In Defense of Selfishness: Why the Code of Self-Sacrifice is Unjust and Destructive [Peter Schwartz] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. From childhood, we're taught one central, non-controversial idea about morality: self-sacrifice is a virtue. It is universally accepted that serving the needs of others is the essence of morality. To be ethical--it is believed--is to be altruistic. Questioning this belief is regarded as tantamount to questioning the self-evident. Here, Peter Schwartz questions it.In Defense of Selfishness refutes widespread misconceptions about the meaning of selfishness and of altruism.