Egoism is the exact opposite of altruism. Instead of working for the well-being of others, you work only for your own well-being. In many ways, my economics professor would support this kind of a world. He said that when we all work for our own good, our economy grows. But it doesn’t seem very Christian. One great example of an Egoist is Algernon from Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” He does whatever he can to shirk all responsibility, help no one and pursue his own pleasures. Here’s just one quote from him:
Algernon: You have invented a very useful younger brother called Ernest, in order that you may be able to come up to town as often as you like. I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I may be able to go down into the country whenever I choose. Bunbury is perfectly invaluable. If it wasn’t for Bunbury’s extraordinary bad health, for instance, I wouldn’t be able to dine with you at Willis’s to- night, for I have been really engaged to Aunt Augusta for more than a week. (I.88)
Through lies and deceit, Algernon, along with his friend Jack both pursue their personal desires, helping no one but themselves. In the end, it all somehow works out, but I am grateful that not everyone in our world is like that. Given, there are many people who behave in that way but there is also a good number of people who sacrifice and work for the good of others.