Re: Ethics

root (
22 Jul 1998 05:25:44 -0700

Lee Daniel Crocker <> writes:

> A fair criticism, perhaps, but I still think the naive arguments
> against egoism aren't thinking hard enough or long-term enough
> in many cases: most of the arguments just blindly assume that
> if one commits a crime and is not caught, then there are no
> negative consequences to that act.

Besides the points in the rest of this post, the most important issue here is that applied consistently, over the long term, a criminal lifestyle increases the risk of being caught with every act. When you are 'trying not to get caught' you are, as Rand pointed out, at war with reality - which is a losing proposition.

To 'get away' with a crime, you have to make the facts appear to be other than what they are, and since reality is an integrated whole, and all aspects of it inter-related, there is no way to sustain a consistent misrepresentation of facts over the long term. Indeed, the very idea is a contradiction in terms.

So you WILL be caught out in the long-term. And the reality-split within your own mind will produce paranoia, guilt, and eventually, severe psychosis, as you try to win your losing battle against reality.

I speak not only from a theoretical viewpoint, but from experience. Been there, done that. I used to be a kleptomaniac in my teens, pulled off the most daring heists, but today there's just no way I'd swipe the most trivial of items even when there's nobody around to see - it has a way of catching up with you!

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