What is morality?

“The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.” — Galt’s Speech, in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

Morality is a code of values that an individual must choose to follow to live one’s life in reality. Individuals need a moral code as knowledge for human beings on how to survive, unlike the other animals, is not automatic. Unlike other organisms — bacteria, elephants or apes which act by instinct — humans beings have no automatic knowledge and must discover the principles needed to survive.


What is a value?

A value is that for which one acts to gain and keep to sustain one’s life.

What is a virtue?

Virtue(s) are the actions necessary to sustain one’s life and achieve happiness; i.e., one’s method of obtaining values.

What is the fundamental virtue?

The fundamental virtue is rationality as reason is an individual’s means of survival. All other virtues (productivity, integrity, etc.) are applications/corollaries of this fundamental principle.

What is ethics?

As used here, ethics are those rules of behavior in relating to other individuals; ethics is individual morality applied to living life in society.

What is egoism?

To hold one’s life as the highest value is to be egoistic (that is self-interested, and self-ish).

What is altruism?

To hold the lives of others as more important than one’s own life is to be altruistic (otherism) and unself-ish.