People, in general, are self-serving. Much as we would like to be fully selfless, spending all of our time doing for others, the fact is most people are first concerned with themselves and their families, then extended family and friends, then finally people they don’t know. This is necessary for survival, since people would be unable to have enough of the necessities – food, water, shelter, clothing, etc… if they spent all of their time doing things solely for others.
And yet that is what many see as good and noble. Ayn Rand uses a good example of this in her “perfect man,”John Galt’s, speech about two-thirds of the way through her classic work of Objectivism, Atlas Shrugged. John Galt notes that a mother who gave the food for her own baby to another’s baby would be considered noble. Yet her baby would starve, so the process is in fact suicidal.
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