Ethical Egoism And The Right Action Essay

Ethical Egoism And The Right Action Essay

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A Morally Permissible Lie Suppose a person finds himself in a situation where he can merely bend the truth a bit for
his own personal gain; he is at a very low risk of being caught; and even if he does get caught,
there will be little to no consequences for his actions. Would it be morally permissible to lie in
this situation? Conventional moral judgments may immediately throw up a red flag, signaling
that this action is immoral because lying is wrong. The answer is not quite as clear as it seems.
Enter the world of ethics. More specifically, take a look at a particular moral theory called
ethical egoism. Lewis Vaughn defines ethical egoism as, “ . . . the theory that the right action is
the one that advances one’s own best interests” (78). In the column titled The Ethicist, an
unnamed author presents a similar dilemma. She reveals that she has fraudulently claimed to be a
“partner” with a female friend of hers, even though she has a husband, in order to obtain a
couples’ discount for a membership to her local pool. Within the frame of ethical egoism, this lie
for her own personal ga...

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