"Worth of Rationalism"

To: egoism@topica.com
Subject: Re: a confession of what is puzzling to me
From: David McDivitt <dmcdivitt@warpnet.net>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 16:34:11 -0800

I agree with your words about reason. Numerous times I have sought to establish the difference between reason justifying morality, and morality justifying reason.

Each vocation, group, or class has within it an accepted set of standards. One could go so far as saying those standards are objective WITHIN the social order. If a person wants to continue identifying with the social order, and at the same time set about refuting objectivity of those standards, so be it, but it must be realized a class or group is identified by whatever common things.

Enlarging a group increases variation. To facilitate, it is necessary to reduce the number of standards. To say a larger group exists without reducing the number of standards, one of two logical fallacies must be used; 1) that such a group really exists, or 2) such standards exist within the group. The arguments generally used are universal human potential and transcendent human qualities. To challenge these arguments it must be asked to what extent these attributes really exist, and toward what end is the belief in these attributes. Because it is possible to inspire human beings by positive thinking alone, the fact universal potential or transcendent qualities exist is therefore mitigated, and their presence becomes a philosophical debate.

Across the wide expanse of humanity, both those present and those who have died, continuing to identify common standards begins to stretch philosophical arguments in favor of universalism and transcendence quite thin. If it is a given all are included in the group of human beings, or humanity, the idea of common standards must increasingly yield. Finally, there is left but one standard, which may be applied philosophically, or inspirationally, to everyone. That standard is the general worth of thinking, or rationalism. Rationalism however, does not justify morality, for as said here it is moral to be rational, such that rationalism is the sole premise of morality left standing.

>From: Kenneth Allen Hopf <khopf@ix.netcom.com>
>Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 14:28:23 -0800


>Right; it's not egoism as an "observation" that I disagree with. It's the
>notion that reason somehow certifies or authorizes ANY values you care to

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