Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Big Think - Ruth Grant Says Altruism Is Not Always Good

Uh . . . . really?

Do we really need to privilege the self?

She rejects altruism = good, egoism = bad. Is she right?


Alex Rollin said...

Sure..why not. I don't need to un-privilege her perspective. Or privilege it.

John said...

I've got the impression that you're using a to narrow definition of egoism. To be helpful and kind towards others must not be against the concept of egoism. We (as individuals) benefits from a benevolent society.

Think about it. What is there else to base your judgement on but your own values? If the proper conduct for basing our judgement on is other peoples values then that must mean that we must deny ourself to be good persons. That is not a moral code in my opinion as it completelly denies your values. The moral agent is not a choser but a slave to other peoples opinions.

william harryman said...

Altruism has little to do with basing conduct on other people's values - it's valuing other people enough that we are willing to make sacrifices for them. It's a higher level of morality (

Conventional morality is based on what other people think - post-conventional morality is based on what we believe to be best for the greater whole, not just for our own self-interest.


John Ericson said...

If the person values other more then himself then I agree with you because it is still your own values that determines what is good.

I'm not keen about talking about sacrifice when it comes to morality as ethics to me is not about sacrifice but to flourish. Sacrifice to me seems to be to chose death over life.