According to this ethic, we should think of ethics as a “social contract” between purely self-interested people. It might be thought that a truly selfish person would not care at all about other people, and might be nasty to them. However, philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes propose that even if one only cares about oneself it makes sense to have laws in place that protect everyone. That is because it is in everybody’s self-interest to have laws which protect everyone from murder, theft, rape, deceptive dealings, and other harms. Hence the idea of a social contract that everyone should agree to out of self-interest.
- What are some possible reasons in favour of adopting ethical egoism as a guide to peace and conflict?
- What are some possible reasons against adopting ethical egoism as a guide to peace and conflict?
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