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It Is Impossible for All of Us to Be Egoists?

Updated on November 30, 2017



In philosophy, egoism is the notion that one’s self is, and should be the motivation and goal of the actions of the individual. For the egoists, everyone acts in their own self interest, and thus everyone is an egoist. However, it is basically impossible for everyone to be an egoist.
One of the main reasons as to why it is impossible for everyone to be an egoist is due to the fact that altruism appears is possible. This is to say that people act selflessly by volunteering and even risking their lives in order to assist others. Whereas some will think about doing this for the benefit others, others will do so without a second thought, which shows that it is the nature of human beings to help others when need be. Although it is the nature of human beings and individuals to act in ways that will satisfy their needs, thus acting on their own self interests, it is also appears that they will strive to assist others, even risking their lives voluntarily. Although an egoist may reject this view by pointing out that people only do what they desire, real life has shown people to jump in to helping others without considering their own safety.

Not selfish

It therefore becomes clear that individuals are not only driven by their self interest desires, but also because it is their nature to intervene. In addition, people also tend to be convinced that they have the moral duty to act in certain ways in given situations, and will therefore be driven to act in moral ways thereby assisting others in need. Even in the event that an individual derives joy or peace of mind by helping (as was the case with Abraham Lincoln when he went out of his way to save little pigs from drowning), it shows that some people will act selflessly for the benefit of others.
In conclusion, it is true that human beings will tend to act selfishly in order to satisfy their individual desires. Although this may be true, we cannot all be egoists given that various events in life (both personal and in general) have shown altruism to be possible. In various occasions, we donate, volunteer, and even risk lives for others regardless of whether we thought about it first or did it without any second thought. The nature of human beings to assist others not only applies to those we know and care about, but also total strangers where some people take it upon themselves to travel to foreign countries to assist those in need. Given that altruism has been shown to be possible, it becomes impossible for all of us to be egoists.


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