As for those who simply cannot work, free societies have always provided numerous forms of private aid and philanthropy outside the market: charitable organizations, benevolent societies, and the like. In this regard, let us be clear that there is no contradiction between egoism and charity. In light of the many benefits we receive from dealing with others, it is natural to regard our fellow humans in a spirit of general benevolence, to sympathize with their misfortunes, and to give aid when it does not require a sacrifice of our own interests. But there are major differences between an egoist and an altruist conception of charity.
For an altruist, generosity to others is an ethical primary, and it should be carried to the point of sacrifice, on the principle: give until it hurts. It is a moral duty to give, regardless of any other values one has; and the recipient has a right to it. For an egoist, generosity is one among many means of pursuing our values, including the value that we place on the well-being of others. It should be done in the context of one's other values, on the principle: give when it helps. It is not a duty, nor do the recipients have a right to it. An altruist tends to regard generosity as an expiation of guilt, on the assumption that there is something sinful or suspicious about being able, successful, productive, wealthy. An egoist regards those same traits as virtues, and sees generosity as an expression of pride in them.
26 agosto 2007
Bunch of crap!