, all that is left is Winning, winning, winning
--Excellent Don Henley song that really conveys a meaning. Have a listen, it’s called “Garden of Allah”.
And he’s right. Because of subjectivism, we’ve taken any objective standard to right and wrong, good and evil, moral and immoral and thrown it out the window. The result is that all that matters is winning your argument, not being right because right doesn’t exist. We’re all in competition to see who can make whom supplicate to their will. It’s like a battle of wills and influence (or “pull” as Rand called it) to see who can enslave whom into their ideals which are based on absolutely nothing other than WANT.
American politics is a perfect example. Constantly attacking each other, putting spin, arguing over nothing. John Stewart has an entire TV program devoted to making fun of it, but it’s everywhere and we’ve done it to ourselves.
There is wrong and there is right. There is good and there is evil, and it exists outside of your perspective. I just finished reading a really great book (sorry I lent it out and don’t have the title with me) that is 136 pages and gets to the heart of the mater. (to paraphrase another Henley song)
There is always been what’s called the “Is/Ought Dichotomy”. The argument in ethics states that logic can tell you what is. But it can’t tell you what you ought to do, because there is no absolute to base values on. Thus you must have some other supreme, fundamental that dictates morality. For religion that is God. For socialism that is Society. Of course this is ridiculous and is the fundamental problem with both socialism and theology. The result is that people can do whatever they want, so long as they can cook up some excuse in the bible (easy to do it’s so contradictory) as to why their actions are the “will of God” or convince enough people to go along with them that “society dictates” and volia, you have morality! It is a poison that is slowly killing us. The first and most obvious result is a complete lack of freedom. Everything is becoming illegal for no other purpose than “it offends me” (or some other arbitrary group that has some PULL.)
There is an absolute that logic can tell you about and does allow you to dictate your morality independent of your perspective: YOUR LIFE. Life is the only thing that can be destroyed in the universe. Yes the constituent parts continue as does the energy, but the entity, the uniqueness that life is out of the minerals and carbon etc. can be destroyed. This is called death. The most fundamental principle that can and MUST guide any living being is to value their LIFE. To do otherwise, results in death and thus morality would not matter anymore. Thus, by definition YOUR LIFE is the core value that everything else must be based upon. Notice I say “YOUR” a lot, there is a reason for it.
All other values must be based on enlightened self-interest. That is, if your life is your fundamental value, then all other values must be based up on it and you must act in such a way that ensures that others will not act against you. The surest way to do so, is to not initiate force against another or their property. You are then ensured the right to defend yourself and your life without contradiction (see previous blog article about non-contradiction).
Religion calls for the sacrifice of your life to God. But the contradiction is that to if you sacrifice your life to God, you’ll be dead! -- Or a hypocrite because you didn’t take it literally and thus took half measures to ensure that you will continue to live while sacrificing. Oh and then you get the people that say “well you’ll go to heaven and heaven will be eternity of happiness”. How? By what means? Where? How will you be happy in heaven? Will simply existing in heaven make you happy? If there was a God he created causality for a reason. It means that you have to act to be happy. You can’t just exist. Any God I can conceive of is not going to waive this wonderfully simply requirement simply because you’re in heaven. And wait a second! If you believe this, then this world is only for misery and hardship in exchange for eternity later that’s great. I have an idea for people like this (i.e. terrorists): We’ll help send you there more quickly so that you get this whole suffering and hardship thing over with sooner. Apparently there is no minimum existence requirement to get it, so why not do it right away? Branch Dividian had it right! Quick! Everyone come up with a way that we can assist these poor suffering fools quickly and efficiently... oh wait! We’ve already done so: Iraq and Afganistan! Quick send these nut jobs over there to fight and die.
Socialism calls for the sacrifice of your life to society. But the contradiction is that society requires individuals for society to exist. So you’re either dead, and with it society (and ironically the ones that are sacrificed first are the ones that are most valuable to the continued existence of society), or you’re a hypocrite because you didn’t take it literally and saved some small part of you for yourself.
But then you get the “let’s not go to extremes” BS where you’re supposed to submit to a “reasonable” level of slavery, but not completely. Excuse me, but I have a right to live my life however I see fit. You don’t have a right to dictate what I can and cannot do unless I physically harm another. If I want to voluntarily give to charity because I determine that it will improve my life and make me happier, then great, I will do so. But you don’t have the right to FORCE me to do so. If I want to believe in God and act a Christian, then I will do so. But you don’t have the right to FORCE me to act like a Christian. The only person you get to act upon is yourself, no one else unless they give you permission. This is what I meant by YOUR life. You have control over you; no one else. As soon as you think you do have control or the right to control others without their permission, you’re a dictator and evil because you cannot possibly do a better job of managing another’s life than they can. That is their fundamental right and their fundamental responsibility NOT YOURS.
It is time that we got back to “WHAT IS” based on logic: These are the facts, they aren’t subject to spin or perspective. And discovered “WHAT OUGHT” based on logic: Your life is your highest value, act upon it with care and intelligence always choosing the path that will improve your life, and increase your happiness LONG TERM without physically harming another or their property.
This is the fundamental basis for a truly moral life. Not slavery to God or Society. Not allowing others to rule over your existence simply because they have more PULL than you do.
It isn’t coincidence that the people most likely to harm you and ultimately betray you are Born Agains (religion or socialist or new age or otherwise, it doesn’t matter). The reason is that their fragile and will use their fanaticism to justify anything. God, society, reincarnation, they all provide an excuse for any action you wish to take and place the blame on someone else or give an out that you will be forgiven by someone else so long as you repent and say a few hail marys.
When you live your life and take responsibility for your life, then there is only one person to answer to. The consequences are simple and absolute. The reality is absolute. The choices are clear and will always be done to act upon the improvement of the person’s life. I’ve seen this time and time again. The Atheist in the room is always by far the most moral, the most beneficial to do business with, and the most likely to act in such a way that improves their lives and yours in the process. While the born again is the most likely to destroy everything you’re working for and harm you greatly if you give them the opportunity. This isn’t coincidence, there is a logical reason for it and it is consistent.
It’s ironic that people scream that atheists can’t possibly be moral people because they don’t believe in anything, while the exact opposite is true: They believe in their lives. In happiness. In improving their existence, and with it, the existence of others. They live their lives, for LIFE, not for death, or some promised afterlife. And as a result, they are the most moral people there are.