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Philosophy is effectively the study of the fundamental, universal principles of existence. Are we ignoring both reality and philosophy when we claim that universal principals don't exist (e.g., that morality is relative, that consensus is more important than what is necessary for life, that lies don't matter)? Are Ayn Rand's comments as true today as they were in 1966 when she made them? Has anything changed? Which philosophers disagree with Rand, and what do they claim? How do we determine who is right?

FTA: "A peculiarity of certain types of asphyxiation, such as death from carbon monoxide, is that the victims do not notice it. The fumes leave them no awareness of their need of fresh air. The specific symptom of value deprivation is a gradual lowering of one's expectations. We have already absorbed so much of our cultural fumes that we take the constant pressure of irrationality, injustice, corruption, and hooligan tactics for granted, as if nothing better could be expected of life...

Altruism serves as the veneer - a fading, cracking, peeling veneer to hide from themselves the terror of their actual belief: that there are no moral principles, that morality is impotent to affect the course of their existence, that they are blind brutes caught in a chattel house and doomed to destruction. No one believes the political proclamations of our day, no one opposes them. There is no public policy, no ideology, no goals, no convictions, no moral fire, no crusading spirit, nothing but the quiet panic of clinging to the status quo, with the dread of looking back to check the start of the road, with terror of looking ahead to check its end, and with a leadership whose range of vision is shrinking down to the public poll the day after tomorrow's television appearance. Promises? Don't remind us of promises, that was yesterday - it's too late. Results? Don't expect results, it's too soon. Cause? Don't think in terms of old-fashioned economics. The more we spend the richer we'll get. Principles? Don't think in terms of old-fashioned labels - we've got a consensus. The future? Don't think."

Our Cultural Value-Deprivation by Ayn Rand (55-minute lecture)


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Aug 7, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=285

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