Monday, April 28, 2008

Dark Justice

[T]he philosophy itself, I think, is perfectly sound. It's the best thing going out there. Is it perfect? Well, I'm not a philosopher, but, for example, once you go down the path that there are objective truths and realities, particularly in the moral realm dealing with values, then it doesn't take long for some people to go from there to judging other people fairly harshly.

— Michael Schermer

Alex sayz: If you're an Objectivist, or consider becoming one, write this down a hundred times. Two hundred, if you ever heard the words "Leonard Peikoff" or "Ayn Rand Institute."


robert574 said...

Well, that statement is made from a contemporary perspective. The common moral systems today, religious and/or skeptic leave men with so little in the way of moral guidance that most men are immoral by default. In fact, the reverse situation is true. Most men are judged much more harshly today than they would be under an Objective morality. Their only moral choice today is to sacrifice to others and since no man can actually sacrifice himself consistently this means men are always falling short. The only way out of this dilemna is foregiveness of sins.

However, if the common morality were Objectivist derived, men would not need to be judged harshly since their morality would recognize their right to pursue happiness (which today's moralities do not). Rational self-interest is actually what religion and skepticism attack and criticize harshly. In an Objectivist world, we'd have much more rational self-interest and it would be seen as moral as well as practical.

Alex said...

I sure do hope you're right. When I — full of youthful idealism — first discovered Objectivism, I thought it was an excellent idea that people would dedicate their lives to reason and to the discovery of an objective morality. But when I heard of goings-on like The Great George Reisman Edith Packer Harry Binswanger Peter Schwartz Feud

One should think that adults sworn to reason and morality, scholars at that, would find a way to adjust their differences reasonably and peacefully. Instead of resorting to calling each other immoral and stop talking. Even if the Reisman couple was in the wrong, simply chucking them into the memory hole doesn't make ARI look particularly good.

robert574 said...

I am not a spokesperson for Objectivism and can only give you my opinion. Morality is about how you live your life, and about how you arm yourself with knowledge and good thinking in order to make decisions for yourself. Once you develop your own ability to be moral you create a strong foundation for living a fruitful and happy life. It is not about using examples and models of how to live. You are your own example, your own model; you are inventing yourself.

If you see the value of Ayn Rand's philosophy and understand that it is about using your own mind to draw your own conclusions about the real world, then you can create your own personal legacy and will not have to use others as models for your life. In my view, blindly using other peoples' lives as models for living your life is not what Objectivism is about. Don't let situations where not all the facts are available deter you from thinking for yourself.