Moral Code Of Ethics : Ayn Rand 's Egoist Ethics Essay

1591 Words Apr 30th, 2016 7 Pages
When Mr. Weidler asks Roark why he must be so “fanatical and selfless” (196) and refuse the Manhattan Bank Building contract on principle, he evinces two fallacious dichotomies within his own mind— two dichotomies that have facilitated the corruption and denigration of morality throughout man’s history: morality versus practicality, and morality versus selfishness. Not only is a rational code of ethics profoundly efficacious and practical in guiding the life of whomever abides by it, but also the implicit conflation of altruism and morality could not be more removed from reality, and therefore harmful to man in general. When Roark praises selfishness and denounces altruism, he is affirming a rational moral code: Ayn Rand’s egoist ethics. Because man’s life must be his standard of value— as that which underlies and engenders all other values— selfishness, or acting for one’s own benefit, for the facilitation and expansion of one’s life, must be the guiding principle of a proper code of ethics. Altruism, on the other hand, demands that man live for the sake of others. Ellsworth Toohey, a major villain throughout the novel, formulates it thus: “Men are important only in relation to other men, in their usefulness, in the service they render” (375). By proclaiming that other men should be the beneficiary and purpose of man’s actions, altruism inverts the values that facilitate man’s life and happiness. Rather than fight for his own betterment, man is asked to sacrifice himself…

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