Once inspecting the philosophical beliefs of Thomas Hobbes, Aristotle and John Stuart Mill, human’s creative, inquiring and self-indulgent nature seems indisputable. Thomas Hobbes was correct in saying that self-interest is man’s true nature. He spoke the truth when he described man as an “aggressive, greedy, competitive, anti-social and vain” (Gini- Newman et al. 28) species. Everyday, man demonstrates this nature as he works steadfastly to make money so that he can indulge in the life of luxury and opportunity that he desires. He then donates to charitable organizations so that he does not have to suffer from feelings of guilt for not sharing his wealth with those less fortunate. Even human’s creativity and desire for knowledge illustrate our races egotistical nature. Aristotle once said that “all men by nature desire knowledge.” (Gini- Newman et al. 26) John Stuart Mill later said that “no intelligent human being would consent to be a fool.” (Gini- Newman et al. 26) Both of these philosophers were correct in their observations. Man is an incredibly intelligent human being. He can think abstractly and develop unique ideas and theories. However, man’s creative ideas and broad range of knowledge all contribute to his self-interest. Man prides himself on knowledge. His intellectual endeavors build his self esteem and ego. He feels proud and worthy when he invents something. Although many human being use their innovative nature to improve the quality of life for others, their intentions are always inspired by their innate desires to feed their selfish nature.
The selfish desires of man and his needs for creativity and knowledge of self are difficult to dispute. Although philosophers such as Joseph Butler, Mengzi and Siddhartha Gautama have expressed different beliefs on this issue, there are many examples that challenge the soundness of...
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...deavors, I notice the self interest that lies beneath them. I realize the self-assurance that I gain by being knowledgeable and I yearn for the praise I receive when I create a masterpiece. Even when I help others, by donating money to charitable organizations for example, I am being selfish because my actions are inspired by my personal desires to alleviate my feelings of guilt and sympathy. When I reflect on my life, I often feel ashamed of my self-centeredness. Unfortunately, this is my nature. I can try to control it, but I can not change it.
The writer, Alfie Kohn, was correct when he noted the negative connotation on the expression, “I am only human.” (Gini- Newman et al. 43) Man’s creative and curious nature does make him distinct from all others; however, he truly is a selfish specimen. Everything man does, from working hard to earn a degree to finding a cure to save the lives of others, is aimed to fulfill his personal desires. Although philosophers may disagree on the true nature of man, it is difficult to dispute his selfishness as a species because there is so much evidence that prove him to be exactly this.
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