The Importance Of Ethical Egoism

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The question ‘why be moral?’ is one of which many philosophical theories have attempted and still struggle to provide a suitable answer for. From an Ethical Egoist’s perspective, one’s morality lies in conjunction with their self-interest, that is, it is moral to only look after your own self-interests and make yourself better off and consider nobody else’s interests other than your own. Ethical Egoism differs from that of other moral theories such as Kantianism and Utilitarianism which generally consider the interests of others more highly (Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, 2014). It is a controversial theory which I will argue does not provide a satisfactory answer to ‘why be moral?’ and will do so by the following. Firstly, I will discuss…show more content…
114). The entire theory functions on the basis that you ought to act in your own self-interest regardless of the circumstance and of others. However, this would mean that Egoists would also support committing illegal acts if it promotes or benefits yourself no matter what the cost is to others. If we are following Egoist principles correctly, it would be argued that from an Egoist perspective it would be morally right to kill, rape or harm someone if it is in the individual’s self-interest to do so (Shafer-Landau, 2012, pp. 114). In the case of torturing someone - which is widely viewed to be an immoral act and not condoned by society – Ethical Egoists would defend the act only if they individual initiating it is promoting their own self-interest. By doing so, it goes against and undermines the common moral values and laws held across the world. Any pre-existing moral beliefs are ignored if the action will improve your own well-being. Again, the beliefs behind Ethical Egoism are controversial as they disregard common sense and the widespread opinion of what is generally considered to be morally right and wrong in modern day society (Shafer-Landau, 2012, pp.114). Ethical Egoist’s would support any act if it is self-serving the individual’s own interests and therefore benefitting them. Thus, Ethical Egoism is problematic due to its theory countering…show more content…
I came to this verdict after looking at one of the arguments supporting egoism which was flawed and contradicted themselves. In addition, by looking over some of the issues regarding ethical egoism such as the invalidation of core moral beliefs and key moral rights and discussing the selfishness of only promoting your own self-interest without considering others and how this would have a negative influence on society if everyone were to become egoists. However, not all actions of Egoists would always be negative depending on which outcome the individual believes would benefit them in the long run. I therefore think that ethical egoism is an extremely flawed moral normative theory which tries to provide an answer to the question of morality through encouraging selfish behaviour with little regard to the wellbeing of others and is not a sufficient response to why we should be

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