Egoism And Altruism Summary

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1. The Morality of Egoism and Altruism:
Ayn Rand informs readers that they are misguided in their views of altruism and egoism.
First, Rand explains the way people define these terms. For instance, usually when one thinks about a selfless person a mother might come to mind, who is constantly neglecting herself in order to take care of her children. However, Rand believes that selflessness implies that one has low self-esteem and a lack of respect for others. Egoism, on the other hand, is another term that Rand tackles, referring to it as a virtue. Meanwhile, others view it as ignoring or being indifferent towards others. But Rand clarifies this in “The Ethics of Emergencies” by stating that “This does not mean that he is indifferent to all men, that human life is of no value to him and that he has no reason to help others in an emergency.” The last part of that statement actually gets into the next aspect of egoism and the rejection of sacrifice. She mentions that altruism’s concept of sacrifice
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To get his point across, Nietzsche gave the scenario of one day a demon telling us that we had to relive all the same events and emotions we’ve ever experienced repeatedly. The message behind this is that it would be excruciatingly painful if we were to constantly experience the same life over and over again if we don’t even enjoy our life as it is now. Therefore, one should live life to its fullest potential and feel content. This way, one wouldn’t mind going through the same life multiple times if it is a life full of happiness, success, wealth, and good health. This relates to his argument about egoism because one would concentrate on being selfish and bettering one’s existence. Likewise, it attacks altruism once again by showing that concerning yourself with others is going to prevent you from achieving the level of life satisfaction that one wouldn’t mind
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