Empino, Romir Gian O.


Egoism and Moral Scepticism: James Rachels Review Questions: 1. Explain the legend of Gyges. What questions about morality are raised by the story? – The legend of Gyges is a story were in a shepherd had found a magic ring in a fissure opened by and earthquake. It will make the bearer invisible so, upon knowing its powers, he plan to pass a Royal Palace to seduce the queen in order for him to kill the king and seized the throne. The main question raised by this legend is it moral to use a extraordinary power for the good of the greed? 2. Distinguish between psychological and ethical egoism. – Psychological egoism is the belief of men that doing an action will benefit his interest while ethical egoism is also the same with psychological egoism but there is a breach on other people’s interests. 3. Rachels discusses two arguments for psychological egoism. What are these arguments, and how does he reply to them? – The first argument is that the people can do things based on their own perspective and the second one: actions are being done for the sake of others. These arguments are all about actions of a person. He replies to these arguments through citing instances regarding on the arguments mentioned earlier. 4. What three commonplace confusions does Rachels detect in the thesis of psychological egoism? – The three commonplace confusions are a). selfishness with selfinterests,b). assumption that every action is done either from self-interest and c). the common but false assumptiuon that a concern for one’s own welfare is incompatible with others. 5. State the argument for saying that ethical egoism is inconsistent. Why doesn’t Rachels accept this argument? – “Therefore, the argument goes, there is no way to maintain the doctrine of ethical egoism as a consistent view…..”. Rachels we must put our minds in a certain kind of world for the others wherein that world is a place for us to maximize our interests regarding of other people’s interests. 6. According to Rachels, why shouldn’t we hurt others, and why should we help others? How can the egoist reply? – According to Rachels, we shouldn’t hurt others because they will be hurt and we should help others because they will benefiting on our help. Because an egoist does not care on others value, they will react negative about it. Discussion Questions

1. Has Rachels answered the question raised by Glaucon, namely “Why be moral?” If so, what exactly is his answer? – Rachels answers the question “Why be moral” because he believes that the virtue of beneficence does and indeed should occupy an important place in the “moral institution of life”. 2. Are genuine egoists rare, as Rachels claims? Is it a fact that most people care about others, even people they don’t know? – I think yes, although people doesn’t know the time when they are already showing their care to others, still they do this practice coz it is an instinct for us, as humans. 3. Suppose we define ethical altruism as the view that one should always act for the benefit of others and never in one’s own self-interest. Is such a view immoral or not? – The view is moral.

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