Dennis Hardin Posted March 15, 2011 Author Share Posted March 15, 2011 > Kelley argues that the first position is correct: Life is a value because one chooses it. If a person does not choose to live, there is no basis for evaluating his choice as wrong, immoral or irrational. [Dennis]Assuming you've paraphrased him correctly and there is no further nuance or qualification to his view, that's not only wrong but disastrous philosophically. It leads to the idea that "well, I never fully chose life in the first place, so slow death, irrationality, unhappiness, partial destruction are moral for me" or "well, my choice is inconsistent, but I chose to be inconsistent prior to any morality" and to the fact that an Objectivist would have no answer. At least not to the first.You are correct and David Kelley is wrong: Rand would -not- have agreed with this. In fact, she actually expressed her violent disagreement. There is a passage somewhere of her withering contempt and moral disapproval for those who had essentially and gratuitously made the fundamental choice of death in one way (or degree)or another.I wish I had the exact quotation.Phil,I quoted Kelley's exact words in my response to George:On the first alternative, the choice comes first. Life is not a value for a person until he chooses to live. So choosing to live is a pre-moral choice. One is not morally obliged to make that choice, and if a person does not choose to live he is outside the realm of morality; there is no moral basis for evaluating his choice as wrong, immoral, or irrational. This is the view that Rand appears to espouse in the passages I quoted.This is from the article, Choosing Life. The link is repeated several times on this thread.PS, Couldn't you say that Atlas Shrugged largely deals not with people who are inconsistent but with people like James Taggart who never actually chose life from their earliest days, who are 'on the premise of death'? And her whole discussion of the anti-life mentality throughout the book and elsewhere.Kelley would probably argue that James Taggart is immoral because he is obviously choosing to live but behaving in a manner that is inconsistent with that choice (i.e., anti-life). He is choosing to live, so his conduct can be evaluated morally, as opposed to someone who blows his brains out, and therefore should not be judged. I can't speak for Kelley, needless to say. But I am guessing this is what he might say. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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