Ethics of Selfishness/Ethics of Duty
Compare and contrast Kant and Ayn Rand on the issue of altruism
Altruism is an unselfish act wherein one's intention is to benefit another. Within every act, three aspects must be considered: the motivation behind the act; the moral value of the individual carrying out the act; and the selfish consequences of the act itself. Both Kant and Rand agree on using moral values to make decisions on an act, however, Kant believes the act should not be self-serving and Rand believes the act should be to promote one's self.
In consideration of the first two aspects, being the motivation behind the act, and the moral value of the individual carrying out the act, Kant and Rand utilize methods of moral measurement. Kant's Three Pillars of duty, universalizability and respect must be considered before the individual will fulfill the obligation set forth. Fulfilling a sense of duty means that the act is the right thing to do and is aligned to your moral values.
Universalizability takes into consideration three maxims: the motivating reasons of the agent, the act itself and the universal system of reason. This means that if your decision to act is fair to one, it must be fair to all. Furthermore, you would become suspicious in your decision to act if it went against your moral values. Respect is the final Pillar in that Kant believes humanity must be treated as an end in itself, never as a means to an end. He goes on to say that we must never take away an individual's autonomy in the decision-making process while carrying out an act. We should always respect people's opinions or views, regardless if they are in conflict with our own.
Rand also uses a measurement in considering the motive...