Putting Others Above Yourself: Does it Make Sense?

In partnership with the University of Sheffield - this talk forms part of our series "God and the Good: Thinking Religion and Ethics".

‘Putting Others Above Yourself: Does it Make Sense?’
Ryan Byerly (Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield)

The Christian tradition is often thought to encourage a certain kind of centeredness on others as opposed to centeredness on oneself. For example, St. Paul tells the Philippians that each of them should regard each other as more important than himself. But, does this kind of others-centeredness make sense? I offer a way of understanding it according to which it is not only coherent, but has a special value. On the proposal I develop, to be others-centered is to have a tendency to promote the goods of others, rather than one’s own goods, when these goods are either equal in value or cannot be compared to one another. Those who possess others-centeredness of this kind are more likely than those who do not to promote the greatest overall value, because in addition to promoting the goods of others, they distinctively promote goods or relationship.

All are welcome, and there is no need to register attendance.

The Cathedral Coffee Shop will open from 6.30pm, serving tea, coffee, wine and light refreshments. Talks and discussion will taken place between 7:30pm and 9pm.

God and the Good: Thinking Religion and Ethics

This series of talks considers the relation between religious thinking and traditions on the one hand, and ethics on the other. While most ethical traditions have a religious background, the increasing secularization of modern society has put this connection in question. These talks will consider how far ethical issues can be illuminated by coming at them through a religious context, and vice versa, as well as the history of the interconnection.