Picture of Altruism vs. Principles (MP3 download)

Altruism vs. Principles (MP3 download)

By Peter Schwartz


Altruists smear egoism as being a system of whim-worship, while they portray their own ethics as one that is based on firm principle. But the opposite is true. It is egoism that embraces moral principles and altruism that repudiates them. And what altruism rejects is not merely the principles of egoism, but morality itself. This talk shows how the demand for self-sacrifice includes the demand that your moral values be surrendered in service to the needs of others. Mr. Schwartz discusses the indefinability of "need," as that term is used by altruism, and explains why the enshrinement of need as the standard is actually the enshrinement of emotionalism. He demonstrates how the code of altruism categorically denies the idea of objective standards, thereby negating not only moral principles, but principles as such.

This talk was recorded at the 2008 Objectivist Summer Conference in Newport Beach, CA.

(MP3 download; 79 min., with Q & A, 57 MB)