Flames tore through warehouse in Oakland, California on Saturday at the “Ghost Shop” artist collective. The death toll continues to rise, right now more than 30 people have been confirmed dead. Officials work to remove debris, combing through all of the rubble, working to account for many people who were inside the warehouse. Officials are identifying victims by fingerprint after the warehouse roof collapsed during the fire. The roof ended up collapsing onto the warehouse’s second floor. Officials say there were about 50 people inside. The cause of the fire is still unknown at this time, however officials are saying the city had recently received complaints about blight and “unpermitted construction” at the warehouse. Some families waiting to find out if their loved ones are inside the warehouse as fire officials continue to worth through the rubble. Owner of the warehouse Derick Ion, posted unsympathetic Facebook post about the fire. His post read, “Confirmed. Everything i worked so hard for is gone. Blessed that my children and Micah were at the hotel safe and sound. It’s as if I have woken from a dream filled with opulence and hope to be standing now in poverty of self-worth.”
In regards to this case, the unsympathetic response from the owner of the warehouse to the fire and 30 people confirmed dead, I was baffled. Instantly, I began to think of Nichomachean Ethics and what Aristotle said about egoism. He described egoism as a “catch-all reference to any concern for one’s own interests or welfare.” In other words, a motive is egoistic if it is self-regarding, if it related to the subject himself. I think it is quite clear that the owner had no sympathy whatsoever about those people and their families, only about his family, which he cares for, and himself; along with the financial profit he gained. He instantly made it clear that he was once on top and now he is only self-regarding himself. He only cares about what and how this catastrophe affected him. I wonder if those employees were even treated with respect and appreciation after reading that. The owner said nice things about his family because he cares and likes them, not because he is a quality human being. From my perspective, he is without doubt a egoistic person that follows the description in Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics.