Rational Egoistic Objective Morality

Why does it feel good to see others happy? Why would we be interested in others' welfare? Why try to survive? Why make decisions toward our own welfare? We are hardwired. It is that simple. It is the way we are evolved. This is the way it is, even before people started talking about it (at earliest, as people were first talking about it). Every single person is always the final arbiter of every decision they make, whether it helps others or not. The final common goal in life is always personal happiness, again, whether or not it involves helping others or even personal pain. During every decision, it will always come down to the decider asking themselves, "Is this what I really want?". A proper non-mystical understanding of epistemology and metaphysics should demonstrate the singular nature of choice. Collective mind is an oxymoron and cannot exist in reality. Mind is singular. Since a person can only make decisions with their own brain and see the world only from their perspective, only they can be morally responsible for themselves and no one else. Nothing about reality or the nature of human thought or knowledge acquisition dictates that we have moral code in an absolute sense. It is something we chose to have as a means to our goal. The goal is the purpose of living. The purpose is personal happiness. Morality is a set of rules on how to act. We find rules or principles of decision making useful. Morality is simply a guide to happiness. It is not necessary and in that sense it is not a metaphysical constant. Morality is only necessary IF one wishes to live a happy life. We create the rules based on what we know about ourselves and reality. It is objective in that it serves the same function in all of us. We are all generally built and function the same and live in the same world, so the rules are the same. Our implicit morality is to hold our own life as the standard of value. We have evolved to live if and only if and as far as we hold our own self-interest as paramount. This is not to say that we have not evolved compassion and 'altruism' in order to further our self-interested motive to survive and be happy. Because this compassionate 'altruistic' nature can feel good and also be used to coerce, we have pathological dedication to it today. Morality is objective, but not because God or the group says so, but because we live in an objective reality and we have a definite human nature. Morality is not tangible, but it is real. Just like emotions are real. Something is real if it has a particular identity and a root in perceptual evidence. Like morality does and spirit does not. And it is objective in that for everybody, RATIONALITY and the necessary corollary virtues like honesty, justice, independence, productivity, integrity and pride, are the way to a good moral life, the attainment of one’s values (See Objectivism). Each person’s objective morality might be different. Just like my house (or apt or shelter or whatever) might be green and yours blue, but we both have shelter, objectively speaking. We use it for safety/storage/etc. Doors keep people out and allow entry, the roof keeps rain away, windows can allow light and air in, garage holds the car, etc. If you put your basement on top of your garage, or your door in the floor, your house won't be built right. Just like if you place altruism above egoism, or think pride to be a sin, or think one shouldn't judge another, you get a bad morality. In this way, morality does exist and is not relative, any more than us all living with shelter is relative. In today's society, the media, the vast majority of universities and certainly the vast majority of people spread and condone the dominance of language, habit and ideas that celebrate the purposeful denial of reality. A reality that dictates that choice and hence morality is only possible as it concerns the individual. Too often, in today's society, is egoism dismissed as hurtful to others. This is a misunderstanding of the concept. No aspect of the essential identifying qualities of egoism entail hurtfulness. As 'selfishness' is commonly equated with sin or evil, this is an arbitrary non-essential addition to its essential meaning.

Drawing a distinction between is and ought and calling it a dichotomy is useless. For, IF one wishes to live, one must breath oxygen. IF one wishes to be healthy and happy, then based on what IS and what one knows he or she can decide or chose what he or she OUGHT to do. The universe, to be commanded, must be obeyed and as such, doing what is in one's own long-term rational self interest is what is moral. It is what works, what is practical, what leads to happiness. Proper morality is a set of rules that helps guide one to what they ought to do from what is, if they have a clearly defined purpose. Right and wrong are no different than correct and incorrect. Things are not right or correct in and of themselves. Things are correct only in as much as they represent reality. You cannot apply normative statements to the metaphysically given without a human imposed purpose or standard to compare. So, something is right or correctly moral if, as compared to reality, it is in the long-term rational interest of the moral chooser.

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Tags: Objective, altruism, dichotomy, egoism, ethics, is-ought, morality, philosophy

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Comment by MCT on January 29, 2011 at 3:32am

JBH,

I did not start with AR. Far from it. And like you, I do not consider my self an O'ist, maybe an o'ist. I started out, well, as a blank slate, but I thought for sure, a long time ago that the universe for sure was not subject to human intelligibility. How stupid is that? I thought everything was relative and subjective. I totally fell for the post-modern phantasmagoria you find at Barnes and Noble and, well, all over the place. Throw in some quantum goop and it just made it messier. Was always an atheist. God is just a bad idea. I have always thought of myself as intellectually honest, but was always frustrated with all the ignorance in people and a few years later I was watching some political shit and thought to myself, everyone is so damn irrational, so a google search based on that lead me to those awesome Mike Wallace videos from back in the day. I couldn't even believe what I was hearing. She was talking about what I couldn't nail down properly. At first, I obsessed and read over half her and other O'ists' shit, then I realized that from her ideas and what I learned before and that I consider myself more intellectually honest than her and them, I began to find inconsistencies in some of their ideas, most notably freewill. It is here that I think Oism ideas get cloudy and contradictory. AR is also a little nuts about a few other smaller things. I think if you remove her freewill from her philosophy and realize the true essential nature of choice, as well as modify a few other smaller things, you get a worldview with the least amount of contradiction. This is an objective universe, where causality is universal epistemologically, and metaphysically, the limits of our perception notwithstanding, and human beings are autonomous organic locally self-aware machines that must act in their self-interest if they are to increase their happiness. And that is always the goal, based on the structure of the human organism, which is also dependent on the basic structure of reality. I posted on your blog Ought. Let me know what you think.

Comment by John B Hodges on January 28, 2011 at 11:54pm

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