Ethical Egoism Argument Analysis

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Ethical egoism is a moral theory focused on improving a person’s well-being. There are many arguments for ethical egoism such as the self reliance argument and the best argument for ethical egoism, both presented by Shafer-Landau in The Fundamentals of Ethics. However, in this paper I will discuss how objections presented by Shafer-Landau and Dr. Thomas Carson are fatal to ethical egoism, while keeping in mind arguments for ethical egoism. I will discuss objections such as ethical egoism permitting or sometimes requiring murder, theft, or rape, in order to promote oneself’s well-being, egoists subconscious belief of their lives being more important than others, and an argument presented in class that if egoists must do what is best for their …show more content…
Therefore, immoral actions are those that do not affect my well-being or fail to increase it all together. In order to better understand objections against ethical egoism, it is important to first discuss the arguments for ethical egoism. One of the arguments for ethical egoism is the self reliance argument. In summary, this argument states that if every person were to only care for themselves, people would be better off in general because everyone would be doing what is best for them (Shafer-Landau 108). To understand the argument better, if Susy has had a bad cold for over two weeks, she would go see her doctor, Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith would take a look at Susy and prescribe the needed medication. Both Susy and Dr. Smith win in this situation. Susy got the must needed diagnosis and treatment while Dr. Smith got paid for treating Susy. Both increased their well-being, therefore their actions were moral. This argument seems fair, if everyone cares for their own well-being and does what is best for them, then everybody wins. Another argument for this moral theory is “the best argument for ethical egoism” by Shafer-Landau. This argument states that if there is a moral action a person wants to pursue then there are good reasons for them to do it. If the person has good reasons for this action then it must increase their well-being. Thus, such action is a moral …show more content…
Ethical egoism states that the only moral actions are those that increase one’s well-being. If Michael and Jim were both about to get promoted but only one of them got the desired raise, Michael being an egoist would want to hurt Jim, or even kill him, in order to get that raise. Ethical egoism would justify this action and consider it moral because it increased Michael’s well-being. “Egoism may require for people to do immoral actions” such as murder (Shafer-Landau 107). This is fatal to ethical egoism because immoral actions done in self interest of ethical egoism are still immoral. If a person kills their competition, they would be considered crazy in our society. They will not be left unpunished and their action would not be

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