Ayn Rand and Altruism

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My personal philosophy revolves around individualism and egoism. I am a very greedy and lustful person. I have an extreme passion for success, wealth, and most importantly, the accumulation of money. I act in my own self-interests because I feel that my life revolves around me; I should not be forced or guilted into satisfying the needs and wants of others. I am very selfish and that’s not a bad thing because I love and cherish my life more than anyone else’s, I am the master of my life, I put myself first, I am the center of my universe. In contrast, this also means that I am serving the greater common good. I believe that individuals acting in their own interests serves the common good. Competition is needed for the world to thrive which relates to the philosophy of Adam Smith. But my philosophy is not about competition, it is about individualism and egoism which closely relates to the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand illustrates the virtue of selfishness. Her philosophy teaches the disadvantages of altruism and the advantages of egoism. In philosophy, altruism is the selfless act of caring for others and looking out for everyone in society. God/s tell the individual what to do. “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you visited me”. 

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Everybody’s needs should be met which would require a lot of sacrifices from individuals. The subjective principal of ethics is the universal law and would reflect altruism, “If my actions were reflected upon everyone else then how would the world function?”. If a universal law is broken, then the whole structure of the law would fall. Ayn Rand consistently brings up a number of bad positions of altruism. One of which include the “Mystic religious orientation” where God/s tell you what to do. Mystic orientation is to forgive and pray for your enemies, not to just forgive your enemies but to ask God to be nice and better to them. This also includes the works of mercy; clothe the naked, feed the hungry, shelter those who need shelter. This looks paradoxical but there is no question in it because God wants you to do it. God has pretty high standards and if you’re meeting those standards, you’re not satisfying yourself, you’re doing what somebody else wants you to do, you’re meeting their demands and their desires. Ayn Rand says that this is not a good basis for ethics. She then says that when it comes to values, we have to look at life because it is one of the most basic things that we can think about. Unless you have life, you can’t have other values. Humans, animals, insects, and plants all have a means, and all gravitate towards survival. What makes humans different from other living things is our capacity, not just to precevie things, but to think about them. What makes us different from animals, insects, and plants is our reason and rationality.

What Ayn Rand calls selfishness is what philosophers would call egoism. Altruism is about others while egoism is about the self. Altruism (bad): care for others, god/s tell you what to do, pray for your enemies (that’s paradoxical), look out for everyone in society (social security, Medicare, medicate), everybody’s needs should to be met, a lot of sacrifices from individuals, subjective principal of ethics – everybody decides for themselves, not thinking things through, sloppy thinking

Egoism (good): self-interest, life – complexity of being and staying alive (reason, rational), Reason and rational as a choice (Man has no automatic code of survival, No automatic sense of action, no automatic sense of values), Reason is the faculty that identifies and integrates Material provided by our senses. it’s a faculty that we have to exercise by choice it’s not an automatic thing. we have to make a choice whether or not to use our minds and if not, then maybe we get our ideas from somewhere else and somebody else tells us that this is the right thing to do and we say OK it sounds good. Thinking is not an automatic function in any hour were issue of his life a person is free to think or to convey that effort. The act of focusing consciousness is volitional, we can focus it for we can un-focus it and drift into an unconscious or semi-conscious state. Own interest, think things through and get them right,

Rational egoism: trader – bases their relationships with other people on giving in order to get/exchange, exchange or swap things, an economic transaction. The principals of justice the rational interest of human beings doesn’t clash its only when they want to get something they don’t really deserve. 

Trader is asking for what is deserved and only gets what is deserved. Proper method of judging when or whether one should help another person is by reference by one’s own rational self-interest and one’s own hierarchy of values. The time, money, or effort one gives should be proportionate to the value of one’s own happiness. Being affectionate, loving, caring, helping attributes to one’s own happiness and that is the exchange being made. Egoism is not “get whatever you can, screw everybody else”. Its based on the notion of exchange.

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Ayn Rand and Altruism. (2021, Dec 28). Retrieved March 20, 2023 , from

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