AN EVALUATION OF AYN RAND’S ETHICAL SYSTEM

AN EVALUATION OF AYN RAND’S ETHICAL SYSTEM

ABSTRACT

Rational egoism encapsulates Ayn Rand’s ethical system. According to this theory, the only ethically good actions are those that are channeled towards self-aggrandizements. Reason which is the basic surviving and epistemological tool of man is the only means for discovering what is good and bad .Emotions and desires are unreliable for such feat. Hence, the ultimate end of man is survival on earth and so the basic struggle in human existence is struggle for survival. Any action capable of truncating or threatening man’s individual existence is morally bad whereas those that enhance it, are the good. Individual survival becomes the paradigm for knowing the morality of an action. However, the major problem Rand identified in ethics is that moral philosophers before her were unscientific in approach and as such the ethical theories they formulated were equally unscientific. She moved further to assert and propose that ethics should be based on the nature of man, reflecting his survival needs. Consequent upon that, she advocates for “rational egoism”, the ethical system that urges man to always maximize his own rational self-interest.