Breaking News and Updates
- Abolition Of Work
- Alternative Medicine
- Artificial Intelligence
- Atlas Shrugged
- Ayn Rand
- Basic Income Guarantee
- Conscious Evolution
- Cosmic Heaven
- Designer Babies
- Ethical Egoism
- Fifth Amendment
- Fifth Amendment
- Financial Independence
- First Amendment
- Fiscal Freedom
- Food Supplements
- Fourth Amendment
- Fourth Amendment
- Free Speech
- Freedom of Speech
- Gene Medicine
- Genetic Engineering
- Germ Warfare
- Golden Rule
- Government Oppression
- High Seas
- Hubble Telescope
- Human Genetic Engineering
- Human Genetics
- Human Longevity
- Immortality Medicine
- Intentional Communities
- Life Extension
- Mars Colonization
- Mind Uploading
- Minerva Reefs
- Modern Satanism
- Moon Colonization
- New Utopia
- Personal Empowerment
- Political Correctness
- Politically Incorrect
- Post Human
- Post Humanism
- Private Islands
- Resource Based Economy
- Ron Paul
- Second Amendment
- Second Amendment
- Socio-economic Collapse
- Space Exploration
- Space Station
- Space Travel
- Teilhard De Charden
- The Singularity
- Tor Browser
- Transhuman News
- Victimless Crimes
- Virtual Reality
- Wage Slavery
- War On Drugs
- Zeitgeist Movement
The Evolutionary Perspective
Tag Archives: best
Posted: July 18, 2016 at 3:32 pm
Why Nihilism, A Practical Definition
As research probes further into the complexities of the human mind, it becomes clear that the mind is far from being a composite thing which is an actor upon its world through thoughts; rather, thoughts compose the mind, in the form of connections and associations wired into the tissue of the brain, creating circuitry for future associations of like stimulus. The schematic of this intellectual machine builds separate routing for situations it is likely to encounter, based on grouped similarities in events or objects. In this view of our computing resources, it is foolish to allow pre-processing to intervene, as it creates vast amounts of wiring which serve extremely similar purposes, thus restricting the range of passive association (broad-mindedness) or active association (creativity) possible within the switching mechanism of the brain as a whole. As here we are devout materialists, the brain and mind are seen as equatable terms.
The positive effects of nihilism on the mind of a human being are many. Like the quieting of distraction and distortion within the mind brought about by meditative focus, nihilism pushes aside preconception and brings the mind to focus within the time of the present. Influences which could radically skew our perceptions emotions, nervousness, paranoia, or upset, to name a few fade into the background and the mind becomes more open to the task at hand without becoming spread across contemplations of potential actions occurring at different levels of scale regarding the current task. Many human errors originate in perceiving an event to be either more important than it is, or to be symbolically indicative of relevance on a greater scale than the localized context which it affects, usually because of a conditioned preference for the scale of eventiture existing before the symbolic event.
Nihilism as a philosophical doctrine must not be confused with a political doctrine such as anarchism; political doctrines (as religions are) remain fundamentally teleological in their natures and thus deal with conclusions derived from evidence, where nihilism as a deontological process functions at the level of the start of perception, causing less of a focus on abstracting a token ruleset defining the implications of events than a rigorous concentration on the significance of the events as they are immediately effecting the situation surrounding them. For example, a nihilistic fighter does not bother to assess whether his opponent is a better fighter or not that the perceiving agency, but fights to his best ability (something evolution would reward, as the best fighter does not win every fight, only most of them). As a result of this conditioning, nihilism separates the incidence of events/perceptions from causal understanding by removing expectations of causal origins and implications to ongoing eventiture.
Understanding nihilism requires one drop the pretense of nihilistic philosophy being an endpoint, and acceptance of it being a doorway. Nihilism self-reduces; the instant one proclaims There is no value! a value has been created. Nihilism strips away conditiong at the unconscious and anticipatory levels of structure in the mind, allowing for a greater range of possiblity and quicker action. Further, it creates a powerful tool to use against depression or anxiety, neurosis and social stigma. Since it is a concept necessarily in flux, as it provides a starting point for analysis in any situation but no preconditioned conclusions, it is post-deconstructive in that it both removes the unnecessary and creates new space for intellectual development at the same time.
Text quoted from S.R. Prozaks Nihilism at the American Nihilist Underground Society.
Read this article:
Posted: July 5, 2016 at 11:39 pm
Modern society has access to highly advanced technology and can make available food, clothing, housing and medical care; update our educational system; and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy. By supplying an efficiently designed economy, everyone can enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities of a high technological society. The term and meaning of a Resource Based Economy was originated by Jacque Fresco. It is a whole factor socio-economic system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival. In a resource-based economy all of the world’s resources are held as the common heritage of all of Earth’s people, thus eventually outgrowing the need for the artificial boundaries that separate people. This is the unifying imperative. Our vision of globalization empowers each and every person on the planet to be the best they can be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body.
A resource-based economy would utilize existing resources from the land and sea, physical equipment, industrial plants, etc. to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on resources rather than money, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life, provide a high standard of living for all, universal health care and more relevant education, and most of all by generating a new incentive system based on human and environmental concern. Our vision of globalization empowers each and every person on the planet to be the best they can be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body. Our proposals would not only add to the well being of people, but they would also provide the necessary information that would enable them to participate in any area of their competence. The measure of success would be based on the fulfilment of one’s individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property and power. By overcoming scarcity, most of the crimes and even the prisons of today’s society would no longer be necessary. In a more humane civilization, instead of machines displacing people they would shorten the workday, increase the availability of goods and services, and lengthen vacation time. If we utilize new technology to raise the standard of living for all people, then the infusion of machine technology would no longer be a threat. With the elimination of debt, the fear of losing one’s job will no longer be a threat. This assurance could reduce mental and physical stress and leave us free to explore our abilities.
A resource-based economy would make it possible to use technology to overcome scarce resources by applying renewable sources of energy, computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory, designing safe energy-efficient cities and advanced transportation systems. There is no profit, there is no PIB. The main figures in an Resource Based Economy are right the resources of the earth, so it is directly relevant to our sustainable activities. Technology intelligently and efficiently applied, conserves energy, reduces waste, and provides more leisure time. With automated inventory on a global scale, we can maintain a balance between production and distribution. Only nutritious and healthy food would be available and planned obsolescence would be unnecessary and non-existent in a resource-based economy. Considerable amounts of energy would also be saved by eliminating the duplication of competitive products such as tools, eating utensils, pots, pans and vacuum cleaners.
At present, we have enough material resources to provide a very high standard of living for all of Earth’s inhabitants. Only when population exceeds the carrying capacity of the land do many problems such as greed, crime and violence emerge. The thought of eliminating money still troubles us, consider this: If a group of people with gold, diamonds and money were stranded on an island that had no resources such as food, clean air and water, their wealth would be irrelevant to their survival. It is only when resources are scarce that money can be used to control their distribution. One could not, for example, sell the air we breathe or water abundantly flowing down from a mountain stream. Although air and water are valuable, in abundance they cannot be sold. Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such.
Read more from the original source:
Posted: July 3, 2016 at 12:14 pm
Services We Offer:
JL Automation is here to convert your imagination into reality. We have the expertise and tools that will make your home shine. Our customers receive the best wiring solutions available — whether it be a state-of-the-art home theatre, precision lighting controls, a remarkable sound system, or dependable home security.
Youre visiting our website because you are different. You are the type of person who knows quality and you wont settle for anything but the best. We have a lot in common. We only accept the best from our vendors, from our partners, from ourselves. We dont cut corners or take the easy road. What you get with JL Automation is the best possible solution to your home wiring needs. Period.
We hope you will take a look around our site and see just what JL Automation can do for you. We are ready to help you build the home of your dreams — contact us today to put your imagination to work…
Read more here:
Posted: June 25, 2016 at 10:58 am
FADE TO PURPLE | MATT MELOA >> WATCH NOW
[FADE TO PURPLE | MATT MELOA]
[CANARY ISLANDS / SURFING LANZAROTE]
[HURLEY YOUTH: BARRON MAMIYA]
[JOHN JOHNS MASSIVE MARGIES AIR]
[TROPICAL VIBES IN PANAMA]
[HELP ETHIOPIAS 1ST SKATEPARK]
[SHAPER SHOWCASE: THIRD WORLD SURF CO.]
[JOHN PERRY JVP SURFBOARDS]
[HELP ETHIOPIAS 1ST SKATEPARK]
[2015 STILL FROTHY SURF FESTIVAL]
[2015 BILLABONG PRO TAHITI C.J. SHINES AND FLORES ON FIRE]
[CURT THE GROM WHO NEVER GREW UP]
[WAVE OF THE WINTER DOCUMENTARY]
I’d just like to offer my compliments towards this site. It’s functional, it’s responsive, and the quality of the cameras are outstanding. Without a doubt, OffshoreTheatre.com has enhanced my surfing experience on the central coast
Colin, San Luis Obispo
When the sun goes down in California it’s nice to be able to click and continue seeing the beach where ever the sun may be at the time. I think your site is one of the best I’ve seen. Maintain the superior quality Offshore Theater.
We love Offshore Theater and look at it everyday. We travel to Pismo Beach from Woodland hills, CA and have been to all the beaches.
James, Woodland Hills, CA
Just a quick note to let you know how much I love your web cams. I check out web cams all over the U.S. and places I’ve traveled to the previous summer and rate yours the best. Thanks Offshore Theater!
Kathy,Lake Havasu City, AZ
Originally posted here:
Posted: at 10:58 am
Offshore wind energy has great potential to help America forge a clean, independent energy future. There are currently more than 3,000 offshore wind turbines spinning worldwide but not a single one can be found here in America, despite the immense potential for clean energy generation right off our shores.
National Wildlife Federation is working with a broad coalition of partners to build momentum and support for the rapid, environmentally-responsible development of our offshore wind energy resources. If we are to protect wildlife from the dangers of climate change, we can no longer afford to ignore this massive local clean energy source.
The Atlantic Ocean is one of the best attainable renewable energy resources in the United States withthe potential to create local jobs while reducing global warming pollution.
America has some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, particularly along the Atlantic coast where over 1,300 GW of energy generation potential has been identified. Harnessing just a fraction of our offshore wind resource52 GWcould power about 14 million U.S. homes with local, pollution-free energy while creating over $200 billion in new economic activity along the coast. New analysis shows that a robust offshore wind industry could create 300,000 jobs here in America.
By tapping the power ofoffshore wind, America can help ensure energy security, price stability, and decreased pollution, whiledecreasing the use offossil fuelsthat pose the biggest threat to our wildlife and ocean resources.
Learn more about:
For more information on National Wildlife Federations offshore wind power campaign, including Sailors for Wind Power, contactAmber Hewett at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: June 16, 2016 at 5:47 pm
By Susan Breslow Sardone
Updated April 17, 2016.
You’re finally alone, ready to start your vacation. You turn to your beloved, about to speak. But then… “WAAAAH!” Suddenly, the sounds of silence are punctuated by a fretful, crying baby — and the child is wailing as if it may not stop until it reaches college age.
When one travels, this happens all the time….in airports, on trains, planes, in restaurants, even in hotels with thin walls. Peace of mind is shattered by ear-piercing cries from OPBs (Other People’s Babies).
What can you do?
Even if you have children, love kids, or are planning to start a family, you shouldn’t have to spend a romantic vacation surrounded by the sticky-fingered set. The good news is, you don’t have to. There are plenty of places that offer vacations without children; you just have to be selective.
Many all-inclusive resorts such as Sandals, SuperClubs, and Iberostar Grand Hotelsrestrict guests under age 16 or 18 — so any immature people you may encounter on a vacation at such properties will be emotionally, rather than chronologically, immature.
Also, numerous fine inns, especially those furnished with treasured antiques, do not accept youngsters.
I don’t know of any cruise line that restricts children, but if you want to avoid the little darlings, your best bet is a river cruise. More expensive than ocean cruises, they have zero facilities for children and tend to attract an older crowd. (The one exception is AmaWaterways, which partners with Disney on a few sailings and is launching some custom-built ships for family travelers.)
On an ocean cruise, sailing a longer itinerary to distant ports at times other than summer and school breaks certainly cuts down on the likelihood you will encounter toddlers to teens. Large cruise ships are starting to make concessions to adults:
I’ve spoken with many hoteliers and they tell me the best times to travel are what they call the “romance months” of May and September when kids are in school and couples season, which begins after Labor Day and ends before Thanksgiving. Personally, I’ve found October and early June relatively childfree times to travel as well. Also, immediately before a major holiday, such as the first two weeks in November or in February before spring break is a safe bet.
The term “family-friendly” is a red flag for me and should be for others who’d rather not vacation among children. If you book such a resort, expect children to be seen and heard throughout your stay.
We once took advantage of a Valentine’s Weekend package at a family-friendly resort expecting a reprieve from the shrieks of infants, but we were out of luck. That’s because it coincided with President’s Day weekend. And further to the consternation of childfree couples, new parents towed newborns along on what was intended to be a romantic interlude. One of the contributors to this site calls it “stroller shock.”
Still, some multi-generational resorts do make a concerted effort to keep romantic couples and rambunctious families separate. The more upscale a place you select, the more likely it will have facilities that segregate children from grown-ups. Most hotel spas are off-limits to kids, for example, and better hotels and cruise lines feature adults-only pools. Among them:
Beware of hotels that have adults-only swim hours, though: While you won’t have to put up with screams and splashing, you will be swimming in the same water where diapers may have dipped earlier.
Let the resort manager know how much you appreciate being in a serene, childfree space. The more you patronize places that cater exclusively to adults, the better it will be for everyone who likes to unwind without the presence of children.
Now if Disney would only make one day a month for adults on vacation without children, we’d be delighted.
Posted: June 12, 2016 at 8:22 pm
Introduction to Offshore Incorporation
‘In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.’ Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
It’s true but as regards to the second part: taxes may vary. Mind Your P’s and Q’s and you will be playing with a full deck.
Some time ago, only superwealthy knew about all the advantages of incorporating offshore. By this you can plan your business tax burden, protect yourself in case of personal problems or national catastrophe. Going offshore is the best way to protect your personal and financial privacy, and your future well-being. Please note also that offshore banking industry and asset protection strategies are completely under the law.
If you need to open bank account with debit/credit card, wish to involve in the global investment project or to start your international business, going offshore is the best decision for you.
It has become almost impossible for today’s businesses to remain in complete privacy, free from excessive taxation and not vulnerable to lawsuits. Placing your assets offshore, you can protect yourself from illegitimate creditors.
By incorporating offshore you can become judgment-proof, as the world-wide courts are not recognized in the offshore jurisdictions, and tax-free, as there are no taxes assessed on in offshore trusts or International Business Companies formed in offshore jurisdictions.
If you wish you can be completely anonymous while maintaining complete control over your offshore Trust or International Business Company. Your offshore company may own an overseas property or just hold a bank account maintaining your anonymity.
No annual reporting is needed for an Offshore Trust or International Business Company; usually there is no minimum capital required in offshore jurisdictions.
To summarize the reasons why you should consider going offshore, these are the main benefits of it:
– To secure against future claims such as judgment, divorce proceedings, bankruptcy, creditors and litigation.
– a foreign jurisdiction can offer unparalleled opportunities for reduction of your tax liabilities.
– From competitors, claimants, ex-spouses, and other parties from whom you wish to keep your business interests private; and
– Private Foundations, and Offshore Protective Trusts for accumulation of investment income and long-term benefits for beneficiaries on a favorable tax basis (without inheritance, income, or capital gains taxes);
– Shifting business to an Offshore Haven removes restrictions, regulations and taxation. What can you do with 50% more time and money?
Posted: June 10, 2016 at 12:50 pm
Problem gambling is a treatable illness but hope and help are available for those struggling and their families or significant others by calling our helpline at 800-GAMBLER. This number is operated by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ) and is a free and confidential 24/7 hotline offering Support, Treatment, and Hope to the disordered gambler, as well as to the friends and family members of that individual. The goal of this helpline is to create a single point of contact for those struggling with addiction or who feel that life is starting to become unmanageable and to get them the help they need.
When a person calls the hotline, a brief intake is conducted and the caller is referred to a combination of a twelve-step program, a treatment provider, and / or an in-patient facility within NJ. With respect to the twelve-step program, the caller is typically encouraged to join Gamblers Anonymous (GA) while the family member or loved one is encouraged to join Gam-Anon. It has been found that joining a twelve-step program can greatly increase the chance of recovery for those struggling as well as for the loved ones who attend Gam-Anon meetings.
In addition to the helpline, CCGNJ offers the ability to text 800GAMBLER to 53342 as well as a feature where an individual can Click to Chat and communicate online with a representative to help find the best Support, Treatment, and Hope in NJ for the person. Problem gambling is a progressive illness that only gets worse, never better. This can lead to a full blown addiction that can destroy relationships, finances, and tear apart families. Dont wait until its too late. If you think you or someone you love is struggling with this disease, call the 800-GAMBLER helpline! For additional information about how you can help yourself or a loved one, call the hotline at 800.gambler.org TODAY!
Mission Statement: The CCGNJ is a private non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization whose primary purpose is to represent the best interest of disordered gamblers and their families, recognizing that problem or disordered gambling is a treatable illness. The Council focuses on educating the general public, training professionals throughout the State, referring those struggling and their families in treatment, and advocating for increased treatment services for those struggling and their families.
The Council also advises the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services provides the executive and legislative branches of State government with relevant data on all aspects of the problem; and provides assistance to those private or public agencies in the State who request it. The Council neither opposes nor endorses legalized gambling. However, the Council may take positions on various issues when the members believe that taking a stand is in the best interest of those we are trying to help.
Read the original post:
Posted: April 26, 2016 at 10:42 am
2ND AMENDMENT REAPER
Osama Justice is Served
Osama X – Customizable
Try Burning This Flag!
Al Qaeda Hunting Club
Death Before Dishonor Skull
Rock n’ Roll
Tank Turret – Customizable
Full Auto – Customizable
Kill ’em All… and let God sort ’em out
Mess with the Best… Die like the Rest – Customizable
Life is Tough – It’s Tougher If You’re Stupid
Al Qaeda Hunting Club
Try Burning This Flag! – COLOR
2nd amendment AMERICA FREEDOM THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
Posted: February 11, 2016 at 11:46 am
Ethical egoism is the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest. It differs from psychological egoism, which claims that people can only act in their self-interest. Ethical egoism also differs from rational egoism, which holds that it is rational to act in one’s self-interest. Ethical egoism holds that actions whose consequences will benefit the doer can be considered ethical.
Ethical egoism contrasts with ethical altruism, which holds that moral agents have an obligation to help others. Egoism and altruism both contrast with ethical utilitarianism, which holds that a moral agent should treat one’s self (also known as the subject) with no higher regard than one has for others (as egoism does, by elevating self-interests and “the self” to a status not granted to others). But it also holds that one should not (as altruism does) sacrifice one’s own interests to help others’ interests, so long as one’s own interests (i.e. one’s own desires or well-being) are substantially equivalent to the others’ interests and well-being. Egoism, utilitarianism, and altruism are all forms of consequentialism, but egoism and altruism contrast with utilitarianism, in that egoism and altruism are both agent-focused forms of consequentialism (i.e. subject-focused or subjective). However, utilitarianism is held to be agent-neutral (i.e. objective and impartial): it does not treat the subject’s (i.e. the self’s, i.e. the moral “agent’s”) own interests as being more or less important than the interests, desires, or well-being of others.
Ethical egoism does not, however, require moral agents to harm the interests and well-being of others when making moral deliberation; e.g. what is in an agent’s self-interest may be incidentally detrimental, beneficial, or neutral in its effect on others. Individualism allows for others’ interest and well-being to be disregarded or not, as long as what is chosen is efficacious in satisfying the self-interest of the agent. Nor does ethical egoism necessarily entail that, in pursuing self-interest, one ought always to do what one wants to do; e.g. in the long term, the fulfillment of short-term desires may prove detrimental to the self. Fleeting pleasure, then, takes a back seat to protracted eudaimonia. In the words of James Rachels, “Ethical egoism […] endorses selfishness, but it doesn’t endorse foolishness.”
Ethical egoism is often used as the philosophical basis for support of right-libertarianism and individualist anarchism. These are political positions based partly on a belief that individuals should not coercively prevent others from exercising freedom of action.
Ethical egoism can be broadly divided into three categories: individual, personal, and universal. An individual ethical egoist would hold that all people should do whatever benefits “my” (the individual) self-interest; a personal ethical egoist would hold that he or she should act in his or her self-interest, but would make no claims about what anyone else ought to do; a universal ethical egoist would argue that everyone should act in ways that are in their self-interest.
Ethical egoism was introduced by the philosopher Henry Sidgwick in his book The Methods of Ethics, written in 1874. Sidgwick compared egoism to the philosophy of utilitarianism, writing that whereas utilitarianism sought to maximize overall pleasure, egoism focused only on maximizing individual pleasure.
Philosophers before Sidgwick have also retroactively been identified as ethical egoists. One ancient example is the philosophy of Yang Zhu (4th century B.C.), Yangism, who views wei wo, or “everything for myself”, as the only virtue necessary for self-cultivation. Ancient Greek philosophers like Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics were exponents of virtue ethics, and “did not accept the formal principle that whatever the good is, we should seek only our own good, or prefer it to the good of others.” However, the beliefs of the Cyrenaics have been referred to as a “form of egoistic hedonism”, and while some refer to Epicurus’ hedonism as a form of virtue ethics, others argue his ethics are more properly described as ethical egoism.
Philosopher James Rachels, in an essay that takes as its title the theory’s name, outlines the three arguments most commonly touted in its favor:
The term ethical egoism has been applied retroactively to philosophers such as Bernard de Mandeville and to many other materialists of his generation, although none of them declared themselves to be egoists. Note that materialism does not necessarily imply egoism, as indicated by Karl Marx, and the many other materialists who espoused forms of collectivism. It has been argued that ethical egoism can lend itself to individualist anarchism such as that of Benjamin Tucker, or the combined anarcho-communism and egoism of Emma Goldman, both of whom were proponents of many egoist ideas put forward by Max Stirner. In this context, egoism is another way of describing the sense that the common good should be enjoyed by all. However, most notable anarchists in history have been less radical, retaining altruism and a sense of the importance of the individual that is appreciable but does not go as far as egoism. Recent trends to greater appreciation of egoism within anarchism tend to come from less classical directions such as post-left anarchy or Situationism (e.g. Raoul Vaneigem). Egoism has also been referenced by anarcho-capitalists, such as Murray Rothbard.
Philosopher Max Stirner, in his book The Ego and Its Own, was the first philosopher to call himself an egoist, though his writing makes clear that he desired not a new idea of morality (ethical egoism), but rather a rejection of morality (amoralism), as a nonexistent and limiting spook; for this, Stirner has been described as the first individualist anarchist. Other philosophers, such as Thomas Hobbes and David Gauthier, have argued that the conflicts which arise when people each pursue their own ends can be resolved for the best of each individual only if they all voluntarily forgo some of their aims that is, one’s self-interest is often best pursued by allowing others to pursue their self-interest as well so that liberty is equal among individuals. Sacrificing one’s short-term self-interest to maximize one’s long-term self-interest is one form of “rational self-interest” which is the idea behind most philosophers’ advocacy of ethical egoism. Egoists have also argued that one’s actual interests are not immediately obvious, and that the pursuit of self-interest involves more than merely the acquisition of some good, but the maximizing of one’s chances of survival and/or happiness.
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche suggested that egoistic or “life-affirming” behavior stimulates jealousy or “ressentiment” in others, and that this is the psychological motive for the altruism in Christianity. Sociologist Helmut Schoeck similarly considered envy the motive of collective efforts by society to reduce the disproportionate gains of successful individuals through moral or legal constraints, with altruism being primary among these. In addition, Nietzsche (in Beyond Good and Evil) and Alasdair MacIntyre (in After Virtue) have pointed out that the ancient Greeks did not associate morality with altruism in the way that post-Christian Western civilization has done. Aristotle’s view is that we have duties to ourselves as well as to other people (e.g. friends) and to the polis as a whole. The same is true for Thomas Aquinas, Christian Wolff and Immanuel Kant, who claim that there are duties to ourselves as Aristotle did, although it has been argued that, for Aristotle, the duty to one’s self is primary.
Ayn Rand argued that there is a positive harmony of interests among free, rational humans, such that no moral agent can rationally coerce another person consistently with his own long-term self-interest. Rand argued that other people are an enormous value to an individual’s well-being (through education, trade and affection), but also that this value could be fully realized only under conditions of political and economic freedom. According to Rand, voluntary trade alone can assure that human interaction is mutually beneficial. Rand’s student, Leonard Peikoff has argued that the identification of one’s interests itself is impossible absent the use of principles, and that self-interest cannot be consistently pursued absent a consistent adherence to certain ethical principles. Recently, Rand’s position has also been defended by such writers as Tara Smith, Tibor Machan, Allan Gotthelf, David Kelley, Douglas Rasmussen, Nathaniel Branden, Harry Binswanger, Andrew Bernstein, and Craig Biddle.
Philosopher David L. Norton identified himself an “ethical individualist,” and, like Rand, saw a harmony between an individual’s fidelity to his own self-actualization, or “personal destiny,” and the achievement of society’s well being.
According to amoralism, there is nothing wrong with egoism, but there is also nothing ethical about it; one can adopt rational egoism and drop morality as a superfluous attribute of the egoism.
Ethical egoism has been alleged as the basis for immorality. Egoism has also been alleged as being outside the scope of moral philosophy. Thomas Jefferson writes in an 1814 letter to Thomas Law:
Self-interest, or rather self-love, or egoism, has been more plausibly substituted as the basis of morality. But I consider our relations with others as constituting the boundaries of morality. With ourselves, we stand on the ground of identity, not of relation, which last, requiring two subjects, excludes self-love confined to a single one. To ourselves, in strict language, we can owe no duties, obligation requiring also two parties. Self-love, therefore, is no part of morality. Indeed, it is exactly its counterpart.
In contrast, Rand saw ethics as a necessity for human survival and well-being, and argued that the “social” implications of morality, including natural rights, were simply a subset of the wider field of ethics. Thus, for Rand, “virtue” included productiveness, honesty with oneself, and scrupulousness of thought. Although she greatly admired Jefferson, she also wrote:
[To those who say] that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert islandit is on a desert island that he would need it most. Let him try to claim, when there are no victims to pay for it, that a rock is a house, that sand is clothing, that food will drop into his mouth without cause or effort, that he will collect a harvest tomorrow by devouring his stock seed todayand reality will wipe him out, as he deserves; reality will show him that life is a value to be bought and that thinking is the only coin noble enough to buy it.
In The Moral Point of View, Kurt Baier objects that ethical egoism provides no moral basis for the resolution of conflicts of interest, which, in his opinion, form the only vindication for a moral code. Were this an ideal world, one in which interests and purposes never jarred, its inhabitants would have no need of a specified set of ethics, according to Baier. This, however, is not an “ideal world.” Baier believes that ethical egoism fails to provide the moral guidance and arbitration that it necessitates. Far from resolving conflicts of interest, claimed Baier, ethical egoism all too often spawns them. To this, as Rachels has shown, the ethical egoist may object that he cannot admit a construct of morality whose aim is merely to forestall conflicts of interest. “On his view,” he writes, “the moralist is not like a courtroom judge, who resolves disputes. Instead, he is like the Commissioner of Boxing, who urges each fighter to do his best.”
Baiers is also part of a team of philosophers who hold that ethical egoism is paradoxical, implying that to do what is in one’s best interests can be both wrong and right in ethical terms. Although a successful pursuit of self-interest may be viewed as a moral victory, it could also be dubbed immoral if it prevents another person from executing what is in his best interests. Again, however, the ethical egoists have responded by assuming the guise of the Commissioner of Boxing. His philosophy precludes empathy for the interests of others, so forestalling them is perfectly acceptable. “Regardless of whether we think this is a correct view,” adds Rachels, “it is, at the very least, a consistent view, and so this attempt to convict the egoist of self-contradiction fails.”
Finally, it has been averred that ethical egoism is no better than bigotry in that, like racism, it divides people into two types themselves and others and discriminates against one type on the basis of some arbitrary disparity. This, to Rachels’s mind, is probably the best objection to ethical egoism, for it provides the soundest reason why the interests of others ought to concern the interests of the self. “What,” he asks, “is the difference between myself and others that justifies placing myself in this special category? Am I more intelligent? Do I enjoy my life more? Are my accomplishments greater? Do I have needs or abilities that are so different from the needs and abilities of others? What is it that makes me so special? Failing an answer, it turns out that Ethical Egoism is an arbitrary doctrine, in the same way that racism is arbitrary. […] We should care about the interests of other people for the very same reason we care about our own interests; for their needs and desires are comparable to our own.”
Here is the original post: