Ayn Rand Theory of Altruism

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The aim of this study is to equate Rand's philosophy of altruism to Goodman Jonathan's ""Altruism and the Golden Rule."" Altruism, according to Jonathan Goodman, allows one to explain the concept of mutual altruists, in which individuals benefit from certain cognitive gains that will exist in the future. The golden maxim, on the other hand, supports the benefits of the desire and intention to repay the favor to being ""Suckers."" Personally, I believe that the basic theory of altruism implies that humans have no right to continue life for their own sake. It should maintain that providing services to others is a justification of individual existence and that the highest moral duty, value, and virtue belongs to man. 

On the other hand, the introduction of ethical philosophy on “The Virtue of Selfishness,” it is evident that the particular meaning of selfishness is the concern of an individual’s interests. According to Rand, one should never confuse altruism with good will, kindness and respect for other people’s rights. All these are not critical primaries but only some consequences that only occur due to altruism (Kouyoumdjieva, Sylvia and Gunnar 76). The key primary of altruism and the simple absolute is self-sacrifice. Ayn Rand does not agree with altruism which is an opinion that self-sacrifice is an ethical ideal. Rand claims that the moral value of every human being is the decision of his or her well-being. From an individual perspective, I support Rand’s argument that selfishness is just a virtue.  Altruism should maintain that every action that a person takes for others to benefit from is important and every action that is taken for the interests of another person is evil. As a result of this, Rand declares that the beneficiary of any action is a principle of moral value. Therefore, as long as the recipient is any individual rather than oneself then, anything else disappears. 

According to Jonathan Goodman, it is evident that the sociobiological theory is a reciprocal towards altruism through the formulation of Golden Rule. According to Derek Parfit, the reciprocal altruism theory helps us to be reciprocals altruists so that we can benefit from the people we can benefit from in future. The Golden rule, however, teaches people to help every individual despite their intention towards the theory of reciprocal altruism. Rand believes that philosophy on selfishness and altruism construes the disregard of the interests of other people and their self-interest behavior where they are not (Goodman and Jonathan 70). She also suggests that the understanding of selfishness talks about the altruist framework for discerning about ethics. Rand, therefore, believes that the elements of individual self-interest are always impartial. Jonathan Goodman believes that Human beings contain psychological desires and the genuine desires of a person can be identified through the reference of their needs. Whim-fulfillment does not constitute the will of person’s well-being since the whim of an individual may be from an odd together with the actual requirements of a person. Goodman Jonathan, On the other hand, the characteristics of selfishness are never compatible with the intellectual and practical interests of individuals. He also argues that the people who live in the social world so that they can maximize their value of interacting with others. It is their responsibility to cultivate some firm commitment towards some virtues of justice, benevolence, rationality, and productivity. The engagement towards the virtues should naturally preclude the brutish behavior. 

Rand on her part argues that the conventional understanding of selfishness should imply the altruistic framework for thinking of ethics. From a look at this context, a question remains on who should be the beneficiary of such an act. She has the belief that there is an approach that should pass over some crucial issues related to ethical questions (Kouyoumdjieva, Sylvia and Gunnar 89). The altruist framework continues to argue out that the dichotomy between such actions should promote others interests towards the actions that encourage individual interests. Rand, however, rejects the dichotomy and affirms human interest harmony towards the benefit of men and their conflicts. 

Rand maintains that there is a default idea about the ethical theory of the society of altruism. Rand has a sharp and contrasting stand towards the ethical theory towards the culture of relativism. She also opposes the idea of a moral nihilist. She appears to be a ridicule of the subjectivist. Rand declares about being objective towards the moral absolutes. From a rhetorical perspective, Rand suggests that uncertainty is the revolt against the idea of epistemology and this is the same issue in ethics (Gotthelf, Allan, and James 45). Moral Grayness, therefore, contains some cult which is the revolt against the ethical values. Rand proposes that morality is just the code of white and black and therefore when you are asked about this issue you should never think like a black or white individual. Rand offers a structure of ethics that is in the case of selfishness. Rand uses greed as the designation of standards as it was raised more than the eyebrows. Rand uses the term greed as the synonym of evil where it brings about an image of savage brute where people pile corpses so as to achieve their ends. She ends up by saying that selfishness is just a concern of individual interests. 

The idea of rational selfishness according to Rand is that she believes the concept of morality demanding what people choose either between sacrificing another person to ourselves. The idea dooms selfish as being immoral and suggests sacrificing our values should aim at satisfying the needs of other people. In this case, the idea seems unselfishness as being moral. Rand appears to reject the options of selflessness form and goes on to offer some current concepts of egoism and comes up with some ethics regarding rational selfishness that can reject sacrifice in other forms (Goodman and Jonathan 21). Selfishness should not mean that one should do whatever that pleases him or her. Moral values should never be a matter of individual opinion; they are only a base of facts about the reality. In reference to the nature of man as a rational person, we must think and act successfully so that we can live happily. Morality should assist people to identify their actions, and it should help them benefit themselves.

From the introduction of the virtue of selfishness, morality refers to any achievement that safeguards and protects the rational values especially the life and happiness of a person. This is because the concern of one’ benefits is only a character features then this later translates into actions that help one to guard and achieve personal well-being. This makes it clear that selfishness is just a virtue. It is important for one to manifest some serious concerns for individual interests especially if one wants to lead a purposeful, fulfilling and healthy life. Rand was able to understand that the over usage of the term “selfish” differs from the meaning she depicts on it. Most people use the word to describe individual welfare, especially when disregarding other people’s wellbeing. This makes people believe that selfish person is brutal and are oblivious towards adverse consequences of different actions for their loved ones and friends who abuse their kindness, patience, and trust so as to please their inconsequential whims.

Works Cited

Goodman, Jonathan. ""Altruism and the Golden Rule."" Zygon® 49.2 (2014): 381-395.

Gotthelf, Allan, and James G. Lennox. ""Metaethics, Egoism, and Virtue: Studies in Ayn Rand's Normative Theory."" (2014).

Kouyoumdjieva, Sylvia T., and Gunnar Karlsson. ""The virtue of selfishness: Device perspective on mobile data offloading."" Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC), 2015 IEEE. IEEE, 2015.

May 04, 2022




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