The Ethics of Emergencies by Ayn Rand

Topics: Ayn Rand, Ethics, Morality Pages: 2 (478 words) Published: April 4, 2014
Study Questions
Using "The Ethics of Emergencies" by Ayn Rand (pp. 215-218), develop an essay between 2 to 3 pages discussing her ideas in today's moral environment.

Rand grew up in Russia in the early 1900s and later immigrated to United States in 1926. Coming from a socialist society may explain her total rejection of the ethical altruism concept. Although altruism and socialism don't mean the same thing, one can see how the meaning of altruism can be thought of as one of the pillars of socialism. Based on Rand's writings, she only recognizes the extreme or ideal definition of altruism which is the concern for the interest of others while disregarding one's own interest.

To restore U.S. prosperity, Rand's philosophy has vital things to teach: what genuine self-interest and happiness consist of, why their pursuit is moral, and what political condition they demand, the full freedom of the Declaration of Independence. Rand provided a philosophic foundation for the Declaration's radical ideas. She believed morality's purpose isn't to command you to sacrifice your interests for the sake of others but rather to teach you the rational values and virtues happiness. The deepest cause of today's financial crisis is our distance from this ideal. Participants are not free to pursue their self-interest because the government usually overrides your decision to achieve "public interest". This fault lies not in the people but in the immoral system in which they had to act.

Atlas Shrugged is a story about a future world in which the entire globe, with the exception of America, has fallen under the rule of various "People's States" or dictatorships. America, the only country that is not yet fully socialized, is sliding rapidly in that direction, as it increasingly accepts the ideas that lead to dictatorship, ideas such as self-sacrifice is noble, self-interest is evil, and greedy producers and businessmen have a moral obligation to serve the "greater good" of...

References: http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2009/04/the_economy_nee_1.html
http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/special/atlas-shrugged-ayn-rand-morality-egoism.asp
http://www.optimal.org/peter/rational_ethics.htm
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