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November 4, 1988

Is Altruism a Vice?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Tampa, Fla

Tampa, Fla

JAMA. 1988;260(17):2509-2510. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410170057030

In Reply.—  To respond to Dr Dykers' comments, Auguste Comte indeed coined the term altruism. He stated that man must be selfless and renounce egoism.1 John Stuart Mill rejected the concept of individual freedom.2 Thus, the evolution of the dangerous concept of the greatest good for the greatest number, a logical fallacy, the first corollary of which is the least good for the least number, a concept skillfully manipulated by Adolf Hitler, resulting in the extermination of 6 million Jews. As an objectivist, recognizing the supremacy of reason, I am proud to be rejected by the positivist school.Dr Fung struggles with the definition of altruism. As he states, I do present altruism as a vice. Webster defines vice as (1) a defect, (2) an immoral practice or habit, and (3) evil conduct. All three definitions fit altruism precisely, since we have seen where altruism has led. Dr