The Moral Bias of Objectivism: The Tool (“Reason”) is Also the Conclusion

Rand evaluates the world using “reason,” but it’s not “reason” at all. The very tool she uses to evaluate the world also ends up being her conclusions.

Here is the tool Rand says to use to evaluate the world and in which she develops her ethics:

Is ethics the province of whims: of personal emotions, social edicts and mystic revelations—or is it the province of reason?”

Now here are some of her conclusions.

“Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil.”

“If you achieve that which is the good by a rational standard of value, it will necessarily make you happy …”

“Every man will stand or fall, live or die, by his rational judgment.”

The tool Rand advocate to use to understand the world—which is explicitly putting away “whims” and “personal emotions”—also ends up being the conclusion. Her explicit definition of reason is “without emotion.” And then her conclusion of how man is to act, in all of “one’s waking hours,” for “all choices,” is with “reason.” Do a word study in her article “The Objectivist Ethics” for how many times she derides “whim,” “intuition,” or “emotions,” in and of themselves, to further see what I mean.

Reading through Rand’s proof for her ethics is a dizzying experience that is difficult to dissect or refute. It’s some really fantastic word salad. Ultimately, however, if you recognize one thing, it all comes crashing down: it was all developed rationally, not with any scientific study. It all rests on the premise of “tabula rasa.” Again, dismantle tabula rasa, and all of this dizzying rhetoric comes crashing down.

Rand’s system also engenders a lot of “shoulds.” Pushing the argument to “logic” and claiming morality for oneself allows one to decide who “should” be held up morally higher, who “should” be politically protected, who “should” even be allowed to live or die. It’s best summed up by Rand’s statement, from Galt’s speech itself,

“Every man will stand or fall, live or die, by his rational judgment.”

It’s fun to be the person deciding who gets to live or die, isn’t it?

This is social engineering.

The Charge

I, again, accuse Ayn Rand’s Objectivism of Moral Bias. There is no serious study of human nature itself. She then unforgivably goes on to codify this weak understanding into an entire moral-political system—a powerful thing to have for oneself, indeed.

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