Self-interest and altruism (or empathy)

What Is Altruism? - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com

I left a comment:
One thing many economists, or whoever doesn’t believe in voluntary giving (as opposed to forced taxation), seem to assume that one needs to sacrifice one’s self-interest to contribute to others’ wellbeing. Therefore it won’t happen easily. Therefore we need forced contribution.
I don’t agree. Whether you call it self-interest or greed or utility or whatever, people pursue happiness. And very often people feel happy when seeing others happy. Plus, people feel proud and happy when they have helped others.
I don’t know academic distinction between altruism and empathy, but I am certain that contributing to others’ happiness is not inconsistent with pursuit of one’s own happiness.

No comments:

Post a Comment