moral crisis versus moral

… „Yes, this is an age of moral crisis. Yes, you are bearing punishment for your evil. But it is not man who is now on trial and it is not human nature that will take the blame. It is your moral code that‘s through, this time. 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 – you who have never known any – but to discover it.

You have heard no concepts of morality but the mystical or the social. You have been taught that morality is a code of behavior imposed on you by whim, the whim of supernatural power or the whim of society, to serve God‘s purpose or your neighbor‘s welfare, to please an authority beyond the grave or else next door – but not to serve your life or pleasure. Your pleasure, you have been taught is to be found in immorality, your interests would best be served by evil, and any moral code must be designed not for you, but against you, not to further your life, but to drain it.

For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors – between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.

Both sides agreed that morality demands the surrender of your self-interest and of your mind, that the moral and the practical are opposites, that morality is not the province of reason, but the province of faith and force. Both sides agreed that no rational morality is possible, that there is no right or wrong in reason – that in reason there‘s no reason to be moral.
Whatever else they fought about, it was against man’s mind that all your moralists have stood united. It was man’s mind that all their schemes and systems were intended to despoil and destroy. Now choose to perish or to learn that the anti-mind is the anti-life.

Man’s mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without a knowledge of food and of the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch – or build a cyclotorn – without a knowledge of his aim and of the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think.

But to think is an act of choice. The key to what you so recklessly call ‚human nature‘, the open secret you live with, yet dread to name, is the fact that man is a being of volitional consciousness. Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connections of logic are not made by instinct. The function of your stomach, lungs or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not. In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to think or to evade that effort. But you are not free to escape from your nature, from the fact that reason is your means of survival – so that for you, who are a human being, the question ‚to be or not to be‘ is the question ‚to think or not to think‘. – …“

Part of John Galt speaking from the book
»Atlas Shrugged« by Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982), written 1957.

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One Response to “moral crisis versus moral”

  1. Admin sagt:

    Besonders gefällt mir: „anti-mind is the anti-life“ und „To remain alive, he must think.“

    Heilige Gedankenarbeit machen wir aber lieber unter uns, denn unerfahrene Gesprächspartner kriegen dieser Tage ja so leicht Gehirnbluten, einen hysterischen Anfall oder das eiserne Schweigen bricht an.

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