Report The family cannot survive without duty. in Ethics Posted October 28, 2018 · Edited October 28, 2018 by Jason Hunter On 10/26/2018 at 11:19 PM, Eiuol said: Technical, maybe, but it is a difference that matters for Rand. For Rand, virtues are the means of attaining values. Values in this sense are more concrete than virtues. There are fundamental values reason, purpose, and self-esteem, and virtues are how you get there. These are normative standards, not standards which define the bare minimum other people must meet in order to qualify as deserving value exchange. Also, people can show elements of virtue, so you don't need see every aspect of the person as flawless. Actually, if we focus on virtues as action, loving (not romantic love) a person for their virtues is much broader than loving a person for their values. You could, for example, have a friend that lives by duty, but you also recognize a great deal of rationality in their behavior overall. You're right then to say that the value you gain is purely down to who they are as a person. It is not simply a quantified analysis of what you get, because it's a reaction to a whole person. Are you proposing then that this is not enough to value your parents at least somewhat, if they were decent and good people? It sounds like you're trying to say that blood family doesn't bring you value, or that it is exceedingly rare to find any virtue in blood family. But this doesn't make sense, because you are saying that duty brings stability to families, but if on average your family will have unvirtuous people and people that don't deserve respect, how can that possibly make a family strong? That would make a family weak; on some level, you're saying that unvirtuous people are necessary to keep a bond. Your argument is basically "you have no good reason to stick by bad family members, so that's why we need duty". You should bring in real life examples. What about your family? Are there bad people in your family that you stick to because they are family? If it weren't for duty, would you abandon your family today? Are there people in your life that you would consider family that aren't blood family? Just to make things clear i dug up a few Rand quotes: "In love the currency is virtue. You love people not for what you do for them or what they do for you, you love them for their values, their virtues, which they have achieved in their own character." - Youtube - interview - "Ayn Rand on happiness, Self-Esteem and Love" "What you fall in love with is the same values which you choose embodied in another person. That's romantic love, now any lesser form of love such as friendship, affection [notice how she didn't mention family], is the same thing in effect. You grant a feeling of affection toward those who you have concluded are values, your response to others is on the basis of values." - Youtube - interview - Ayn Rand Love and Values To answer your questions ill say this: I agree you can get some value from family members. Of course, they will probably have some traits you admire. Maybe one of them is a hard worker or you share a value (a common interest) etc. I don't dispute this. But unfortunately it doesn't solve the problem. Why? Because the same thing applies to millions of other people. You can find some value in lots of people. In this increasingly interconnected world, both online and in the physical world with bigger cities, improved transport etc the sheer number of people we can meet or do meet (say if you're a university student for example) is enormous. If values/virtues is the only thing you judge your family members on, they are very vulnerable to being "out-valued" so to speak. In this internet age, it is easy to seek out people who strongly share your values and it wouldn't take long to find a whole group of people who would effectively replace your family. This is why i see the family being destroyed with the removal of duty or more broadly mysticism in family. In a hypothetical Objectivist world, society would be fluid. People would move in and out of relationships and groups. The family would not be an enduring social unit. It just wouldn't exist in the way it does today. With values being the only standard, there is no binding glue. But as I've said many times, all of this is only a secondary problem. The primary problem is the incentive to have children in the first place which I can't see being strong enough and widespread.