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If we posit an ideal world where every person has perfect and complete knowledge, and the discipline and self-control to act consistently on that knowledge, it's possible we can equate the most self-interested act with the most ethical.

Until we have that ideal world, to posit that people always simply do what they want to do anyway, and rationalize their behavior to their philosophy of life, is to engage in a bit of the same rationalization when we conclude that "if only they knew as much as I know, they would do what I think they should do."

Too much of what we are currently discovering about actual human behavior has to get swept under the rug to equate selfishness with ethics. [i.e., Stanford Prison Experiment.]