A classic symptom of rationalism being applied in the current debate here is ethical monism – the wrongheaded and unnecessary idea that there is a single “most moral” action for any given scenario. The example Linz gives is that only a “Dagny” or a “John Galt” make moral romantic partners for an Objectivist. Ayn Rand was once asked what the “most moral” profession was. An extreme case was the fellow who died his hair red believing that Howard Roark’s hair color must certainly be the “most moral.”
The monistic error Firehammer makes is the idea that there must be a “most moral” sexuality. Why can’t there be options within principles, as there is with most questions in life? Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that sexuality is chosen. If a homosexual relationship can bring you happiness, why can’t this be a potential moral option?
Stranger still, is the “natural use of a body part” claim. Again, this points to a monistic quest to determine a singular “most moral” way of using our bodies. As with all cases of rationalism, the facts do not support it. Most, if not all, of our body parts have multiple uses, and if we are guided by some spurious “intention of nature,” we can forget clothes, automobiles, personal computers and everything else man invents for his own happiness that nature does not provide. Obviously that doesn’t mean that “anything goes,” but nor does it mean “thou shalt.”
(I also think that the idea that Badnarik is the “most moral” pick for president is monistic, but that argument’s been had. I just had to get that in there. J)
Monism indicates a desire for a rules-based philosophy. If you can figure out the “most moral” answer to something, you don’t need to think about it - you’ve got a religion. I hope that Objectivism is more than just religion without God and a bit of science and capitalism thrown into the mix. I’d like to think that Objectivism is an integrated philosophy providing moral principles and standards - and that life provides many glorious options and opportunities for happiness within those.
(Edited by Glenn Lamont on 9/14, 5:13pm)