Are Humans Naturally Selfish Or Selfish

1022 Words5 Pages
Dakarai Bishop
Professor Leib
PHI 2010
26 March 2018
Essay 3 Ethics is an important part of life, and it defines who we are individually. “Ethics is the study of right and wrong,” (Leib Slide 1). The question that many philosophers try to answer is if humans are naturally selfish, selfless, or both. These subcategories of ethics are very important to consider because it would answer why individuals commit the actions that they create. In my opinion, I believe that individuals are innately selfish because looking out for one’s self is the key to survival. If you focus more on other individuals first before yourself, then you would sacrifice your own personal gains and benefits. Selfless actions must be taught by parents and mentors for someone
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Egoism is “An ethical position that puts the self at the center of any question that asks, ‘What’s Best for Me”,” (Leib). People who are egotistic are typically selfish, since they try to find out what’s most beneficial for them, not others. Altruism is the opposite of egotism. Altruism is “Any ethical position that put the needs of others before the needs of oneself for whatever reason,” (Leib). These altruistic individuals would be considered selfless because they find out what’s beneficial for others before themselves. Many philosophers try to ask whether humans are altruistic or egoistic. Altruism has a subcategory called utilitarianism. Utilitarianism explains how one should use altruism. Something of beneficial value should be cared for, while something that’s non-beneficial should not. Utilitarianism measures out the utility of something, or it’s value. Someone that is utilitarian wants to see what could bring people the most pleasure and happiness, so they strive to allow others to be happy and pleasurable. Psychological egoism is a subcategory of egoism. This is “the claim that all actions are motivated by the good to one’s self,” (Leib). This means that one knows what is beneficial for themselves. All these philosophical theories determine how human’s make their decisions in everyday…show more content…
“Are People Naturally Inclined to Cooperate or Be Selfish?” Scientific American, 1 Sept. 2014,
Chandler, Lori. “Study: Brains of Selfish People Immediately Seek to Exploit Others.” Big Think, 27 Aug. 2015,
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