In an fb discussion about Ayn Rand, the author of this piece was arguing that she was misunderstood and being misrepresented (in that particular thread). I plan to read this piece tonight, but thought I’d post it now. Mostly so I don’t forget to read it later :)
So, enter at your own risk. Not vetted.
- Ethics, or morality, is a system of principles that helps us tell right from wrong, good from bad.
This definition, by itself, tells us nothing about the standard by which we establish or measure right and wrong. The centuries have seen many different approaches to ethics; none seem to be satisfactory. The terms ‘ethics’, and even more so, ‘morality’ carry heavy emotional baggage. Traditional approaches to morality are confused and contradictory. While supposedly telling us what is ‘right’ or ‘good’ for us, they variously imply sacrificing our lives to some Greater Good, restrict beneficial sexual conduct, oppose our legitimate desire for personal happiness or offer supposedly ideal, but impractical solutions.
I consider these views to be distortions of what ethics really has to offer — given a rational approach. Ethics should and can give real and practical guidance to our lives — our best rational interests — without sacrificing others.