In "The Virtue of Selfishness" Ayn Rand argues that self-interest is the norm of ethics. Perhaps the strongest argument Rand gives for this claim relies on the argument that it is up to every individual to decide what values his or her life needs. Since it is important to know what morals one should have, or if one should even have any. In this paper I will argue that this argument fails because a self-interested person will belittle the interests of others for their own good, therefore damaging the relationship he or she has with others.
In the same book "The Virtue of Selfishness" Rand argues that the moral person is the one who is committed to acting in his or her self-interest and by living through the doctrine; one survives, succeeds, and gains contentment. Self-interested people also live by seven other virtues which according to Rand makes the moral person, in addition Rand also suggests that self-interest is the premise for pesonal happiness and an independent and prosperous world. Rand says, "Man is a being of self-made soul." In other words, man makes his or her own essence. For example, when someone is born, throughout time that person decides what he or she will believe in, thus allowing that person to invent him or herself.
So far so good. However, Rand further claims that humans are not born with bad intentions. I do not have enough space to address all of Rands arguments for why she believes people are not born with bad intentions. Instead, I will examine what I take her to believe is the strongest argument: self-interest is the standard of morality.
Rand states, "selflessness is the deepest immorality," as follows: One's own well-being is one's highest value. For example, the following scene allows you and I to see Rands view as opposed to an altruist views: The world is too small for such a big population of people and with too many people the resources humans need to survive are scarce. With resources being scarce some may have to sacrifice their own supplies for the good of others. If the scenerio were as Rand views it, then she would be wrong to say that the person who acts in her or her own self-interest survives. If giving up your own necessities for others makes you selfless, so be it. At least that way you wouldn't be undermining the postions of others, but instead strengthening them. Consequently, Rand and the altruist have different views on the situation. Rand looks at it and would want the people to hide what they have instead of giving it to others, the altruists looks at it and would have shared what they have to help others. I associate altruism with this scenerio because it relates the same...