"the viking stood on a tower over a city he had conquered. The viking smiled as men smile when they look up at heaven; but he was looking down. His right arm was one straight line with his lowered sword; his left arm, straight as the sword, raised a goblet of wine to the sky. the first rays of the coming sun, still unseen to the earth, struck the crystal goblet. it sparkled like a white torch. its rays lighted the faces of those below. "To a life," said the Viking, "which is a reason unto itself." We the Living. Ayn Rand.
It is often said, "There are no unselfish good deeds." So many assume that man is at his root corrupted and it is impossible for him to achieve true virtue, true selflessness. I myself have been victim of this philosophy. Until, I flipped my perspective to align with my ideals. I believe that man is capable of good, of being truly virtuous, of changing his world for the better. But if I believe that, how can I believe that man is ultimately a corrupt entity, or at least in part a corrupt entity? Absolution, Selfishness is a virtue, selflessness is vice. If there are no unselfish good deeds then only truly malignant acts would be selflessness. Any act of true selflessness would demand a sacrifice whether in the material or meta-physical; the code of morality defined by the supposed of virtue of selflessness, demands that to achieve moral purity man must be a sacrificial animal. And by his nature man is not a sacrificial animal. The laws of the natural world within which we the living reside, do not reward sacrifice with value; man does. I.E. If a man living alone on a island decided to sacrifice the best of his food to a deity, he would eat the the worst of his food.