Selfishness vs. Self-interest

Is there a difference between selfishness, Ayn Rand‘s term of choice, and self-interest? I think so, but I also think that Ayn Rand was trying to be provocative in her choice of words. John Piper puts the difference this way, as he describes love and joy in the context of marriage.

Love is the pursuit of our joy in the holy joy of the beloved. There is no way to exclude self-interest from love, for self-interest is not the same as selfishness. Selfishness seeks its own private happiness at the expense [or disregard] of others. Love seeks its happiness in the happiness of the beloved. It will even suffer and die for the beloved in order that its joy might be full in the life and purity of the beloved.

The writing of John Piper, particularly Desiring God, has been one of my greatest inspirations. His work sparked my idea for The Soul of Atlas and set me on a journey that recreated the Conversation between Ayn Rand and Christianity. I highly recommend anything John Piper writes.

What do you think about selfishness? What do you think about John Piper?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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