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Ethics, values, and morals - Essay Example

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To begin with, Rand’s definition of self-esteem is already limited, that is, to value only one’s life and not to sacrifice it to…
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Ethics, values, and morals
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Download file to see previous pages For Rand’s line of reasoning, if one is to follow his or her hierarchy of values, then there would be no chance to lose one’s self-esteem by saving anything of lesser value or helping one’s neighbor. Even love was merely defined as ä validation of loving one’s self as “an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to ones own values in the person of another”. For Rand, charity does not exist because one should only act in accordance to one’s self-interest which personally thinks to be wrong. In fact, true benevolence or act of charity or goodwill is being destroyed by altruism because it indoctrinated men that to value another which is just a license to sacrifice oneself and that love, respect or esteem held for other people is not a source of one’s enjoyment.
Rand did not differentiate altruism whether it is ideal or reciprocal. For Rand, altruism by itself makes the doer suffer the consequence of lack of self-esteem and lack of respect for others. To quote Rand on this, she elaborated that “Many well-meaning, reasonable men do not know how to identify or conceptualize the moral principles that motivate their love, affection or good will, and can find no guidance in the field of ethics, which is dominated by the stale platitudes of altruism.” In effect, Rand is implying man cannot distinguish what really altruism because its platitudes are unrecognizable. Rather, she made a sweeping generalization that altruism whether ideal or reciprocal reduces man to a beggar and that the giver in fact lacks self-esteem. She describes altruism as an act of betrayal of one’s values because it demands the surrender of a greater value for the sake of lesser or non-value which is not consistent to the ideal actuation of acting according to the hierarchy of one’s values, that is, never to sacrifice a greater value to a lesser value. This hierarchy of values is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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