It might appear that it differs a great deal. Another problem is that guilt may presuppose that the soldier has a non-self-regarding desire for doing what he takes to be right. A Biography Penguin, Where the immediate loss is one's life or irreplaceable features such as one's sight , there is no long-term gain, and so no egoist argument for the sacrifice. Moralists aim primarily not at knowledge but at the ability to draw, on their own, true moral conclusions from the evidence. If I could guarantee that I do the right act by relying on a Moral Answers Machine and not otherwise , I ought to do so.
Suppose also that, looking back from the end of my life, I will have maximized my welfare by contributing now to the pension. I deny that others ought to maximize my good they should maximize their own goods. Even if nothing is good or bad, believing that pain is bad might increase my motivation to avoid pain and so lead me to survive longer. One hypothesis is altrustic: After all, moral theories such as Kantianism, utilitarianism, and common-sense morality require that an agent give weight to the interests of others. The soldier's desire is to save others, not increase his own welfare, even if he would not have desired to save others unless saving others was, in the past, connected to increasing his welfare. I both deny and am committed to affirming that others ought to maximize my good. One might reply with de Lazari-Radek and Singer that there are other ways of arriving at the conclusion that I have reason to care about the well-being of everyone. According to the instrumental theory, it is necessary and sufficient, for an action to be rational, that it maximize the satisfaction of one's preferences. Psychological egoism holds that all human beings are, as a matter of fact, motivated to act only in pursuit of their own at least apparent advantage, never for the sake of others. There are also variants which make the maximization of self-interest necessary but not sufficient, or sufficient but not necessary, for an action to be rational. Some of the facts may also not give the sharp distinction Sidgwick wants. It seems reasonable for me to care specially about B and C. Zwischen Ich und Gesellschaft bzw. One reply is to argue that non-arbitrary distinctions can be made by one's preferences. A different problem for rational egoism is that it appears arbitrary. Staat sollten keinerlei Pflichten bestehen, sondern vielmehr ein Antagonismus. And in these cases, as in the case of the imperfectly correlated pain and bodily injury, there seems usually to be enough affect. I cannot possess the goodness. Obviously, much here depends on the claim about the aim of moralists. Since psychological egoism seems false, it may be rational for me to make an uncompensated sacrifice for the sake of others, for this may be what, on balance, best satisfies my strong, non-self-interested preferences. But fit with motivation is hardly decisive; any normative theory, including ethical egoism, is intended to guide and criticize our choices, rather than simply endorse whatever we do. This conflict with the instrumental theory is a major problem for rational egoism. First, we do not always take preferences to establish non-arbitrary distinctions. That is, it is not enough that I act as if others have weight; I must really give them weight. Conclusion Prospects for psychological egoism are dim. Empathy might cause an unpleasant experience that subjects believe they can stop by helping; or subjects might think failing to help in cases of high empathy is more likely to lead to punishment by others, or that helping here is more likely to be rewarded by others; or subjects might think this about self-administered punishment or reward.
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