themselves, ignoring everyone else’s needs and wants. An ethical egoist will only do the things that are pleasurable for them and that increase their welfare. There are many problems with this view. An egoist may believe that they are unique, but so does another egoist across the street. An egoist in a different state as the other two believes they are unique as well, but so does an egoist living in a different country. All over the world there are egoists that believe they are special, but they are not. It is impossible for everyone to be unique. Sure, there are some qualities that distinguish one person from another, but no one is special. If one person thinks they are special, others hold this belief as well. Everyone cannot be unique. However, egoists tend to act on the basis of this rationale, and aim to increase only their own well-being. Therefore, other people’s interests must “count for nothing” (Shafer-Landau

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utilitarianism vs egoism essay

Ethics: Egoism, Utilitarianism, Care and Virtue Essay

Introduction, utilitarianism, care ethics, virtue ethics, works cited.

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It needs to be said that the importance of ethics in modern society should not be disregarded. One of the most important aspects that should not be overlooked is that such knowledge is necessary for every individual to have an understanding of how to behave and what course of the actions should be taken in a particular situation. The fact that numerous theories are suggested is critical, and it is paramount for every individual to have an understanding of each one most of the time.

It should be said that most believe that such a concept as ethical egoism cannot be justified and is often being criticized. Also, it is imperative to say that it was also not accepted by numerous philosophers (Burgess-Jackson 529). It is understandable that many individuals may be attracted to egoism as an interesting approach, but some of the actions that it supports are not reasonable. It is necessary to note that it is benign most of the time, but the issue is that such behavior may not be liked by other members of society, and it can lead to numerous conflicts and disagreements. The issue that needs to be discussed is that many believe that humans are not capable of altruism, and they are active because of selfish reasons.

For example, the fact that many want to make sure that guilt is avoided may be viewed as selfishness. However, numerous internal and external factors should be taken into account. However, this concept is still not fully understood, and there is a need for future research. It needs to be said that the interest in egoism has been increasing over the last few years. It is also interesting that many believe that there are different types of egoism, and the difference between formal and substantive forms is significant, and should not be disregarded. Individuals that prefer the second one do not seek benefits in each of their actions and have an understanding of the fact that morality should not be overlooked (Farnham 433).

Another core aspect that should be taken into account in most situations is that a consensus on such a topic as utilitarianism is currently not present, but most scientists treat it with respect. It is paramount to understand that the core concept of this theory is that one should always look for ways to maximize possible utility in a particular situation with ethical norms taken into account. The fact that different types of utilitarianism are frequently discussed is critical because certain dissimilarities between them are present. It is paramount to say that scientists argue which one is the most reasonable quite often, and the ones that are focused on ruling and acting are especially fascinating.

The number of theories that are proposed is truly astounding, and the analysis of each one allows to have a better understanding of the topic and to create new ones. One of the core problems that need to be mentioned is that this approach is criticized quite often. However, many believe that it can lead to numerous positive outcomes, and it is especially true when these concepts are applied to such areas as the business because it can be useful to create a particular connection between a company and society (Gustafson 326). However, the problem is that this approach cannot be regarded as reasonable in some situations.

Care ethics are also interesting and have been actively discussed over the last few years. The core idea that is being promoted by this concept is that moral aspects are an essential part of relationships, and it is especially true when one person takes care of another. It is imperative to mention that one of the theories that have been developed by feminists. However, the issue is that some individuals that are a part of this movement do not agree with such views. It is imperative to say that this approach supports that people should be motivated and have a desire to help others.

The fact that a tremendous dissimilarity between this theory and other ones is present is also important, and should not be disregarded. However, it is necessary to note that it is frequently criticized, and many think that it has numerous disadvantages. On the other hand, it is perceived as appropriate in such areas as caring for animals, bioethics, and others. Another core aspect that needs to be discussed is that it focuses on such factors as empathy and obligation most of the time. The fact that many offer their help only because they believe that it is necessary according to the social norms is quite interesting, and it is also believed that many individuals are not capable of showing compassion.

It is necessary to mention that such topics are truly fascinating, and ethics is the study that allows having a better understanding of such subject matter. It needs to be said that one of the opinions that have been suggested is incredibly fascinating, and the author believes that care ethics should not be viewed as a theory, and rather should be a part of virtue ethics (Halwani 161). Furthermore, it is imperative to note that differences between the views of scientists are enormous most of the time, and it is not an easy task to identify what approach is the correct one in a particular situation.

It needs to be said that virtue ethics is an interesting topic for discussion because it is perceived as one of the primary approaches that are currently used in normative ethics. It is paramount to note that the main idea that supports this concept is that the behavior of an individual is mainly determined by his or her personal qualities. It should be understood that the actions are justified based on motivation most of the time, and it should be said that particular motives are required to make decisions that are correct. It needs to be said that the weakness of other theories is that individuals often have to deal with numerous issues during the decision-making process. On the other hand, some believe that a person would take a correct course of action in all situations once he or she becomes a person that he desires to be.

It is paramount to say that this theory has been getting much more popular over the last few years because of such processes as internationalization (Slote 22). It needs to be said that individuals that support this approach believe that help that is offered would be benevolent in most situations. One of the aspects that should be noted is that it is entirely possible that virtue is closely connected to happiness most of the time, and this factor should not be disregarded. However, the way they are perceived by different societies is still not fully understood, and what interactions are necessary to make sure that morals are not overlooked (Martin 102). The core problem that virtue ethics has to deal with is that a set of rules is not clear, and there is no consensus on what this term means. Another issue that is worth mentioning is that the qualities that are valued by society vary most of the time, and such aspects as culture and traditions also should be taken into account.

In conclusion, it is paramount to mention that it is evident that the understanding of this branch of philosophy is essential, and the knowledge that is gained can be applied to most situations. It is important to study ethics because many individuals do not understand their feelings and why they act in a particular way. It is imperative to mention that topics are viewed from different perspectives, and frequent discussions often lead to the discovery of new theories.

It needs to be said that ethical norms should be taken into account in all the environments, and the actions and behavior of an individual should change depending on the circumstances. The fact that it helps to address some of the issues that are related to human morality is also critical, and the knowledge that is gained as a result of studying can be regarded as valuable most of the time. Overall, understanding of ethics is of utmost importance for any person that wants to develop as a professional and an individual.

Burgess-Jackson, Keith. “Taking Egoism Seriously.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16.3 (2013): 529-542. Print.

Farnham, Daniel. “A Good Kind of Egoism.” The Journal of Value Inquiry 40.4 (2006): 433-450. Print.

Gustafson, Andrew. “In Defense of a Utilitarian Business Ethic.” Business and Society Review 118.3 (2013): 325-360. Print.

Halwani, Raja. “Care Ethics and Virtue Ethics.” Hypatia 18.3 (2003): 161-192. Print.

Martin, Mike W. “Happiness and Virtue in Positive Psychology.” Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 37.1 (2007): 89-103. Print.

Slote, Michael. “On Virtue Ethics.” Frontiers of Philosophy in China 8.1 (2013): 22-30. Print.

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