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In an interview Ayn Rand said that she regards alturism evil. While I don't disagree what she meant by that I do disagree about semantics. As far as I can tell there are two kinds of wrongdoings: Self sacrifice and the unjustifiable violation of someone else's rights. I believe that these two are not equally bad even though both of them are wrong. Self sacrifice is more of a mistake than a crime. That is why the government protects us against criminals and not against mistakes. At least not mistakes inflicted upon ourselves (there is no such thing as a victimless crime right?). On the other hand government trying to protect people from themselves is more than a mistake. It is a violation of fundamental human rights. Therefore I believe that since there are two kinds of incorrect behaviour of man we should label their moral worthiness differently. So... Self sacrifice is wrong (or bad) Hurting others is evil (i.e. violating someone's rights) Of course everything that is evil is also wrong (or bad), but not everything that is wrong is evil. I also think this is why we have two separate words to describe the same thing. Almost the same... Therefore in my opinion Rand was a bit harsh in the interview. Because neither altruism nor the peaceful indoctrination of children to believe in altruism violates human rights. Peace