25 November, 2007

And if all this gets old, will it still feel the same

Jeffrey Aho:
"I guess I should note that Rand’s “selfishness” is in the strictest sense of “concern for one’s own interests” and not that of the commonly used word with negative connotations. The cornerstone of Objectivism is rational self-interest without force (noting that “without force” is critical). My favourite essay so far in the collection is The Ethics of Emergencies, which discusses aid of others. The last paragraph sums up the ideas well:

“The moral purpose of a man’s life is the achievement of his own happiness. This does not mean that he is indifferent to all men, that human life is of no value to him and that he has no reason to help others in an emergency. But it does mean that he does not subordinate his life to the welfare of others, that he does not sacrifice himself to their needs, that the relief of their suffering is not his primary concern, that any help he gives is an exception, not a rule, an act of generosity, not of moral duty, that it is marginal and incidental - as disasters are marginal and incidental in the course of human existance - and that values, not disasters, are the goal, the first concern and the motive power of his life.”"


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