Ethics is an objective, metaphysical necessity of man’s survival. . . .
I quote from Galt’s speech: “Man has been called a rational being, but
rationality is a matter of choice—and the alternative his nature offers him
is: rational being or suicidal animal. Man has to be man—by choice; he has to
hold his life as a value—by choice; he has to learn to sustain it—by choice;
he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues—by choice.
A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality.”
The standard of value of the Objectivist ethics—the standard by which one
judges what is good or evil—is man’s life, or: that which is required for
man’s survival qua man.
Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life
of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is
the evil. Since everything man needs has to be discovered by his own mind and
produced by his own effort, the two essentials of the method of survival proper
to a rational being are: thinking and productive work.