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Am I Objectivist?

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Regardless of whether or not animals are capable of reasoning, and regardless of whether or not human beings have instincts, animals survive via instinct, humans survive via reason. An animal instinctually stays with others of its kind, some instinctually know how to walk, and they instinctually stay to learn from their mothers on how to become self sufficient, or sufficient in the pack, depending on the species. Humans have no such instincts. A baby does not know how to walk, a baby does not know much of anything, it is instantly learning the second it is born, eventually it learns to imitate, it learns to conceptualize, and to talk, based on how it is raised. We don't have an instinct that tells us where to go for food, how to get it, or offer any help whatsoever in the performing of any activities required to sustain our lives. We -learn- them, from people in the past who -reasoned- them out.

How do I know this? We have emotions, (which AR properly defined as the product of our values, which we gained by reason) they call back the memory of my childhood, "Food makes my stomach feel better." "If I cry I get food." then it evolves "I -like- food." "My source of food is another person." "I -like- this person, because she gives me food." Obviously the relationship between children and parents is much more complex and meaningful, but that is how it evolves. My dog however does not 'like' me. She knows that she gets food every day, and she gets petting, so she repeats whatever behavior seems to get her food and petting, and that's her life. She does not aspire, have goals, or seek to advance beyond just surviving, because that is her instinct. Her job is to survive, and pass on her genes. Humans have no such job, because we have no such instincts. We -decide- to exist, and we -decide- to use reason.

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Assuming a particular goal with which to judge objective morality that is common to all is rather ... anti-individualist. You're assuming a collective goal...and for darwinian natural selection, perhaps there may be one. But we are individuals, not collectives. If one man's goal in life happens to be going out in a blaze of glory gun battle with Los Angeles cops, his morality will be very different than mine. Everyone is an individual, and will end up deciding on their own morality based on their own values and goals.

If a dude's life goal is to die, he's got a philosophical contradiction. He's not healthy, he's going to hurt people, himself, waste time and money. When it comes down to it, his goal in life is probably -not- to die. But even if it were, to try and kill himself in that method, with the very real possibility of shooting and killing someone else, he is most definitely wrong. Usually such gun battles are not the result of a man wanting to kill -himself- but wanting to kill other people. Darwin, and philosophy, pertains to people who are alive, in other words people that like life and wish to continue to do so.

Living is not a 'collective goal.' It's a choice. If you choose not to live, I recommend following that man's idea of 'morality.' Since most people like living, it is in our interest to discover the best way to successfully do so within reality. Saying morality is objective because it pertains to that which furthers life does not negate individuality; it enables it. If morality is relative, why bother with anything? Why even have political opinions? Where does your libertarianism spring from? Some people have decided that their goal in life, their 'morality' involves dominating and controlling the lives of everyone on earth, and they work toward it every day. Who are you to tell Stalin he was wrong? In his morality, he wasn't.

Believing that your purpose is to kill, or control, does not change the reality that those things are wrong.

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Objectivism does not assume a collective goal, it assumes you have a goal which doesn't end in death.

Which means you chose for life, which exists only under certain conditions.

Which presupposes that your means and goal don't conflict with those conditions.

Immorality in this context is if someone is pursuing a goal which requires life but contradicts its conditions or the reverse.

I think I got that right. <_<

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You seem like an intelligent person. If you read The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand (some of her non-fiction) I think you will discover that morality can be objectively defined. In particular, the opening essay entitled "The Objectivist Ethics" provides a proof for an objective morality, demonstrating that life is the foundation of all value.

Edit: "demonstrating that life is" was "citing life as"

Edited by Marc K.
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