Egoism tends to receive a bad reputation or negative connotation because it is often confused with selfishness rather than the preservation of self-interest. Ethical egoism is the view that morally right actions are those that are in one’s own best interest. Since this is a consequentialist theory, the outcome is the determining factor. If the outcome is in the person’s best interest, then it is the morally right thing to do.
For example, Molly’s friends want her to go watch a band play, but she needs to do hours of homework because this is week two of the quarter. Molly’s friends complain that they never see her anymore because of her dedication to obtaining an education. If Molly neglects her homework and goes out, her grades will suffer and she risks failing the course. While she knows watching a band would be a lot more fun, she knows this is a time where she needs to assert her own self-interest of obtaining an education so that she can gain long term outcomes such as a better job and career advancement. After she explains this to her friends, they better understand why her schoolwork comes before social activities. This is the difference between self-interest and selfishness.
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For this week’s discussion board, share a time like the example above when you had to assert an egoist approach. What were the facts surrounding the situation? Who were the other people involved (family, friends, coworkers)? How did you explain why your decision was not selfish, but rather in your own best interest?
RESPOND TO PEER
I had planned a vacation to go away with a group of friends for a couple of my friends birthdays. I had been given the time off but days before the trip I was offered a promotion. In order to take the promotion I had to go to a training and conference the day I was to leave for my trip. Despite my friends protest, this opportunity was something i couldn’t pass up. I have a lot of responsibilities and needed the raise.
There was one time, that I planned with friends to take road trip. At the time of the planning, I was not in school and wasn’t planning on going back for RN. But after sometime, decided to go back to school and the trip fall in one of my school quarter that I wasn’t able to travel. I let my friends know that I was sorry, and had classes and was trying to be done with school before my daughter turned two years. With having assistances from family to baby sit when she is younger, as it is the reason i went back to further my nursing care. Among the three friends, one was understanding where as the other two thought it was “selfish excuse”, as they thought I should take the quarter off and go to the two week vacation. With my responsibility change, I felt my studies came first for me. Eventually, they came to terms with it, and went to it without me.