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Philosphy Introductory To Ethics By Ken Burgess The Essay Contains Three Questions That The Professor Asked And We Had To Discuss. Areas Of Interest That I Discussed Were Kant, Ayn Rand, Rawl

1512 words - 6 pages

Ethics of Selfishness/Ethics of DutyCompare and contrast Kant and Ayn Rand on the issue of altruismAltruism is an unselfish act wherein one's intention is to benefit another. Within every act, three aspects must be considered: the motivation behind the act; the moral value of the individual carrying out the act; and the selfish consequences of the act itself. Both Kant and Rand agree on using moral values to make decisions on an act, however, Kant believes the act should not be self-serving and Rand believes the act should be to promote one's self.In consideration of the first two aspects, being the motivation behind the act, and the moral value of the individual carrying out the act, Kant and Rand utilize methods of moral measurement. Kant's Three Pillars of duty, universalizability and respect must be considered before the individual will fulfill the obligation set forth. Fulfilling a sense of duty means that the act is the right thing to do and is aligned to your moral values. Universalizability takes into consideration three maxims: the motivating reasons of the agent, the act itself and the universal system of reason. This means that if your decision to act is fair to one, it must be fair to all. Furthermore, you would become suspicious in your decision to act if it went against your moral values. Respect is the final Pillar in that Kant believes humanity must be treated as an end in itself, never as a means to an end. He goes on to say that we must never take away an individual's autonomy in the decision-making process while carrying out an act. We should always respect people's opinions or views, regardless if they are in conflict with our own.Rand also uses a measurement in considering the motive and morals of the act. She believes two questions should be asked: What are the values; and, who should be the beneficiary of the act. The values should be clearly apparent, that is, they should be black and white. In order for an act to be good and to move forward with it, it must be for the benefit of another. If an act is done solely for one's self, it is bad. The decision to act is based on how you, as an individual, hierarchically position your moral values. Rand believes that a higher priority value should always overtake a less priority value.It is clear that while both Kant and Rind's systems of measuring the value of an act are different, comparatively, they are morally based to create the motivation to carry out the act.In consideration of the third aspect of carrying out an act, being the selfish consequences of an act, Kant and Rand differ significantly. Kant believes that no act should be self-serving and that the selfish consequence of carrying out an act is irrelevant. For Kant, the moral value of the act takes precedence in all cases, regardless. Rand believes, conversely, that one's own self-flourishing from the act is a necessary consideration, but not a motive in itself to allow you to do anything. Rand requires that there be a...

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