"Everyone always acts in their own best self-interest" (psychological egoism)

"Therefore, kindness, love, altruism, charity, and anything good are illusory and hypocritical because they are really self-interested acts."

"Therefore, moral pretensions are, at best, self-delusional, and at worst, active deceit."

"Therefore, morality is irrelevant, if not counterproductive."

"Therefore, I have a right to be a completely selfish bastard, and it's more moral for me to be a completely selfish bastard than to be virtuous because the bastard is honest while the virtuous person isn't."

"C'mere, little boy..."

Justin Johnson is right up until that last assertion.

Yes, all human motivation is driven by self-interest. Yes, this makes altruism a sham born out of conditioning or convenience. But what is very important to understand is that selfishness does not inherently lead to the harming of others. For me to truly act with my own self-interests, I have to weigh in all of the consequences of my actions, not just in the short term. An example being, I could go over to my neighbor’s home and steal his TV because I want a new TV. But he would not particularly like that and will probably come after me using either force or the threat of force. He would also call in the police. No matter how powerful I am, I’m not likely to be able to continue my daily life unaffected with the police after me! Therefore, I won’t be stealing his TV any time soon.

The police can exist in the absence of morals, if the existence of the police aids the self-interests of the people who elect to submit to such policing. Laws and morals are not intrinsically linked.

All “nihilistic ethical egoism” advocates is weighing each situation independently based solely on the conditions presented by that situation. This is in stark contrast to an ethical decision-making process driven by morals in which situations are generalized and lumped together to form specific “do’s” and “don’ts.” The problem with the latter is that it sometimes overrides extenuating circumstances and over simplifies decision-making. Not to mention the psychological neurosis’s that can develop when a person is forced to act in unnatural ways.

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