Compare And Contrast Ethical Egoism And Utilitarianism

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The Argument on How Utilitarianism is a Superior Moral Theory than Ethical Egoism Philosophy has been a field of study for centuries. Some philosophers have developed ways to determine what is ethical and what is not. This has led to several normative ethical theories describing how people are ought to live a moral life. Some of the most prominent of these theories have set the criteria for morality in very unique and peculiar ways. Two of which are the ethical egoistic theory and the utilitarian theory, each seeing morality in its own distinctive way. By comparing and contrasting the view these theories pose on morality and by analyze how each stands in some of the world’s most modern day issues, one can understand why utilitarianism is a …show more content…

in Rachels 65). So, we should have no considerations for the people who would be affected by our actions other than our selves. A commonsensical person can see how this could lead to several negative consequences and moral injustice. Take for example, a rapist who seeks sexual pleasure by forcefully acquiring it from his victims or the Joker who causes terror for the pleasure of watching the world burn (The Dark Knight). To the ethical egoist, since these actions are selfishly done for one’s own benefit, they are morally justified. This is irrational due to the idea that what separates us, human beings, from all the animals, or at least the noncomplex species, is that we usually care for our fellow peers in society and that we can reason based on that care. Any rational person would judge these actions as wrong since not giving value to this is almost as leveling humans with the animals of nature. Unlike ethical egoism, utilitarianism does count others in the equation of morality. Instead of acting selfishly, a utilitarian requires us to act “as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator.” (qtd. in Mill, Utilitarianism.). There’s no superiority to one’s selfish desires simply because they are themselves. To the utilitarian, …show more content…

Ethical egoism is arbitrary and puts ourselves above everybody else for no apparent reason. Ethical egoism splits everybody into two groups, ourselves and everyone else, and says that we are the morally superior. This brings up the question, why are we, ourselves, morally superior to everyone else? Failing to answer this question, means that the ethical egoist has no rational reason to choose ourselves over anybody else. So, with similar rational, it could just have been that everyone else is morally superior to ourselves. The ethical egoist seems to be completely arbitrary in this decision. This theory doesn’t even know why it is putting us, ourselves, above everybody else. One can compare this to a racist who says white people are more superior to blacks (Rachels). Several decades ago they would rationally argue that blacks are intellectually inferior and a threat to the world peace but today there is substantial amount of evidence to refute these claims. Now the racist has no reasons for the racial discriminations and white people and black people are equal, meaning that being racially against black people is arbitrary and has no rational reasoning. Indeed, ethical egoism is just as arbitrary as racism is, but once again, utilitarianism

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