The paper will analyze the concept of self-interest from the position of Adam Smith, Chinese Confucianism, and Christianity.
The human nature is created in a way that every action benefits the self-conscious. The action by a person either good or bad is made in regards to the wants of a person. In an argument by Marilynn (2001) the relationship between the human nature and one’s actions are based on the benefits one may achieve. The author further asserts that human nature acts in response to the human needs (Marilynn, 2001). For this reason, self-interest in inevitable. The creation of self-interest is involuntary to human nature. Moreover, the relationship between self-interest and human nature is created minus ant regards of morality and ethics. The moral obligation of human beings does not go beyond the altering of their internal needs. Marilynn (2001) is the assumption that the moral obligation of human beings is mostly influenced by the requirement of the society. Consequently, people tend to act as required by the people. This requirement can, however, be altered by personal needs. For this reason, it is an accurate assertion that self-interest is an involuntary creation of the human mind to suit personal needs.
As a creation of God, a person has the ability to control their perception of self-interest. The ability of a person to act may be influenced by their personal needs but a person can influence their needs. In an argument by Voert, Felling & Peters (1994) human beings are created with power and ability to control their ability to create wants and needs. For this reason, self-interest is a personal creation that can be controlled if a person wants to. From the Christian perspective, self-interest is selfish and a creation to justify immorality and being unethical. Moreover, Christians are required to act as required by the creator. This requirement makes self-interest, not a requirement or a need. In addition, self-interest can be shunned by adhering to the Christian teachings on morality and human requirements.