Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I happened to read a bit on Ayn Rand Objectivism

...the proper moral purpose of one's life...

To me it stumbles right there - not only asserting the assumption that there is any proper moral purpose, but then going on to act upon the assumption without questioning the assumption.

It seems once again a reflection of so many religions certainty that they can act upon you because they have a 'proper moral purpose' and in this case it's the idea they can act upon you with 'pure laissez faire capitalism'.

You want my moral reflection? I don't know if there is any moral principles in existance, ever, or if there were any, I don't know whether anything I do happens to match such principles.

All I know is that rather than drop limp where I formerly stood and cease breathing or breathe yet lie there till I starve/dehydrate (a bit like the people on that planet in the movie Serenity), I instead feel urge and hunger welling up in me. As intellect I can see this, see the urges coming, and my intellect is powered by these things that well up (you might think of it that these hungers and urges grant intellect a budget...and if they pull the budget, no intellect).

And unlike most people through history who feel such things and pronounce them right and morally just, I have reached the conclusion I can reach no conclusion about whether they are right or morally just or anything.

Anything I do may be monsterous somehow. I do not know.

All I do is at least make sure I'm the sort of monster, if monster I be, that I set out to be. To make sure I'm the monster I decided on, rather than something else that may be equally monsterous AND is not something I decided on.

Then again I don't think souls are for free.

Is there a name used in any particular culture for that?


  1. Yes! Existentialism. Read Sartre or Camus. I love Existentialism, so I get where you're coming from. We have no purpose for being here except the purpose we design for ourselves.

    p.s. Didn't realise you were a Melbournite too! E-mail me if you want to grab a cuppa:

  2. I totally agree.

    But Rand doesn't start with ethics - she starts with metaphysics which she defends with a comprehensive theory of epistemology - check out the extended edition of her short book 'Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.'

  3. I think you are saying one thing and doing another. It's very easy to say "Anything I do may be monstrous" but if someone called you a monster to your face chances are you would feel it unjustified.

    If someone came and punched you, you would not reconcile it as them being authentic and being the monster they want to be, you would want a clear reason why they did that.

    G.K. Chesterton had a good example in one of his stories. There was a teacher who taught a pretty hardcore form of german pessimism, of how life is pain, better to be dead, etc ect. But when his student came, and threatened to kill him with a revolver, the pessimist suddenly turned out to love life after all. It's the same with people unsure of any moral purpose existing: under the gun they find they believe quite strongly in the proper moral purpose of many things, such as not robbing or killing themselves.

  4. Well, if they present the hypothesis that I'm a monster then present no evidence after that - it literally is unjustified at that point in time. It may be true (or false, or whatever), but no justifying has occured at that point. It's just a hypothesis aired, with no evidence supplied.

    That's why I sometimes think emotions may be painfully logical - feeling that situation is unjustified is, from a logistical standpoint, entirely accurate. But that's shifting off topic.

    In terms of someone punching me, I don't think I've said anything in terms of reconciling anyone elses actions. It's just for my own. What is he? What am I for trying to judge what is he? Why do I insist on an answer otherwise I'm indicating some sort of retribution? It always comes back to what I am. And I don't know, yet I will act (well, I wont fall to the ground and stay there, frozen, till I die of dehydration, anyway).

    You seem to be suggesting some sort of internal conflict and I'm responding to that - does this address your hypothesis at all?

    And I'm looking at your point with your pessimist teacher and I thought I got what you meant to convey, but now that's slipping away and I just see events happening which don't present a conclusion from you?

    I have standards - as to whether they tie to some galactic standard of right, I do not know. You seem to be saying because they were threatened, they suddenly saw their standards as galactic standards of 'rightness'?