Roger Bissell Posted September 24, 2007 Share Posted September 24, 2007 Some relevant Rand quotes in reply to Bob and his "I don't need no stinkin' morality on a desert island" position:1. "What is morality, or ethics? It is a code of values to guide man's choices and actions--the choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of his life. Ethics, as a science, deals with discovering and defining such a code." ("The Objectivist Ethics" in The Virtue of Selfishness, p. 13)2. "Ethics is an objective, metaphysical necessity of man's survival...The standard of value of the Objectivist ethics--the standard by which one judges what is good or evil--is man's life, or: that which is required for man's survival qua man. Since reason is man's basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil. Since everything man needs has to be discoveredf by his own mind and produced by his own effort, the two essentials of the method of survival proper to a rational being are: thinking and productive work." (ibid, p. 23)3. "If [man] chooses to live, a rational ethics will tell him what principles of action are required to implement his choice. If he does not choose to live, nature will take its course." ("Causality vs. Duty" in Philosophy, Who Needs It?", p. 99)4. "If is for the purpose of self-preservation that man needs a code of morality. The only man who desires to be moral is the man who desires to live." ("Galt's Speech" in For the New Intellectual, p. 123)5. "My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists--and in a single choice: to live. The rest proceeds from these. To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason--Purpose--Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge--Purpose, as his choice of the happines which that tool must proceed to achieve--Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worth of happiness, which means: is worthy ofliving. These three values imply and require all of man's virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousnes: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride." (ibid, p. 128)6. "You who prattle that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert island [do you hear me, Ba'al Chatzaf?]--it is on a desert island that he would need it most. Let him try to claim, when there are no victims to pay for it, that a rock is a house, that sand is clothing, that food will drop into his mouth without cause or effort, that he will collect a harvest tomorrow by devouring his stock seed today--and reality will wipe him out, as he deserves; reality will show him that life is a value to be bought and that thinking is the only coin noble enough to buy it." (ibid, p. 127) Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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