If an ethical egoist counters that their “self” includes their grandchildren, notice how the meaning of “self” has been greatly inflated to meet the posterity objection.
We are capable of acting with regard for others; we are capable of acting altruistically. In this chapter, we will explore ethical egoism, which is the prescriptive theory that you should always act in your self-interest.
The Theory According to ethical egoism, you should act in your self -interest.
For example, an ethical egoist may think it good to scratch another’s back, but only because this act is somehow in his rational self-interest (e.g. According to EE (ethical egoism), the fact that an action is in my self- interest is precisely what makes it good.
It is also important to see that ethical egoists can live disciplined lives.
There is, after all, a chance you will get caught and end up in prison.
Or maybe some God will send you to Hell for murder.Now you may have some objections to the life insurance case, but the point is that you probably believe some actions are wrong even though they are in your self-interest.So, the first criticism is that ethical egoism is inconsistent with what you believe is right or wrong.Discussing the following questions will help you analyze and evaluate ethical egoism.No, almost every student says it is wrong to kill someone for money even if the student believes it is in his or her self-interest.For example, most ethical egoists will attempt to stop smoking because they recognize smoking is not in their long term self-interest and is therefore bad.Ethical Egoism does not support doing whatever you feel, rather it encourages you to follow your objective and rational self-interest. For example, most ethical egoists will judge the murderer as wrong because it is rarely in one’s long term self-interest to murder.**Some ethical egoists also argue it’s bad because the object of the murderer’s self-interest is bad.That is, the ethical egoist seems to believe there are good and bad forms of self-interested activity.This chapter will focus mostly on universal ethical egoism. As you read, evaluate the strength of each argument for ethical egoism.Exercise and Criticism Now that you have explored some of the arguments for ethical egoism, do you think it is a strong ethical theory?