3.09.2006

Howdy,

“The standard of the good is that which is good for society.” This [means], in logic—and, today, in worldwide practice—that “society” stands above any principles of ethics, since “the good” is whatever it wills, whatever it happens to assert as its own welfare and pleasure. This [means] that “society” may do anything it pleases, since “the good” is whatever it chooses to do because it chooses to do it. And—since there is no such entity as “society,” since some men (the majority or any gang that claims to be its spokesman) are ethically entitled to pursue any whims (or any atrocities) they desire to pursue, while other men are ethically obliged to spend their lives in the service of that gang’s desires.

Observe what this beneficiary-criterion of morality does to a man's life. The first thing he learns is that morality is his enemy; he has nothing to gain from it, he can only lose; self-inflicted loss, self-inflicted pain and the gray, debilitating pall of an incomprehensible duty is all that he can expect. He may hope that others might occasionally sacrifice themselves for his benefit, as he grudgingly sacrifices himself for theirs, but he knows that the relationship will bring mutual resentment, no pleasure--and that, morally, their pursuit of values will be like an exchange of unwanted, unchosen Christmas presents, which neither is morally permitted to buy for himself.

---from The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand

What is good for society is more important than what is good for individuals in the society.
A society is individuals in the society.

Let society = A.
Let individuals in the society = B.

What is good for A is more important that what is good for B. (I’ve said the exact same thing as above.)
A is B.

Therefore: What is good for A is more important than what is good for A. (or) What is good for B is more important than what is good for B.

This is a contradiction. Something cannot be more important than itself. Since a society is (or is equal to) individuals, then they are the same thing (commutative property of math or A = B therefore B is a logical substitution for A ... A = A or B = B). Of course, if we don’t agree on the definition of society, which I thought we did at LSB, then we have to figure out some more semantics.

Philosophy-woot,

Daniel

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