Originally Posted by nycindie
.... A corollary to Rand's endorsement of self-interest is her rejection of the ethical doctrine of altruismówhich she defined in the sense of Auguste Comte's altruism (he coined the term), as a moral obligation to live for the sake of others. ....
There are likely to be several to many particular usage variants of the term "altruism". Apparently, Rand's "altruism" was conceived in opposition to Compte's, which centered on "moral obligation". Although I do believe the concept of "moral obligation" is sometimes necessary or useful, it can also stand in the way of the sense of "altruism" I had in mind when I said I liked it.
What I had in mind was not centered on obligation, but on empathy and compassion. The experience of empathy and compassion isn't centered on duty or obligation, but on wishing others to be happy, healthy, well, and free of suffering. Empathy and compassion lead one to serve the needs and interests of others because ... well, because they have such needs and interests, and because, well, we're all in this together. Not out of obligation or duty--which are fine motivators, I suppose, for those who haven't grown up yet.