Wednesday, 22 April 2020

'It is important to differentiate between the rules of conduct in an emergency situation and the rules of conduct in the normal conditions of human existence. The fact is that men do not live in lifeboats--and that a lifeboat is not the place on which to base one's philosophy.' #QotD


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It is important to differentiate between the rules of conduct in an emergency situation and the rules of conduct in the normal conditions of human existence. This does not mean a double standard of morality: the standard and the basic principles remain the same, but their application to either case requires precise definitions.
    "An emergency is an unchosen, unexpected event, limited in time, that creates conditions under which human survival is impossible—such as a flood, an earthquake, a fire, a shipwreck, [a pandemic]. In an emergency situation, men’s primary goal is to combat the disaster, escape the danger and restore normal conditions (to reach dry land, to put out the fire, etc.).
    "By 'normal' conditions I mean metaphysically normal, normal in the nature of things, and appropriate to human existence. Men can live on land, but not in water or in a raging fire. Since men are not omnipotent, it is metaphysically possible for unforeseeable disasters to strike them, in which case their only task is to return to those conditions under which their lives can continue. By its nature, an emergency situation is temporary; if it were to last, men would perish... as evidence of the fact that the material universe is not inimical to man and that catastrophes are the exception, not the rule of his existence—observe the fortunes made by insurance companies.
    "The fact is that men do not live in lifeboats--and that a lifeboat is not the place on which to base one's metaphysics. [Or politics.]"

          ~ Ayn Rand, from her 'Ethics of Emergencies'
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1 comment:

  1. Yep , all this is beginning to have a "non human" feel to it , metaphysically speaking . Very dry , prosaic , robotic and lifeless .

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