Re: [philosophy-31] Is freedom a whim, or does our nature demand it?Do we need ethics? Why?

From: Heide
Sent on: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 2:55 PM
As interesting as this might be for most of us members, it would be better to go to the APDG wesite and click on Message board and then start a new discussion. We have had complaints in the past of members not wanting to receive long discussions (clogs up emails). On the other hand for the die-hards who don't want to even be bothered with the occasional ones, you can do the same procedure and click on stop tracking discussion. This is just an idea, I'm just a member like the rest of you......
 
Hope everyone has a great Fourth of July weekend, drive safe so we can continue our discussions when we return next Saturday. ;-))


From: Bill Meacham <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, June 29,[masked]:53:04 AM
Subject: RE: [philosophy-31] Is freedom a whim, or does our nature demand it?Do we need ethics? Why?

Most theories about ethics and morality are confused because they conflate two quite different modes of thinking: the Good and the Right.  I invite you to read my paper on the subject, "Ethics: The Good and the Right" here:
 
 
I would be happy to entertain any feedback you have about it.
 
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Bill Meacham
* Home office: (512)[masked]
* Mobile: (512)[masked]
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent:[masked]:52:24 AM
Subject: [philosophy-31] Is freedom a whim, or does our nature demand it?Do we need ethics? Why?



"I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being.  I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.

I know not if this earth on which I stand is the core of the universe or if it is but a speck of dust lost in eternity. I know not and I care not. For I know what happiness is possible to me on earth. And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it. My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose."

- Excerpt from Anthem, Ayn Rand


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Since I am to speak on the Objectivist Ethics, I shall begin by quoting its best representative���John Galt, in Atlas Shrugged:

���Through centuries of scourges and disasters, brought about by your code of morality, you have cried that your code had been broken, that the scourges were punishment for breaking it, that men were too weak and too selfish to spill all the blood it required. You damned man, you damned existence, you damned this earth, but never dared to question your code. . . . You went on crying that your code was noble, but human nature was not good enough to practice it. And no one rose to ask the question: Good?���by what standard?

���You wanted to know John Galt���s identity. I am the man who has asked that question.

���Yes, this is an age of moral crisis. . . . Your moral code has reached its climax, the blind alley at the end of its course. And if you wish to go on living, what you now need is not to return to morality . . . but to discover it.���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 first question that has to be answered, as a precondition of any attempt to define, to judge or to accept any specific system of ethics, is: Why does man need a code of values?

Let me stress this. The first question is not: What particular code of values should man accept? The first question is: Does man need values at all���and why?

Is the concept of value, of ���good or evil��� an arbitrary human invention, unrelated to, underived from and unsupported by any facts of reality���or is it based on a metaphysical fact, on an unalterable condition of man���s existence? (I use the word ���metaphysical��� to mean: that which pertains to reality, to the nature of things, to existence.) Does an arbitrary human convention, a mere custom, decree that man must guide his actions by a set of principles���or is there a fact of reality that demands it? Is ethics the province of whims: of personal emotions, social edicts and mystic revelations���or is it the province of reason? Is ethics a subjective luxury���or an objective necessity?

....


This is an excerpt from an article by Ayn Rand entitled "The Objectivist Ethics"

I invite everyone of you to review that full article linked below.  I have also included a link to an audio abbreviation of that same article presented by Rand herself.

I also invite each and everyone of you who understands that philosophy is a necessity of our type of existence to feel free to contact me, or join our Meetup group.  The UT Objectivism Society meets regularly to discuss and study the requirements of rationality.  Reason, philosophy, nor ethics are arbitrary whims but instead they are intrinsic to our type of existence.

We are bound to reason, because we exist by choice.  Reason is part of our identity, and we can no more divorce ourselves of it than we can divorce consciousness from objects of consciousness.  To be conscious is to be conscious of something.


The Objectivist Ethics Article

The Objectivist Ethics Audio







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