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Ethical Egoism and Altruism - Essay Example

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Most of the people involved in this incident acted in a manner that showed that they advanced their self-interests. The van driver who hit the girl stopped for a moment after he realized that he had hit a toddler. He then drove on crushing the toddler beneath his rear wheels. The driver’s actions can be considered as ethical egoism because he realized that he had caused an accident (Branigan, 2011). In order to avoid arrest, or the reactions of bystanders, he decided to escape from the scene. The actions of bystanders were motivated by ethical egoism because they did not mind the agony of the girl. The truck driver’s actions also represented ethical egoism because he was concerned about his destination rather than the safety of other road users. The apparent indifference of the bystanders and the two drivers exposed the girl to physical injuries. These people were reluctant to help because they were scared of security agents, or they feared to be accused of having caused the accident. The fullness of egoistic satisfaction is dependent on the maintenance of normal relations between benefits obtained and efforts expended (Driver, 2013). The case of the two-year old clearly shows this relationship when the passersby refused to offer assistance. They believed that their actions would only benefit the two-year old. According to ethical altruism, people are moral agents who have obligations to help others. The actions of these moral agents should be based on the impact of their action on other people. ...Show more
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The aim of the paper “Ethical Egoism and Altruism” is to examine the application of ethical egoism and altruism through an understanding of traditional Chinese ethics. Traditional Chinese ethical thought is concerned with the issue of how humans should live, and the elements of a worthwhile life…
Ethical Egoism and Altruism
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