Theories Of Ayn Rand On Altruism

1270 Words 6 Pages
In this paper I will use the views and theories of Ayn Rand on altruism, James Rachels’ view psychological egoism and Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative in order to propose a moral theory on how we ought to behave both individually and as a society. As a frame of reference, I will first present a case on why psychological egoism applies to humans which will tie in with both individual and global morality. In the same way, I will state reasons why I believe Rand was precise in pointing out the fact that altruism is arbitrary but misguided in her conclusion that people should be left to act in their own self-interest. As a final point, I will extend Kant’s views regarding morality with the help of psychological egoism and will give my conclusion …show more content…
Kant presents the categorical imperative, a guide, he says, that most all religions agree on: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s important to point out how this believe is already well established and taught around the world. This decree coincides with beings who act in their own self-interest because their motivations to do good to others lie in the expectation that those others will act with good will towards you. This way of thinking also agrees with the relativistic nature of morality that has very few agreed upon universally immoral acts, that is to say, people can’t agree, for example, that one specific action, like killing, is wrong in every possible scenario, because, for example, most people accept killing in self-defense or in times of war. The categorical imperative functions as a great foundation for moral guidelines but it does not solve the immoral tendencies that arrive from our psychological egoism. At a local level one could act in accordance to the categorical imperative and be considerate of everyone that is close to you, but it is unreasonable to expect people to think about every single person their action might be affecting inside and outside their community. In my view, that is the role that government should have in morality, it should be a rational extension of Kant’s proposition where everyone’s wellbeing is being

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