Ethical egoism

Ethical egoism - Philosophy 4 Intro to Ethics Ethical...

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Philosophy 4- Intro to Ethics Ethical Egoism Ethical egoism is a notion in ethics that holds that everyone should act in a way that benefits ones own self-interest. It maintains that the best way to promote everyone’s general self-interest is for everyone to look out for themselves, and not to “butt into other peoples business and pretend to know what is best for them”, as an ethical egoist might say. This way of thinking is specifically known as “universal ethical egoism”. However, another form of ethical egoism known as “individual ethical egoism” exists in the world of ethics. An individual ethical egoist not only believes that he ought to look out for his own self-interest, but he or she also believes that everyone else should look out for his self-interest as well. While individual ethical egoists may seem unpopular or rare due to their selfishness, the reality is that they exist and can make a lot of money in this world by hiding their ethical beliefs from the public. Wal-Mart, for instance, convinces consumers across the globe that it is helping lower and middle class people around the world get by on the same commodities they are used to but at extremely lower prices (which they do). Yet they do not tell us about how they force suppliers to lower their manufacturing costs which results in low wages for workers and often in bankruptcy for the company. In turn, this pushes people to unknowingly work for Wal-Mart’s self- interest by shopping there and not shopping at other retailers. This shows how ethical egoism is similar to the notion of “survival of the fittest”. Everyone is out for their own advancement, and while ethical egoism doesn’t advocate the exploitation or manipulation of others, it doesn’t demerit it if the outcome turns to work for your benefit. On the other
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hand, if it works to your benefit to be a benevolent and giving member of society in any way, ethical egoism condones of such behavior greatly. All that matters is that the result of what you do provides the maximum benefit for yourself. While ethical egoists claim that following their way of thinking will promote everyone’s self interest, the reality is that in a country like the United States that is so ethically egoistical, the system is only providing money to small groups of people while the majority sees no benefit. Basically,
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Ethical egoism - Philosophy 4 Intro to Ethics Ethical...

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