Reason as the Leading Motive

Charity and Generosity

Posted by Jerry on July 4, 2007

On virtues, values, charity, generosity, and self-esteem:

“As a basic step of self-esteem, learn to treat as the mark of a cannibal any man’s demand for your help.  To demand it is to claim that your life is his property — and loathsome as such claim might be, there’s something still more loathsome: your agreement.  

You ask if it’s ever proper to help another man?  No – if he claims it as his right or as a moral duty that you owe him.  Yes – if such is your own desire based on you own selfish pleasure in the value of his person and his struggle. Suffering as such is not a value; only man’s fight against suffering, is. If you choose to help a man who suffers, do it only on the grounds of his virtue, of his fight to recover, of his rational record, or of the fact that he suffers unjustly; then your action is still a trade, and his virtue is the payment for your help. But to help a man who has no virtues, to help him on the ground of his suffering as such, to accept his faults, his need, as a claim–is to accept the mortgage of a zero on your values. A man who has no virtues is a hater of existence who acts on the premise of death; to help him is to sanction his evil and to support his career of destruction. Be it only a penny you will not miss, or a small smile he has not earned, a tribute to a zero is treason to life and to all those who struggle to maintain it. It is of such pennies and smiles that the desolation of your world was made.”

Ayn Rand


One Response to “Charity and Generosity”

  1. Aron said

    Nice 🙂

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