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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Thursday, February 12

Morality Part II - Self-Interest Based Morality

A few of the comments anticipated some of what I was going to say. I'll respond to them in time, but I wanted to go on with what I was going to say first.

Just as I had set aside puzzling over the problem and decided to stick with my original Christian based morality, for the time being, I happened to see a flier for an essay contest based on The Fountainhead. The book made it seem to me that it was at least possible that the self-interests of people were mutually compatible such that initiating harm against others was actually harmful to the person initiating the harm (even if no one else found out). The argument wasn't fully given in the book, but I felt optimistic that Ayn Rand's other books would give extra support to this idea. In the meantime, I agreed that the idea of self-sacrifice as an ultimate virtue, as encouraged by many religions, was harmful and wrong.

I didn't see how it could make sense for "good" people to sacrifice themselves - and leave less good people to live on.

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