Altruism and Sacrifice
Webcast Q&A: Sunday, 26 December 2010, Question 1
In the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on 26 December 2010, I answered a question on altruism and sacrifice.
Why does altruism measure virtue by the depth of a person's self-sacrifice, rather than the amount of good actually done for others? Altruism demands every person promote the welfare of others as his ultimate value. Despite that, however, altruistic virtue is not measured by the actual good done for others, but rather by the depth of the person's self-sacrifice. Why is that?
My Answer, In Brief: Altruism is not inconsistent to measure virtue by depth of a person's self-sacrifice. It must do that – or acknowledge that mankind's greatest benefactors are not people doling out charity, but rather people who produce and trade for their own selfish gain.
- Download: MP3 Segment
- Duration: 10:09
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About Philosophy in Action Radio
I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My dissertation defended moral responsibility and moral judgment against the doubts raised by Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.
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