Ethics Essay Essay Sample
Altruism demands for kindness and sacrifice (Batson, 2014). It advocate for people to be their brother’s keeper e.g. parents who spend a fortune to save their sick child that is about to die without expecting a favor is a sign of altruism. While in egoism is when a person acts to achieve his/her own happiness without considering that of other people, no one sacrifices himself to others (Broad, 2014). Egoism advocates for caring of one’s wellbeing while altruism is caring for the well being of others. Egoists view pleasure and happiness as their main goal in life that is they first make themselves happy while altruism insist on the fact that the happiness of an individual is dependent on the happiness of people around him /her. So we must treat others as we want them to treat us too. The best way to be happy is to have friends and a family and we treat others well.
Individuals who are egoist don’t necessarily imply that they are mean and greedy because at times those peoples might be polite and friendly and sometimes even ready to help other people but the motive of doing this is for their own personal interest while in altruism individual do not expect anything to help other people because they are selfless and they feel good when they help people. Mother Teresa is often seen as a good example of altruism. She was a catholic nun who used most of her time and resources to help the poor people on India but a psychological egoist will term this act by mother Teresa as she did all that for her own benefit or maybe so that she may get into heaven. Egoism maintains that every individual should work at maximizing their long term well being and that they are only supposed to serve their own self interest (Broad, 2014). If something benefits them, they are supposed to do it, but if not, they should not even think of doing it. Egoists are like companies that concentrate solely on making profits without taking into consideration how their actions will impact their rivals. A company will feel good when it drives its competitors out market.
According to Hobbes people should not go out in the streets to loot shops, stealing cars or even assassinating their enemies because such actions will not be good to the public. He points out that egoist should live in peace with their neighbors and help each other as this is the best way a person can have a good living condition (Batson, 2014). Hobbes went ahead and said that, when we join a society we should make a promise not to harm others and help them in times of need and in return they will not harm us and they will also help us in times of need. He believed that selfishness was natural and when we do well to one another the society will be peaceful and stable e.g. we are not supposed to kill each other for the sake of our selfish interest.
Rand said that it is very important for people to be hardworking, creative and also live an independent live. She advocates for people to work hard in order to satisfy their personal needs and they should not just sit and wait for others to help. A person should work hard and create his/her wealth and when that is done, no one has right to demand that they give out their wealth to the less fortunate in the society (Weiss et al., 2014). She also says that people should work at satisfying their needs and not being parasitic on those who are more successful in life. Rand rejects those people who get into positions power and use their position to mistreat their juniors. An egoist will say that it good to abuse power to get what you want. She believes that this is not a good idea; a person should work hard to get what they need and not stealing from the public. When a person has worked hard and reaped the reward, he/she has a right to be proud of their efforts.
Adam smith was a philosopher and an economist, and he said that when you intentionally serve your own interest it will also bring benefits to other people e.g. when a person starts a company, the company will not only brings returns to the owner of the company but it will also provides a livelihood to people employed in that company (Batson, 2014). Adam argues that in the market, when there is free competition it would ensures that suppliers fix the prices of goods and services at reasonable rates. Through our selfish actions, every person is better off. Singer considers altruism as degrading. He said that helping other people will lower their dignity. It will also be interference to their privacy and giving them charity is downgrading (Corral-Verdugo et al., 2011).
Altruism is a better description of human beings. This is because it gives a description of the moral language that’s, it gives a metaphysics of morals that people should have while living with one another (Batson, 2014). It outlines the morals that the society should hold e.g. in altruism, it is morally right for people to come together in times of need such as burial and natural calamities and work as a team. Descriptive ethics are concern bout killing while normative theory is not concerned with the killings in the society. Descriptive theory does not justify injustices.
Egoism is a normative theory because it states the standards for which actions of human being will either be regarded as right or wrong and what is just and unjust in the society. According to egoism it is right for a person to be selfish and not care about other people needs and happiness and it is wrong for a person to care about others (Broad, 2014). Killing of person may not be regarded as unjust in egoism provided someone has done it for his/her own personal gain.
Conclusively, it is a good idea for people to be altruistic and that the society will not be a good place if we don’t help each other in times of need. No one stand alone in this life. Whenever someone has an opportunity to help another he/she should do so without expecting a favor. It is good when we are in a position to help others and those people we help passes it on and help the others.
Batson, C. Daniel. The altruism question: Toward a social-psychological answer. Psychology Press, 2014.
Broad, Charlie Dunbar. Five types of ethical theory. Routledge, 2014.
Weiss, Raquel, and Paulo Peres. "Beyond the Altruism-Egoism Dichotomy: A New Typology to Capture Morality as a Complex Phenomenon." The Palgrave Handbook of Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity: Formulating a Field of Study (2014): 71.
Corral-Verdugo, Victor, et al. "Happiness as correlate of sustainable behavior: A study of pro-ecological, frugal, equitable and altruistic actions that promote subjective wellbeing." Human Ecology Review 18.2 (2011): 95-104.