76. Problems With Objectivism

I find that today many people that I agree with on many things subscribe to the objectivist philosophy. It almost seems as if Ayn Rand is every libertarian-leaning person’s favorite philosopher. Today, I’d like to talk about some problems I find with this philosophy.

When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder.

-Lao Tzu

Contradiction over objective truth- Every Objectivist I hear acknowledges an objective reality that we can only partially perceive through the senses and can only go so far to understand as reason and logic will allow us. I agree with this, however, I find that when it comes to morality, they balk at the idea of an objective standard that is applied to individual situations.

Relativistic morality- There is objective truth regarding unseen forces all around us like gravity or radio waves, and morality is no different. The social interactions between people has a right and wrong way of doing things. It is in the application of universal principles to individual circumstances that we find what is right.

Hierarchy of Virtues- This means that there is a hierarchy of virtues that exists for all people the same. It has to be sought after as rigorously as any other truth we may know. We have to follow arguments to see why some actions are ok for certain people in certain situations when in other situations it would be wrong.

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