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A Strong Moral Code

Each man or woman makes choices based on thinking, and thinking is itself a matter of personal choice. Any decision has to be made by the individual, and whatever he or she decides is moral because they have made the decision.

What others think of the decision does not matter, and this fact has implications. It cannot simply mean that the individual owes no explanation to anyone. Indeed, the fact that what others think does not matter places greater responsibility on the individual, who has no recourse to the views of others and who is completely responsible for his or her own decisions.

Justification for this theory suggests under one argument that there are three reasons to accept it:

1) We ought to do what we can to promote the interests of everyone.

2) The best way to do this is to adopt the policy of pursuing our own interests exclusively.

3) We should each thus adopt the policy of pursuing our own interests exclusively.

Another argument offered by Ayn Rand sees the idea of "altruism" as a dangerous point of view. A third argument holds that ethical Egoism only tries to explain and systematize common sense morality, not to undermine it (Rachels 85-89).

Jeremy Bentham's Utilitarianism is based on the perception that the human being is governed by the opposing principles of pleasure and pain: "It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do" (Rogerson 31). Bentham offers the principle of utility as the foundation for his philosophy of utilitarianism and for the ethical considerations that flow from it. Bentham is in fact interested not merely in showing that human action derives from a desire for pleasure and a fear of pain. He is also interested in developing a set of objective criteria of morality and for making moral decisions regarding human actions. Pain and pleasure are the determinants of right and wrong as well as being in a chain of cause and eff...

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A Strong Moral Code. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 05:11, November 25, 2015, from
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