Ethics, Truth, and Rational Self Interest

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism

We have become a nation of cynics. To a certain degree we no longer concern ourselves with a focus on the ethics and values that formed this nation and resulted in it achieving a preeminent place among people and nations. We seldom discuss in a serious sense the principles of integrity, productive work, personal responsibility for our actions, ethical behavior in government or the business sector, personal liberty and what it means in within the context of meeting personal obligations, or the meaning of rational self interest within the framework of a value based ethical system that leads to a morally just society.

We are so busy pointing fingers at the "opposition" we rarely take the time to look in the mirror. Either the national or the personal one. Perhaps if we were to occasionally do so we would not like {very much} what we might see. It is easier to dismiss those things which make us "feel" uncomfortable, than it is to consider the data {facts}, and arguments we don't like before we make a decision as to validity and then take a rational position.

Rational self interest requires one to hold to the unyielding pursuit of truth. It requires individuals (note that groups, organizations, businesses, and government are made up of individuals)to formulate self interest based on value. Value, with respect to rational self interest, means ones life and the interconnected actions which lead to the fullest and happiest life possible. Put another way.... Rational self interest is taking action(s) that advances ones life {the highest standard of value} towards the greatest happiness possible. Note that rational self interest does not mean self absorbed destructive personal behavior in the pursuit of instant self gratification or "pleasure."

This post was inspired by the insight that in order to find truth one must apply reason and rational principles to life rather than the fog of emotion or emotionalism. By so doing a person {organization, business, or government} is able to achieve rational self interest in the value based system on which it is depended.

Today our personal as well as national life is driven by "sound" and "visual" bites if you will that are intentionally designed to give the distracted and busy person a quick snippet of reality. They are always presented as factual and are slanted towards a particular ideology or agenda. More often than not the "bite" contains some element of emotionalism and is geared to created the fog that actually prevents finding of the truth. Such is the modus operandi of all of todays politicians. The people of the nation, largely because they are so busy just trying to live, are hooked on platitudes, half truths, and occasionally just plain old lies willingly offered up by politicians as facts.

It is time We the People take action into our own intellectual "hands" if you will and force the changes neccessary to acheive "our persoanl and national {rational] self interest. Doing so will require "thinking outside the box" our politicians, pundits, and media have worked so diligently to place us in. Their "box" is almost always based upon emotion and plays to the base "emotionalism" they know work to their advantage if the people buy it. From my perspective we have bought it for far to long, hence the current state of our personal and national life.

The preceding are admittedly just my considered and researched opinions. As much of what I have said is based in the discipline known as philosophy, more specifically the branch of philosophy called Ethics, I cannot hope to offer an in depth and full discussion on the these pages. This is partially do to the fact I am not a person formally trained in the discipline of philosophy, I just read a lot and the subject interests me greatly. As I believe it should all thinking people, especially those who profess to lead and guide the nation.

There are two books that if read {with an open mind,}and understood offer the best insight into the ethics of rational self interest. Both for the individuals, and the nation. I highly recommend them to anyone, and everyone who has a thirst for knowledge and truth. Irrespective of ones political leanings or beliefs {free yourself of the box}they can be instructive and evening revealing if read with the open mind.

They are.... Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics by Tara Smith, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin. And.... The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand, Playwright, Author, and The Philosopher responsible for Objectivism.

Cross posted to Rational Nation USA

Via: Memeorandum

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