Last updated: June 14, 2019
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Ethical Egoism Essay, Research Paper

Ethical Egoism

Like all other moral doctrine theories, ethical egoism attempts to develop a comprehensive set of regulations by which each individual should regulate their lives. Alternatively of nearing each day-to-day determination individually and construing the right response, philosophers try and find an overall regulation that will steer each individual in their day-to-day lives. This is evidently non an easy undertaking and has given birth to 100s of changing theories. Ethical egoism attempts to work out the job in footings of maximising one & # 8217 ; s single good. There are several positive facets of this place, nevertheless, it has besides been disputed for a figure of grounds. After analysing these statements, I find that while ethical egoism may look like a great thought in theory, it is practically impossible to set into pattern.

Ethical egoism is a theory that states that & # 8220 ; mortality requires nil more of us than that we maximise our ain personal good. & # 8221 ; ( Holmes ) In other words, it says that what is morally right for a individual is what they consider & # 8220 ; good & # 8221 ; for themselves. Whatever brings us the greatest grade of good is right. The ethical egotist is non concerned with maximising the good of the people as a whole. They merely say that we should merely be concerned with what & # 8217 ; s good for ourselves. A speedy reading of this theory would be that ethical egotists are avaricious and that this theory is merely advancing selfishness. Many people would state that being concerned merely with your ain personal good is merely the definition of selfishness. However, this is untrue. Ethical relativism does non necessitate selfishness, yet it does non denounce it either. It merely says that if being selfish or avaricious maximizes your ain personal good, so it is right. Yet, if being benevolent and generous promotes your good, so this is right every bit good. Ethical egoism is a system of making a morality based non merely on one & # 8217 ; s actions, but one & # 8217 ; s beliefs about those actions. A individual & # 8217 ; s actions must non make good for others, merely for themselves.

Although many disagree with the theory of ethical egoism, there are a figure converting statements in its favour. When one considers the theory at face value, there is small that can be said incorrect about it. What could perchance be bad about each individual giving their lives to maximising their ain personal good? Isn & # 8217 ; t that what we & # 8217 ; re all looking for anyhow? Don & # 8217 ; t we all want good lives? In add-on, if each individual is populating in a province which they consider good, so ethical egotists believe that this will convey about some cosmopolitan good as good. The point of ethical egoism is non to convey about an overall good, yet through the actions of persons, it will purportedly make so. Each individual moving under the theory of ethical egoism is non obliged to convey about a greater good, but it will be however. Another appealing facet of ethical egoism is that it allows each person to do determinations which will finally do them happy. It allows people the freedom to make up one’s mind what is good for them and therefore it allows them to make their ain system of morality. Peoples have the right to make what they feel is traveling to profit their good without holding the sense that they are making something morally incorrect. Although many people do non needfully see this as a good thing, it is a consideration that many see as favourable.

After analysing the ethical egotist theory a spot farther, one begins to see that the theory is non as clear cut as one would wish to believe. There are several disagreements in the thoughts behind the theory every bit good as jobs with seting the theory into pattern. One thing to take a 2nd expression at is the statement that the ethical egotist theory promotes selfishness and greed. As we have seen, this is non wholly true. An ethical egotist is non stating that one should be narcissistic, he is merely stating that if this does maximise one & # 8217 ; s good, it is acceptable. However, many believe that although the theory does non straight promote selfishness, it surely provides one with small inducement to move otherwise. Populating in the highly misanthropic universe that we do today, I think many people would hold that most people are prone to greed over charity. If you tell people to move in a manner that will maximise merely their personal good without the consideration of others, I believe this will by and large take them to move in selfish or avaricious ways. Although the theory does non demand selfishness, it can be argued that it surely facilitates it. This statement is based on personal sentiment yet it doesn & # 8217 ; t wholly dismiss the theory of ethical egoism. It is matter how you think people will move harmonizing to the theory.

However, there are several greater jobs with the theory. Egoism is a theory that requires us to measure our personal demands and wants. In order to populate by the theory of ethical egoism, one must make up one’s mind what it is that will convey them the greatest sum of good. This means that for every day-to-day determination that one makes, they must weigh non merely all the immediate effects of their actions, but besides the long term effects of their actions. Many people argue that worlds don & # 8217 ; t have the intelligence to cognize what is best for themselves all the clip. They argue that non merely do we non hold the mental capacity to make this, but we besides don & # 8217 ; t ever cognize what & # 8217 ; s good for us. A good illustration of this is people who smoke coffin nails. These people may smoke because they feel, at the clip, that smoking will maximise their good. Many people use coffin nails to quiet themselves during times of emphasis or sadness. At that minute, the coffin nail is supplying them with the good that they need and is hence, harmonizing to the ethical egotist, the right thing to make. However, really

few would reason that, in the long tally, smoking coffin nails maximizes one’s personal good. Smoking coffin nails causes terrible wellness jobs and may even take to decease. This is surely non “good” for the tobacco user.

Another job that must be taken into history when discoursing ethical egoism is what precisely we mean by the word & # 8220 ; good. & # 8221 ; Egotists say that we must ever work to maximise our ain good, but what precisely is & # 8220 ; our ain good & # 8221 ; ? For different people, the construct has conflicting significances. Many people believe what is good for them is what makes them happy, so they strive to accomplish ultimate felicity in their lives. However, others may experience that being affluent is what finally makes a individual good. Still others would happen good in being healthy. So what good are we truly speaking about here? Ethical egotists would reason that at that place need non be one definition of good. Each individual develops their ain definition and strives to accomplish it separately. This may be true, but the fact that people have different constructs of what is good is indispensable when discoursing how people endeavoring to maximise their ain good may conflict with one another. If one agrees with the egotist in the demand to maximise one & # 8217 ; s ain personal good, so they besides must believe that others should make the same. However, because non everyone has the same construct of what good is, frequently times, their positions struggle. For illustration, a adult male seeking to purchase a auto would evidently happen it in his best involvement to purchase the most low-cost yet trust worthy auto. On the other manus, the adult male seeking to sell the auto may experience that the manner to maximise his good would be to sell the auto for the highest monetary value because he equates his ain good with wealth. In this state of affairs, it seems that ethical egoism can supply no solution to the job. If the adult male purchasing the auto gets what he wants, the auto trader my feel as if he is non acquiring all the good out of the state of affairs that he can. However, if the adult male buys the auto at the trader & # 8217 ; s requested rate, he will non be fulfilled. It seems that no affair what, one of them will be traveling against the theory of ethical egoism.

If one applies this thought to the construct of ethical egoism itself, we develop an even stronger statement against the theory. By subscribing to the theory of ethical egoism you are stating that staying by the regulations of the theory is what will convey you the greatest sum of good. However, if the theory brings you into struggle with others, as in the state of affairs with the auto, so you are non maximising your ain good. The illustration of purchasing a auto may non be that damaging to your overall good, because a battle with a auto salesman International Relations and Security Network & # 8217 ; t needfully a awful thing. However, if the struggle arises with person really of import in your life, the effects could be black. For illustration, a kid traveling off to college may experience that in order to maximise his or her ain good, they must travel to the college of their pick. If the kid feels that his instruction is of import to his good so he will take a college that is good known for its academic success. The kid & # 8217 ; s parents on the other manus may experience that the cost of a high graded school is non deserving it. In their best involvement, it would be better to direct their kid to a cheaper school. These parents are non concerned with the good of their kid, merely with the good of their bank histories. This kind of a household statement can interrupt households apart. If the boy decides to travel against his parents wants and travel to the school of his pick, his parents may cut him off financially every bit good as emotionally. The boy & # 8217 ; s determination to maximise his ain good by traveling to the college of his pick has caused him to travel against the theory of ethical egoism in two ways. First, he has non allowed his parents to maximise their good. Second, by estranging himself from his household, he has non brought any good to himself in the long tally. Therefore, there is no moral manner of work outing jobs such as these, harmonizing to the theory of ethical egoism. There is no manner for it to be morally right for everyone to accept egoism.

In world, the theory of ethical egoism is non an acceptable theory. There is no manner to set ethical egoism into pattern. In theory, it seems like a plausible thought, yet there is no manner for it to be a universally recognized theory of morality. There is excessively much struggle that arises when using egoism to mundane determinations. Even the theory itself is self-contradictory in nature and can non be carried out in the existent universe. Besides, I feel that the theory is non acceptable because I do non hold with what it allows. Harmonizing to ethical egoism, an act is right every bit long as it is good for the person. This kind of regulation allows for all kinds of actions that I can non excuse as morally right. Ethical egoism allows you to lie, darnel, bargain and all kinds of morally incorrect actions every bit long as it causes you ultimate good in the long tally. It doesn & # 8217 ; t put any concrete regulations that reject actions which most people would see morally incorrect. I can non state that it is morally right for people to perpetrate these Acts of the Apostless on the footing that it will maximise their ain good. I think that it is surely a hapless alibi to be able to move in barbarous ways to others, merely because you feel it is assisting your ain good.

Ethical egoism is a theory that has several comprehensive and logical constituents. Yet, in its entireness, it is non an functional theory. It is non able to be in the existent universe without doing struggle. However, I do believe that in our society people are, in general, selfishly motivated in everything they do. That is why we live in a universe where struggle and war prevail. Peoples are in a changeless battle to maximise the good in their lives, yet to make so they must be in changeless competition with others.