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"Is Moral Egoism Correct?"

4.9 of 5.0 (6 reviews)

542 words
Social Issues

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Moral Egoism states that "one never does wrong if one does what's in one's own self-interest; it's always morally acceptable to just look out for number one" (Barcalow, 295). I feel that I should do what is in my own self-interest for the most part, but not for everything, thus making moral egoism incorrect.
When many people take a look at the definition of moral egoism, they may first think it is correct. People say, "of course I am going to do something if it benefits me." That, of course, is true. People should not smoke or do drugs because it is in their best interest not to. They also know they should wear their seatbelts, not drink bleach and never walk alone late at night. Many know that it is in one's best interest to exercise, eat healthy, and to be educated. So what's the problem with moral egoism? These things are all true, so how can moral egoism be false? Even though on the outside moral egoism appears to be true, when we look deeper we can see that it is not.
Moral Egoism states that it is correct for us to do what is in our own best interest, which appears to be true from my previous arguments. When we look deeper though, we soon discover that although most of the time it is correct for us to do what is in our own best interest, sometimes it is not. For example, say I am poor and I am living in an alleyway in New York City. I have no money, no job, and nothing to eat. One day, a nicely dressed businessman comes up to me and offers to give me food, shelter and everything I ever wanted, but there was something I would have to do in turn. I would have to go to the local middle school and to the local high school and push cocaine to the students. Although it is in my best interest to have food, shelter and whatever else I ever wanted, it is not morally correct to push drugs to children. Therefore, Moral Egoism is false because it states that anything I do in my best interest is correct, although this obviously is not correct.
Another aspect of Moral Egoism states that it is in one's self interest to get pleasure. This is obviously true. It is in fact in my best interest to be happy, and to do whatever I can do to be happy. If taking walks or riding my bike makes me happy, then I should do it. If going to amusement parks, hiking or fishing makes me happy, then it is in fact in my best interest to do it. But what if I like to rape people, or what if I like to murder people. Doing both of those things cause me to be pleasurous. So are these things right? Of course not, we say to ourselves. These things are definitely not moral and should not be done to others. All sane people know this to be true. According to Moral Egoism, though, it is in one's own best interest to have pleasure; since rape and murder gives me pleasure, it is okay to ...

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Keywords: is ethical egoism correct, what is moral egoism, why is ethical egoism wrong

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