June 2, 2006
If you wanted to be thoroughly selfish, concerned about your own pleasures and benefits, should you prefer living alone or with a partner? If you wanted to be unselfish, concerned about virtue and service to others, should you prefer living alone or with a partner? Which question has the clearer answer? Save all the hedging about how what matters are the details of the specific relationship. I want to hear you try to answer the question in the abstract. To help you focus: assume that in starting out in life, you are required to commit either to a solitary or a partnered existence, and you are making your decision by weighing the question first from the selfish perspective and then from the unselfish perspective. Is the answer from the unselfish perspective different from the selfish one? If it's not, were you really honest? If it is, which path do you choose? Does your answer to these questions match what you are actually doing? Are you sorry?
Posted by Ann Althouse at 11:06 AM