If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man’s only moral
commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a “moral commandment” is a contradiction
in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the
obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments.
My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence
exists—and in a single choice: to live. The rest proceeds from these. To live,
man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life:
Reason—Purpose—Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge—Purpose,
as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to
achieve—Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to
think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living.
These three values imply and require all of man’s virtues, and all his virtues
pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness: rationality,
independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride.