Ethics and Morality Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1282 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Business - Ethics


[. . .] Similarly, if we injure others seriously, we could be committed to jail. Hence it would be in our best interests not to harm other people. Further, if we habitually lie to others, it will be impossible for them to trust us. In such a case, telling the truth would be in our best interests. Yet another example that can be cited in this case regards entering into arrangements that are mutually beneficial and ensuring that we keep our promises. In this case, it can be noted that to benefit, individuals sometimes have to rely on others. It is impossible to benefit from others if the individuals we seek to benefit from fail to keep their promises. However, we cannot expect others to keep their promises if we on our part do not keep ours. In the final analysis and from the self-interest point-of-view, the relevance of keeping promises cannot be overstated. Hence from this perspective, we should at all times do unto others what we would ordinarily expect them to do unto us.

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Term Paper on Ethics and Morality in Basic Assignment

It is important to note that though the above arguments are relatively convincing when it comes to presenting ethical egoism as a well-founded morality theory, there exists some objections regarding the same. To begin with, ethical egoism seems to advocate for a clear distinction between two groups of people, that is, the rest of the populace and ourselves. In so doing, the theory prescribes the preferential treatment of the second group i.e. ourselves as opposed to the first group i.e. The rest of the populace. However, the question that ought to be asked in this case is; what makes the second category of individuals more important than the first category? Why should the second category be given preferential treatment? When looked at from a critical point-of-view, these questions in one way or the other present ethical egoism as a doctrine that is rather arbitrary. These questions can however be answered by reverting to an earlier argument I presented earlier on. According to that argument, it is an individual who in perfectly aware of his or her needs and wants. This awareness makes the needs of such an individual (and hence the individual) more important than those of others which he or she is only imperfectly aware of.

Next, although ethical egoism does not expressly call for agents to harm others as they seek to maximize their self-interest, there are some scenarios where harming someone else could be in the best interest of the agent. For instance, it could be in the best interest of a business person to kill a rival. Such an action cannot be justified regardless of the motivation behind it. However, in my opinion, individuals need not harm others so as to maximize their self-interest.

Strict observance of ethical egoism could also bring about disorder and conflict in the world. For instance, if everyone were to maximize his or her own self-interest, this would be a sure recipe for disorder and in a wider sense, anarchy. However, it is important to note that this argument only considers the extremities whose chances of occurrence are minimal.


In conclusion, and in the light of the arguments I present above, ethical egoism can still be considered true. This is more so the case given that the theory is rooted in a basic self-interest principle. From a wider sense, ensuring that we do not occasion harm unto others is in our own best interests as I have already highlighted in one of the arguments I present above in support of ethical egoism. Hence ethical egoism cannot necessarily be branded overly self-centered or selfish.


Arrington, R.L. (1998). Western Ethics: An Historical Introduction. Malden Massachusetts: Wiley-Blackwell.

Shafer-Landau, R. (2007). Ethical Theory: An Anthology. Malden, MA:… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Ethics and Morality" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Ethics and Morality.  (2012, March 2).  Retrieved February 26, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Ethics and Morality."  2 March 2012.  Web.  26 February 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Ethics and Morality."  March 2, 2012.  Accessed February 26, 2020.