An Overview of Egoism and Altruism In Society

Published: 2021-10-01 21:00:13
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Category: Metaphysics, Character Traits, Altruism

Type of paper: Essay

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Human beings make difficult decisions that may, or may not concern them every day. The main difference between these two aspects of social interactions mainly revolves around the reasons that drive an individual towards engaging in a particular act. Egoism is an approach towards socialization whereby an individual is less concerned with other people’s interests but rather concerns himself with self-interests and needs.
On the other hand, people who are friendly and helpful and whom most of the times volunteer to do the things that benefit other people in the society practice altruism. These people mostly venture in helping people that are less fortunate than themselves in the communities or organizations that they live in. (Lemos, 1971)
Egoism to most people may sound selfish to most people. You should understand that it is very reasonable for a human being to put their interests before other people’s affairs. One can understand egoism by putting into consideration the fact that human beings primary objective in life is to stay alive and procreate.

In most of the societies worldwide, egoism can be used to describe the most significant number of people that exist in those communities. People may not know it, but it is always human nature to put oneself before the rest of the people in the society. At times, it is not easy to determine whether someone is acting on egoism or not.
This is because psychological egoism asserts that people will always act in ways that will mainly favor their interests even if it seems otherwise. For instance, one may appear to have volunteered to help the poor, but in the real sense, he or she is doing it because it makes him feel good. These actions are primarily about self-interest even though someone else may be benefiting from them. From the psychological point of view, the motivation is generated by the motives of having to feel good later. (, 2018)
Ethical egoism is the other way of viewing the egoism approach of socialization. It suggests that doing things on bases of self-interest is always the right thing to do. The actions, therefore, are expected to be of honesty and good intentions. The difference between psychological and ethical approaches is the fact that moral egoism does not attempt to hide the fact that self-interest is of the primary concern while on the other hand, psychological egoism attempts to conceal the self-interest part.
Ethical Altruism is not mainly applied in most of the worldwide societies the societies. One could argue that it is because most people do not like being subjected to serve others in such a way that they are not the main beneficiaries. In this case, whether a situation is morally right or wrong depends on whether the person involved in the act benefits more or less than the people that he or she is serving.
If the consequences of that act are favorable to the other members of the society except the person serving, then altruism is said to have been practiced efficiently. An action is considered good if it brings positive consequences to others. It is the contradictory of Egoism, which holds that people ought to do what is most excellent for themselves and that it is not only their right but their responsibility to look after their wellbeing first. (Chen, 2016)
Pros and Cons of Egoism
In my opinion, these two philosophies are worthy being practiced in the society. The reason is that both of them have advantages and disadvantages that can be considered to be of the same merit. For instance, it is argued that an individual’s personality grows stronger if ethical egoism is applied, this is because one can understand his or her character in a more reflective manner.
Based on this theory an individual will develop fat because he or she will be learning the differences in other people. It is believed that people are made strong by whatever qualities that make them different from others. Another advantage comes in the situation whereby family is involved. Egoism promotes faster growth in individuals interacting with the same family.
As a result of being concerned with personal interests, the influence grows in the family, and the family becomes stronger as compared to those families that depend on one member to offer his or her services. In addition to those advantages, one’s personal needs are always met which leads to possible eliminations of poverty. On the other hand, egoism is capable of destroying relationships between people. Also, people are not always comfortable with putting themselves before other people. The philosophy also requires everybody involved to practice it.
Pros and Cons of Altruism
Many people have viewed altruism as a way to balance the effects of selfishness. Others say that it is good to practice this philosophy because it involves selfless actions. One of the disadvantages of altruism is that in most cases it promotes dependence amongst individuals. Also, it has also been argued that some people behave altruistically because they are running away from their problems.
I have observed that these two philosophies are of great significance regarding the way of life amongst human beings. They are meant to provide choices based on how different characters interrelate. Also, it has been hard for individuals to determine which philosophy to follow to better their lives. Furthermore, all the things that individuals do concerning these theories revolve around the individual reasoning.
References (2018). Egoism & Altruism - Video & Lesson Transcript | [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Jan. 2018].
Lemos, R. (1971). EGOISM AND NON-EGOISM IN ETHICS. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 9(4), pp.381-392.
Lemos, R. (1971). EGOISM AND NON-EGOISM IN ETHICS. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 9(4), pp

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