Ethical Egoism and Biblical Self-Interest
by J.P. Moreland
- Title: Ethical Egoism and Biblical Self-Interest
- Date: 1997
- Source: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 59 (1997), 257-68
- Article Type: Journal Article
- Audience: Intermediate
- Kingdom Categories: Life of the Mind
In this article, I try to show why ethical egoism is a defective normative ethical theory and, given this conclusion, I offer ways to understand a biblical concept of self-interest that does not entail the truth of ethical egoism.
First, I clarify the precise nature of ethical egoism.
Second, I summarize the main types of the argument in the literature for and against ethical egoism and conclude that it is inadequate.
Third, I offer a set of important distinctions for understanding biblical self-interest while avoiding ethical egoism.
Related Content: If this article interests you, you might also want to consider the following
- Body & Soul (book)
- Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (book)
- Philosophy Made Slightly Less Difficult (book)
- It clearly shows how self-interest is a biblical idea.
- It models how biblical discussions about important ethical concepts can converse with major ethical theories.
- It provides a helpful exposition of the strengths and weaknesses of ethical egoism and how it is ultimately inadequate as a theory.