Altruism And Morality Of Altruism Essay

1516 Words Apr 30th, 2016 7 Pages
When Roark refuses the Manhattan Bank Building contract he says that this is “the most selfish thing you’ve ever seen a man do.” And in his courtroom speech, he argues for selfishness and egoism and against the conventional morality of altruism. Do you think he is correct to praise selfishness and denounce altruism? Why or why not? Explain. Altruism prioritizes concern for others over a concern for oneself, while egoism prioritizes concern for oneself over a concern for others. Two completely opposite theories about the necessary foundation of morality and the majority of society has somehow reached the conclusion that altruism is the better of the two theories. Yet, Howard Roark is able to stand in front of people, driven by altruism and argue for egoism. The action almost seems absurd given the audience that he is faced with, and his attempt to promote egoism is not made once but twice in front of a group of people that will likely never see the world in the way that “creators” are capable of viewing it. His appraisal of egoism and altruism seems to be justifiable based on the events and characters within the novel. The way in which Ayn Rand chooses to present both altruistic and egotistic characters in The Fountainhead leads one to believe that those who live their lives as “second-handers” will inevitably have little to show for their life and little to give to the world. Take Peter Keating for example, upon first glance the foil to Roark seems to be a good young man,…

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