Self Interest Must Be Disregarded

1356 Words6 Pages
Self interest must be disregarded when deciding what actions are morally right’ Assess this view. If self interest was to be disregarded when deciding what actions are morally right would it mean that I must disregard myself when deciding which actions are morally right despite the consequences? Subsequently, whether I act without regard to myself has no effect on whether the action is moral or not. However, is it rational to not take into account the effect actions may cause? Is it possible to act in a way which also benefits me? Or, even, to only act in my own interest. This is psychological egoism, the act of only being able to act in your own self interest despite whether or not it benefits someone else. There are two modes of thought on this concept. The first is of Kant who believes that self interest should be disregarded when deciding whether actions are moral or not. This is because morals can be manipulated for our own benefit. I.e. morality is subjective. This can be interpreted as self interest is part of, or is, morality, which can lead to justifying actions which go against the consensus of society e.g. lying, stealing and killing. For this reason Kant believes it is better to live according to reason as opposed to desire. For example, if you wanted to buy something which was more expensive than you could afford your reason would tell you it wasn’t possible to have it, not desire as it cannot realise this. Kant sees this as similar to making moral decisions as the moral choice is not always the desired choice and therefore not in your self interest. This is why Kant uses his ‘categorical imperative’ as it simply is “I must do ‘x’” because there is no possibility of conflicting with self interest. The categorical imperative also has two parts; universal law and ends and means. This determines if the action you are considering to
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