Conflict Essay

1815 Words Sep 28th, 2013 8 Pages
The Conflict of Morality and Egoism, in Daily Life and Business
The most basic distinction to make between morality and egoism is that morality demands that, at sometimes, you are obligated to do what is not in your self-interest to do. If morality never made these demands, then it would not be anything additional to the doctrine of ethical egoism (always do what is in your self-interest to do).
In daily life, people are generally expected to act within moral constraints. Most people would claim that it would be wrong for me to kill an innocent stranger, even if it was in my self-interest to do so.
One variable in these types of cases is the law, which is basically an instrument to make moral constrains more self-interested. So, when
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The profit margin is an easy to understand marker of self-interest, comparable to utility as a marker of self-interest of an individual. It is the self-interested thing to do for businesses to maximize profit.
Nowadays, businesses are encouraged to maximize profit. Companies like Bain Capital were very, very good at maximizing profit for their shareholders. In egoistic terms, Bain Capital was incredibly successful.
The problem is that we have now come to accept that businesses will act entirely egoistically, regardless of the public interest. When thinking about individuals, we expect people to constrain their actions and to only pursue their own self interest when it does not conflict with the greater good to some extent. In effect, we expect individuals to behave morally. However, we no longer expect businesses to do the same. We no longer expect businesses to pass up a profit for the greater good. It no longer matters what effects businesses have on their employees, if they make a profit, they are praised and successful.
Though I am no expert on it, America used to have a concept called the “National Interest”. When a company made a decision, they were expected to take its effect on the national interest (social, political, economic factors) when deciding what to do. Companies were demonized if they did not do so, as they were expected to behave in a “moral” way.
The fundamental problem: either businesses need to be expected to consider the

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