Thursday, December 24, 2009

Objectivist Round Up

Miranda Barzey has the Christmas edition of the Objectivst Round Up at her blog, Ramen and Rand.  This week the round up has a theme:  The Benevolent Universe Premise.  (Objectivists often refer to this idea as the BUP.)  Leonard Peikoff describes the Benevolent Universe Premise this way:
Although accidents and failures are possible, they are not, according to Objectivism, the essence of human life. On the contrary, the achievement of values is the norm—speaking now for the moral man, moral by the Objectivist definition. Success and happiness are the metaphysically to-be-expected. In other words, Objectivism rejects the view that human fulfillment is impossible, that man is doomed to misery, that the universe is malevolent. We advocate the “benevolent universe” premise.

The “benevolent universe” does not mean that the universe feels kindly to man or that it is out to help him achieve his goals. No, the universe is neutral; it simply is; it is indifferent to you. You must care about and adapt to it, not the other way around. But reality is “benevolent” in the sense that if you do adapt to it—i.e., if you do think, value, and act rationally, then you can (and barring accidents you will) achieve your values. You will, because those values are based on reality.

Leonard Peikoff, The Philosophy of Objectivism,
lecture series (1976), Lecture 8.

What a perfect theme for Christmas!  I hope you enjoy the round up and I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

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