Summaries of Tara Smith's talk
Summary of the talk:
Selfishness (egoism) is necessary for survival and success, and can indeed be good. But egoism is not subjectivism, since we can be wrong about what is in our best interest. And it is not hedonism, since not everything that is in our best interest will necessarily be pleasurable. And it is not materialism, since, in addition to our physical needs, we also have emotional and spiritual needs, which must also be satisfied in order for us to be happy. And even being an egoist cannot justify manipulating others and taking unfair advantage of them. Life is still going to be a struggle and require sacrifice. That sacrifice will be viewed as an investment in a bright and happy future. (S.F.)
Tara Smith came to the College of Charleston and today discussed her view on the question of can selfishness be moral? Smith began her argument by clearly choosing a side-selfishness can be, and in fact is, moral. She added that not only is selfishness moral, self-promoting actions are actually required to be successful in life and survive. She challenged altruistic views, stating that it is necessary to recognize actions that are self-serving in order to thrive and achieve happiness in one's life. Smith argued that one should be an egoist in order to achieve self-attainment and advance in life. She then turned to Rand and discussed her views on issues such as self-interest, egoism, the spiritual dimension of egoism, and the misconceptions of the motivations of both self-interest and egoism. Smith finished her discussion with the necessary virtues, most importantly rationality, that must be pursued to be an egoist. These factors all played a part in Smith's overall argument that selfishness is not only moral, but one MUST be selfish in certain ways to be put in the best position to succeed in life.