jts Posted March 22, 2017 Share Posted March 22, 2017 2 hours ago, moralist said: Those who deny the existence of Conscience have robbed themselves of moral choice, and have sentenced themselves to compulsively and indiscriminately act on their every thought and emotion. For they have affirmed the lie that they are nothing more than what they subjectively think and feel. You seem to believe thought is something that happens to you nonvolitionally, that you cannot direct your thoughts, that you have no choice in your thought process. For me, thinking is (at least to a large degree) a choice. Take smoking as an example. I have often wondered why intelligent people take up smoking when the evils of smoking are common knowledge. The answer seems to be that it is not enough to be intelligent; intelligence must be applied by an act of volition. How many people would smoke that first cigarette if before doing so they sat themselves down and made a list of positives and a list of negatives and arrived at the decision by a process of reason, as carefully and thoroughly as they might do for a career choice or which house to buy? Probably not one smoker in a thousand started smoking this way. Why? Because it would require an act of volition. No matter how high their IQ is, they must perform this act of volition if they are to use their intelligence. Both Aristotle and Ayn Rand defined man as the animal with the faculty of reason. (Rational animal is misleading.) But the faculty of reason is volitional like arms and legs, not automatic like heart and stomach. Perhaps some of both like lungs. Having the faculty of reason does not imply using it. It is possible to have a faculty of reason and not use it, as in the case of a very intelligent person taking up a poison habit. To live rationally requires choosing to use the faculty of reason in decision making, repeatedly as a way of life. To me, "moral choice" means performing the act of volition to use the faculty of reason to make decisions. Those who do not perform this act of volition sentence themselves to live compulsively and indiscriminately. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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